Thursday, July 26, 2018

Who I Am!

“De pain and the fight, the hate and the lies… Pain and heartbreak, supm inna it weh mi love, all a mi life experiences build me up as thug.”
Alkaline (Juggernaut)

When the valley couldn't hold me, they throw me in the river, Thinking I would drown, but man, ah, good swimmer, whoa, When the river didn't drown me, they throw me in the fire, But the fire just cool, I could never burn, oh

Major Lazer (Believer)

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 (Bible)

My journey to me starts in 1919… why because it is where my mind has a definitive anchor in history. That is the day Dorothy M. Thompson was born, my mother’s mother, I would spend 33 years of my life imbibing her life and that of her children and grandchildren. When I say imbibe her life experiences, imagine what it was like for me as a child in a pitch black room at nights with your granny’s voice recanting her life experiences, in the pitch black when you can’t see your own hand so you feel disconnected from your body. The black room become your own mindscape and that voice and those experiences become stitched in and meld with your own, when it is as though that voice inhabits your psyche now till this present moment… then my life can seem at times to start 1919… in the midst of history and milestones.

Understand I was with Dorothy in Rock River Clarendon, when she went to vestry, when John took her to the UNIA, when she ate Milly mango in Diamond, when she met her husband Allan Thompson, when they came to Montego Bay, from Gravel Lane to Tate Street… when she met Howard Cooke, when she became the PNP matriarch, when she worked at WoolWorth, till she got her tuck shop up at Cornwall Regional Hospital, when she became the pillar of the community in Paradise Acres. Through all her pains and heartbreak, joys and suffering… what I didn’t glean in the dark room I would live to see in action myself.

I am my parents… I am my father, when you see me being an entrepreneur… no matter how I may fail or flounder, it is an instinct that comes from having imbibed his life and am still imbibing it. Everytime, I draw I am my father, for the gift came from him, and everytime my daughter or her classmates, or children in the community look at things I draw or paint, when they look at me as some hero, it's because my father drew me out of a thousand school projects and was my hero. And even though I haven’t become a millionaire just yet, every dollar earned from that talent, is what he gave me in a manner of speaking. Plus so much more. For I was with him when he grew up in Four Paths in Clarendon, catching water in the early mornings before dawn, with his brother. I was with him going to Glenmuir, I was with him when he came to Montego Bay, when he met my mother, when he wooed her, when he married her, when he sold insurance, when he became an entrepreneur, when he made his life and forged his own path.

I am my mother… who I inherited social activism from. I am her quiet nature, I am her silent strength… the fortitude it takes to go through long suffering and go the distance. Yannick is a hebrew name that means, the grace of God, and if there is any grace in me I am sure it came through her. She taught me children and family over career… not through speech but her choices and actions, and I have seen much value in it. When I write poetry it is the amalgamation of my parents… their love affair with the English language, her social sensitivities and keen sense of emotional observation, his concubines… a green websters dictionary with a tree on it, Reader’s Digest, Time Magazine and National Geographic.

I am my community which manage to teach me in the 80’s that it takes a village to raise a child. For it was as simple as this, “all wah mi do and don’t do, dem tell mi granny.” So now I will forever fight to return the community to that type of communal love. For I am also the community’s victims of that lost love… I am Gully, I am Delano, I am Little Dread, I am Goosey, I am Sticky Bean, I am Baboo, I am Warface, I am Marley, I am Andrew Bailey, I am Joab, I am Zuggy, I am Jooky, I am Stumpy, I am Sweaty, I am Stubba, I am Goodfy Jeffrey, I am Umpa, I am Jigs, I am Wiz/Alkaline, I am Delly, I am Kerris, I am Shorty, I am Hulk, I am Jevaughn James, I am Danny, I am Warrick, I am so many more fallen soldiers. I am the best of my community, I am E. T. Webster, I am Tappa, I am Jimmy Cliff, I am Cecil Donaldson, I am the Youth, I am the Senior Citizen, I am the community heroes like Venise and Tash… I am I-crus, I am the elder, the mechanic, the shoe repair man, the upholster, the shopkeeper, the selector, the Juta Driver, the artisan, the labourer, the mason, the carpenter.

I am my teachers, I am Mr. Mcpherson, I am Co-Hall, I am Ms. Gordon, I am Ms. Nelson, I am Mr. Barnes at Cornwall, I am Mr. Miller, Rev. Myers, Mr. Maddans, Mr. Haughton, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Clarke, Ms Daze/Wilson and Reverton Bailey. I am Aggrey Brown, I am Roxanne Burton, I am Earl McKenzie, I am Tunde Bewaji, I am Dr. Bamikole, I am Jalaani Niaah...



I am more than a slim natty in a 5’11 frame. I am Pan Africanism, I am Rastafari, I am Socialism, I am African Spirituality, I am Afrofuturism, I am tomorrow, I am that which makes you uncomfortable, I am science, I am arts, I am metaphysics, I am human, I am supernatural, I am God, I am man, I am community, I am football, I am basketball, I am cricket, I am mistakes, I am failures, I am success, I am unstoppable, I am unbreakable, I am indomitable and my name is Yannick Nesta Pessoa.

2 comments:

Grace said...

Merry Christmas,
You are so interesting! I don't believe I've truly read through anything like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with a few unique thoughts on this issue. Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality! If you want to read Christmas Speech For School you have to see the link
Thank you,

Unknown said...

Hi,
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Thanks