I am using this image symbolically on many fronts. You see I believe most people go through life consciously pursuing HAPPINESS but really they are pursuing MEANING because when you discover your purpose(meaning) here on this planet an extra "energy" just flows-you don't know where it comes from and most times it surprises you immensely. This might be what people like Abraham Maslow wrote about in his "needs theory" as higher order needs.
Photography has done this for me. So, although I have retired from an organization that I worked at for more that 20 years, I now ask myself regularly what was I really doing all the time before. Now I never feel displeased or disheartened to get off my bed. In fact if my bed could talk it might be asking me to spend some more time on it.
In addition Divine Providence have led me to visit places like Cuba from the late 90's. And there I gain reference and solace because I never spend my vacations at home. I now find insights for my new life path when I travel.
The first time I walked the streets of Old Havana was in 1999 or 2000 when I did the city tour as a tourist. This visit was done in November 2015 when I took Cuban local taxis and paid like a Cuban and walk several miles on my own.
But the real reason her photo is used here is because she reminded me of my two main female ancestors. She also represents the true essence of Caribbean Beauty, Charm, Femininity,Glamour,Style and Womanhood,through time. There is no real "falsehood" in her demeanor. What you see is "She"-no apparent hypocrisy as you may see in others with their religious adornment. So from looking at her you are not mistaken. This is someone, in my opinion, who when she says something or offers advice you can safely say that she is speaking with a measure of experience. As Cubans and other Latin Americans may say "Candela". In other Caribbean countries speaking my "twang" or the "English dialect" we use the phrase "Yuh bright"-the intelligence of the street.
p.s. You see how memory is an instrument of convenience or maybe in my case forgetting is a sign of old age. This lady is the embodiment of my aunt my father's sister who did similar work like this lady in the more respected African religion in my country-The Spiritual Baptist. And in a respectable suburbs of Port of Spain-That's the true connection because in more ways than one-the memory of my aunt is returning-she died when I was teenager.
And funny thing is that they don't have to go any place outside of the Caribbean to reconnect or discover the meaning of there lives. All our people have to do is to just start LOOKING INWARD-we will surely gain more confidence and identity.
That was the great Bob Marley's mistake in his reconfiguration of his life and the lives of the people around him. He should have asked me,nah I could not help at the time,maybe one of my ancestors. They would have told him "stay close to the Blue Mountains" not to the African continent. Where do you think he was infused with his gift? right there in Jamaica. Now let me be a bit facetious and a bit like one of the names my mother gave me-very simplistic. I am building a house in my country, lets say Trinidad, and I am now starting so I am putting down my foundation. If I decided to go to some part of Africa to put it down- you think my house in Trinidad go be strong. Maybe that's what the great warrior we are celebrating this week called a "shifting sand" foundation.
Keywords: Africa, African, Caribbean, Cuba, Santeria, attraction, beauty, colonial, concept, creativity, design, eyes, face, femininity, fine art portrait, from above, glamour, head and shoulders, historical, history, looking at the camera, one person, people, religion, serene, spiritual, standing level, sultry elegant, symbol, timeless, travel, travel destinations, vestiges, woman