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Dream right

Monday 16th August 2010

Jamaica’s Craig Dixon questions the conventional notion of peace.

There is a desire, created by fear of aloneness and neglect which extinguishes imagination and ambition. When a lad of fourteen years is forced to trek through hilly spoors – with a face carved from salty pillars of tears – to find a new home, he feels this desire. There can be no peace in him in the solitary hills he must traverse. The chirping of crickets is an irksome sound; the sounds of the wind are the songs of scary phantoms breathing, and the shadows of the trees, a swaying gala of ashen silk. Fear dissolves all reason and hope, even for a boy in search of his fifteenth home. What future awaits such a boy? He has never known a father and his lovely mother, poverty-stricken, moves her children around like nomads – or vagabonds as some would say. Even as the boy cries, she is in a different place and his siblings, another place. The boy cries at dawn in dewdrops, at midday in torrid heat and at eventide under the waxing-crescent moon. Today feels like the climax of tears. He has compelled attention only through threats of suicide. He has been told he is nothing and without hope. This boy lived and lives in Jamaica and in all the cultures that will converge in Kigali. He has spoken to and he speaks to you. There is peace… and there is no peace in him.

So what is this peace and peace-building of which we speak? Is peace, defined as “the absence of war”, our objective? What is this peace we seek, that, (in the absence of war) does not protect the dream-right of the lad mentioned, or the right of his mother as a deserving citizen of earth… or of the elderly as life’s conduits of traditions and wisdom? You see, in the streets of down-town Kingston, Jamaica…

“…Young dreamers are muzzled in bullet-stained dust – (and)

Hope is obscured by the Revolver’s glare” (from The Red Silhouette by Craig Dixon)

The socio-economic contrasts a few minutes up-town in Norbrook and Beverly Hills bereft me of calm expression! – Our democracy is Kleptocracy, political tribalism, embezzlement, deffered dreams, rape, ‘highest murder rate in the world’… I believe, in situations like these, in seeking justice for all first and peace should come as a consequence of the acquisition of same. I always felt that I had a right to dream as a child, even as I, in a stab to survive, foraged for food in bushes. I would have, had I not been a determined existentialist who knew of this dream-right, turned to a life of crime….as many of my childhood friends have done. As long as a man feels chained by another in an inglorious spot, there can be no peace, truce, but not peace and certainly no ‘peace of mind’. The absence of war should not comfort us fully because such does not equate to the absence of suffering. As long as there is suppression of man; man, in time, will rise to secure his freedom. So what is this peace of which we speak that does not first secure justice and the dream-right of all men? Or does it?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Opal Minott permalink
    Monday 16th August 2010 10:31 pm

    As I read this article, a fire is lit within my soul and I am compelled to add my voice to those of the millions who cry for justice.It is my earnest prayer that the change makers of 2010 will effectively challenge the scourges of injustice suffered by young people throughout the world.

  2. Rainah Seepersad permalink
    Monday 16th August 2010 10:38 pm

    congrats craig, its nice to see u so passionate an excited about sumtin. Good luck with everything 🙂

  3. Tuesday 24th August 2010 11:00 pm

    I can never tire of telling you how good you are (well in my head most of the time, but still) All the best and my fullest wishes for you as you start this journey.


  4. Deborah Cameron permalink
    Thursday 19th May 2011 6:12 pm

    what struck me the most in this piece is the fact that “fear dissolves all reason and hope”.

    This is a masterpiece and what compells the writing is the fact that it raises poignant facts relating caribbean societies.
    Great writing and well structured. Congrats.

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