On that Saturday …

I went to a Good Friday service that was a little different from ones I’ve been to before. The sanctuary was dark, except for the flickering of candles in the front and around the floor. They read scripture and sang songs about Jesus’ final hours on earth. Participation wasn’t in the doing, but in the observation – in the experience. It was a somber affair. I was sad.

I have been sad all week. There was a heaviness weighing on my heart and I couldn’t seem to shake it. As I sat in the service I lifted it up, but over and over again I was reminded of the fact that what I was going through, the sadness, the heartbrokenness, Christ went through it a million times more. The more I thought of it the more I started to picture and wonder about those last hours.

How deep was the rejection, when God turned his back away? It sliced through my heart; any rejection I feel or have felt, will never compare to the rejection that Jesus felt that afternoon when God could no longer look at him, when the father turned his face away from his son. Sitting there I imagined the pain, he must have felt as he experienced, for the first time, what we have to live with because of sin. The agony that he felt, I cannot express.

I thought about the disciples, the people who followed Jesus. How did they feel? How did they feel to see the person whom they believed to be God, whom they believed will bring the kingdom of God to earth, how did they feel to see him crucified? Maybe some of them felt disappointed. Maybe some of them felt like they were betrayed, like the wool was pulled over their eyes. Perhaps some felt like the rug was yanked out from under their feet and they were free-falling into an abyss of uncertainty.

Then what happened when they laid him in the tomb? What emotions were they experiencing when they spent that entire Saturday wondering if they would be next. Wondering if people would accuse them and crucify them. Did they question? Did they shed tears? Did they talk about what it was like when he was alive?

A heaviness must have filled them, a coldness that permeated from their heart and flowed through their veins, filling their body with dread.

In light of all these things I felt small. THIS is how it feels to be disconnected, to be separated from the one you love, the one you trust, the one you felt like you knew inside and out. I was overwhelmed.

I think it’s important to remember this feeling; the feeling of loss and despair – of hopelessness. I think it’s important because it makes what happens next even more extraordinary…

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I wanna Rock!

Rock of AgesRock of Ages was one part unpredictable and all parts spectacular. You don’t have to be a fan of the eighties to love it, but it wouldn’t hurt.

The story follows two young, fame-seeking kids trying to live out their dream on the strip. Drew the singer and Sherrie the actress meet at The Bourbon Room, a place where they both work while trying to realize their dream. There is the usual falling in love and miscommunication that leads to the ultimate breaking apart, followed closely by the realization that they were both wrong. However, the way Rock of Ages presented it is so fresh and fun that it’s easy to overlook this formulaic love story and enjoy the show.

Lonny – the narrator and part owner of The Bourbon Room – is quite hilarious. Regina, a protestor who is trying to save the strip from being torn down by a pair of German developers, also helps to bring a comedic element to the show. Her and Hans were probably my second favourites after Lonny.

The music was great! I loved the way they sung the 80s rock songs, it was edgy, but also a bit classical. The music wasn’t overwhelming, nor did it feel forced. Everyone in the cast did a great job on the vocals and I was blown away by Drew’s voice. I absolutely loved that the band was on the stage and at some points participating in the act itself.

The set was pretty simple, nothing splashy; but I loved the touch they added with the 80s Las Vegas strip memorabilia that hung on the walls.

The ending was the best, make sure you get an orchestra seat because you don’t want to miss the glittering confetti!

Rock of Ages is definitely Broadway’s biggest rock party. Check it out while you still can!

[image via Broadway.com]

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Where am I from?

A few weeks ago, a workmate was showing me this awesome app that helped trace his family genealogy back for generations. I mentioned to him in passing that I thought it was a great app and that I wished I could do the same, but where I’m from, we don’t have such well-kept records and my history ends in some form of slavery or indentureship. 

A few days ago I was reading a book that begun with the protagonist tracing her ancestry and finding some interesting information about her family. 

Today, I was eating with some friends and mentioned that I was “1/8th black” and was explaining how my great grand on my mom’s side was black and thus the 1/8th. I was asked where my ancestors came from and I replied, in a flippant way, that my ancestors were slaves and indentured immigrants, I don’t really know where exactly they came from. This is partially true, and though I made it a joke, the seriousness of the claim did not escape me. 

I say it’s partially true because I know that most of the slaves to the Caribbean probably came from West Africa, and most of the Indian indentured immigrants probably came from Hindi speaking regions in India. In the case of slavery, many people were captured from warring tribes or traders who sold them to the Europeans. They were transported to the Caribbean and became the property of the plantation owners. Their identity was lost. 

In the case of the indentured servant, many of them came over in hopes of making a better life, only to be forced into another form of enslavement, barely making enough to get back home. Their identity was lost as well. 

I only know the history of my family up to my grandparents (and vaguely my great grand parents), but to go back for generations would be difficult for me; genealogy records aren’t properly preserved in my country of origin and if I do make it back to the slave trade and the indentureship, what then? 

I thought of this a bit more this evening, I thought about history, and how a large piece of my history, the strands that makeup who I am, is lost to me. In my head I know it’s a sad thing, but it doesn’t make me sad inside. Actually, I find that I’m OK with not knowing.

Now, before some misunderstand, I’m not forgetting my history, it’s there for me to see in the unknown, but, I won’t let this cloud of not knowing hijack my identity. Also, to be quite clear, my drive to define me in the now does not mean that I am turning a blind eye to the injustices of the past generations, it means that I recognize them, but I will not be bound by them, instead I will rise above them. 

I often think about the injustices of the past, I often weep over the lost identity of those who lived so long ago and the racism that still exists today because of it. I often pray that I will not walk the same path as those who walked before me, that the prejudices that were developed will not develop in me. I also often try to embrace the differences of those around me. I may not be able to tell you exactly where I am from, other than Guyana, and for now, that’s OK with me. 

Image

with the Grandmother; just because

A Floridian Adventure

Florida Adventure

I was looking through some very old photos and came across some from Florida, including this one from Universal.

I really love universal, I love the sets! One can definitely spend an entire day imagining on set. This was taken in a hip Brooklyn neighbourhood, where we spent the night sitting on the stoop, singing oldies while A played on a busted guitar that he found in an empty lot a few blocks away. B and C loved dancing about the sidewalk while D sang with the voice of an angel. We stayed like this until old Mrs. E peeked out her window and told us to find our way home – in not so nice terms.

Universal also have some fun rides, my fave there was the Mummy ride which, for some reason, is just ridiculously funny. Let’s not forget that Universal is also the home of Hogsmead! The Harry Potter park was still under construction during this trip, but I did return a year later to experience the wonder.

Five Things (3)

This set of five things is brought to you by “Finding” Nemo.

— Thing One —

Oh winter storms, you come with no respect for my plans! Nemo came, and the bright plans for brunch was slashed as I spent an hour and a half outside, shoveling snow. But, Nemo didn’t keep us down! Six of us met, later that day, for Dallas BBQ in Queens. It was great hanging with friends on a winter day 🙂 especially since the rest of the day was spent sleeping.

— Thing Two —

The week after Nemo was tinged with sadness, and I stopped the daily exercise and proper eating schedule that I had developed – sometimes you just need to comfort of potatoes, any style, doesn’t matter. However, since then I’ve been back on my running schedule and I was reminded of the fact of how much I disliked running until I met my friend Danny. We would go running for two miles in Flushing Meadow Park. He was very patient and took the time to teach me how to run properly and because of him I was able to do two miles, nonstop, which was pretty much a miracle for me. Due to this renewed burst of running and better eating habits, I’m happy to say that my winter weight is gone! Woohoo! All the weight I packed on from November to January (and a bit more) is now gone from my body, and I definitely feel more energize – though, that could also be due to the fact that I am sleeping longer hours. Sleep is really awesome and I find that uninterrupted sleep at nighttime really gives me a restful day. Yay for healthy habits! 

— Thing Three —

More Girly Time!  I had some great hang outs with girlfriends this past month. First, Tea and Sympathy with Alex, an old work-mate of mine. We had a great time enjoying T&S’s tea service and chatting about work and life. Then, I had some Ramen with C&C; it was definitely needed. Sometimes it’s easy to shut myself away during busy or difficult times, but I definitely needed to be around people on that particular Friday and I enjoyed the company of those two ladies a lot. 🙂

The following week I hung out with Eve and got some yummy Thai food (in Long Island!) and saw Identity Theft – which was hilarious! The rest of the week was a cousin-fest, from watching Amour to having dinner at The Olive Garden. I hadn’t been to Olive Garden in ages! The bread … so yum!

A few weeks after that it was Cambodian sandwiches – YUM! – and Argo Tea with E&C. Looking back at all the different food places, I feel incredibly blessed to be experiencing so many different cultures in New York.

— Thing Four —

Imagine this … You’re on the local train from Atlantic Terminal to Manhattan when you hear that it’s going on the express track, but that’s OK, the express train stops at your stop. You are listening to some music, and as the morning light peeks into the train as it slowly commences its trek over the bridge, The Violet Hour begins to play.

As the train descends, the last bell tolls, was there ever a better soundtrack moment?

— Thing Five —

Oscar Party! This is my third one, and it was great! Also, great app ABC – just make it a little less bloated and figure out what to do when there are ties and you’ll be perfect!

I had a lovely time with my friends, watching the red carpet parade and the entire show in general. I’m not really a big awards-show person, so attending an Oscar Party isn’t really something I’d have ever imagined myself doing, but, friends make everything better! Looking forward to next year!

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