2014 Dundee International Book Award, Climate Change, Emerging Caribbean novelist, Happy New Year 2015, Inequality, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate by Naomi Klein, Transnational corporations
Happy New Year 2015
Another yearly cycle comes to an end. A big thank you to each one of you who dropped by and shared your experiences and insights. New friendships forged have been a blessing in my life. Regardless of our differences, we all share the same humanity and the same Earth on our journey together through time and space.
If you didn’t achieve all of your goals for 2014, you’re not alone. My goal of finding a publisher for my first novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, did not materialize. But all was not lost. My family drama of an orphan’s quest for redemption was shortlisted for the 2014 Dundee International Book Award. For an emerging Caribbean novelist like me, it was much needed validation.
I have also not completed the first draft of my second novel, as planned. In order to submerge myself in the story’s setting in a remote township in Guyana’s rainforest region and develop the characters, I had to disconnect from the Facebook vortex. This meant losing touch with several long-distance friends. Thankfully, my imposed, reclusive, writer lifestyle was punctuated by face-to-face connections with close friends for coffee or lunch.
Another kind of disconnection and connection marked my life in 2014. In September, my younger son got married. Even though I had spent the last three years in the process of letting go of the tight bond we shared, the news of his marriage threw me off-balance. My new role as mother-in-law is slowly evolving. How to be supportive without being intrusive?
The relationship with my own mother entered a downward spiral. Keeping a safe distance deters collisions. As mothers, we sometimes have expectations and make demands of our children that they are unable or unwilling to fulfill.
We humans are complex creatures. It’s no wonder that conflict and violence persist in our everyday lives. Among the numerous incidents of conflict and violence that erupted in 2014, the plight of civilians in Gaza during Israel’s 50-day war and the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, both unarmed African-Americans, exemplify the state power’s disregard for the powerless and defenseless among us.
Ongoing conflicts in the USA and worldwide are symptoms of growing inequality, driven by our global capitalist system. Transnational corporate giants continue to dominate our global economy, frame our laws, and shape the narrative of our lives. They will not rest until they have sucked our planet dry of its riches. From their privileged position at the top of the pyramid of disposable humans, they have lost touch with their own humanity and place in the natural world.
I was heartened in 2014 to witness the spread of awareness of climate change and our role in accelerating this change. In This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs The Climate, Naomi Klein not only exposes the capitalist root of our dilemma, but also reveals how communities across our planet are achieving success in restraining corporate greed.
We need more people on board. Will you join us in 2015?