I have big dreams for my country, dreams that I hope to make a reality by using myself as a tool for their realization. Dreams, they are beautiful things, I think, because they give us control in fashioning the great possibilities, but they can also be crushing. Crushing because of the sheer intensity that those possibilities wield. That magic can be too powerful, too forceful for some mortals.
“Day and night
I always dream with open eyes
And on top of the foaming waves
Of the wide turbulent sea,
And on the rolling
And merrily riding on the gentle neck
Of a mighty lion,
Monarch of my heart,
I always see a floating child
Who is calling me!”
I dream awake because my mind is always and sometimes painfully buzzing with questions on why my country is the way she is, why the collective consciousness of her people is written in the way it is. Sometimes I feel like a foreigner in my own land, which I think is why I go to seek the great perhaps within this bit of land and sky. That involves me having great questions of the big and heavy things, of why yes to the ICJ, why it is that corruption is so embedded, why our governance structures perpetuate so much inequality, why in the most malleable times it was not our hands alone that shaped the contours of who we are today.
I have a great worry that a huge part of our being is missing and we live in this constant state, of gross comatose. A struggle, an obsession that I have, has to do with examining the words and shared history of those who have gone before us, which becomes increasingly difficult the more I try to hear those great speeches, seek out the transcripts of public meetings that dictate the heartbeat of Belize. I find that there was intentional complacency and much deficiency in making sure that we could hear those voices today. I feel that that disregard is almost criminal. We take little care in preserving and writing our own stories. We take pleasure in glorifying and sensationalizing the manicured sections and hide the gore. Gore that to me can be beautiful if acknowledged and can help us, help me understand where we have gone so terribly wrong.
Katie Usher, a black creative, delivered a powerful oration at the Belize-Cuba celebration of diplomatic relations. I hope to share it in its entirety on the pages of the Amandala so that you too can experience the power of those words strung together. There’s a repetition within it that anyone who belongs to any country can agree with at this, and arguably any, time in history: “dis da wah dangerous time fu fly flag high.” I agree because I have never in my formal education been taught my unaltered history — dangerous because my nationality has been sold off to men sitting in cells far away, dangerous because I feel uneasy about my first general election vote, dangerous because the more I become aware of my place here the more I wonder if the country and flag I have pledged allegiance to, under the guidance of the words of Madam Corinth Morter-Lewis, has pledged allegiance to me.
For now, I dream of the day when I and my people are actualized. I dream of the day when my identity is declassified.