Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bob Marley "No Woman No Cry"

PJ is taking some time off for the birth of his second child. Guest Blogger (and Dad) Bill Eville, former mvyradio employee, freelancer writer and Vineyard resident fills in.

It had been a beautiful spring day on the island, one of our first of the season. All day we played outside. The sun and the warm wind had felt wonderful. And now that evening was upon us and dinner finished Hardy and I felt pleasantly tired. At a play-date that afternoon a mom friend had lent me a Bob Marley VHS tape. This was the 1978 One Love Peace concert held in Jamaica where Bob brought together the two feuding political party leaders, Prime Minister Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, in an effort to bring about peace. Bob Marley’s music and his message felt perfect for this evening’s mellow vibe.

We didn’t have much work to do tonight, either. Just a small reinforcement to yesterday’s spear. A bit more cardboard about midway up the lance where earlier that day, during a crucial moment while playing pirates, it had failed me, folding in on itself and forming a deep crease where none should of been. As a result, Hardy had escaped walking the plank.

We brought ice cream down into the man cave, mint chocolate chip, Hardy’s new favorite. When I set it down in front of him he asked if I had remembered a spoon. “Of course,” I said, handing it to him.

“Good,” he said. “Because this is serious. The man cave is serious. We are serious about the man cave.”

I had no idea why bringing a spoon to eat ice cream made something more serious, but I liked that my boy was developing a respect for life in the man cave. We turned on the concert.

There were many performers,; Toots and the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Higgs singing a beautiful rendition of There’s A Reward in front of his old Trenchtown home. But, of course, the highlight belonged to Bob. Hardy was mesmerized and he peppered me with questions and insightful nuggets.

“Hey dad, why’s he sweating so much?”

“Hey dad, I know what he means by, hit me with music. That’s when someone shouts in your ear.”

We continued to groove on the music, just a couple of guys bobbing their heads and smiling. But then the baby monitor squawked loudly. Cathlin was away at a meeting. Hardy looked at me worriedly. “It’s Pickle,” he said. “What do we do?”

“Well,” I said. “I think we’ll have to introduce Pickle to the man cave.” To my surprise Hardy smiled.

Pickle is almost two, a small, curly headed girl with a second child’s personality. By this I mean she’s mellow and tough. She hardly ever cries but if you cross her, try to suggest she stop eating all the fishy crackers say, she will turn snapping turtle and bite your finger off.

I explained to Pickle that Hardy and I were watching Bob Marley. She seemed to take delight in his name as much as his music.

“Bob Marley, Bob Marley, Bob Marley,” she chanted. It felt good, having both of my children in the basement with me watching this great man. The concert was nearing its end now and just before Bob was to bring out Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, he sang War. “War in the east. War in the west. War up north. War down south.”

“He sing about war,” Pickle said. She was smiling and laughing, not having a clue what this meant. Hardy was not smiling, though. He loves to play war, there is no stopping this it seems when it comes to a five year old boy. But it appeared he could tell that the war Bob was singing about was no plaything.

After this last song, Bob brought out the two leaders to shook hands. This image was overlaid with images of Jamaican poverty - Trenchtown and other shanty towns, the houses made of scrap metal on dusty back lots, people picking through massive mountains of garbage for food.

“Why are they doing that?” Hardy asked.

“Well, they are hungry and looking for food,” I said.

Pickle smiled. “Fishy cracker snack,” she said.

I nodded and brought my children upstairs for a bedtime snack. I opened the cabinets, noticing anew how full they were with food. The refrigerator too. I thought about the words to "No Woman No Cry." “And then Georgie would make a firelight. Log wood burnin’ through the night. Then we would cook cornmeal porridge. Of which I’ll share with you.”

After snack I escorted Hardy and Pickle upstairs to bed. I kissed them both good night, patted their backs, and brushed their heads with my fingers for a very long time. “No war,” I whispered while standing above them. “No war.”

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great post! How weird is it that I saw this while playing a live version of "No Woman, No Cry" on mvy this morning? No joke!