Cuba – Island of My Hunger Indeed

shanty

shanty (Photo credit: scpgt)

 

The first of two, perhaps three, maybe even four posts about my love affair with Cuba.

When I’m away from it, I wonder about its harsh beauty. Everything about it holds a kind of tragedy waiting to be witnessed; the supple bodies of a people accustomed to physical labour, the once-beautiful architecture turned ragged, over-taken by cement tenements, and the beautiful, sharp, call of the music that reminds everyone of a haunting past; a yearning for a kind of freedom that has no words.

Before I ever set foot on Cuba’s soil, I had been fascinated by the rich history, political fortitude and the primitive ceremonies cloaked in the guise of modern Christian saints.  It was like a slow falling-in-love with a long distance lover whom I’d never met. I had read his letters, heard whispers through the telephone line, and fallen asleep with a contented smile remembering the gentle promise of sunshine, sea-water and the sweet, high call of a trumpet tempting the people to make love on earth that they dance upon….

April 1/2012 – Journal Entry -Driving into the Countryside from the Airport

There is something about this island that feels like home to me. I’m not sure why, it just has always been that way. Perhaps it has something to do with the way the landscape lolls out from the tarmac into instant country-side or, that the sun-baked simplicity of the houses and buildings mimic the isolation of our vast Canadian landscape.

There is a certainty about the earth here that grounds a person’s sensuality in their own body. I see a man leaning, left hand in the door frame, arm stretched high.  The rest of his bare torso bends easily to the weight of his lean body, his lover standing beside him, underneath his up-stretched arm. Her silhouette binds easily to his, in a way that leaves no doubt that he has just had her.

The inspiration for the name of this post came from a collection of modern Cuban Poetry ; Island of my Hunger.

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