Westmoreland, Jamaica | Sundown Villa | Honeymooning | Apollo Fields Photojournalism | Blog
Jamaica, Day 1
Friday, November 2nd , ~ 8:09am, local time
I woke up several times to the luminescent glow in the sky of a Jamaican sunrise, stirring to the sounds of life’s reawakening to the smell of fresh fires and morning birds. Looking out onto the rigid horizon, my view was divided in two — the sky and the sea — one blue, darker and in constant motion, while the other floated in its own lightness. The semi-frequent car horn blared from the street, bringing me back to the march of civilization that we thought we left in New York.
Hungry, I waited as Heather ruminated on her back in a lounge chair. She stared at the same dialectic view, but I know her eyes told her a different story. She saw the way the light struck the different crests of the ocean, the way it played with the rocks, creating shadows and depth as geckos crawled between the dark and the light. She heard the birds and the cars but she reached another plane of mind by sheer will, wrestling her otherwise purposeful mind into a peaceful submission. It took a bit of effort, but she got there, perhaps reaching an even more placid mental state than my own.
Most things are competitions for us and why would relaxation be any different. I told her while I was reading Shantaram that it seemed a task for her to sit still, that she should go start breakfast because 1) I was hungry, and 2) I thought that it would provide her productive mind with something to do. She disagreed, saying that it wasn’t difficult, that she found no trouble or resistance in the open space of an unoccupied mind, but I could see the struggle. The struggle of a relentless spirit meeting no opponent, of a force pushing forward to find no resistance, where effort was not rewarded but yielded to. What does a warrior make of passivity on the battlefield where victory reveals nothingness? Where there is no one to fight and nowhere to go but inside one’s heart? I imagine the war is explosive and silent. I’m just happy to see her relax.
I don’t know what to expect from our time in Jamaica, safely tucked into our Airbnb on the cliffs at Sundown Villa, somewhat immersed in the culture while staying at an arms length. Before we arrived, dad and others preached caution, forewarning danger, but our host, Nadine, exudes nothing but the warmth Americans have come to expect from Rasta and Jamaican culture. Clouded in the smoke of ganja, I hope to brush shoulders with locals and eat from their authentic tradition, whether from the street or between the walls of celebrated staples. I hope to return to the States revitalized and hungry, rejuvenated yet ready to begin the search for our new home.