Saturday, March 26, 2011

Word, Sound Power: The Misunderstanding of Lawrence Stuart

Never gone! Never forgotten!
Uncle Lawrence (Stuartie),

You wear many crowns: Elder, counselor, philosopher, comrade, griot.

I laugh when people cringe and seh how yuh  mouth too big and yuh talk  too slack. Griots are traditionally masters of words and you have kept our family stories vivid in our minds- from comical ("Man vs Turkey") to reflective ("Aunt Elise is gold"). Undeniable!
As ah talk bout griot, you tell the wickedest, maddest set a 'tory- mek me laugh 'til water full up me eye. 
You are the Keeper of our family's oral tradition. You personify communalism.

When they say you too loud, I say, so the lion roar mek  the jungle know he's the King and not some pussy cat. I can still hear you sound out to me whenever I entered the room. "OMODELE!" - your voice a rolling bass like thunder, declaring my presence. Your Sound...is...Unforgettable! And, you exude energy powerful as a radiant sun.

You are one king that really lived; I mean, LIVES. Yuh lived hard! laughed hard! drank hard! loved hard! cared hard, hard!
You embody "it takes a village to raise a child."
People don't know that from I was a youth, you drew me in, encompassing me with your life force, and made me feel like a prince. And how later when I walked through fire, I'd run to you on Nostrand and Crown, and you'd  make me feel like it was no longer me but us against the world. That's just you.
Remember yuh seh, "I KNOW you, y'know, where yuh been, where yuh from and where yuh going..."?
Stuartie, when you done talk, I feel sure of my place in the Universal Order. For that, I am forever grateful.

I didn't get to tell you all this before that's why I'm saying it now. 
Never Gone. Never Forgotten.
You are Legendary.

One Love, One Life
K. Omodele







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