Sunday, November 06, 2005

All artists worthy of the name wear the pain of the world, like scars, or radiant armour. And for Minshall, a white boy in a black country, there had to be a blessed liberation in refusing to be penned up in suburbia's ghetto but, to the contrary, in being perennially and vitally involved in 'their' world. And how vitally!

-- From Wayne Brown's column, in today's J'ca Observer, on Peter Minshall.

Ten years later, here in Jamaica, I had just that day returned home from bypass surgery in Havana when, from Trinidad, Minshall phoned. He was as usual aghast about something; he talked on and on. I was weak and very tired; after five minutes I was ready to hang up, and if it had been anybody else, I would have excused myself and done so.

But I didn't. Minshall proceeded to talk for a full hour, and long before he was finished I was blind with pain. But I lay there and took it, because it was Minshall - no, because it was Trinidad - calling; and when your country calls, you don't hang up.

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