maggiehunterbrown Unsung voices and other melodies…

maggiehunterbrown Unsung voices and other melodies…

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Aging Gracefully

May 13, 2016

I worked for Marshall Cavendish, a publishing house in London, during my time studying Graphic Design & Illustration.  To many Brits and co-workers, I was their little “colonial”. But then – this was the 80’s!

A fellow “colonial” and colleague, taught me something, which I have kept with me ever since!  Frances was from Trinidad & Tobago, and a beautiful soul inside and out – although that is not how many Brits described him.  To them he was “black” – of course he wasn’t!  I add this as background because I believe he had considerably more astute observations, than most, to contribute to our monosyllabic daily duties.  He was a perspicacious young  old soul, running around the likes of a Soho publishing house!

I am a white, female Celt. I blended into my background nicely – with gratitude to my ancestors!  To many of London’s circles, however, he was seen as “on the outside”….probably on more occasions, than he cared to experience.  From that angle he was wise beyond his years, and he was aging gracefully.  He had serenity, a sense of peace and protocol, already in his 20’s… something that I was then still having to acquire in mine.

The one thing he observed about English and North American society was that “we had not been taught how to fail gracefully”.  If we were put off, or made to face an attribute we were not keen on, we tended to be defensive, and tone-deaf in debate.  Instead, we could have engaged in learning about the elements that led to his epiphany.  What a sense of loss!

I was really lucky having this “colonial” as a colleague, and as a mentor in the clerking world of Marshall Cavendish.  He was like a big brother, keeping a small herd Celts and Anglo-Saxons on task, but with these little embers of engagement and thought-provoking conversations.

This incarnated life’s memories are richer for his brief presence, and path-crossing. I give salutations to Trinidad’s sons and all their relations! Greetings to all our Relations! & Go braugh!


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