In 2011, after having much success with a concert I had mounted, I was able to purchase a laptop of my own for the first time. The laptop had its limitations, but it still allowed me to continue my work. That laptop lasted me through university, and for a few more years after I returned to Jamaica. Then, a little over a year ago, the motherboard gave out, and I was unable to continue my work after that. It would have cost more to replace the part, than to buy a new laptop, but I was not in a position to do that. I had hoped that I would be able to change that in 2020, as I had done previously, but alas, that was not to be.
All around the world, the COVID pandemic has negatively impacted many industries and affected many people's lives and livelihoods. The creative industry in Jamaica, particularly for Classical musicians like myself was, unfortunately, no exception. I weathered 2020 with the help of family and friends, but they, like me, had their own struggles. This year, with renewed purpose and determination, I am hoping to do what I was unable to last year: earn a decent living.
With your generosity, I intend to obtain certain specialised software, and replace that laptop with one that will be able to handle the rigours of that software and my work. I have decided to take this leap of faith, even in these extraordinarily challenging times, because it was community that helped me to become the artist I am today, and it is my belief in community that has helped me to stay grounded and remain hopeful amidst the stresses of what has been occurring all around me.
I understand that during such a time, many prefer to provide staples and other such support; but as the Chinese proverb says, "Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll eat for a lifetime." Well, I spent many years in school and on stage, learning and honing my craft — learning to fish, you might say — but what I need now, is the fishing rod, and some lures, to help me to do just that. It is in times like these that we rely the greatest on the things we love: beautiful music, a good film or television series, or a great book, to grant us brief moments of reprieve from the seeming madness around us. The Arts have been dying this past year, and we, the artists, have been gasping for breath to keep them alive with a modicum of success. We have had to evolve with these trying times, but in the end, it may not be enough. However, with the help of patrons and supporters like you, we may stand a fighting chance.
To those of you that give of your time and substance, you have my deepest gratitude. May the kindness you show me be returned to you manifold someday. Best wishes to you and yours for 2021.