Her voice on the phone cracks. I can hear in her the same grief, desperation and frustration that I feel so often being away from the magic and music that has become the very fabric of my life in the past several years. In Trinidad, for the past two years, she has been my rock, my sister, one of the coolest, strongest most bad ass women I have ever known. She sings, dances and lives with an uncommon passion that I know all too well in my own bones. She is a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife and the singer in one of the more popular bands in town. The first time I saw her on stage, I was captivated and instantly in love.
Now, seeing her cry, feeling the distress in her voice and knowing the void of what her world has become from the Corona Virus crisis, my heart cries with hers. Just a few months ago, we were still dancing all night, laughing, sharing and seeing each other daily for support. Now, we are across the sea from each other, both in isolated worlds without music and dance and the community in which we thrive. She is afraid, with each passing day, as the numbers increase and more Cubans are infected, she fears for her aging parents, just as I do for mine. In Cuba, they fear most starvation from a lack of food supplies and the inevitable interruptions in transport amidst the shut downs.
The one thread that keeps us both going is knowing that this too shall pass. We cry and support each other in our grieving and fear, but at the end of every conversation, we remind each other that this is not the end of the world. Eventually, in time, things will calm back down. We remind each other of the fun we will have when we meet again someday in the future and we always end each conversation knowing that within us we hold the magic of the music, and the music will return with a new passion and appreciation for this journey of life.
Cubans have survived much worst times, and even in their sufferings and fears, there is a resilience and a knowingness that goes beyond all of the current crisis. Beyond it all, they know in their hearts and minds that suffering is only a temporary passing and that the music will play, the drums will groove, and without a doubt, we will dance again.
Of that you can be sure. If you want to join me on my return trip to Cuba: inbox me through the website and experience the magic with me first hand.