Limitless One
Limitless One

Limitless One

Renewal Choir

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Suffering Paradise

It's 10am, February 2020, Negril. Day eight of our all-inclusive, once in a life-time family holiday. 

Lounging with my beautiful family beneath the fronds of a majestic beach edged palm tree in a Jamaican 5-star Hotel, I am over fed, over-heating and strangely restless.

Hearing the microphoned call to get ready for beach aerobics followed by a barbeque reggae cocktail lunch ‘paaaaaaaarty,’ I feel queasy.

My body sways awkwardly at the meeting of Caribbean Sea and the most recent onslaught of fried fish, dumplings, cereals, cake, and pastries, pastries, pastries all too readily washed down with two large mango and papaya breakfast smoothies.

As the overlarge American breakfasting couple toddle by, juggling zimmer frames and ‘Bob n Rita’ cocktails in their thong jiggling wake, I say to my wife and father-in-law that I need to go for a lie down in our air-con second floor flat.

‘Don’t save me any jerk chicken,’ I say and I sense there are more surprises to come.  

In our clean cooled room, I start by thinking about the 500 holiday makers, each with a full set of unlimited alcoholic optics and fridge bursting with beer and full fat coke, each dedicated to eating Olympic sized proportions three times a day, with snacks and drinks on the side, on the side, on the side.

I think about the primary school in St Elizabeth we had visited yesterday. The place where my 90 year old father-in-law had studied. He was the main reason for our shared holiday. These 60 young students all trying to study within a mixture of prefab scarcity, pit latrine and Christian teacher’s guidance.

And I realise that this feeling of unease stretches way beyond my guilt at being somehow ungrateful and sad while being offered unlimited riches from the lap of luxury.

‘What kind of spoilsport yearns for simplicity and home and cannot enjoy the moments that have taken a year to save up for?’ 

I breathe in and pushing aside the question that has been undermining my stay so far, I begin to read and up from my daily readings these words pop to the surface:

‘To you this world seems vast and limitless

To Him compared with atoms it's worth less’

And gradually a call beyond the emptiness, a calmness beyond these layers and layers of rich food and unlimited, humanly crafted ‘good times,’ begins to bubble. 

And so with heart beating, I uncap my pen and begin to journal, and to the distant sounds of beach partying  ‘One Love’ and revelry the words that will become ‘Limitless One’ start to form and transform before my very eyes...


About The Artist

Renewal Choir is a community gospel choir based in Bristol founded in 2005 by Kim and Vernon Samuels. The choir has over 80 choir members has performed in various events such as the 2016 BBC National Music Day, 2016 Leona Lewis UK Tour, BBC Points West on the run up to Christmas 2018.

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