Life Gets in the Way of My Love Affair With Barbados

Life Gets in the Way of My Love Affair With Barbados

So happy to be home in Barbados.

So happy to be home in Barbados

Passion rules my life. Every job I’ve had is one I actually wanted and enjoyed. I have never worked for money; earning money has been a consequence of a passion.

I learned my need for passion early in life. After graduating from college, my closest friend took a job for Xerox selling copiers; she earned $72,000US a year. I took a job as an assistant editor of a city magazine; I earned $7,200US a year.

I worked 60 hours a week at that job and loved every minute … bummer about my slave wages. I absolutely knew, though, that even if Xerox offered me a million dollars for each copier sold, I wouldn’t be able to sell one. I resigned myself to my passions … and small bank account.

As you know from reading PlanetBarbados, Barbados is a passion of mine. Quite an accidental passion: when Greg and I met in San Francisco, I’d never been to Barbados, never considered its existence, even. I admit I had to look up on a map exactly where “The Jewel of the Caribbean” was located.

Now, of course, as you know, I love this place as much as I’ve loved anyplace I’ve ever been. I love exploring; observing the culture; and thinking and writing about this small but remarkably diverse island.

However. I have other passions as well. Travel and home transformations are passions. My children, husband, and friends are also. Life’s a passion, even the dark side of life that I’ve been walking through this year. Sometimes, when I’m focused on these passions, my passion for Barbados takes a back seat.

That’s why I’m not a good blogger. A good blogger is single-minded and consistent. As a blogger I’m neither.

I’ve been away from my blog for several weeks. I wish I could report that I’ve been distracted by sunbathing on Barbados’ white sandy beaches and serious sampling of our island’s sugar-cakes and rum drinks.

Alas, it’s not sugar cakes that’s consumed my attention.

Three dear and precious girlfriends of mine have passed away in the past five months, the latest, Lynd Morley, just 3 weeks ago, on September 16. Greg and I were traveling in Europe when Lynd’s husband contacted me with the news that Lynd’s cancer had claimed her. We left Paris, took Eurostar to London, rented a car and drove to Narberth, Wales. There, Greg and I joined old friends to celebrate Lynd’s life and say good-bye to this beautiful soul whose birthday was my birthday. (Oddly, our daughters also share the same birthday.) This important sojourn extended our time away from Barbados.

Passions aren’t always joys. Since April, when my friend Lucinda Riley passed away suddenly, I’ve been exploring writings on death. Since my beautiful sister Brooks Clark took her own life in May, I’ve consumed book after book about the tragedy of suicide.

I really want to share with you my passions outside of this island. I want to tell you about my travels away from Barbados:  The exceptional B&B in Narberth, Wales Greg found for us to stay. The tiny, idyllic town in southern England where residents have banded together to fight a landfill and why you might want to visit this area. I want you to know about our gem of a hotel in Paris with 3-star prices and 5-star service. And my favorite tea salon in the City of Lights and how it’s different from any place you’ve been. And of course, I want you to know about the amazing walking tours we discovered that colorfully inform travelers’ knowledge of Paris.

But of course, my thoughts on death and friendship and travels outside Barbados are not what you visit a blog on Barbados to read. And this is why I fall silent at times … because I can’t manufacture a post outside the place my heart happens to be at the moment. Any more than I could sell a copier.

Thank you for understanding.

Much love to you all. Let’s make a pact to love life no matter where we are or what happens … okay?

6 Responses to “Life Gets in the Way of My Love Affair With Barbados”

  1. rainy says:

    Hi Jane:

    I have missed your posting. However, while reading your blog about Barbados, I have come to know you as a person. You have shared alot of things here on this blog besides your love for Barbados. I have come to think of you as a distant friend who lives and writes about her adventures about Barbados. I don’t know if I am the only one who feels this way about your blog. You write about what you feel and love. In life you experience alot of different things and its ok to share those things with people. The important thing is that you keep writing and doing what you love to do. Who cares on how people have come to met you. I have enjoyed this blog since that day I found it on the net and I want to encourage you to continue. This is your blog, if people don’t care for the subject, they can go to other blogs or start their own.

  2. Kerry says:


    I am sorry for your loss.
    Hopefully things will look up for you soon.


  3. Had missed you – understand why tho, I also had a string of losses – mostly family, some time ago and it affected my life values profoundly especially since I felt these people had lived their lives so passionately.

    Well, by the by, I live in Barbados and thoroughly enjoy reading your take on the island your passion shows:) I’m probably not your demographic, but nonetheless read all your posts, can vouch for your doing a good job promoting our little island from the heart!

    Have you thought about writing a more personal blog to share your other experiences? I think there’s still so much to be said for genuine writing that doesn’t have to conform to the ‘good blogger practices’ but follows the real meanderings of the writer’s life…

  4. Kyle says:

    Hi Jane,
    I’m so so sorry to hear of your losses. I must agree with “Rainy”, as I too think of you as a distant friend. There are probably many people who visit your blog everyday just to see what is new with you and the island. We are all human and death affects us all, so if you use the blog to express your pain, no one should object. I too love the way you promote the island as we are but a spec on the world map, if noticed at all. Have spoken to many people who still think Barbados is a part of Jamaica. Even people who think that Caribbean people only have lockes for hair. I believe if you wrote a physical magazine or even a book about your travels and life, it would be successful.
    Pain doesn’t last forever but it is a part of life. Without it you would be able to appreciate the pleasures, so I wish you all the success and await your next Post

  5. Alice says:

    People who value passion usually feel many things deeply while also having empathy for others. Several years ago I was forced to realize my marriage had been a sham, and my husband was not the person I had envisioned him to be. Then, Hurricane Katrina destroyed my home and the homes of all my relatives. I had to fight insurance companies for two years before I was paid for my homeowner’s policy. Friends asked repeatedly how in the world I was surviving everything and not falling completely apart. I suspect it was for the same reason you are surviving now despite all the losses of friends and dear family. The gift of passion, unfortunately, makes us feel the tragedies equally as deep. Yet, we know the sun is still out there, and things will eventually swing the other way. Your writings on Barbados have made me want to live on the beachfront again. They are helping me to erasing the ugliness of the hurricane tidal surge that took so much from me. You are a gifted writer, and obviously many of your readers feel the same way. Your sharing of personal thoughts have made your blog more than “a travel blog” because when you write about Barbados, we know you truly feel strongly and passionately about the things you say. Barbados is your home, and life and death and how you feel about them are all a part of that home and how it helps you to deal with life. After being a regular reader, I don’t you could offend or upset anyone.

    P.S. — Sorry for so many thoughts. The bottom line is be good to yourself and write what you want when you want. I’ll be happy to read it!

  6. Kyle says:

    I agree with Alice

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