Saturday, November 28, 2009

odds and ends

Today I am just posting four(4) relatively unrelated things.

Above, a fellow volunteer does some toe nail work on one of the guests in the office. We call this guest welfare. What is she actually working on? Look below for a close up.
Based on the smile, it seems that things are going well for the toe nail.

2) Below is a border inspired piece of writing:

Reality is clobbered by spirit.
Truth is overthrown by emotion.
The mind is held hostage by the heart.

But. Yet. However.

Spirit is the residue on reality.
Emotion is the manifestation of the perception of truth.
The heart obeys the orders of the mind.

A paradox; alive and well.

Green cuticulous clusters. Silence of noise.

A light on the street—light up my world, light up my nighttime childhood room. Protect me from monsters, protect me from those people who look different than I. Protect me from those myths. Protect me from evil.

Javier, dieciocho de Honduras. "Que Malo?" "Si"

Bricks in a row supporting my body with equally spaced lines—to separate or to hold together.

An open trash can. READY. to be filled, to be emptied. Oh futility.

La gente trabajando. otra vez. otra vez. otra vez.

Cars passing. otra vez. otra vez. otra vez.

Sonrisas. otra vez. otra vez. otra vez.

Oppression. otra vez. otra vez.

The dirty floor needing a clean. again and again and again. que mas. que necesitamos hacer.

A man. me. together in the street. no palabras. no connection of the eye. again and again.

Love on a sunday.
hands together just to cross the silent street.

The utterly futile process of life. its magnitude. each moment is every moment. each breath is every breath. each action is all actions.

3) Every weekday morning at 8:15 we have reflection. We rotate among the volunteers who runs each day's reflection. It ranges from yoga, to poetry, to rollerblading, to music listening.
Below, is the product of a writing reflection on what it is like to live at Annunciation House.

Rice, beans, and whatever.
Food without love is almost never.

Giggles, trickles, sighs and highs.
Sometimes in truth, sometimes in lies.

Always fulfilled, but never satisfied.
You couldn't be, unless you were to hide.

Instead we confront, and brace for the pain.
Sometimes wondering if we are sane.

Put me behind bars, force me to sit—
brothers and sisters, we are worth it.

Everyday I wonder, am I up for my roll.
Everyday I wonder, is it taking a toll.

I could go around the world searching for more.
Or I could stay at this house, and let it come to the door.


If you go to the above link, you will find the Annunciation House video. I just watched it for the first time. I suggest you peep it!

Hasta luego!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

wrapping up, turning in, turning out

I have been thinking that December will be blog free for me. Or at least blog-pressure free.

I was speaking to a women from Boston who has been living and working in Juarez for at least a decade, and I was able to talk out some of my thoughts on connection and isolation, and the balance that should/can/could/may not/may exist between the two.

When you work in a reality so different from your own, or the one that used to be your own, it is very easy to feel isolated. I am not culturally coherent here, but at the same time, as I spend more time here, I become further from acceptance and oneness with the culture of my background. It feels like I become nothing more then a bridge between two fuzzy entities that I try to dually identify with. Which can be hard. But feels important.

There is no way to look at death, rape, poverty, and suffering on the border without at least acknowledging that the US has involvement and has responsibility. The every day work that I do could be considered "band-aid" work, not really changing anything, and more so, a temporary fix to a futile reality. Well, first, I think that the negative connotation of the term "band-aid" is crap. A band-aid is ever so necesarry. We all do use them afterall. In fact, I really admire people who can just do the reactionary (bandaid) work all their lives, because it is so needed, but has little glory, or sense of control involved. It is simply being in the present, and reacting to the realities that swirl through the land like chaos.

Anyway, because the US is involved with the suffering on the border, I feel like my blogging about what is happening here is the only radical (digging to the root) work that I can do. How can I go day in and day out living with people who have been marginalized by systems of my culture, without wondering how I can alter those systems, to take these people out of the conveyer belt to poverty that we mechanised with such care, and carelessness. So, my blog is my answer. It is my personal response, and the only way that I currently know to maybe a change a little, to maybe scrape at the root of the problem.

So, it is holding on and nurturing my connection to my past, that provides me with a hope of changing stuff. It is being the bridge. If I stay here, become isolated, and forget to open my mouth about what is happening, will I be satisfied with the purpose of my being here?

But, the more I connect to my culture and my background, through blogs, letters...the less I am able to be here, and to be fully here in the present.

If I try to connect back, I minimize my ability to remain present here, but if I let myself be fully present here and isolate from my culture, my day's work becomes futile.

It is funny that that sentence above ^ is what I had been getting at this whole time, a ton of writing just to say one obvious sentence.

Well with that in mind, I am back to where I started, December will be blog free, or atleast blog-pressure free. I will let myself isolate a little bit, so that I can absorb all that I have not absorbed before I will drive back home on the 28th of December. Maybe I will post, maybe I won't. I will dedicate my former blog-writing time to sitting with a baby in my arms, or getting greasy gorditas in Juarez, or cleaning our tool room, or staring at the sky in this West-Texas town of El Paso.

But I hope...that the bridge will not be closed. That your thoughts, or my thoughts, on the border won't end.

I also hope...that if you are reading and have a question, that you will ask it (in the comment section). Because most likely it is a question that I have never asked, and one that I would love to explore before I leave.

Here's a piece of writing:

El Paso here we come. Stick my fingers through the fence. Wrap my mind around the arbitrary line that means too much. One inch, weighted down by vast implications. of life and death and racism. of war of greed. A manifestation of fear. One inch, encompassed by the Beech in the woods behind my house. Adios. Cross the border. Green square cap. Green square suit. Black, shiny gun. Black, shiny boots. Death. Power. Wealth. Welcome to 2,000 murders, fueled by us, by there, by the other side, by here, by up and down. Bienvenidos. Calles de Muerto. Gracias Mexico. Adios. Calle de Oro, on our way. Homeward bound.

Here is another:

Super sweeping streaks. A sunset over sand. Millions of tics and tocs, of giggles and groans, of bombs and blasts, of drop, drop, drop. A four leaf clover in the field. The type that absorbed my childhood free time; searching, screaming, kicking, running. For my very own four leaf clover. Silent. Screams of a bird. Power over land. The irony of human dominance punches me blind. the breeching bulge of the swelling contrasts the setting sun on sand. The clover blows in the wind. Gets damaged by the sun. cut by the scythe. resurfaces to stare me in the face. memorizing every bump, shade, and shape of one another. No clover in sight. Not a full entity. Waiting for the orange above to descend upon me. Warmth. Can't forget the clover. Can't remember the clover. How long will the cl(a tree falls)over last with four leaves and all. North. East. West. North.