Saturday, June 25, 2011

my sweetest angel set me free, my sweetest savior rescue me

hazy saturday morning walk at allegheney cemetery.

Friday, June 24, 2011

always keep that message taped

i'm packing. sort of. mostly i'm just wandering around my room, thinking about how strange it'll be for somebody else to inhabit this room. when i look around my room, there isn't a single object in it without meaning to me. very few things purchased, most things are gifts or hand-me-downs from my mom, or great aunts, or cousins + other family. and to think that someone else will be here feels like a hallucination.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

going back to mexico / these songs are true, these days are ours, these tears are free

i'm writing blog posts for my church when i'm in mexico. here's the first one. if you follow the link to the church blog, you'll see some photos i included in the post. but they're pictures i've already put up on the blog, so no big wup.


we would wake up to the sound of a man over a speaker system. from our balcony, we could see the megaphone attached to a long pole near the main road. i would wake up slowly, often from strange dreams about people i'd long since stopped dreaming about - like ghosts of my childhood. wrapped between blankets, my feet would slowly begin to stir. i would look around the room painted turquoise and watch the sun move slowly across the room. a new day had come once again.

i think the mornings were the best part for me. knowing that i only had 5 days in Matzam, every day was so valuable. like a gift waiting at my doorstep to be opened and enjoyed. my face would touch the fresh air, and i would breathe deep the cool air that had been soaking in the soft, warm light. greeting my eyes, the sun rose patiently, and then a smile would begin to stretch slowly across my face.

at the end of the day, i would finally get time alone. i'd crawl into bed, with all of my blankets, and then rain would start to fall. heavy rain on tin roofs - one of the most glorious sounds in all of the world. and so i would gather some blankets together and sit on the balcony for hours watching and listening to the rain while the mountains stood ominously in the background. i could see them, watching over us, even in the shadows of the night. i would curl up in the blankets, and lay there for hours. i could just be there, like time was no longer a thing, like i might be the only person left in the world, and that would be just fine.

when i was helping the women with their corn, being with them was all that i was thinking about. and when i was talking to someone - i was thinking about us and nobody else. and when we sang together, we were just singing together. and when i ate, i didn't think about the food - i just ate it. i believed in each day, that every single moment would be exactly how it ought to be - as long as i could allow it.

yesterday, at the park, Niya asked me what the quote on the wall meant. we spend a lot of the summer playing at this community rec. center in arlington, on warrington avenue. when it's really hot, they stick a hose out of one of the windows with a shower head attached to create a sort of sprinkler system. we play basketball, get wet, and hang out with the other kids who are there for the day. i love this park. and there's a mural on the basketball court, and it's got a Malcom X quote on the mural, "the best way to enslave a man is to make him believe that he is already free." and i see it constantly, and think about it whenever i'm there. but when niya asked me what it meant, i had a hard time telling her. the world froze to me. so much history, and so much depth, and meaning - slavery - what is slavery? how can i tell Niya what slavery is? i think i said something stupid like, "it's when you don't get paid to work." and then i just asked her if she wanted me to push her on the swing. luckily, she said yes.

we're enslaved to so much. and sometimes we don't even know it because it's normal to us - it's our life that's enslaving us. but when we're freed, even if for just a while, we're given these special portals into the deepest truths about life. it's when freedom stands in such close proximity to slavery, that we can see just how different they are. because sometimes we can't quite tell the difference.

i was free there - like my hair as the wind blew sweetly and steadily across my face when i first stood outside and greeted the morning. i had this day. i had this moment. and these people. and i was glad to be alive. and actually living.

and so i get to go back to mexico for 7 weeks. i'll be spending the summer with jan + pablo and the week-long missionary groups that come to help out in and around Chiapas and the churches that jan + pablo serve. i'll get to travel all around the area, and go back to Matzam for a week. and i can't wait, although i'm nervous about some stuff - mostly i'm just nervous about my stuff, and how it can get in the way. and i hope it's not too hot. and that they don't lose my luggage again.

but, beyond that, i am opened ears and opened eyes. i believe in life and adventure. and i believe that it's an awesome journey that is leading me closer and closer to what is good and true. i know that the life of Christ is reflected everywhere i go. i trust what the world has to offer me. and i believe that with humility and grace, i can share in this experience with anyone i meet.

Monday, June 20, 2011

i found love, darling, love in the nick of time

next to my bed there is a small leather journal. it is the size of a matchbox. it's dusty. i open it. and on the first page of the journal, these words are stamped, "laura's little dreams." i start to cry.

and on one of the pages, i read the words i'd written a year ago, "go to mexico more often."

and in this moment i feel like living life is the most wonderful thing that i'll ever get to do. i feel like doing it as truly, and honestly, and as fully as i can.

and in this moment i feel all of the love in the world soften me, and change me, and open me up. i feel the love of my community, my family, and closest friends. and i know that even if some relationships change, the love does not. and i know that i am growing. that i'm about to never be the same again.

i believe in a world where someone offers me a book to write my dreams in. and i believe in a person who allows themselves to be so vulnerable to anyone, including herself.

Friday, June 10, 2011

mexico, part 3.

we rode in a cattle truck to get here. the wind blew in my hair, and even around the tightest corners, looking over the steepest ledges, i wasn't afraid. i was too alive to be afraid. the town was beautiful, and small. dylan and i stood on the back porch looking out, as small children peeked out between cracks in the walls to giggle at us, and wave shyly. they are the same people as the people in matzam - these people had moved to this area from matzam. they farmed here, and then about 70 families moved onto their land and settled the town.

in church, we sang amazing grace in three languages. and for a moment, the sun was shining into this small church, and i felt like i was absolutely sure of what life meant, again. i held all of its meaning in my hands, that were open and facing towards the sky.

we shook everyone's hands. and some of the women cried, and i couldn't figure out why. i felt so far from them in this moment. i wanted to tell them, but i couldn't, that i am the grateful one. i am the one who is lucky to be in your presence. you are the beautiful ones, you are the wise ones. instead of saying that, i just called them my sisters and my brothers while they walked past me and shook my hand.

i couldn't help but keep thinking, "this is what life is!" - this is a woman who is actually beautiful, and this is a way of life that is actually meaningful, and this is actually community - and i felt so free from myself. like i didn't even matter at all. and that is the single greatest feeling that you can feel when you are surrounded by such love, compassion and belonging.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

mexico, part 2.

martha the great.


the moment that i landed and breathed the air, i knew that i was living again. the sun was setting in the rear view mirror, and i saw my reflection on the backdrop of the mountains. my hand was out of the window, catching the rays of light.

i got the opportunity to go back for two months this summer and i'm really excited. i won't be spending the whole time in matzam, which is a little disappointing - but we will be back there for at least one week. i'm looking forward to seeing more of mexico, in general, and also getting to know the missionaries, jan and pablo better.

the people in matzam were the most joyful, incredible people i've ever met. i felt connected to them, despite the fact that we could hardly speak with each other. some of men spoke spanish, but they mostly spoke their native language. slowly, but surely, in living together for a week and working together, we grew closer. we laughed together and built a church together and ate together and got soaked in rain storms together.

for a single week i felt free from so much - judgment, and anxiety - life is just so simple there. it's amazing the ways that we've created all of this commotion and have disguised it as life. and so, i get to go to back to mexico, in search of life. in order to live.