Did you see the moon last night? AAAA... it was sooo magnificent!
As you can see I’m having difficulty understanding that a blog is not a novel. So please let me know if you prefer short and simple or lengthy and detailed entries. If not, I’ll try to find a happy medium.
O and another thing before we begin… I decided (with Mami’s help) that out of respect to the dignity of the people who I include in my writings I will replace their real names with, hopefully, equally lovely names. (Unless, I've asked for permission.) It’s a bit on the late side over here and I want to think of worthy names so for now, I have left letters to replace the names. I hope it does not make the stories less personal, if it helps, you can make up the name as you read.
Tuesday, I woke up with bags under my eyes and not as peppy as usual. There was smoke in the air which played with the sun’s rays flowing down to tickle my nose and rub my eyes. I’m not sure if it was my drowsiness or not knowing how to interpret the awe of being in the presence of such wise women, but doubt of my worth in being here crept up on me. I wrote an email to Mami, unlike my blogs, short and sweet (or bittersweet), telling her to pray, because I knew I was where God wants me to be, but I lacked joy. After sending the email I decided to finish with my pity party and go out and be present to the now, and love, love, love and simply be me.
From there I went walking to Kay Pob - I spelt it wrong last time, Kay is house, Pob means poor- where Zaloa’s preparations for manicures and pedicures awaited. We squatted on rocks under a tree who loves us tenderly with her branches, creating shade and singing a duet with her leaves and the wind. Tending to the hands, feet, and especially the nails of A, D (her husband), T (the woman who may be schizophrenic), the paraplegic, and S humbled and filled us with such empathy and love. While Zaloa tended to D’s feet who feel the surface of the earth all day, his hands with his broken finger, and his bare-fleshed sores, I pampered A. A’s cataract eyes, light blue in appearance, looked up at the sky, her strong cheek bones seemed even more dominant with her peaceful grin. What she did not know was that I was cleaning feces deeply seeded in the bed of her nails. The great length of time since her nails had received attention allowed her skin to develop some type of parasite. My eyes would constantly glance up at A to see any reaction to pain, and there was pure beauty. The end of her lips trying to reach her cheekbones. What beauty.
After their pedicures and manicures we would rub their backs and massage them a bit. Songs of joy were sung once again: W, a man who speaks English quite well started singing, “I feel good,” D sung Alleluia, and A simply hummed with me. Following A’s request to lie down, we walked in each other’s arms to her room, guiding her to her cot. Before lying down we embraced one another and after many deep breaths and sharing of heartbeats I separated for a kiss and saw that her eyes were filled with tears. She pulled me back to her, letting me know that it had not been time to let go. We stayed interlocked until her legs were too weak to stand and she lay.
T and Zaloa developed a rough and sacred relationship. T allows Zaloa to bathe her and allowed her to clean her hands, feet, and nails. Seeing the two react is seeing the art of love. In one of T’s fits when she went running off in a crazed laughter with my chair, I saw something magical. T’s laughter reminded me of Daniela one of my students in Brazil and her laughter. I realized that the term “sisters and brothers” is literal. We are literally one another’s siblings; we just decide to forget sometimes.
During the evening’s reflection with Nazareth, Rose, and Zaloa God answered the email I sent to Mami in the morning. The song filled our ears with encouragement, telling God, “we limit ourselves and You lift up our heads.” The reflection was on the story of the jug with a hole in it (if you can, look it up). It is a story about how flowers grow from our lack of perfection or our shortcomings. Aaaa... I love how God loves me. As we reflected lightening bugs fluttered around us flashing their life in the dark, around the four wise, worthy women filled with holes.