Thursday, April 29, 2010

Literal Siblings

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.

With you,


  1. God bless you all. I pray for you. Neida

  2. My dearest Láska: Yes I did see the moon! It reminded me of the night I went to your house happily announcing its magnificence and you went outside to climb the tree to see for yourself, que linda! I gazed on that moon last night and missed you deeply. Last night Yasi had her Confirmation. You would have been as proud of her as I was, I'm sure of it. It was beautiful amiga! As I went up to present her as her sponsor along w/ the entire family, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and after she was anointed and she opened her eyes, she started to cry uncontrollably! I knew she'd felt it too! Que belleza, tan purl que es el amor de Dios, no? I miss you so much hermanita de mi alma. Que Diosito te bendiga grandemente y por favor, dele besitos y abrazos a todas tus nuevas amistades. Te quiero muñeca hermosa!

  3. Luisely,

    It has been a week since our plane conversation, and I still feel very impacted by you! A few days ago, I was surprised to think of a previous experience that is a fitting metaphor to describe what has stirred in me since our conversation.

    Four years ago I traveled to Nicaragua. It was the first time I had been to a more southern country. Prior to going to Nicaragua, I could have told you that I liked mango (especially with lime juice, and _especially_ in a salad with avocado and spearmint leaves!). When I arrived in the country, the mangos were ripe and in season. I had no idea that a ripe mango picked straight off the tree was so exotically better than one purchased here in the states. Leaving Nicaragua, it was like I had encountered something extraordinarily good, but was powerless to do anything but leave it in a foreign country.

    Luisely, I am longing for a means to be closer to you. It certainly is not lost on me that you are in a very special part of your life right now, and so I feel something like silliness in even pursuing such a thing. But, then I think, it is a wonderful silliness!

    I want you to know that my heart is to know you more deeply and to interact with you, yet in a way that doesn't compete with anything God is doing with you and your loved ones in Haiti, but rather comes alongside it and strengthens it as perhaps another way for God to reach in to you and where you are. Is this a possibility? If so, I would love a more private means to write to you that wouldn't be on full display in the comment section of your blog. If you are using email while in Haiti, and if you would welcome myself, I would love to know your email address.

    Lastly, you've inspired a painting, and it is coming together so beautifully! I have a milestone show in a gallery at the end of the year, and I'm confident that this painting will be among those displayed. I'll send you a picture when the time is right :-)

    You are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music,


  4. I am in awe of the work you and the others are doing and I am reminded of my favorite Scripture; whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers...Of course, there are other ways. In matters of the Lord, follow your heart. Neida

  5. Aaaa… moonbeams, simply being; glittering in great joy their evening task to reflect in peek-a-boo slivers-to-halves-to-fullness, the sun’s magnificent light, so the youngest and weariest of upturned eyes can nightly bath in beams of hope. Hoping too, hidden-away hearts can beat to the joyful whispers of a moonbeam’s song of blessing, “You are soooo beautiful!” Even the freckles and fireflies find reason to smile.
    With you too,

  6. Luisely,

    I am so glad that you are there! Your positive attitude and heart of gold are present even in your writing. :) I am sure that Haiti is a more pleasant place because of your presence there, just like anywhere you go is. I know that the struggle the people of Haiti are enduring is an unimaginable one to a lot of people here, myself included. I do, however, find it beautiful that no matter what adversity we face, we can find a smile by sharing ourselves with one another. The fact that in the wake of everything going on in Haiti before and after the earthquake, the people celebrate their blessings and sing songs from the conditions of their spirit makes me question the mindset of my countrymen and women. The ability to endure and find beauty, love, and happiness is a testament to the strength of the people of Haiti. Which makes me question if we have lost something.

    After reading your blogs, it became apparent to me that we have lost the intangible things the struggle and love teaches you. In a way, as a group we have lost our spirit. We sing praises on cue, we smiles because someone has entertained us, we have forgotten the millions of reasons we have to smile. After reading, I don't feel like a single blessing wasted on the people of Haiti and I wish I could say the same thing about myself and the people of this country. To quote Blake, "I had no idea that a ripe mango picked straight off the tree was so exotically better than one purchased here in the states. Leaving Nicaragua, it was like I had encountered something extraordinarily good, but was powerless to do anything but leave it in a foreign country." (Blake Ross May 1, 2010 3:40 PM) I feel that upon your departure from Haiti the the peoples' smiles, singing, and laughter will become your "mango". It will be sad but I know you are not the type of person to not appreciate something like this.

    I have been wanting to read your writing for a while now and I must say I am pleasantly surprised! A lot of people would have taken a much different tone in their writing, considering the circumstances, but I am happy that not only did you find beauty in Haiti but your writing about it :) The complexity of your writing is also notable. You word your sentences in way that they are positive but also informative to the condition of your environment. For example,"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".(Luisely April 29, 2010 8:23 PM) The impact of your style of writing is grander than you know. I am glad you decided to share this with me and the world.

    I can't believe you were nervous about publicly posting your writing!?! lol Never question your usefulness... you are being guided to where you need to be, to do what you need to do. The bright side to that is that no one knows what that is in there lives :) Just do your best, it is always enough.


  7. Regardless of the amount of time you spend in your current location, and regardless of the lessons that are learned, you are always exactly where you are wanted and needed. Without a doubt, you are being guided, so all you need to do is follow your heart wherever the stars and the moon take you. - Ryan

  8. Write write write! you can never write too much. When you tell us the details of your days you bring us there with you.