Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The over and over and over of it.

Another one.
I can't get past the over and over and over of it.
So many...so many broken fucked up lost 'kids' coming out of that fucking oppressive mission, all for the sake of a few lost souls that may or may not be saved, after so many years and so much damage and so many kids being thrown away, and then the lost kids are losing their own kids, and there's no end.  And the missionaries perch up there, on their self-made, church-made pedestals and feel proud of their accomplishments and their fucking sacrifices, and ashamed of the way their kids have turned out.  And their kids carry guilt for that shame.
 And the kids are this quiet group who only have each other because only we can understand how it is, while our parents are being applauded by the churches, and their kids are being crushed.
 And the kids begin to self-destruct because what else is there, with that guilt and shame so crushing, and in our self-destruction we destroy each other, and our parents stand there on their towers waving and smiling and shining for the churches, acting humble but holding their pride so close to themselves that it's blinding to them and they can't see us, really see us, even if they tried.
And once in awhile they blink and see us for a second and try half-heartedly to reach out and call us their own, but we aren't. We haven't been for so so long.
 And no matter how much I desire to NOT be defined as an MK, that is what I am. It's where I came from. It's what I relate to. Not a victim, no. That part is gone. But being thrown away.... and knowing that so many, SO MANY mk's have been thrown away.... that part is so hard. And it's always there. And seeing the affects of it in other people (and myself) over and over and over again.... every time, it brings it all back, and I am angry. I'm so fucking angry.
I don't cry when I'm sad, most of the time. I cry when I'm pissed. And I'm sitting here just bawling, feeling this fireball inside of me, wanting to explode, wanting to scream at all of the people like my parents who are so blinded and so PROUD and tell them exactly what they've done to their own children.
 And knowing that I could scream it at them and show it to them until I'm dead, and they STILL WON'T GET IT. Because, you know. There are all those lost souls, and god's work is so important. And they are so important, making their sacrifices and going out into the world to preach a gospel that they don't even fucking understand. 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Braver than Loneliness

“We must become so alone, so utterly alone, that we withdraw into our innermost self. It is a way of bitter suffering. But then our solitude is overcome, we are no longer alone, for we find that our innermost self is the spirit, that it is God, the indivisible. And suddenly we find ourselves in the midst of the world, yet undisturbed by its multiplicity, for our innermost soul we know ourselves to be one with all being.”    
~Hermann Hesse

“God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.”
~Sylvia Plath

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The glow of skin in the light of the setting sun... like warm, smooth gold.  The sun, it's lower half resembling an egg yolk as it hits the water and melts into it... sand-covered feet... clothes soaking wet from the surprising splashes of waves... breeze lifts arm hairs... smiling... letters etched into the soft, squeaking white... footprints... spiraling... balancing... spinning... breathing... feeling... The water is pink, now.  It's pink and gold and dark blue... gentle.  

I don't want to leave this place... I want to build a little house from driftwood and decorate it with seaweed and shells, and it will be my castle, and I will be the queen... my subjects will be the sky, the sun, the water, the sand... but I will bow to them. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

I am Me.

Here I am.  This is Me Now. 
I am not sorry.  I am not going to smooth over your feelings, just to make you happy.   I am not going to lie, just to make you stop talking.  I am not going to be your savior. 
I am not going to do things that make me uncomfortable, and I am not going to do things that weigh me down.  I am not going to carry your world on my shoulders.  I have my own world to carry, and it's heavy.
I am not going to tell you what you want to hear.  I am going to tell you what is real and true.  You probably won't like it.  It's raw.  It's so completely honest.   It's not always going to be pretty. 
I will give my Love to those that I love.  I will give all of it.  Pour it onto them, bathe them in it, fill them with it, encapsulate them with it.  Protect them with it.
I will not, however, waste my Love on people who don't appreciate it. 
This is me.  I am me. 
Take me, or leave me.  I am strong enough now, to be happy either way. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Surreal - So Real

It's like dreaming... no. It's like waking. It's like being in darkness for so long, and suddenly having light. It's so bright...it's too bright. Painfully beautiful. It's like being mostly blind, and suddenly having full sight. It's shocking. The clarity.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Getting Lost

A butterfly's trust.... a house with no roof, the sky in all of it's blue beauty brightness shining in... getting drenched in ice cold rain... making friends with a lizard... twin fawns, delicate... drying in the sun... breathing and breathless... crickets... dark of forest, throwing spots of rainbow colors at every glance - red of berries and clay, orange of wings, yellow of mushrooms, green of moss and leaves, blue of sky and skink tail, purple of flowers... getting lost... being found.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

I miss you.

The last time I ever saw your face, your beautiful face, your sad and heartbroken-trying-to-smile-through-the hurt face, the deepest part of me knew...no - the deepest parts of US knew that it would be the last. The last hello, the last good-bye, the last string of obligatory greetings and farewells. Our "see you later" was really "see you never again", and we both knew it.
We tried not to cry. Our efforts were futile.
You gave me the scarf from your head, the necklace from around your neck. I told you that I would keep them forever. I did not lie.
I think of you every day. EVERY day. Every time I peel an onion, I see your face. I remember when you told me not to waste the outside layer. You laughed and said, "Toubab!", which means, "White person" - your way of kindly and graciously excusing my ignorance.
I was a Toubab, but I was also a Malinke. I was your sister, you were mine. You taught me so many things, things a Toubab cannot know unless we are there. With you. Living it. That hard life. That simple life.
We cooked together, trading Malinke recipes for Toubab recipes. You did not like pizza, I remember the expression on your face when I gave you your first slice. As though you'd tasted a lemon!
You showed me how to move the sticks around in a fire, your way of turning the heat up or down beneath a pot of stew or millet.
You braided my hair, and laughed at the straightness and thinness of it. I loved that so much, the two of us by a fire at night, your legs stretched out straight in front of you, my head on your lap, your fingers deftly creating art out of my silly white girl hair. The smell of your skirt - smoke and sweat and... home.
We danced together, foraged together, worked together, celebrated fĂȘtes together. I drove to town to get medicine for your baby girl when she was so sick. I sat with you and our age-mates under the big tree, during that week after you were circumcised. I mourned your loss with you, felt your pain and fear with you. I laughed and blushed with you when you spoke of your love and desire for "Guitaro", a traveling musician.
You came into my room and yelled at me for being like a baby when I was so sick - it made me laugh. You wouldn't have laid in bed and cried the way I did.
You knew that I was pregnant before I even knew. "Bani xonoma!" you said, pointing at my flat stomach. How did you know? I told you everything that had happened, then, and you believed me. You murmured comforts and assurances. You showed me love, in your simple way.
When my family was packed up and ready to leave, I ran to your house, I asked you to hide me. You did, of course, but since it was the most obvious place for me to go, they found me pretty quickly.
I don't know where you are now. I don't even know if you're alive. I cry when I remember the kindness you and your cousin showed to me, after everyone else had turned away. I miss you, dreadfully.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's not beautiful.

My friend Sega and I were walking along a path near the village, one evening. I noticed the sunset, and stopped with a gasp. Sega asked me, "What? Why are you stopping? What are you looking at?"
I pointed to the sky, and said, "Look!"
She responded, "Yes... that's the sky..."
I said, "But look, it's beautiful!"
She looked for a second, and then turned away as though it was of no interest to her, saying, "Yes, that's the sky, and it's red."
I was floored. I wondered if she just didn't see beauty the way I did, or if she was pulling my leg, or maybe even if she was color blind.
And then I realized. She just didn't care. The sunset wasn't going to feed her. It wasn't going to clothe her, or heal her ailments, or find her water. It was just the sky, doing what it sometimes did. The sun setting was merely a signal that she'd lived and survived another day.
In my village, to a person who lives every day just to survive, nature is neither beautiful nor ugly. It just IS. Nature can make their lives harder, or easier, depending on the season.
Rain is not beautiful. It can be good. It helps grow their crops, it fills up their streams with water to drink, it cools things off. And sometimes, it destroys their crops, taking away the food that they so desperately need.
Fire is not beautiful. It can be good. It is to cook over, to take the chill out of their bones in winter time, to forge metal things into useful tools. And sometimes, it burns down their entire village, or their fields, or their children.
Trees are not beautiful. They are for climbing in search of fruits, or cutting for the use of their wood, or for giving shade. And sometimes, boa constrictors fall from them onto people, and sometimes people fall from them, and they either survive, or they don't.
The sunrise is not beautiful, it only means that another day of hard labor has begun. The hard labor of just making it until sunset, which is also not beautiful. It's just the end of another day.