Friday, January 6, 2006
El Dia de Los Reyes
Today the Magi, the Three Kings arrive to give us gifts. They were astronomers who followed the North Star to find the infant Jesus in his manger with his parents overlooking and without having any specific faith honored him. When she was little she set out food to feed the camels so they wouldn't be hungry on their journey from house to house. And she felt special, since not all of her American friends knew of Three Kings Day...
Since waking this morning she has accomplished much: breaking down one bookshelf, packing her table, doing her Friday recipe of poses with added Sun salutation, and much crying.
Today was one of those days where she felt weak and unsure and like she needed proximity to family. First she called Meryl and explained that perhaps next year she needed a change of space. What she wanted to say was that she wanted to be near family and she is so much like a sister, but distanced enough that living in Boston would feel safe and yet she'd feel free enough to explore her own life. Her friend Pat lives there and river rafts. New York City is 3 hours away. Her sister is in law school and less than 3 hours away. Her friend Christine is in Philadelphia: 5 hours away. Her family is perhaps 14 hours away in Raleigh.
Meryl was busy, but said with love and conviction, "I may not have money to give, but I can listen and can help you make a plan." Meryl is an artist with some of the most amazing organizational skills she's ever seen. She could be president of the world, but has no desire to be enveloped in the insanity government provides. She has known Meryl since her sophomore year in college (1992) and Meryl has been a sister to her. Meryl was her first black female friend. And her perspective has allowed her to have a place to ask hair and skin questions and "feeling different" questions.
After the phone call with Meryl she felt a homesickness and needed to check in with her sister. Historically she does not get along with her sister, but she also knows that her nephew was placed in his new school today and wanted to see how her father was doing.
Her sister had her son at 17, while she attended a Catholic High School in Raleigh, NC. She went to her prom 2 weeks later, went on to get her bachelor's and graduate degrees, worked for the state district attorney and now is in law school. She used the resources of their parents and brother and whomever else to help raise her son.
Grant it, she has differences of opinion on how her son should have been raised, but she has always admired her sister's ability to hone in on a goal and achieve it.
She wanted to know the secret to achieving.
The conversation lead to a tearful, 40 minute conversation about how her sister had learned from her and loved her and wouldn't be where she was today without her.
She had no idea her sister loved her in this way. She always referred to her sister as a materialistic bitch.
She laughed about her sister musing that everyone in New Hampshire was an environmentalist and that she'd rather pay $5 for each extra bag of garbage than try to recycle. They couldn't be more different, she thinks.
Her sister offered a few techniques to her:
1) Write down your goals and prioritize them to the 3-5 most important.
2) Research the ways to achieve these goals.
3) Make them ATTAINABLE goals.
When she told her sister that she was battling deep issues of self-loathing her sister intently told her (with a slight southern accent) to find a church. She instructed that she find a church to have a place for the word of God to relate to her.
This idea made sense only because of the Catholic upbringing. Ritual surrounding faith makes sense to her. She has taken an impromptu approach to faith since college. Occasionally she is moved to be in a Catholic house of worship, but she's been intent on seeing nature as God's house and prays regarding things of beauty.
Between tears streaming down her face she tried to explain to her sister how this sense of self-loathing prevented her from seeing her strength and added value.
She struggles so much with the idea of what she has to offer anyone: family, friends, the community at large. She wants to give something uniquely hers. Similar to Steve Martin in The Jerk, she wishes to find her special purpose and hopes it doesn't involve needing to shack up with a hardcore stunt biker or consuming Pizza-in-a-Cup.
Her sister promised to send her some books, including The Woman's Bible. Part of her resists the whole judeo-christian bent that her sister has. She considers herself ecumenical. If the Quran is available in a feminist version, she wants that, too. She already owns Starhawk's Spiral Dance. Maybe she needs a Santeria text for women as well. It's important for her to know as many perspectives as possible. But this slows down her process...her progress.
She reminded herself as she finalized what things she would move today that every drop must be savored. Every drop is created for her to drink. This life is delicious -- sometimes the flavours are unexpected...like certain potent cheeses one may encounter or perhaps wandering in an Asian market for the first time.
She drove to her new room, headed toward the Mormon temple and stopped by one of the two organic grocers by her new home: Joe's Market and the Food Mill.
She arrived and gave a hug to her new roommate and asked for a broom and dustpan to get to clearing out the room. The room has bland yellow walls and a wooden floor that has been neglected for some time. She will be painting (her first time doing it!) and will be finding an area rug to stave off the cold. She also will explore window covers. Will she wander into Ikea for the first time in her life? Perhaps.
She swept the space while a vanilla candle scented the room. She spoke with her roommate about the Netflicks subscription. She likes that she can communicate with her roommate. She wonders what a healthy roommate situation will be like...
Her wifey Michelle called and she spoke with her a bit about missing their friend and the all-day retreat. Michelle sounded tired. She and Michelle both expressed that they didn't quite know what would make them feel better in this moment.
The Paul Wellstone documentary was playing that evening and their friend Melissa had mentioned it. She wanted to see it because she is continuing to infuse herself with the stories of people who have impacted the planet. She wishes to find her way to impact the planet.
At 6 pm she met up with Melissa and Sean and kidnapped her new roommate to come with to go to St. Joseph the Worker's Parish in Berkeley. There she saw the film, chilly and sitting on the floor, but before her played the life of a humble man who spoke his truth and challenged a mammoth machine and galvanized people.
She was touched and teared up to hear how he was not concerned with the vehicles of change (details about how bills become law and so forth) but in making the voice for change heard and in being a mouthpiece for people.
She wishes to find her special purpose.
After the film they went out for Thai. She checked her cellphone for messages, anxious to hear from Omer who had driven away at noon. (She found out this evening he actually left at 4 pm yesterday, which may have explained the calm she felt after 12 pm and speaking with MaryAnn.) He had left a message that he had arrived. Why this relieved her, she is not sure, but she was happy to have word in addition to blog news.
Off to drive new roommate home and to come back to her Alameda home where she could record her thoughts for the day. She had a wonderful conversation with her roommate about the strategy of being present. She also had a laugh with him about the space ship that is the Mormon Temple that is above their home. They nicknamed it, "The Mothership".
The clear day gave way to the rain this evening. The percussion of the drops has replaced the silent tears streaming down her face. She feels so girlie. She thinks she stressed herself out of her December period, which means that January's will come with a vengeance. Hrm...
A nice glass of soy milk and some Arabic CD lessons should put her happily to sleep.