Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Creo en raices

The six of us (the CAP volunteer equipo) went to the beach this weekend. It was good to go, spend some time in the water, and just be away from Suchi for a while. I realized on the bus down toward the coast that, while I don't tend to notice how small Suchi is when I'm here, it seems like the minute I leave, I'm bombarded by a feeling of unpacking a weight from my shoulders. This was especially true this time.

While we were at the beach we swam (of course) and bobbed in and jumped over and through the pretty-big-for-a-lake-swimming-Minnesotan waves. We also had our weekly spirituality night - in the morning - on Sunday. Christy shared a book with us called The Red Tree. After reading the book (and I should say that I absolutely love, adore, am completely enamored of children's picture books), we each took a red construction paper leaf and drew the sources of light and hope in our lives.

I found myself drawing first the Mississippi River, as a general symbol of Minneapolis and all that lies therein. The very next thing I drew was a tree. I decided it was an oak tree. But more than the tree itself, I drew its roots digging into the river. As we were sharing our leaves, the words came to me that I believe in root structures. In very literal and very spiritual ways, I believe in the intricate, delicate mazes of roots that hold together the very earth upon which we walk. These are as abstract as the relationships that themselves are red leaves in our lives, and as physical as the deep, thick roots on the prairie that allow an entire ecosystem to endure a long dry season year in and year out without perishing.

I talk a lot about how deeply my roots are planted in Minnesota, and it's true. Part of why I don't want to go straight back to MN after I finish here is that I know that once I'm there, I'm there. For good, if I can help it. But first I'd like to spend just a bit more time elsewhere. Putting down roots, albeit slightly more shallow ones, someplace else, too. My roots are already deep enough here that it will be a painful process of extracting myself come the end of May. But I am comforted in knowing - just knowing - that I will be back, hopefully on a regular basis.

One recent red leaf in my life is watercoloring. Now, if you know me at ALL, you likely know that I consider myself a pretty lousy visual artist, so this may come as something of a surprise. But I'm learning. And I'm loving it. I bought paints at the pharmacy where I buy cell phone minutes, and yesterday Thinking yesterday about this idea that I believe in roots, I painted it. I'm not sure it's done. But this is how it looked after I finished for the night.

"creo en raices" is written into the roots themselves.

I am a woman rooted.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm back (sort of)

It's been a long time since I've posted, for a whole host of reasons. I'm not back with a long post, but with the breaking news from Egypt: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/02/201121125158705862.html

I am amazed and inspired by the power of this non-violent revolution. Al-Jazeera English, which has been reporting throughout the whole process these last three weeks, will probably have a lot of good coverage for many hours to come: http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/

In the meantime, between now and my next post (whenever that is), "I now feel that anything is possible; I am so proud." These are the words of a woman who was just interviewed on A-JE.