Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Down in Mexico

That tune by James Taylor has been running through my head ever since I got back. When our group first entered the U.S. in Houston, it felt like a foreign country: all the fast food, shops, cell phones, and fast pace. Now that I am in my home again I still feel as though I am a foreigner, a stranger in my own life. I am not the same person I was when I left. I once read that "the truth will indeed set you free, but first it will shatter the safe, sweet way you live." I have never known that to be more true than now.

Even though I am exhausted, physically and emotionally, from this past week, I miss the children and their patience with this gringa who speaks Spanish un poco; I miss the little store down the bumpy dirt road with fresh vegetables, those sweet yellow mangoes, and the family whose lives depend on it; I miss playing the never-ending Uno game with Luiz and Luz and others and their patois sign language arguments over who is cheating; I miss the little girls I met at the garbage dump and wish I had more Spanish so I could listen to them; I miss the quiet walks through the village at sunrise, broken by the sounds of roosters and dogs.

I have stories to tell; I'm just not ready to tell them. I have so much emotion, so much meaning inside; I just don't know yet how to live my life with them. I know my life and how I live it must change. I'm still praying and waiting. I have no doubt that God is leading me; I just don't know toward which step, but it is already difficult to remain empty, to not fill and cover these feelings, to empty myself of that which I do not need. I know that in order to make music, a drum, a flute, any instrument must be empty; that we have no use for love if we are full and content; that true compassion requires sacrifice and humilty.

One of the Five Remembrances of Buddhism says that all we have are our actions. Everything else is temporal. I pray that my present actions, and those that I choose, may be worthy of the experiences of the previous week.

More to come in the days and weeks ahead...


Andy said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you as you contemplate these bold first steps into your new tomorrows.

Cynthia said...

Gracias, amigo.