Monday, December 27, 2010

The girl who landed here...

She was quite something that lady. She had been badly wounded recently enough to still let her mind wander into it's memories. She had been operated on just three weeks before. They pulled FOUR of her teeth. As the anesthesia set in and she felt all of the muscles in her body relaxing her into oblivion, the surgeon came in the room and looked her in the eyes and said, "so you are moving to morocco?" she grinned and relaxed back into the darkness. When she had awaken her mother was staring at her and crying. She was somehow already weeping. It is so strange to wake up already crying, unaware of what has been done to you. She started to remember short little memories like little flash backs from a film. She remembered asking the nurse that walked her to recovery if she could see the teeth.

As she convalesced in her mother's bed, eating chicken soup and chocolate pudding cups, she would ask her mother repeatedly what she thought about him. Her ex husband. What she would think if they got back together, what she would think if they had a family, did she think she was in love with him. She was...but she needed her mother to tell her it was OK. She needed her mother's blessing to move forward.

Her mother told her this, "When you see him, you will know. You will either be attracted, or you won't be and you will know right away".
Her mother has a way of being right about most things that concern the love a woman is capable of feeling.

So the weeks passed and the swelling in her jaw rescinded and eventually the morning came that she had to tear her tear soaked face off of her father's shoulder. She had to walk what felt like an eternity to get in the red pick-up truck he had given her where her two sisters awaited her, watching, probably bemoaning her drama.

At the airport, she sat in the same bar she had bid farewell to her older sister in, six years earlier. When that one packed up and moved away for love and to meet her destiny. She ordered a vodka martini, devoured the olive, hating herself for never being able to wait until after  the drink to eat it so that it will have soaked up the vodka. As the hazy buzz f the vodka started to set in she and her younger sister exchanged words and promises and it somehow felt hollow. Her younger sister was trying so hard not to feel it, fighting it so hard. She only knew that when she received the desperate text from her declaring her love and admiration before boarding the plane.

She landed in Paris without incident and found her way to her hotel room on the right bank where her dear childhood friend was waiting in the cafe attached to the hotel.

They set out on two days of drinking and dining and reminiscing and catching up. Those two days came swirling to an end over a leisurely Vietnamese lunch when the girl checked her ticket and realized she had miscalculated and that her plane to Casablanca was leaving in exactly two hours. She threw the napkin down, bid farewell to her friend, grabbed her suitcase, and RAN RAN RAN to the metro, managed to catch an arriving RER to the airport and run to the gate just before check-in closed.

She had a nice seat on that flight, in the front row, first off the plane.

When she arrived in Casablanca, she knew he would be waiting. She took her time to exit into the general population because her heart was beating soo fast and she was soo scared to see him. Scared she wouldn't love him, scared she would. Either way it was nerve wracking. They had been eight years separated, five years since she had seen him.

As the crowd parted and she recognized his smiling face, her mother's words RANG IN HER HEAD and her whole body became a buzz with excitement. She was too embarrassed to really look at him before they left the airport, but once the exited through the sliding doors and they were shrouded by darkness, she gave him a once over as he fumbled for his lighter and she knew she loved him so so much. She knew it could work and that was it and they were done. She knew he loved her too, she knew she was foolish for the fear she felt before exiting to meet him. She knew she knew she knew.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Prompt: Appreciate. What's the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it?

So, if it is not obvious by the title of this post, then I will go ahead and say it. In this past year, I have come to appreciate many aspects of life here in Morocco. I love everything that has to do with summer here, grillyards, the beach, the big huge expansive African skyline, the "anything is possible" attitude, the flexibility, the multilingualism, the laid back approach to life, the safety of my children from public violence and kidnapping, the cops that you can tip instead of getting ticketed...all of that is the stuff I appreciate about Morocco.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Letting Go

On letting go... I have been yearning to write something about this for quite sometime. But has felt too big and too painful. So When I saw this prompt for my reverb10 project, I could not ignore it:

Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

So...The answer to this is not as past tense as the question asks. I am in the process of letting go...
of myself...
my former self.

You see, everyday, after leaving your home, trading in one country for another, uprooting yourself from everything you know and love in order to create that same space around you in a different place, everyday, is a process in letting go.

I loved my old life, I love the people that were in it on a daily basis. I love the places where I lived and worked and played and passed all the time in my everyday. And because I hate doing things that are  not my idea, I have really fought this process of letting go of those places and people and ideas about who I am.

What does this mean?

Does it mean that you don't love the people you love anymore?


It means that you accept that they are no longer a part of your everyday life. They are not watching and laughing your childrens' milestones, nor you theirs. They are not the ones that you call crying, angry, broken and needing to be put back together again, they are not the ones inviting you over for a warm cup of tea on a boring winter evening. They are replaced by new faces,new places. They are reluctantly accepted and constantly compared-to your old life.
Your old government, your old way of changing lanes while driving, your old holidays that you always call or text your seasons greetings on are all replaced by the equivalent version. But then it is just that, it is the equivalent, not the original. You...well I...always have a reference of what-was, therefore, what-is becomes second place, necessarily accepted. The choice between having it or not. Am I making sense?

But then time works its magic and you find yourself more able to accept the equivalent, aware of the new protocol, offended in its absence, transformed. Heavy Hearted for knowing it. Never forgetting, but accepting the letting go never the less.

My evidence, in the form of a very personal letter to a very close friend:

I had such a great evening with you! It was so brief and I wanted so much more, but I am so thankful for the time I had in your home. This is it you know? Our lives...our friendship...I realized the other day that I have, for years now, wanted more from our friendship, in the sense of like wanting to see you on a weekly basis. Since I have moved here I have somehow convinced myself that the distance between myself and my friends is somehow temporary, that our relationships are awaiting for us to be joined again physically and then I had an epiphany while driving home from work that this is it. This is the friendship. Through emails and one night steal aways  and maybe week long vacations if you and your family come to visit or me and mine come to visit you. But that it is not going to change and that the friendship actually dwells in our hearts, not in the physical space between laughing faces.
kinda sad, kinda cool.

That letter, that this-is-it moment was a turning point for me. Acceptance...horrible, passive, wise, unjust, grown up, complacent, necessary, heartbreaking acceptance.

My moment

This past year has consisted of so many moments, so many ups, so many downs. The moment that I felt most alive is very hard to single out and it really comes down to two separate moments for me. Since I can only choose one, I will describe the feeling I had when I first climbed the outside stairs and beheld the breathtaking view from my rooftop terrace. The Ocean on one side, the fields of vegetables on the other, the livestock roaming around freely beneath. In that moment I felt the distinct weight of knowing that I was alive and that I was so so incredibly lucky to be about to embark on the adventure of living on an African farm.

Let me back up...Before I left America I watched the movie out of Africa so so many times I almost memorized the entire thing. By the time I finished healing from my wisdom tooth surgery, two weeks before I moved to Morocco, my mother told me, "shut the hell up with the out of Africa lines"!

So let's just say, back to the moment, when I first climbed the outside staircase and saw the gorgeous panoramic view, the first thing that popped out of my mouth was, "I had a farm in Africa". Because I knew then that one day, I would be very far away and remembering this time in my life as a dream. This time when I lived on a farm in Africa, when my babies were babies, when my marriage was young and my hair was long again, this time in my life will be forever cherished and when I climbed onto my rooftop terrace for the first time, I knew I was home, I knew I was alive and I knew I was so so blessed.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

One word for 2010

Babies. EVEN though they were born in 2009, this year has been all about the babies.
Next year? I am thinking creative parenting and life living solutions...oh sorry, that's not one word!

2011 = Art

Because...when there is art in my life, there is everything else. When there is a lack of creativity and art in my life it is because I am bogged down by the mundane, or in this case, completly fucking submerged! SoIi am hoping that in 2011 I can return into the world of lofty thought, beautiful spaces, drawn out philosophical conversation, moving ....

I swear to god, I promise on my life, as I was typing the previous sentence, I paused exactly at moving and jotted down the following list:
bleach, oven cleaning pad, dustrag.

Oh captain, we are in trouble. I mean what the hell, really? Really. I am not kidding. Even the thought of art and all things beautiful was too indulgent to my mom brain right now and I was overtaken by obligation and responsibility to write down that list before I even finsihed this post...
I am confused...I think I need therapy...most probably some kind of ART therapy!