Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
I know You are in the midst... I feel Your presence... Your voice whispers...
I don't understand
I don't see the greater good
I can't touch You
I just can't reach
You are here
You are now
You have always been
Babies shouldn't suffer
Babies shouldn't feel pain
Babies shouldn't flutter away
Please keep Tuesday and her family and friends in your prayers.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
High: I have amazing housemates, am so blessed to be surrounded by friends, professors, and others who care and love me, there are no strangers at Hope College. I am blessed to be planted here to grow. I am blessed to grow each day. I am blessed to have medication that may preserve my chances at having a baby (endometriosis). I am blessed to have blog friends. I am blessed with the privilege to learn, to study, to read, to write, to see, hear, feel, taste and touch. I am blessed beyond measure.
on another note my high school friend was cast on an Episode of the Jonas Brothers!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
I did not spend all weekend doing my assignments for class this week and i certainly did not get them all done, for the whole week, so that i can get ahead, not me, I am not a geek like that!
I did not have 3 Princess Chai Teas from LJs this week! who would spend that kind of money in such a short time, not me!
I did not baby-sit for a precious 10-week-old and her very verbal and wonderful 2-year-old sister on Saturday night instead of hanging out with my house mates, not me!
I am not looking forward to staying up all night on wednesday to count the homeless with a local advocacy center
I am not still buzzing from helping to lead worship during the Gathering I did not forget how much i love to be on stage, especially the stage in mighty Dimnent not me!
I am not at all looking forward to work, not me! who would want to spend the afternoon wiping noses and changing diapers? Not me!
I do not miss talking to certain people!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
An old answer to a question:
"Why do I get so attached to babies? I know that I could never stop being with children, but it would be nice if i didn't get attached and just looked at it as a fun job to pass the time. But it is so much more. When you dance around the living room with a giggling toddler, rock back and forth in front of a window with an exhausted, teething newborn into the wee hours of the night, dose off in a rocking chair with a lap full of sisters, kiss boo-boos, tie shoes, talk for hours about tough stuff with pre-teans while lounging on noodles in the back yard pool, how can you not involve your heart in some way? "
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on "I can't," because the Word says: "I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on fear, because the Word says: "God has not given me a spirit of fear, but one of power, love and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on doubt and a lack of faith, because the Word says: "God has dealt to each one [every person] a measure of faith." (Romans 12:3)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on weakness, because the Word says: "The Lord is the strength of My life" (Psalm 27:1) and "The people that know their God shall be strong and carry out great exploits." (Daniel 11:32)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on the supremacy of Satan over my life, because the Word says: "Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on defeat, because the Word says: "God always causes me to triumph in Jesus Christ." (2 Corinthians 2:14)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on a lack of wisdom, because the Word says: "Christ Jesus has become for me wisdom from God." (1 Corinthians 1:30) and "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on sickness, because the Word says: "With His stripes I am healed." (Isaiah 53:5) and Jesus "Himself took my infirmities and bore my sickness." (Matthew 8:17)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on bondage, because the Word says: "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17) and "My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." (1 Corinthians 6:19)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on worries and frustration, because the Word says: I am "Casting all my cares upon Him who cares for me." (1 Peter 5:7)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on condemnation, because the Word says: "There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1) I am in Christ, so therefore I am free from condemnation!
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on loneliness, because the Word says: Jesus said, "I am with you always, even till the end of the age [forever]." (Matthew 28:20) and "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on curses or bad luck, because the Word says: "Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for me: that the blessings of Abraham might come upon the gentiles [that's me] through Jesus Christ: That we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:13-14)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on discontent, because the Word says: "I have learned in whatever state (circumstances) I am, to be content." (Philippians 4:11)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on unworthiness, because the Word says: "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on confusion, because the Word says: "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace." (1 Corinthians 14:33) and "We have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:12)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on persecution, because the Word says: "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on the domination of sin over my life, because the Word says: "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:2)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on insecurity, because the Word says: "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet. Do not be afraid of sudden terror, Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes; For the LORD will be your confidence, And will keep your foot from being caught." (Proverbs 3:24-26)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on failure, because the Word says: "In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on frustration, because the Word says: "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on fear of the future, because the Word says: "As it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit." (1 Cor 2:9-10)
NEVER AGAIN will I confess or focus on troubles, because the Word says: Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
My spiritual journey hit the gas when in 2005 we began planning for a mission’s trip to the Philippines to visit the denominations sister churches there.
I remember the stillness the most, the immense peace in the midst of the endless noise, the plane ride- long and lonely, the people always smiling, their large dark eyes seeming to see right through you. For two incredible weeks I was a World Traveler, Teacher, Dancer, Singer, Worshiper, Prayer Warrior, Daughter, Cousin, Friend, Skeptic, Photographer, Public Speaker, Exhorter, Listener, Peace Keeper, Celebrity, Scholar, Missionary.
There is nothing quite like jumping on a plane, flying around the world, working knee deep in sewage and turpentine, breathing in dense, diesel fumes, holding tiny malnourished infants, eating fish eyes and yes, even balut (eggs with chick embryos inside), singing to the Lord in a language not your own, and being surrounded by people who thank you endlessly. It is so hard to describe in words how amazing those two weeks in October of 2005 were for my soul. Webster’s doesn’t have the right words to encapsulate the emotion, the complete paradox of it all, the vast beauty amidst the squalor, skyscrapers surrounded by squatter shacks, six story malls surrounded by children selling flowers for food, palm trees and tropical paradise engulfed with grime and horrific smells. That was the Philippines, those were the people who have touched my life forever, changed who I am and who I will become. I am different now; one cannot possibly stay the same after an experience of that magnitude. In fact I sincerely believe that my mission trip to the Philippines was a rescue mission for my soul.
When the eleven of us that comprised the mission team came home, tensions that were already brewing came to a head, and the “Church Wars” began. Our Pastor resigned shortly after, and my teenage cousins and I were placed in the middle of it and were forced to stand up for ourselves, to not only our churches elders but also the denomination elders. We received threatening emails and were attacked for doing jobs and holding positions that those same elders voted us into and encouraged us to accept.
Since then I have been trying to find my new place at my home church with our new pastor and new congregation. I attended a year at Northern Michigan University and transferred to Hope last year. I have re-learned how to love my little sister for who she is despite how her biological parents effected her development. I have longed and prayed for acceptance of what I call my pedestal problem, (placing others on pedestals and coping with how they always eventually fall). I have learned on my spiritual journey so far that there are no guarantees except that God is good and He is always waiting for us to acknowledge Him. I believe that the journey we take alone and how we journey together is what makes the difference in life. The strong falter, the weak rise up. There are times that we must fall apart, knowing that distance from others can be a gift, but as someone once said; “You can no longer separate one life from another as you can separate the breeze from the wind”. I feel blessed to be able to come to a college that is expanding my horizons and taking me to places I never dreamed of.
Tears, a simple salty substance that is intended to clean the eye and remove foreign debris to prevent infection. When has science ever steered us wrong? Tears do cleanse. They cleanse our eyes, but more so they cleanse our hearts.
In the seventh chapter of Ecclesiastes, verse three, King Solomon wrote; “Sorrow is better than laughter, for by sadness of the countenance, the heart is made better.” That is probably the greatest lesson I have learned throughout this experience.
Tears, lament, sobbing, wailing, weeping, though these things we are allowing our heart to reach out and be healed. For, although no one can feel our pain, they can receive a visual reference to the magnitude of it through the link of our tears.
“We thank our American Missionaries with a great gratitude this morning as we lift our voices in a song of farewell to our friends,” Laia tearfully spoke into the microphone in the freshly painted church – our home, our project, our baby. The band began to play the sweet and simple tune as the petite, darkly tanned woman approached me with a single white rose in her hand. She beckoned me to stand and we linked arms back to the front of the room. My feet clad in pink flip-flops, sloshed through a thin layer of mud from the early morning rain. I was really confused! After a moment I realized what was going on, other Filipinas began to come into the church with roses and escort members of the team up to the front one by one. The eleven, bulky and gawky, were wrapped in a mass of bodies and love. Gentle gusts of cool wind blew from the buzzing fans. The sway of palm trees and tropical paradise engulfed with grime of exhaust from too many engines. The band crescendoed into the chorus of the song, “We thank you.”
Chickens and roosters clucked along on the street outside. I looked out upon the people squished together on hard church benches, the heat, unbearable, magnified by their closeness. Their faces glowed. I could feel the presence of something Holy weaving it’s way though the beauty HE created, straight into my heart. I glanced at the team next to me, people who had become more than just fellow churchgoers, people who had become my family.
As my eyes scaled the surreal, scene unfolding before me I caught a glimpse of Brandon, tears flowing unhindered down his face, His dirty fingers made muddy streaks across his cheeks as he wiped away the salty wetness. This boy of ten years, a football player, a drummer, a well-known tough guy, cried. That’s when I lost it. I immediately joined in the waterworks around me, my own brackish tears landing at the corners of my mouth, my heart in anguish. I will never forget that scene. I will never forget his face. I will never forget seeing his pain.
There is power to heal in tears, they speak in the silences and drown out the pain. Washing it down in great rolls of slippery wetness. It was over, our journey of finding ourselves, of understanding our connection and purpose with each other, the journey of seeking the face of God. Missionaries sucked back into America’s time warp. Removed from the splendor and squalor of that incredible place and dropped, like aliens, in a land called home, a place we don’t belong anymore.
I find myself in envy of myself
A diamond in the mud
The slurp of the slop holding me down
I think I know it all
Shadows of the past play hopscotch in my heart
I never forget
Spoiled by my own intent
An undeserving child of the king
They come to me -- the children
To ring my body dry
A dirty dishrag, the song explains
Is always chosen last
But their cuddles solve a lot
I get angry
When I shouldn’t
And not enough
My brain has been patty caked away
And summer is left to start
My thoughts are playdoh in their hands
My dreams the sand between their toes
Surrounded yet I feel so alone
The princess has her sister, her friends, and her love
The queen upon her throne
I, the ugly step sister wait in the chamber to be summoned alone
The spider knows my fear
The key word in my plans
I know nothing about
I wait for fulfillment
Hark -- a song I must sing along
No matter the lies it tells
A lullaby without words will send us all to hell
It’s a sin to seek your future
From the devils luring lair
A desert mile, a mountain steep
Tempt me to follow suit
A thousand miles or only two,
It’s all the same to me
Waiting for my prince charming
To come for ME
But Lord knows the Prince of Peace will do
The Past and Present
Allison looked out the bus windows at the passing trees. There was nothing better to do and she had already finished her Holocaust book. Allison was different. She used to be shy, mild, and meek but things changed. Acting like everybody else didn’t help life's situations much, even if they sort of accepted her. Ally was like a bird in a cracked shell. Once in a while she would open up and join them but mostly she would hide herself in her own world. She was a thinker, a dreamer and a writer. Never forgetting the last detail.
When it came to her thoughts she was above the rest. Her dreams were too high to reach and her writing was incomplete, but that’s what Ally loved. Her mind was her own fortress where nobody could come in, and if she was careful nothing would come out. Her mind was a place where dreaming big was the only way to dream. But the world was a place where seeing is believing and dreams were just something you did when you went to sleep at night.
Allison loved elementary school. Teachers were her favorite kind of people. Teachers were full of qualities that most people couldn’t grasp. They were the ones with wisdom and imagination. Ally continued watching the rolling fields out of the small rattling window. This was her best thinking time. She could block out the sounds of the world and lock herself into her thoughts. Ally dreamed herself into places she could never go in the real world. Like a seed blowing in the wind never able to land long enough for roots to grow. Reality always won though violence and destruction reigned
The School bus jerked to a stop and everyone pushed their way off. Allison was last as usual. She slowly crossed the dirt road as the bus pulled away. It was sunny a beautiful day to hang out with friends. Ally turned the corner and trudged up her driveway. What friends? She thought to her self. Allison quickly unlocked the door and entered the quiet house. That’s when the nightmare began. She sensed the presence of someone behind her, felt his hot breath on her neck. His dark brown eyes seemed to burn right through her. Allison’s body shook with fright and a scream was lodged in her throat. His hands reached out to grab her....
Allison woke up, her face streaked with tears.
The old Ally disappeared after that. All that was left was a growing anger and hatred. Her self-esteem was striped of her that horrific afternoon. Allison withdrew herself from the world and vowed to never let her secret out.
Counselors and therapist tried to get Allison to explain what happened but they were unsuccessful. They threatened to send her to an institution if she didn’t cooperate with them, but Ally didn’t care. What’s the use of being with normal people if you aren't normal? She thought to herself.
Allison got out of bed and got ready for school. She put on her blue and red school uniform and brushed her long brown hair. Before she went out the door she glanced in the mirror in the hallway. The bruises were faded but she knew that the scar would always be there to remind her. Allison turned away before the memories could come and she silently walked out the door. The sun was rising above the housetops as the bus pulled up. Ally made her way through the crowed row to her seat. and the bus sputtered on.
When the bus reached Pine Oaks Middle School. Ally made her way through the clusters of students to her first hour class. Hoping the day would soon be over so she could retreat into her own world. Where nobody asked questions or expected answers, just her own thoughts and ideas.
The one thing Allison missed was singing, the words flowing out her throat in harmony to the music. Sometimes Ally wished she could join in, but singing would require speaking, and that was something she did not intend to do.
Ally entered the Choir room and sat down. Everyone wondered why they hadn't switched her class to something else. If she wouldn’t sing then why keep her in choir? Allison knew the answer. Her parents found her diary a few weeks after it happened. In it Allison wrote about how much she enjoyed choir. Allison figured they thought if everything else failed Mrs. Taffeta (the choir teacher) could break her out of her shell.
“Hi Allison” Mrs. Taffeta said hopefully. Ally nodded back. It was an improvement from before when Ally did not respond. Mrs. Taffeta sighed and walked over to her desk.
When class was over everyone rushed out the door. Allison slowly slipped on her jacket and grabbed her bag. “Ally could you come here for a minute?” Mrs. Taffeta asked. Allison set her bag down and walked over to her desk. “Ally,” Mrs. Taffeta said. “I know that you know about your parents giving the school a copy of your diary pages for evidence, and I just wanted to let you know that Mr. Shell gave me some of those pages. He thinks that they might help me get through to you. I haven’t read them yet and I won’t read them without your permission.” She paused taking a deep breath. “Please Ally let us help you.” Mrs. Taffeta finished. Allison glanced at her and walked over to the chalkboard. Delicately she formed the letters; Go ahead and read them.
The journey Starts
Ally looked up from the chalkboard and looked Mrs. Taffeta in the eye. Knowingly Mrs. Taffeta nodded. Their secret was safe. Allison would open up and let Mrs. Taffeta enter her scared but amazing mind. Hopefully she could find the answer.
Allison erased the board quickly and started to leave. She knew this was a new beginning and it like most would have a bumpy start. This was the ride of a lifetime.
Days went by slowly as usual, but something was different. Allison seemed to have a glow around her, a vast and wonderful secret. The principal tried to confront her about this sudden change, but Ally wasn’t quite ready to tell. Allison walked into the choir room on a warm April day and sat down. Mrs. Taffeta looked up from her cluttered desk and smiled. With that smile Ally knew that everything would be ok. Mrs. Taffeta had become her comfort.
Substitute teachers were no good. They didn’t know about Ally and didn’t understand. Her regular teachers were the same way at first, but after a while they either found out and unsuccessfully tried to help or they just gave up. Everyone except Mrs. Taffeta. She was different.
All the good couldn’t make up for the bad though, what he did or what happened afterward. Everyone thought they knew why Allison didn‘t speak. Trauma, they called it. But they didn’t know the half of it. “Ally” Mrs. Taffeta called. Allison’s trance was broken. The bad thoughts vanished.
“So Allison,” Mrs. Taffeta said after class, one day “What do you want to do today?” Ally and Mrs. Taffeta started having after school meetings each week . The principal and the psychologists thought it would be a good idea since Ally had opened up to Mrs. Taffeta . Allison figured that they were right, maybe someday she would be able tell. But for now she just enjoyed being around Mrs. Taffeta.
Allison shrugged her shoulders and sat down next to the piano hoping she would get the hint. Mrs. Taffeta smiled and sat down on the bench “I thought so,” she said, “but you first.” Ally nodded apprehensively and Mrs. Taffeta began playing.
Allison came in quietly at first but that didn’t worry Mrs. Taffeta and soon enough Allison’s voice grew stronger. filled with compassion and meaning. Truly living the words feeling the vibration, letting go of all her pain. The magic was interrupted when Allison noticed the principal peeking in the door “...His strength, overpowering...” the flashbacks started Allison stopped her breathing rapid, her heart pounding. Mrs. Taffeta stopped playing “Ally?” she questioned, and looked to see what was going on. It was him again, Mr. Shell, she sighed, he still didn’t get it. For this to work Allison needed to feel secure and unexpected male visitors would only make things worse. Every time she was reminded of that day Allison would shut down again and they would have to start over from the beginning.
Hatred boiled up inside of her, self-hatred, hatred for the world. Ally knew some of her classmates took this hatred out on themselves physically, with pills and knifes. Allison didn’t have the guts to try. Ally emotionally abused herself . Letting her pain, fear, and anguish tear her apart until she could no longer think of anything but hatred, What he did and what they did after. The assault by that monster, tormented her every moment. The pain, loosing control of her own body. His strength, over powering her. The complete terror of waiting for it to end praying for it to end wishing she was dead. The baby, they killed her baby, her dream had come out of this nightmare, but that was taken too. They murdered her baby.
Choir didn't help today, nothing would help when she got this way.
Mrs. Taffeta straightened some papers on her desk ready for the session to begin, waiting for ally. Allison didn’t get up. She scribbled wildly on a smudged up piece of paper. Trying to block out the thoughts that terrorized her mind. Mrs. Taffeta slowly got up and walked over to Allison and sat down in the desk beside her. “Allison” She spoke gently sensing the delicacy of the situation, “what’s wrong?” Ally didn't answer. “Oh Ally” Mrs. Taffeta sighed “I wish you would let me in. I’m here to help.”
Allison hated herself even more for disappointing Mrs. Taffeta. She tried to stop the tears that threatened to fall. Mrs. Taffeta reached over and held Ally’s hand. They sat in silence until it was way past time for Allison to leave. They both realized that day that life is just a series of days strung together-some good and some bad.
“Allison” Mrs. Taffeta said one afternoon. “Who was it?” Allison stared blankly at her. “Who did this to you?” Allison pulled down her sleeve to try to cover the scar that Mrs. Taffeta was talking about. “Allison please,” she said as she took hold of Allison’s hand. “Was it him?”
Allison looked down at the long, faded pink scar. After a moment she returned Mrs. Taffeta’s gaze. “It was him,” she spoke the words quietly, “that took my hopes, my dreams, and almost my life. It was him who followed me home and raped me in my own house. It was him who destroyed who I was and what I would have become, as for this,” Allison paused holding out her arm, “this is from when I tried to stop them when they killed my baby...” Allison stopped tears choking her, “they killed my baby.”
“Allison.” Mrs. Taffeta sighed with concern in her voice as she wrapped her arm around Allison.
“How is everything going?” Mr. Shell asked in the teacher’s lounge one afternoon. “Any signs of life?”
“Yes,” Mrs. Taffeta answered angrily “you know how I hate it when you talk about her like that, besides,” Mrs. Taffeta stopped wondering if she should go on knowing that if she told it would just give him more to gossip about, “she talked to me.” Mrs. Taffeta finished.
“She did?” Mr. Shell asked with amazement. “What did she say?”
“That’s confidential, you know that.”
“Robert, you know that I only agreed to help if you let me do this in my own way. If I tell you everything it will break her trust and then where will we be? Back to square one. Allison trusts me and I will not break that trust, Robert. I will not let Ally down.”
“You go Kaye!” Mrs. Sherman, the English teacher, said to Mrs. Taffeta.
“I will let you know if I need to tell you anything, Robert Shell, but until then drop it!” Mrs. Taffeta exclaimed.
“Fine then!” Mr. Shell said as he stormed out of the room.
“That went well.” Mrs. Taffeta said sarcastically
“He’ll come around,” Mrs. Sherman teased “if Allison gets better he can be your next assignment,” She laughed.
“Not ‘if’ Alison gets better, ‘When’ Allison gets better,” Mrs. Taffeta said, “When.”
“What am I going to do?” Kaye Taffeta said as she set down her book. It was one o’clock in the morning and she was still wide-awake with anxiety. “What am I going to about Ally? How can I help? She had been through so much and now I find out that she was impregnated by that animal! How am I supposed to help her come to peace with all this when I don’t even think I could handle all she’s been through? She’s fourteen, fourteen! and has lived every woman's worse nightmare! She should be out with her friends, having fun, doing what she wants to do, but instead she is trapped behind the memories of what happened. How am I supposed to make an opening big enough for her to slip through if it keeps closing up! What am I supposed to do? I can’t give up on her. I just wish I knew what to do. I wish I knew how to make her life normal again. It’s probably a good thing that I don’t know who did this because if I did I would have to kill him for ruining this young life...for taking away the real Allison.”
Allison trudged into class, It had been a long day. It was May. The school year was coming to an end Allison prayed that the world would end before her time at middle school did. Thinking about High school life scared her. Change. something Ally couldn’t handle especially now.
“Good morning Allison,” Mrs. Sherman said when Allison sat down.
“Good morning,” Allison replied. Speaking was something to get used to.
I shall become even more undignified than this
I write ugly
Casting pearls before swine
Terrorizing the clean lines with scrawls of pathetic expressions
It’s not Brave
Bravery is the tattoo I wear, mostly hidden from sight
It’s not Peace
Peace is the power of a newborn baby’s even breath as it lies across my chest
I’m not Safe
Safety is being able to control tears
Sometimes in the day and always at night I don't think I can keep on pretending
The porch, the car, the drive,
It has burnt to the butt of once was, and is now
A hole in the pack
Everyone and everything…
Pastor Brian’s silliness, Laughter at church, the sound of the praise band,
You are MEAN!
Jonet’s preaching again
I prophecy Fear
Fear is Nothing
Meijer at 2 am
Our God is soooo good
“We must live beautifully”
Life goes on
No matter where you go or who you are with
Time is the enemy and your best friend.
Dance in the living room
Dance in the rain
My Hips Sure Lie
Live out Loud
Fall in holes
Capture the flag
Something you took for granted
Thinking it would always be there
Standing up for what is right
The clacking of computer keys
Pretend to be asleep because you don’t know what to say
The silent tears fall across the room,
Make the break
Run in your cap and gown on Graduation Day.
A real life scare-dee cat.
Writing what is important
What is right
What is all or nothing
May His name be blessed and magnified
Her tiny body moved gently back and forth against the woman’s side, her legs dangled and swayed with each sure step her mother took. In the distance she could see the outline of the tranquil volcano, dense clouds looming at its peek. The woman, who was heavy with child, reached up to fix the placement of the short tight braids she had lovingly created earlier on the head of the girl she carried and then touched her own hair, which hung thick and matted against her sweaty neck. The child looked down at the woman’s bare feet, which were dusty and deeply scared from years of walking on sharp rocks that covered the endless path beneath them. Her face was worn-- old even though her skin was without age. The constant clamor of chickens and children and vendors haggling their wears was barely audible to their ears. On the woman walked, her mind as empty as her heart.
The girl lifted her thumb to her mouth. She never uttered a word. Just gazed ahead, her big black eyes piercing. The path made a sharp turn and soon they were at a small, muddy stream. The woman sat the child down in the shallow current of the stream and began to wash her. Scrubbing the child’s delicate skin with reeds from the water she sang softly “Lupa ng araw, buhay ay langit sa piling mo; Aming ligaya, na pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo.” (Beautiful land of love. In thine embrace ‘tis rapture to lie; but it is glory ever when thou art wronged for us thy sons to suffer and die.) When she was through, she placed the child in the dry grasses, walked over to the stream and untied her dress.
The woman sat naked on the banks of the water. A wave of pain seared through her body. She arched her back and felt the hot sun on her face- it was time. Her body quivered with anticipation, she swallowed back a scream . Within a short while, the boy made his entrance into the world. Her large, calloused hands reached to catch him out of the murky water. He opened his tiny mouth in a squeal, but was silenced as the woman quickly put him to her breast. The boy reacted with delight and nursed contently, soon closing his eyes. The woman glanced over at the girl still sitting in the grass, sucking her thumb, and glaring.
The woman looked down at the baby lazily tugging at her breast, and without a word, firmly placed her hand on the back of his head and thrust the infant’s nose deeply into her skin. She held him there while he squirmed, wondering how long it would take. Soon, his tiny body grew still and limp. She released her grip on the back of his head and the body rolled upward. “Agbulos padios,” (I let you go to God) she whispered, and began to cleanse the body in the water. Looking at his delicate futures, a solitary tear escaped from the corner of her eye. Her hand caressed his tiny nose, slid down the soft, round mound of his cheek and under his square chin She dug a shallow grave and placed the boy in it, coving the void with dirt. When she was finished, leaving small trails with her finger in the dust, she wrote, ‘Ummei.’ (Destiny.) The woman walked back to the stream and stepped back into the water. Again she sang “Lupang Hinirang, duyan ka ng magiting, sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil.” (Land dear and holy, cradle of noble heroes, ne’er shall invaders trample thy sacred shores.) When she was finished bathing, she lay down next to the child in the grasses and they slept.
When the sun was in the western sky they awoke and continued their journey. Hunger reflected in the toddler’s eyes, but the woman walked on oblivious, even to her own hunger. They became aware of new sounds; sounds of birds and crickets beginning their nightly praises. Shadows creped along the path. The woman stopped, turned her face towards the heavens and closed her eyes. After a moment she looked at the child, “Batac ng awa,” (Child of Mercy,) she muttered, “tignan bago ng langit.” (Look to the heavens.) With her hand she tenderly lifted the child’s head in the direction of the evening sky. Stars endless in number reflected in the baby girl’s eyes. “Ayo dumalaw muti.” (We shall meet again.) Their eyes met, for a moment, in a flash of understanding. The woman walked on.
They soon reached a small cement building filled with the glow of soft light, and the sounds of many children settling into bed. The woman peered through the window. A younger woman sat in a rocking chair holding an infant wrapped in a blanket. “Americano,” the woman whispered. Quietly she knocked on the heavy, wooden door.
The light-skinned woman inside stood up, gently laying the infant she was holding in a nearby sleeping-basket, and came to the door. “Ano po pangalan niya?” (What is the her name?) she asked, gesturing towards the girl.
“Ito si Malaya Awitan,” (Malaya Awitan is her name) the mother woman shyly responded, turning her eyes to the earth.
“Marikit,” the stranger said cautiously reaching for the child.
“Salamat po,” (“thank-you ma’am”) the mother whispered. Handing the baby over she quickly turned away.
“Magandang Gabi.” (Goodnight.) The woman called as the child’s mother walked off into the night. She closed the door and looked at the girl in her arms for the first time in detail. She did not see a child, in the eyes that studied back at her, what she saw was a the heartache of a tribe, of a nation, whose banner stood for allegiance only and not for it’s people. and she saw a mother who risked her life to give a daughter, a nonentity, the liberty to blossom.
The child’s mother stopped a few feet away from the orphanage and watched her baby through the window for the last time. “Paalam, matamis bata,” (Goodbye, my sweet child,) she wept, tears incessantly, streaming down her face.
The child, christened Freedom, raised her little hand from the other side of the door and pleaded out in her almost insignificant voice, “inay.” (Mama)
1. Lualhati: “Spiritual Peace”
The woman longs for spiritual peace, knows she will never obtain it, and selflessly gives her daughter (a nothing in the tribe she belongs to) the opportunity to find that peace.
2. Lupa ng araw, buhay ay langit sa piling mo; aming ligaya, na pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo:
* Philippine National Anthem v5:
“Beautiful land of love. In thine embrace tis rapture to lie; but it is glory ever when thou art wronged for us thy sons to suffer and die”
Symbolism, justifying the murder of the woman’s son. Boys are valuable to the tribe, so it’s better for them to die than to betray their people (which by being adopted would do)
3. Agbulos padios:
Literally means: To let go to God
His destiny was to be a martyr of his people and of their ways.
5. Lupang Hinirang, duyan ka ng magiting, sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil.
* Philippine National Anthem v2
Land dear and holy, cradle of noble heroes, ne’er shall invaders trample thy sacred shores.
6. Batac ng awa. tigan bago ng langit. Ayo dumamlaw muti
“Child of mercy, look to the heavens. We shall meet again.”
7. Ano po pangalan niya:
“What is her name?”
8. Ito si:
9. Malaya Atiwan:
Name: “freedom song”
I chose the name Freedom song because the child was granted her freedom and she will forever be able to sing about it
11. Salamat po:
Po, is a term used with elders as a sign of repect.
12. Mangadang Gabi:
13. Paalam, matamis bata
“Goodbye, sweet child”
Literally: mommy or mama typically used by young children to address their mothers