Dripping River Water

Love

In Florida January 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 6:19 pm
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My toes curl up like my papi’s.  I knew I had his feet.  Not his toes.  His socks were twisted.  The first thing I did for him when I saw him in the hospital.  I took off his socks and put them on right.  I squeezed his toes and noticed they were like mine.  Mine were like his.

Blood is thicker than water.

My oldest brother has become my best friend.  We have talked more words in one weekend than we’ve had in our lifetime.  We have both been turning gray for awhile now.  There are thirteen years between us.  Thirteen years of different experiences.  I thought that we would get closer when I was in my twenties.  I was not an adult in my twenties.  Not one who can look at the bigger picture.  Accept and be accepted.  Truly love unconditionally.  The latter is still a learning process especially since the heart is involved.  I was an adult who lived by herself and paid the bills.  I was responsible only to myself.  No one else.

I was either on transportation or in the hospital this trip to Florida.  I sat with little food in my belly watching my father sleep.  In silence I realized that having two months off of work helped me be still.  I was broke and didn’t do the other things I wanted to but I learned to be still.  I was still sitting next to my father.  I moved to gather up change to buy a honey bun in the vending machine.  I waited for food to come hours later.  Patience is needed when there is dependence.  The next day I ate two steaks.  One at my grandmother’s.  One at my brother’s.  Only with family will you eat two steaks in one day.

My father finally got out of the hospital yesterday.  He is at my brother’s house.  I wish I was there.  I wish I wasn’t three thousand miles away.  I wish I could be there to help him heal.  In the hospital I reminded him to take deep breathes when he felt pain.  We talked about attachment when he had to move rooms.  We talked about death.  Briefly.  A family friend came by and said, don’t worry your dad is not going to die.  He’s gonna die, I said.  Maybe not because of his operation but he will die.  We all die.  My understanding of God and creation has made me even more practical.

My father is recovering.  Stomach split open.  Hole on the side with an attached bag.  It is not for lifetime is my only solace.  There are many lessons to learn with this.  I am always learning.  

the end.

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change is gonna come January 22, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 5:23 am

I walked to BART yesterday.  Thirty five minutes downhill.  I cut streets following strangers.  I followed the fast walkers, the jay walkers.  I saved about 10 minutes.  People were smiling early in the morning.  I thought this is only happening because it’s inauguration day.

In between watching baby I heard Barack Obama speak.  I cried and loved that Wyatt is only seven months old at this great moment.  I thought that when I was a kid there were hardly any Latinos on TV and there were definitely not any Asians.  Oh, no, there was Bruce Lee.  Wyatt will be able to see more reflections of himself and those who love him in the media.  I was even moved by the homophobic Rick Warren’s prayer.  Wow, I’ve become so open.

I got a message from my brother minus a salaam so I knew something was happening.  My dad was rushed into the hospital for emergency surgery.  He had a hole in his intestine that caused him to release gas into his stomach.  We all have stomach problems in our family.  This is where we hold our pain.  I felt so bad for my dad who would have also cried watching the inauguration.  He only had two years of an education and always aspired to do great things.  He has in his own way.  He created us and I must say my brothers and I are pretty nice people.

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I am not sure if I am just way too empathetic or if I have a stomach virus but I became sick yesterday.  What a weird way to remember Obama’s inauguration day.  My dad thankfully is in recovery.  He will have to wear a bag while his intestine heals and have another surgery in six months.  Poor guy.  At least it’s not life long.  I had already planned a trip to Florida.  To Miami.  So, I will take a train ride up to see my dad and brothers.  At least for a couple of days I can take care of him.

I wonder what I will be able to do to move things forward in this place.  To help make an America I always dreamed of living in.  My parents came here so I would never have to leave.  I must admit that many times I want to.  One thing I liked about Barack Obama’s speech is that he talked about the issues that we are facing.  We can no longer live in denial that everything is fine here and we are doing great with the rest of the world.  I can only hope that we can really move towards change.

Change is difficult.  That is why so many of us don’t do it.  We must shift and learn and be open.  There is always more to come.

the end.

 

A prayer for Gaza January 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 10:39 pm
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Love thy enemy.

There was a time I didn’t like Jesus.  Not that I ever thought he was a bad guy.  I would have probably wanted to be Jesus’ friend if I was around that time.  I just didn’t really believe in the whole holy trinity and that he was the son of God.  Or God himself in human form.  I was still in Catholic school, I was still a little kid and I knew that he was a prophet.  Just that.  A big “just”. Instead of seeing the complexities around Jesus I just didn’t like him.  Remember I was a kid.

Then I met Buddha.  Then I met the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).  Then I realized I could actually like Jesus.

I have been remembering Jesus.  The stories I liked about him.  Ways that I could be like him.  I remembered him saying at one point in time to love thy enemy.  Love thy enemy.  I don’t have any enemies.  When I was a kid there were people I hated.  With good reason but I don’t hate anyone anymore.  I don’t have any enemies.  Maybe there are people that just don’t like me but I don’t think they are my enemy.

When I was reading the Teachings on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh I remember having to meditate on loving my enemy.  The enemies that I don’t have.  But then I remembered…

the man who abused me-an enemy

George W Bush-an enemy

an ex girlfriend-an enemy

and I tried to meditate on love for them and this was truly hard.  This was hard because I had to see them as complex human beings who were hurt themselves and needed forgiveness and love so their lives would be better.  Did I say this was hard?

Somehow it has gotten easier.  I can’t tell you how that somehow happened.  It was gradual.  It didn’t just become an epiphany.  It happened in between healing and freak outs.  I started to believe in the truest form of love.   I started to believe that love can change anything.  I started to believe in love.

I pray.  I pray everyday.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to start praying.  Sometimes it takes me awhile to let myself have that moment to be open and free.  When I do I feel new.  When I do I feel like myself.  When I do I see that I am connected to every molecule in the universe.  Every person.  Every plant.  Every rock.

I prayed in San Francisco on Friday for Gaza.  I prayed for the children.  I prayed for those who have been injured.  Those who lost lives.  Those whose hearts beat so fast not knowing what will happen next.  I prayed for people to be wrapped around in God’s comfort during this time.   My heart feels achy.  I am not alone.  I prayed. My picture was taken.  I wondered if my prayers were captured and sent all over the world with one click. 

My sister saw the picture and told me she thought of me when she went to church.  Thought of me when the pastor was talking about love.  Love thy enemy.  Love everyone.  Love even the man who killed Oscar Grant.  Love him because he needs prayers, too.  And I told her yes, I pray for the Israeli government everyday.  I pray that God will give them so much light that they will see that killing is not the answer.  I pray that God will guide them so they will stop the shootings, stop the bombs, stop the terror.  I pray that they will be strong enough to just stop everything, to let go of their egos, to truly do God’s work.  I pray for them.  Everyone needs prayers.  I pray for all world leaders to step up and stop being silent.  I pray that they treat each other with loving kindness and see all the discrepancies in the world.  I pray that they lead with their hearts and not with their egos.  I pray for them because I believe in the power of change and maybe if they feel my prayers something will shift.  I pray.

Years later I realized what Jesus meant by loving thy neighbor.  I realized and now I can really like him.  I understand him in ways the bible could not relay to me.  I understand what he meant about love.  I got work to do.  So I pray.

the end.

 

The children in Gaza January 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 6:02 pm
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I can decompartmentalize.  I think it’s survivor’s instinct.  Know the facts and not feel.  But I’ve been trying to work on that.  Trying to feel every emotion.  Trying to see how my body gets affected by sadness, happiness, anger, joy, bliss.

This morning while eating breakfast.  Scrambled eggs, veggie sausage patties, spelt english muffin and kuchela I broke down while reading.  I read the NY Times online.  I read about the children in Gaza who could not stand up when found.  The children who were side by side with their mothers’ corpses.  And I broke seeing that image run past my mind.  It ran slowing.  I smelled it.  Tasted it.  Heard it.  Felt it.  I wanted to hold them.  Carry them.  Kiss their foreheads and their tears.

I want to go to Gaza.  This year.  This summer.  The best I can give is myself.  

Please, remember the people of Gaza, the people who have people in Gaza, please remember that we all have to help each other.  Somehow.  Please.

the end.

 

Buying Jerusalem January 2, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 4:17 pm
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We played Monopoly for New Year’s Eve.  The new edition no longer has cash but ATM cards and a machine.  The board is no longer filled with just railroads and generic streets and avenues.  It has energy systems such as solar and wind.  The streets have now become cities like Hong Kong, Cape Town, Paris and Jerusalem.    My chosen niece and I were partners.  She seven and independent wanted to buy everything we landed on before asking me if we wanted to do this.  Only one time, we talked and then learned how to be a partner.  

We had millions.  All of us had millions.  We earned some we lost some.  My sister wanted to build her own Asian Empire.  My niece and I wanted to monopolize the energy systems but only got two.  One city, Capetown, then another.  Jerusalem.  I told her we should buy it and then give it back to the Palestinians.  She didn’t quite understand because she wanted to build resorts and make lots of money but we gave it back anyway.  We gave it back and charged rent to those who landed to rebuild people’s homes and lives.

If only this could really be done right now.

If only the killings could stop.

If only the US would stop supporting Israel.

If only we could all get on a plane, boat or train and head to Palestine together.  If only we could do this so the missiles would stop launching, the guns stop firing, the children stop weeping.

If only.

My prayers are with my brothers and sisters in Palestine

in Gaza

and all over the world that suffer due to the human ego.

 

the end.