Dripping River Water

Love

Don’t call it a comeback March 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 12:20 am
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Barbarita went on vacation.  She is my alter-ego, the main character of my play Amor Cubano: In a bottle, a tube and a small packet.  I think she went to Tahiti or somewhere.  I just didn’t hear from her for months.  I thought she was never coming back.  Then she showed up right on my doorstep demanding that we get Amor Cubano back out to the world.

And we did.  Together.  It was just like old times but I realize that Barbarita is really cooky.

If you were labeled as the weird one at school you kinda don’t want to go through the rest of your life being called weird.  I was once reminded that I am not really weird, I am just not afraid of being myself.  I found this comforting especially coming from my love.

When I totally let myself be free as a writer I created Amor Cubano.  When I didn’t care if people thought that I was a nut case or a genius I shared it with others.  In my two years of creating this play I have learned so much.  The hardest lesson was to trust my intuition and not go along with things if it doesn’t feel right.  I like to keep to my word but I can’t do that if the outcome is going to hurt me.  I am learning.

I have been writing.  Writing for months.  Not anything for Amor Cubano.  Barbarita left me.  I guess she wanted me to sort out things by myself.  

I was asked to perform last night.  I was asked to bring back Barbarita.  So, I called her and she came.  It was amazing!  I will let you in on a silly secret.  When I need to write Barbarita I dress like her.  

Barbarita

I bought this dress in Miami.  Really I shouldn’t of bought this dress because I just had $80 on me for the next couple of weeks.  Pero it was so tempting.  Barbarita teleported herself from who knows where and said, buy me that dress.  Don’t worry we will be millionaires later.  And so I entertained the saleslady and my mami by turning into Barbarita in the changing room.  I practically did a show in the shop.  After the purchase and me wondering if this was a good idea or not Barbarita wasn’t hearing it.  Never doubt Barbarita.  She left.

I think I am approaching that time where I have to make my goals list for 2009.  I did mine in May for 2008 so I am not too worried that we’re heading into April.  It’s those lists that are so helpful but I have a fear of doing.  Like the list I want in a partner and how I want to be in a committed relationship.  If I write it down then it becomes real like Amor Cubano.  In my heart I know that love can change the world even if it’s a cooky Cuban lady selling you how to do it.

I woke up this morning and thought of the first line of this song.  I think this will be my new theme song.  Don’t ask.

the end.

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waiting March 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 1:59 am
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There is a tree on Hearst that I like to pass by.  I fit right under it.  The tree covers me with its fragrance.  I wonder what type of tree it is.  The flowers small and white are similar to jasmine.  I walk back and forth under the tree.  I am on my tippy toes having the flowers caress my nose.  

A girl looked at me strange today.  It’s ok maybe I inspired her to smell the flowers.

It is finally spring and the flowers have been blooming for awhile.  The plants are just as confused as the people.  I hear the bugs are as well.  Poor bugs.  I walk for miles and miles all around Berkeley.  My mind drifts off to too many places and I realize I am bored.  I realize that something different and big is going to happen soon and I want it to happen right now!  Actually, I just want to know what it is.  I come from of family of diviners.  I can easily pick up the phone and ask someone to tell me what is going to happen next in my life.  I am trying not to do that.

I am in a moment of practicing patience.  I am trying to surrender to everything that happens.  I am trying to be content while making progress in my life.  I went to the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor last weekend and facilitated a writing workshop.  It was mostly on meditation and reflection.  I had a good group of people.  We were all smiles.  I was nervous beforehand.  I enjoy the performance of teaching but not everything else that comes with it.  This time I liked everything that came with it.  I was in total bliss facilitating this workshop.  I had such great feedback and good insight to make the workshop better.  I wanted to facilitate workshops all day long.  I forgot how joyful it is to share with others.  I forgot that my smile can make others smile.  I forgot for a minute there that my spiritual development is important for the work I need to do.  I am happiest in service.  If I can contribute just a little bit to make humanity better I know that I am doing my work in this world.

I talked to my dad yesterday and told all the things that I am thinking about.  Moving to LA, going to India for a residency, wanting to meet people so I can write for Ugly Betty, all this insha’Allah.  He was surprised which made me surprised.  He thought that since I am getting older I would settle down.  But I can have more opportunities in LA, I can work on my book in India, I can write for TV like I’ve always wanted ever since I was a kid if I made the right connections.  I told him that I am a late bloomer.  Actually, I always knew what I wanted I was too scared to do it.  I escaped in so many ways.  These past years I’ve been working on myself-hardcore.  I am not the same.  But of course the most work is still yet to come when I stop having commitment issues and settle down.  When I really become open to that.  I pretend I am open.  I think I would be more open if… I can’t tell you, that is way too honest.

I feel like my brother right now.  I used to call him and ask him what is happening in his life and he would tell me that he’s waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  I would get so frustrated because I felt he never took action in his life.  Right now I understand.  I feel like I am waiting, too.  As I wait I will smell the flowers.  Surrendering is peaceful.

the end.

 

I Follow the Religion of Love March 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 1:34 am
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I FOLLOW THE RELIGION OF LOVE

My heart has become capable of every form:

It is a pasture for gazelles,

And a monastery for Christian monks,

And a temple for idols,

And the Ka’aba of the pilgrims,

And the tablets of the Torah,

And the book of the Qur’an.

I follow the religion of Love:

Whatever path Love’s camel takes,

That is my religion and my faith.

-Ibn Arabi

 

Sometimes the baby naps in his stroller.  I take him for a walk after playing in the kindergym.  I make his stroller into a mini bed.  I sing him songs.  Sometimes run my fingers through his hair.  He sleeps and I walk to the library.  I find a cozy spot with a cushioned seat.  He sleeps and I read.  Usually books on Sufism and Islam.    That is where I found the poem above.  It seemed to have been transmitted to my mother because that is the religion she taught me.  I don’t think she ever said her religion was about Love because love seemed so hurtful to her but in her actions love was there.  My mami’s religion was to help others.

My family makes it easy for me.  When asked about my family’s religion I say that my family practices everything.  From Catholicism to Santeria, to talking to spirits, to having gurus.  What we have in common is that we believe in the One.  My mother remembers hearing her grandparents talking about our family being Muslim.  There is a prayer in Islam that my mom taught me as a child.   In my mother’s religion of helping others she has instilled that servitude for humanity in me.  

I think about my continuous spiritual development and my role in this world.  It is as simple and complex as every moment.  I have a roommate now.  My friend Meadow who now lives in the closet.  That is what one of the little girls calls her, the lady that lives in the closet.  I try to make space for her.  I realized that my altars/art installations had to go.  I was not using them anyway.  For awhile now they have just been art installations.  My living room/the gallery.  I already had my boveda in my bedroom and Oshun on a shelf.  I moved Yemaya minus the print to another shelf in my bedroom.  I cried during all of this.  Change.

I talked to my Ifa spiritual teacher yesterday.  It had been a long time.  I had been neglecting going to temple because for awhile I felt this: I love him and I love his teachings but I didn’t feel that was the spiritual space I needed to be in.  It was something like church where I didn’t truly believe everything that the priest said.  When I pray in the masjid and hear the Imam or Sheik give a khutbah I usually cry.  My heart opens up in such a big way and I feel peace.  When I talked to my teacher he said he thought about calling me.  I told him i knew that he was thinking of me the moment I told myself I needed to call him.  He told me he was looking over my Odu.  ( I have trouble explaining what an odu is.  Here’s a link that may help. Ifá )  I was reminded of it.  Reminded of everything that makes my spirituality whole.

My spirituality has always been a process and will continue to be.  When I have a moment with God I clearly understand that God wants me to learn it all.  The Creator  wants me to understand the different ways to be close to Him.  This way I can be more accessible to everyone I meet.  My beliefs are my beliefs and I have to understand to have full respect of others.  Ibn Arabi’s poem made me realize that it wasn’t me making up things.  There are others, many, many others that are open and their hearts full of love.

I must admit that sometimes when the baby is sleeping I wish I was sleeping, too.  Then I read.  

the end. 

 

 

La luna March 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 4:13 am
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la luna llena 031009

I don’t know if it was the tall buildings or maybe I just didn’t look up when I walked; I didn’t notice a full moon in Brooklyn.  I remember the moon chasing me on car trips from New Jersey to home.  I remember it chasing me.  But the moon never caught up.  Not until I moved to California.  Here I notice the different shapes of the moon.  I see the beauty, the stillness.  I await its fullness.

I rode the bus this morning with my neighbor.  We talked about visitors from NY.  He thought California must be such a culture shock for New Yorkers.  So much going on there.  Constantly.  Then there are moments that it feels like a prison.  I’ve never been in a prison but I know what it feels like to be trapped.  When I was a kid I felt trapped in Brooklyn.  In my neighborhood and inside a city that sometimes felt like a small town.  There was too much prejudice for me to handle as a kid.  Prejudice coming from everybody against everybody.  My friend says NY is very tribal.  There have been wars.

I used to want to exchange where I was born for somewhere else, like Cuba.  So many people thought I was born there anyway.  I don’t feel like that anymore.  Maybe it’s because I am getting older, maybe it’s because we have a new president, maybe it’s just because I have a greater understanding of life.   Every moment has enriched me.  It has not burdened me.  Like the moon my thoughts, my heartbeat, my emotions change.   I am still the same just everything comes in and out, expands, gets smaller, is almost hidden, is fully exposed.

La luna me llena.

the end.

 

Indian Paintbrush March 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 4:35 pm

You look Indian, the cab driver said.  

Yep, yep, I look Indian.  I’m Cuban, I told him.  

Cuban people are like Indians.  Look like each other, he said.

I had a vision or a dream.  I can’t tell which is what sometimes.  I was in India.  It was hot, I had braids.  Sweat ran down my body.  There were lots of colors, lots of women.  I was purging.  I wrote to my friend who lives in India that I think I need to go there.  I’ve never wanted to go to India.  My uncle went once to see his guru.  My friends have gone.  I have some friends from there.  I like the food and the customs but I never thought about going to India.  Then there is that vision.  That dream.

I am cleansing right now.  Cleansing from so many things.  I’ve been told that when I was born everything bad and everything good from my ancestors was planted into me.  But that happens to everybody, right?  I am not that special.  Perhaps because of our histories it manifests in different ways.  I’ve been told this several times by several different healers in several different ways.  I’ve been trying to purge this old stuff, this stuff that is not mine for years now.  Each time I feel lighter.  Is it so big that it won’t fully come out?  Or will it just always be there because my ancestors will always be with me so I have to learn how to move through it?

I am on day three of cleansing.  I am not even drinking coffee.  That is a big deal.  I am Cuban, I’ve been drinking coffee from the bottle.  I just don’t want to hold on to anything anymore.  Not anything that is unhealthy.

I had a falling out with a friend.  I was really upset for a few weeks.  I haven’t been angry like that for a long time.  I felt guilty about being upset because I am supposed to be all spiritual and stuff.  How could I shut down like that?  I am still learning.  Still growing.  I was upset with her and couldn’t talk to her because I was so angry that I wouldn’t make sense and yell.  I don’t yell.  So, I silenced myself and cut off any love.  I am trying to figure out how to do things differently, cutting off love shouldn’t be one of them.  One day it just came to me.  It doesn’t matter what she does, I am not in a place to accept her for who she is.  How do I accept people for who they are, love them but understand that they can’t be fully in my life?  I watch my teachers and hear how they handle things and everyday I learn from them.  It will take time to incorporate the teaching into my life.

We need this rain in Oakland as much as I need this cleanse.  I am constantly at a state of starting over with the new tools I have learned.  I told the cab driver that I am applying for a writers residency in India.  In the south, he’s from  the north.  He invited me to his farm.  Told me I could stay there for free, I will be fed, people will treat me right I could be with the animals and the trees.  He tells everyone this and no one has taken up the offer.  Maybe I will have the opportunity to take it.  I just can’t wait to purge in India because the tickets are so expensive.  I am cleansing here enclosed in my paradise waters painted room.  One of my healers told me I should find some flower essences to help me in the process.  She told me that something will pop out at me.  I chose two.  One of them is Indian Paintbrush.

the end.