Dripping River Water

Love

What Luke said October 27, 2010

Filed under: life,religion,writing — Maceo Cabrera Estevez @ 5:58 pm
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There is a table in the lobby.  It is long and wooden positioned right below a big mirror.  There people leave things they no longer want: old fax machines, magazines, sneakers, books.  I am the resident manager and this leaving of things annoys me only when no one takes it.  I am left to throw away these items.  Things that could have easily been given as a donation, somewhere else, not in the lobby of my building.  There was a pocket sized New Testament once.  I picked it up.  This is a book I couldn’t throw out, I couldn’t leave it on the sidewalk, I couldn’t give it to a random person.  I had to keep it and for a year it lived between my Moroccan Arabic Phrasebook and El diccionario de sinonimos y antonimos bought in Venezuela when I was there in 1996.

My son is now 5 weeks old.  He has lived his days between arms of those who love him.  I have only been away from him minutes at a time, missing him and calling my mami to see how he is doing.  Yesterday I went for a walk with my friend.  I left my mami with 5 ozs of my milk.  I gave her instructions and hoped that it wouldn’t be too hard for either of them.  The sun was out.  Its rays hit my toes.  There was a chill in shady areas.  I was afraid to catch a cold.  I thought of myself confined in my bedroom pumping milk, sweating and sick, not able to see my son.

We went to Arizmendi.  I was treated to pizza and a root beer sitting outside.  I watched the beautiful people of Oakland pass by.  I saw the mamas pushing the strollers or carrying their babies on their backs.  I saw the dogs.  The endless amount of dogs take over the sidewalk.  I wondered if my skin would darken sitting outside of Arizmendi.  I have been home for weeks looking out the living room windows at the trees and the birds.  The root beer was good.  It became my new favorite.  There on the table was the cap.  It had writing.  In the inside it read, Luke 1:37.  I thought the root beer bottling was more hipster than religious.  Or maybe it was both.

For the past five weeks I have only written in my head.  I write books and plays while I nurse my son in his sleep.  I wish that the words would leave my mind and walk unto the page.  Any page.  Somewhere else.  But the words don’t.  They are locked away and I wonder if I will be able to write.  Then I read stories of writers who have shared similar nights.  Perhaps not nursing their sons but still in bed writing words on the walls with their pupils.

For the past five weeks I have begun learning what it is to be a mother.  I have learned what it is to remain still, to be totally dependent.  There is a scar above my bikini line.  It is black and sometimes it is sore.  All throughout my pregnancy I was pleased not to have any stretch marks.  Instead I got a scar where they pulled my baby out.  That scar reminds me of my imperfections and my failures.

I wonder sometimes why I couldn’t give birth at home.  Sometimes I have a hard time completing things.  The end is always so hard.  I go through my over fifty hours of labor at home and four days in the hospital.  I try to figure out what exactly went wrong.  I know everything is God’s will but somehow I feel at a loss.   I wonder if somewhere in back of my mind I was too scared to finish the job.  I couldn’t give birth naturally in a birthing tub, in my kitchen because it meant I actually had to complete something.  I needed help.  Like heavy drugs to soothe me, to make me relax, to actually fall asleep.  I went to the hospital, a place I still don’t want to give birth in again.  They helped me.  I had sweet nurses who gave me more pillows and filled my water bottle.  I knew that with a touch of button someone would be at my side.  So the whole time I had to not be upset.  I had to take everything in stride because I had my baby in my arms.  And if I got frustrated at the nurses constantly coming in and asking me the same questions, at them grabbing my breasts without asking me anything to see if my milk was coming out, at my son being picked up all hours of the night to be weighed, I would have made it worse for myself and I would have been ungrateful.  I still have to write about that.  All of that.  But I am afraid that it will make me cry.

On my bedside table there is a tube of Barq’s root beer lip balm.  I don’t like that root beer but I like the taste on my lips.  I put it on last night before getting into bed.  Then I remembered.  Luke 1:37.  I went to the living room to the shelf where the pocket size New testament lived.  I took it into bed.  My husband perplexed.  I have not read the Qur’an in weeks and here I was with the Bible.  I opened it to Luke right away.  There I read: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Sighs and smiles.

the end.

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7 Responses to “What Luke said”

  1. shannon Says:

    subhanAllah…motherhood has left inspiration in its wake. great words from an amazing mama. you didn’t fail me;) lots of love to you guys!!

  2. Vendula Says:

    May Allah make it easy for you sister….just focus on that precious baby that He has blessed with you and know that there is a reason for everything. I “planned” to have a natural delivery and ended with a c-section for my first and that spurred a renewal of education about natural birth. Alhamdulillah I had a vbac for my second child, delivered by none other than our own lovely midwife, Shannon.

  3. YayaOrchid Says:

    I had read an excerpt from your blog quite some time back, when I first added my blog to the Latina site. I remembered thinking that I would not forget your blog if I saw it again. The reason being that then as now I could only think ” this is a real writer, a real author.” I don’t know if you are published or not, but you should be. I wish you great success, because it is obvious you love to write, and you do it well.

  4. […] without further ado, here is a re-posting from Maceo’s own blog, Dripping River Water, which of course, you all must go subscribe to right now, as I’m sure there is much […]

  5. cavemum Says:

    uff…this reminds me of sitting in hospital with my 4 day old daughter, stuck for days with her on a drip, writing lke a mad creature to get all the strangeness out. There is SO MUCH baraka in what you’re doing and have done…you know I cam across an amazing hadith, it’s either of Ibn ‘Umar or the Prophet (s.a.w.s): someone came to him and said, “I carried my mother on my back from Iran, have I done enough for repay her (for mothering me)?” He replied, “you have not even repaid her for one contraction”. The writing is the outlet in the meantime I think. You got it. Can we write plays together? =D un abrazo muy fuerte desde españa hermana linda x

    • That is a beautiful hadith. I am about to see my mother, inshaAllah; it is a good reminder of all she has done for me!

      Plays together! InshaAllah. That sounds lovely. I would love to go to Spain to do that with you. InshaAllah.


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