paddled in puddles, laughed out loud in my mask, frightened a few men in shop shelter; their eyes crinkling in mirth. The rain fell slow thick drizzle, it tripped a butterfly that sashayed across my face into a nearby lamp post. A wet dog shrugged, its ears flapping to its tail. After a long long time for a bit there I forgot the propriety of propriety and colds. My sleeves fell in my skin. No umbrella. Electric wires sparkled with drops, a pigeon with spiked head feathers waddled under and into a low shuttered shop; I felt joy like a bubble burst, and thought how they said rains are bad for Covid. Then thought to hell with it, literally. We are sick of it, yes yes do not go laid back. I shook a girls hand today at the Centre, hugged her elbow…
.. then quick reached for sanitiser, it’s cool masks my thoughts. I hate how we’ve become careful, how we are so wretched careful. We have to be, and I love how the rain for a moment baptized me in itself. For a moment there it was like before all this took our care free walks. Yesterday reminded me we can still be the same inside an earth that never changes. Caterpillars and leaves go on. Stores still sell hair clips and Tee shirts, or pineapple crush. The rain still falls puddles and silver, in afternoon grass green gaudy green by a cream compound wall and new yellow flowers. I want to say a little prayer, thankyou God for everyone as is, and for all things that we have.
Did an interview with daughter here: oh go do the things you want to. Don’t deny us the laughter, the tears, the relief of honesties. Yes, suicides are on the rise, rape and trades beyond decencies. Somewhere between all this, one stops to pray, believe, rest our hearts on the One who loves like none other. I wish you love, joy, peace.
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The girl with mud thick eyes? I met her across from where we were 3 floors above, she walked that place like a tigress, she stalked my face every noon as I waited for the school bus. Our daughter was 5, I wanted to shield her from the girls’ eyes, eyes like a well with no spring, just dank dark mud falling in, the street girl I always call her even after all these years, she follows me lane after lane, after we shifted cities and states, staring at me like I must know a piece of her life, know what it feels like not to have a ‘legal life’, not have a housekey and address.
Why think of her now, it is years and years gone, she must be so much older, does she still wear mascara all down the sides of her eyes and gaudy pink lipstick smeared as if with hatred. The last time I saw her she spat at the ground around a dwarf tree bursting with a reddish flower I dont know its name: she was angry and swollen in her jaw. My daughter got off the school bus and ran into me crying about a bruise she got at play. I gathered little Dia in my arms, the girl leaned on the tree, her eyes not leaving us. Today was different, her stare volatile, as if all this was my fault.
I turned away, my little one’s bag in other arm.
The street girl’s stare bored into my back. I didn’t want to, I shouldn’t have, but I turned around and she was there, not smiling, just looking on with a sadness now, and I’ve no name for that kind of sadness.
Today, I wonder where that girl is; she and our millions, in streets and homes not necessarily kind. Poverty is more than lack of money, it is an entire lack of security. We all must go thru’ this Corona crisis, and I cannot imagine doing that without some kind of security, even if the end is near for some of us. We are worried sick and sad and afraid and alone in more ways than I can know to say, but soul aloneness, abuse.… how do you cope with that? If I could write a letter, pack a meal, anything possible to actually do…. that be great. What I cannot stomach is Humans like that Street Girl with no place like a home, not even in her living memory, no sense of self respect, just abuse and naked eye-hunger. … I cannot come to terms with Us having to live like that.
Physical hunger, death, illness, loneliness. ..it visits us some way or the other. But there are people in our streets, in dwellings between our streets, within closed doors maybe, nice quilt and food or not,
our Streets wear/ bear the feet of the most abused Decade of all. This season, as we approach Good Friday & Easter, I pray that in the throes of ‘Rona and all its lethal activity, we will search the routes between us all, for Hungry Eyes.
What can we do? I do not know. We are at our creative best when we are hurting:
if I met my Street girl now, what’d I do? Maybe I’d…..uh… unsure. I’d think hard, discuss with a trusted other what could be done to reach out across the chasm between strata of society, across taboo and fear. I didnot even look at her because I was afraid. I’m as afraid to cross streets, even my quieter street here where we live, am terrified of traffic. Lived here all my life and yes, I am. Can’t cross the street. But our streets are certified insane, some of them. Ours have Wheelies, dizzy fourwheelers, fearless Scooterists also doing wheelies….now it’s all empty, so quiet you don’t hear a honk.
In the silence of This, I’m asking for ways to reach out to humans, yeah yeah Social Distancing et al.
Often a smile would be almost enough, oh even with our eyes, now that we have masks. Our 19year son is blind and can smile with his entire being when he wants to. I’m still learning how to do that,
learning to want to pray with all my being for all of us everywhere to taste the love of God that transcends all borders, true Love that can transfigure (ah ‘Traject!’ ..new word Post Covid), us into dimensions we never knew we had just for having Him as Support. It can make us do things for each other we’d never have stopped to do. Even the heart to pray for people right across our lane.
I believe that more than ever before, this season. The power of prayer to heal the human spirit in our homes, in our streets.
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