Saturday, November 24, 2007


In the summer of the year 2000 I found myself in Guatemala. I had just finished my freshman year of college. I was on a trip with friends, doing things I didn’t quite agree with (“missionary work”) and realized my place in the disconnect of it all. That was the moment that I realized my calling and I stopped for those few minutes to collect myself. I was on a rooftop terrace, staring at a volcano, I took a deep breath and reflected.

I left Guatemala shortly after, only to revisit it in my memory, every single day since. Not one single day passes when I don’t think of Guatemala. I have collections of memories in my mind…of people, places, smells, beauties and joys and all the places in between.

I have since been back to Guatemala several times to recollect all the pieces that I lose in the process of living. I go to Guatemala to collect myself and reflect. It’s not the only place that I go in this world when I am looking to regroup but it is the place that keeps me grounded and connected to all that was and all of the hope of who I might become.

Guatemala, in all her beauty, suffering and transition also holds a piece of my heart, vulnerable to the textured mapping of my life…all that I have lived and all that I live for. And thus, my heart has been broken there, in every sense of the word…broken and mended, broken and mended…broken…
Ready to live and thrive again. So that I stay humble…so that I remain open…so that I strive for compassion…so that I always hope for the best in people and situations.

I never lose hope….
I never lose hope…for Guatemala…or what I have learned there.

We are all called to live lives that are full. I am grateful for my youth and that I am living out my calling in a diversity of ways and emotions.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dia de Gracias

Thus passes the day of giving thanks 2007. My first time at home for this holiday in three years. Good food...good laughs...I miss El Salvador. I won't go into too many details, but I will say that somehow it's easier to be fully thankful there...than it is to crack a smile here and really feel it some days. Beyond the fake hugs and kisses at the local watering hole the other night, I am past my eyes in fake gestures and superficial conversations. I miss the hard core reality that strips away all the crap...and a simple conversation with a fiend in ES seemed to mean more than I anticipated them to be.

But don't let this reality check fool you....I am still very full of life...full of anticipation...full of many things to be thankful for.

My family...friends....all those people in between...a job that I love...sweet sunshine in the morning and the realization that I am living a life that is in a place of privilege.

So yesterday as I remembered the pilgrims and the native...and their I recalled the injustice and the oppression that this country was built on, I also remembered the true spirit of this holiday...the spirit of giving thanks. A spirit that can transfer over to other lands (like ES) where I celebrated Dia de Gracias with a whole lot of other people last year.

Living a life of gratefulness is what I will strive to cultivate in this heart of mine.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Last Saturday

Last Saturday I was in Boston with some of my students for the weekend as they encountered homelessness for the fist time. Last Saturday I did a lot of things with homeless folks...and a lot of things with my students.
Last Saturday I pushed a cart around with books at a healthcare facility for homeless folks so that they would have reading material. I talked about classic books, mysteries, romance, poetry...I even picked out a few based on my own reading.

This Saturday I went to my local library in my comfortable suburb of Hartford where a bunch of wealthy / middle class white people waited in line for the fall booksale. They bought boxes of books. And as one lady in a lime green shirt pushed me to get to the non-fiction end of the room I wondered to myself "where in this irony is the disconnect"?

I bought a book about the church in Latin America but I probably won't read it for a long time because it will make me nostalgic and sad.

I miss Latin America like I miss all the moments where the little fragments of life connect...these days they seem so few and far between.