From the Freaky Salon. Since I am not a "performer" - attention seeking, extroverted, flamboyant possibly - but not a performing-type performer, I decided to do a dramtic reading. Of what? Couldn't find anything I really wanted to read, so I wrote something. As promised, here it is:
On Being Me
I believe in Love.
(an easy one right? even trite, maybe, sappy, romantic, sentimental, but Love is at the core of my heart and being, it all starts with Love)
I believe in art, in beauty, in nature, in relationship, in family, in God.
(so generic, so broad, cloying, true. So how do all these beliefs manifest in my life? How do these generalizations specifically show up? How does a belief in love, and a love of belief, define a manifesto?)
I believe in surrender.
American Heritage Dictionary defines surrender as:
- To relinquish possession or control of to another because of demand or compulsion.
- To give up in favor of another.
- To give up or give back (something that has been granted): surrender a contractual right.
- To give up or abandon: surrender all hope.
- To give over or resign (oneself) to something, as to an emotion: surrendered himself to grief.
I believe in surrender.
(I believe that I do not always live my beliefs)
I believe in motherhood.
(motherhood. Motherhood? I mean really, whose definition of motherhood? What am I saying, exactly? Do I believe in the actual process of becoming a mother? Something that concrete, or is it more abstract?)
I believe in the actual process of becoming a mother.
I believe in the surrender that has accompanied me in my journey as a mother.
I believe that in being a mom, mama, mother, mommy, I have found my truest expression of love, absolute and unconditional.
I believe in marriage.
Specifically, I believe in my marriage.
I believe in the structure and style and value of my relationship with my husband.
I trust that belief.
I believe in being the heart of our home.
I believe in beauty.
I believe in the value of creating beauty.
(creating beauty, hmmm…how? Where? This is a manifesto for God’s sake, MANIFEST!)
I believe in creating beauty in our home with art made by us, art given to us, beautiful things to use, beautiful things to look at, a beautiful atmosphere of love and warmth and safety.
I believe in a wabi-sabi life.
I believe in family.
I believe our family.
I believe in the story of our family, the history, the myths, the tales, the memories.
I believe that culturally, we are Cuban.
I believe in telling stories with my children, with my family, with my mom, with my brothers and sister, with my cousins, with my aunt, with heart sisters and brothers and cousins and aunts and uncles.
I believe in listening.
I believe in creating continuity with our specific personal history.
I believe in forgiving the past.
I believe in redemption.
I believe in recovery.
I believe that what did not kill me may not have made me stronger, but it definitely made me humble. (or maybe humiliated me, sometimes a fine line)
I believe that Love truly is the heart of all things.
(yes, I did come back to that first one, and no, it is not the final line in the manifesto, I just thought we could be reminded of that)
I believe that Jeanne Vanier is a living Saint.
I believe that service to the community, to one in need, to one who wants, to one with a broken heart, to one who suffers in any capacity, can lead me to ultimate joy.
I believe in community.
I believe that we are part of a whole.
I believe that whole benefits from our participation.
I believe we benefit from the whole.
I believe in the love of Our Lady, Mary.
I believe in asking for help.
(begging is more like it, when I can’t seem to find that surrender I so fervently believe in)
I believe that life unfolds in absolute perfection.
I believe that in our imperfection, we are perfect beings, and our imperfect life is perfect.
I believe that there is not a cosmic eyelash out of place.
I believe in “Chop wood carry water”
I believe in the sacred as the mundane.
I believe the mundane is sacred.
I believe it when Tita says “we’re squeezing every drop of joy and wonder out of life, in between the tragedies”
I believe that the depth of my sorrow is only matched by the soaring heights of my joy, and the capacity and ability to feel both is a gift.
I believe in dancing.
I believe in laughter.
I believe in free play.
I believe in letting go.
I believe in the earth.
I believe in flowers and a vegetable garden.
I believe in digging in the dirt.
I believe in the sand and the ocean.
I believe in summer and all that entails.
I believe in days that last an eternity, sandy, salty children, and I believe that food tastes better at the end of those days.
I believe in the river.
I believe in the swamp.
I believe that my children need to dig and swim and climb and run.
I believe I need to do the same.
I believe in the mountains.
I believe in the desert.
I believe in my husband’s love of his home, and my need to be near mine.
I believe in deep and abiding friendship.
I believe in my coast-to-coast community.
I believe in Uncle William, in Cali Jess, in LJ, in the LaShell’s, in Dara & Jonnie & Caolin and Rauri, I believe in our Mira Monte family, and Clan Pollard.
I believe in Café con Leche, black beans, picadillo, and paella (even thought I don’t eat it any more, I still believe in it)
I believe in taking pictures and documenting our life.
I believe in expressing my beliefs.
I believe in living an authentic life.
I believe in that as I live life from my heart, with out fear, I live a life of love and beauty and joy.
And ultimately, isn’t that what it’s all about?
I believe in happiness.
I believe in joy.
I believe in freedom.
I believe in beauty.
I believe in LOVE.