Friday, June 25

Belize Memories - Senora Choc

Your wide smile lights up the darkness inside your one-room kitchen. How do you cook in there? How do you cut with a knife? Fry chicken? Thread the needle into the fabric of your family with your food in that dark space?

Sra. Choc, if I could see with those deep Maya eyes would I see a man I love drinking his life away? Or would I turn a blind eye and focus on those things that bring me joy?  Sra. Choc, your beautiful eyes and bright smile lend you a faint youthfulness as your children grow.

Could your secret be found in the dark. In your kitchen?

Sunday, June 13

Belize Memories - Tika II

I recently returned from a trip to Belize with my father. We traveled into the jungle, working for a few days at the archaeology site where I did my Master's research. Then to the reef for tarpon fishing. I was dad's host in the jungle. He was mine in the Caribbean waters near Placencia that are so familiar to him as a flyfisherman. Here is an essay from that trip:

Here kitty! Kitty!

I stare at you through the chain-link fence that separates us. I call to you as I would call a tame, domestic kitty cat. Your deep green jaguar eyes stare right through me. A voice speaks from a distance. Your soft golden ears perk up as you stare in the direction of the sound. Is this the voice of the one that feeds you? Because many other voices buzz all around and you give them no attention.

Your focus, sharp and stealth is my envy. Teach me your instinctual secret. I ask this of you though not out loud. I ask your permission from a place where you and I are one -- where our minds meet.

When you jumped down from the hollow log where you had been napping and ran toward me I should not have been so surprised.  I think of more silent questions to ask: Did you really hear me? Did you jump down to answer me? I searched the moment for a clue.

This time you stared me straight in the eye. And when you rolled over on your back as if you wanted to play I knew I had been taking myself too seriously.