Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Keeper of the Night

21 April 2008

I am doing ok. Been going through some insanely low lows and equally high highs, much like this weather of winds we’ve been having, and all I want is to level out. But such is what we strive our whole lives for, right? Some kind of balance. I was away at Spring Camp for so long, and though it was great I was so happy to come home. More than that, I was so happy to notice myself lovingly referring to my humble adobe house in a far off Berber town as my home. It was a rough return, but I am enjoying so much time in my site and beginning to actually work; as a volunteer within this community, and on the deep stuff within myself.

One great healing step: my new boyfriend. He’s short, dark and handsome, Moroccan, Berber Moroccan to be exact, and all he wants is to hang out and cuddle every moment. Hahaha, relax, he’s a kitten. Sitting on my lap as I type. I got him by random chain of events in Azrou just two days after I returned from Spring Camp. And I managed to turk train him in less than a week, next he’ll be bringing me breakfast in bed! His name is Buggid Leopold Godfrey. Buggid, pronounced boo-geed, means keeper of the night, because he’s all black, and I think of him as my little protector, if only mentally. And Leopold in honor of Ashley’s cat, the best cat I’ve ever known, and who was the man of our little apartment for three years. He was killed not long after I arrived in Morocco and it makes me so sad to know I’ll never see him again, and worse that he’s gone for Ashley.

So having my new little buddy, really he’s better than any boyfriend I’ve ever had, gives me more of an anchor here. But aside from using him as the keeper of my sanity and object of affection, there has been a lot of shifting within me and the relationship I have with myself. There’s been some shit from the past creeping back up, which comes as no surprise. The whole believing you deserve happiness kind of thing, you know the story. With such real alone time and no school or truly structured job to give me a format to follow, I can no longer force myself to do things as I did before. Everything I do or don’t do is accompanied my constantly asking why and who will it matter to if I don’t? It’s a shift in the head of fully realizing that being healthy and happy is something you have to believe you deserve before you can muster the will to achieve it. Or at least that’s the way it is for me. Geez it’s so much easier to work for someone else! The change I am focusing on is so wholly within myself but so nessesary that I can’t believe in selfishness as a bad thing. I wrote in my journal one of my first days in Morocco that I thought the Peace Corps would be the next stage of getting over myself. What I think now is that it is the next stage of getting closer to myself, and with that comes more being and less thinking about being. So in the tangible, semi-more understandable world, I’m getting better by writing, beginning to dance again, and learning to cook for one person.

Ah yes, and what you really all want to hear about, the work I was sent here for. Really I’m not doing much more, but rather happen to be here at just the right time; when all their (the Co-op’s) dreams that I had no part in planning or helping to become real, well they’re here. The beautiful new building was finally finished a few days ago, and through wind and rain and sun and on our own backs as well as donkeys we carried everything but the looms over. The next day we had a transi guy help move the looms, and the day after that was spent setting up the three huge looms they’ve never been able to use due to lack of space. I helped but they really didn’t need me, when they get to setting up the harnesses and treadles and tension I’ll be more useful. And today was a huge couscous party to celebrate the opening of the new building. Mbruk! Mostly I feel inadequate right now due to my lack of language and courage to speak, but I’ve been ignoring that a bit and basking in their glory and the incredible facility they now have and the room to breathe and finally use all their supplies. I’ll have pictures up as soon as I get a new adapter so I can be online for more than half an hour at a time!

So that’s all the news I have energy to write about for now. I’ve got a couple friends coming over for some good unleavened food and I hope we can pass-over winter completely and bloom with spring. Wink wink. Big thanks to ait uxaminu (my family) for the 4am call the other night! It was delightful and I wish I could have been there.

Little side note for the day, aimed at my Aunt Laura: She gave me a little ring a few years back, I can’t even remember if it was for my birthday or Christmas, and though I didn’t wear it all that often, for some reason I brought it here with me. I decided to stop wearing my favorite ring, a big turquoise one from an Indian reservation in Arizona from my mom and Bill because it’s a little flashy around here. I put it away and found the ring from Laura. I put it on and it happens to fit perfectly on my ring finger. This is great because I’ve been telling everyone (mainly men) I’m engaged or married to get them off my back a bit and avoid the ridiculous will you marry me/will you get a visa for me/you should come to my bed, just us/ and so on conversations. It’s just easier this way. The ring has “wishes do come true” engraved on it, and while it’s a little silly, and I have no wish to get married, it feels nice to be wearing some kind of affirmation. Now I just have to figure out what my wishes are. . .