Thinking About That Woman Still…

I just checked my email and I had recieved a message from one of my closest friends challenging me for being so dry and so anthropological about such a powerful, sad, unacceptable situation as I saw there on that first day at the mountain school, and I really want to write more about this because I’ve been thinking alot about this very thing these last few days…about how I’m writing about my experiences here, and how I feel this dissatisfaction with how disconnected my writing style is from the feelings I’m feeling and all of the ways that I’m being pulled and twisted by having seen even the little bit I’ve seen of what things are like here.

In truth, I feel like there is something really tremendous building inside of me, with much of the shape and momentum of a whirlpool, which is frothing and fomenting with anger and fear and pain and sadness…and definitely guilt…and I think much of this began when I saw that woman. Before that, I feel like my experience here had been relatively unchallenging for me, but seeing her, and then seeing the reaction of the people who lived in that area, and feeling my alienation from the situation, our ‘observer’ status here, and my fear of saying or doing more, I feel like a big part of me started sucking in…and I found myself wanting to focus more and more on Spanish, on Spanish…studying, studying…to avoid all that I was feeling by being in a situation that is so wrong in so many ways…

I don’t know if I know how to really describe this…

Basically, I feel like after seeing that woman, and then spending more time at the mountain school, seeing the poverty, the struggle, learning more of the history of the area, of Guatemala, and of Central American in general…I kind of shut down emotionally. In my last post, I was kind of trying to portray that, that banal resignation in the face of really horrible things which I have witnessed numerous times here…and I feel like in the last two weeks alot of my emotions have been swallowed in this manner, because I don’t how how to hold it…I just don’t know how to hold this kind of reality right here, in front of myself, in my consciousness…I’ve never had to do that, this intensely, before. I’m a person so used to looking for solutions, so used to finding tactics and strategies, and trying to move towards reconciliation with people as soon as I can…and here, none of that works…this is a situation I can’t change here, there is a history and a reality that I cannot take back…I can’t take back the disappearances, the murders, the rape, the terror, the trauma, the violations of every kind of dignity…it’s just there, present in the air and in people’s stories, in people’s daily lives…and I don’t know how to hold that very long in front of myself…so, Spanish, Spanish, studying, studying…telling myself that maybe if I had just a few more words, a few more conjugations of verbs, maybe I could be that much more helpful…

But no, this is a situation that the little white boy Jeremy can’t fix…instead, I think I need to be more attentive in my observations, in my reactions, so I can learn what I can, connect where I can…so where I can help (and there are constant opportunities), I am emotionally ready and willing to step up…

…It’s just so much, it’s this massive torrent of pain and injustice…how do people here not completely lose themselves in that…that’s a feat of tremendous struggle and resistance in itself.

To anyone who was struck, hurt, offended, offput by the dryness of my previous post, I’m deeply sorry…it was a symptom of a much deeper problem, of my disconnection…my inability to put ME into these stories…and it’s something I’m working on…poco a poco…little by little.

Currently Reading:

-Dispersing Power by Raul Zibechi

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