Tuesday, November 24, 2015

This Little Light of Mine

The mornings in Cabestore are veiled in mist; a cool mist that clings to the mountains. I sit on the porch of the birth center with my circle of solar lights.   I breathe in the morning and ask that I have the strength to be good and true and stay calm and kind.

I think about the many aspects of my own inner self.   They tumble out of me all day long and stay with me in my dreams.   I consider the power of these aspects and think that all the spirits of the Hatien Saints are all the many parts of us.   They do not have to enter us, as they say in Voodoo.  They are alway there.  The kindness and love and strength as well as the fear and sorrow.  They are all there; always.

I think they believe that these spirits come and go at will.  I think they think someone can enter your body and take over your sweet disposition with a rage that causes death and destruction.   I think it is all in there always.  We can choose what we nurture and what we try to calm.   We can use these many aspects and when we use them to hurt others, it can indeed feel like a bad spirit has attacked us.  

Sunrise in Cabestore 

This is a my Quaker interpretation of "spirits."   We were taught that each person has an inner light or spirit and that our only task in life was to walk cheerfully across the earth, looking for that light in other people.  Recognizing it and helping it to grow.  We sang "This Little Light of Mine" a lot.

"Ain't gonna let them blow it out !"

Can a whole country become convinced that the spirits blowing their light out are metaphysical and the work of friends and neighbors?

I was a religion major.  I consider how religion can be used to comfort and build community or how it can be used to control and grow fear and discrimination.

When Rose lay dying with her baby sucking the last bit of milk from her breasts; she believed that an evil spirit had entered her body.   She believed that this evil spirit was far greater than the good that was also in her and that no western medicine could take it away.

If the Agent Sante from PIH came to see her, he later agreed that it was "bad spirits" and would consider no other possibilities.

The priest did not walk up that muddy trail to see her or offer last rites.  I doubt they would have bothered to send for him.   They did not ask for a ride in his fancy SUV.  They did not have a mass in the church.   These things cost money and after all they did not have the money to go to the hospital or send their children to school.

The mountains are filled with the bones of mothers.

It is easy to doubt the presence of an inner light in all people.   When I emerge from the isolation of Cabestore, Paris has been attacked and hundreds of mothers will die as bombs are dropped and miss their target.   It is a battle, it seems between evil and good; righteous and evil.   People fighting over the right to God's teachings.

A volunteer asks. "What is the difference between Protestants and Catholics?"

I say well it was the Reformation.  The protestants believed that the common person could understand and have a personal relationship with God.  They believed they could read the Bible for themselves.  The Catholic Church at the time, believed kings and rulers were chosen by God and people needed to go through them to get to God.   They died for the right to pray directly to God.  They died for the separation of church and state.

I believe that good mother died of a bacteria or virus or amoebe and not the curse of a single neighbor. But I also believe that she was weakened by the spirit of greed that has infected her country for hundreds of years.

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