i came back from dominican republic a year and three months ago. reflecting on the lessons my time there taught me, i can think of one that has been of significance importance and benefit.  it’s quite simple, “sit. still. and. rest.”

in this country we are constantly taught to “keep busy.” to do more. the early bird motto. the work harder. get yours. do even more. never rest. sleep is for the weak.

my father tried to live in this country, said he couldn’t because here people live to work and in his country people work to live. what he meant was just that. we do not rest here. and if we do, we feel guilty about it.

because i didn’t have all the distractions i have here, i spent most of my time sitting still. and when the power would go out (which was a daily ocurrence) i was forced to sit still for a longer period of time.

sit. still. and. rest.

spend a day in your most comfortable lounging-at-home attire. watch tv. read. write. call that aunt you haven’t spoken to in a few months. nap. take a long bath. watch a marathon of movies. eat snacks that make your stomach happy. nap again. listen to music. pay close attention to the lyrics. do a crossword. look through old pictures.

sit. still. and. rest.

doing absolutely nothing will do wonders for your health. it gives your body, mind and soul the opportunity to regenerate. the spirit emerges rested and ready.

 

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

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c-section

September 22, 2011

women-health-info.comi miss my uterus.

the crib
that had the potential
to give life to another life
is gone.

its been gone
for about four years now.

still, i miss it.

they say the first organ
to develop is the heart.
i’ve always wondered what
rhythm it would’ve taken
with mine. what sound
would it have made?

i thought i’d healed
from this experience.
only to be reminded
of where i am in the process
when the questions are asked,
“do you have children?,
any potential you might be pregnant?”
(i wished they read the chart)

“no.”

i drift in thought
stare distantly
………….

wondering what i would’ve looked
like with a belly. i stand infront
of the mirror and push my belly
out as far as it can go…
hold the belly with my hands
and ask, “would she have looked
like me? what traits of mine
would she have inherited? would she
have freckles? thick dark hair? would her toes
be as long as mine? what about her voice?
what kinda’ things would she have
liked? softball? ballet? (just life’s way of laughing at me)
would she enjoy my father’s music the way i do? would she be
healthy? like to cuddle the way i do? cookies and milk?
poetry? i wonder if she’d be as patient as i am.
or as stubborn.”

my mom would’ve been crazy about her.
my dad would’ve been gentle.
my brothers would’ve been sweet… ’til she got to about five-years-old.
then they’d play these little “tricks” on her.
and my sister… well,  she’s always wanted me to make her an aunt.

adjusting the sails to the realities of life
is often times difficult.
and when you think you’re at peace
with something, one simple question
can throw you right back to
december 7, 2007.

i know that there are other ways to be a parent.
but it was the life to life process i wanted
to experience.
i wanted to feel her heart’s beat inside my body.
watch hands and legs stretch out. fingers and toes curl.
kicks and movement.

labor pains? contractions? i’d taken ’em.

i wanted to know what the soul feels
when you hold her for the first time.
that “glow” women get after giving birth
is the very light of new life shining through.

…….

but even if the questions aren’t asked,
i am reminded every time i look in the mirror
and see the scar that runs across my abdomen
like a c-section.

c for castration.
c for change of plans.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

Writer’s Note:
Consider taking the time to learn about Endometriosis at www.endometriosis.org. Like many other women-only related diseases, endometriosis receives little attention and research.  The causes of the disease are all theories. And most women, including myself, end up having to have a hysterectomy (I was just 29).
I still have stage 4 endometriosis. And it can come back any time. It has affected more than just my reproductive system; compromising other organs significantly.  Start early with the females in your life; if they’re experiencing certain symptons DO NOT assume “it’s normal pains for being a female.”

*Image Copied from women-health-info.com

purging

September 21, 2011

it is said that tauruses hold on to things.
that, we have a hard time letting go.
i am also my mother’s daughter.
she says,“recordar es vivir.”
(to remember is to live).

i’ve been collecting memories
for thirty-three years.

i’ve saved all of them
in labeled bins.
neatly stacked and packed.

but today, i cleaned
attic and basement.
started throwing things out.
i’ve attempted this before.
i’d sit there , start looking
through things and i’d only get rid of some.

today, i didn’t even look at it. i just trashed it.

years of letters, cards, pictures, movie tickets…
my collection has been collecting heaviness
and its value has long been redeemed.

a lifetime. in trash bags.

the bins are all empty.

i let it go. got rid of the impurities.
anything that has kept me
inside of those bins
is no longer there.

i made room… for all that is new.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

when i look at my life in the context of the eleven years we’ve been together, i am literally left in awe. we have been through so much. we’ve moved. we’ve traveled to a different country. we’ve been really sick. you have seen me during times i didn’t even want to see my self.  we’ve walked. around the block. at the park. at the beach (which you really didn’t like). we’ve played tag. hide-and-seek. tried to play fetch (but you found it quite boring).  you’ve curled up at my feet when i was recovering once… twice… three times.

…and you understand everything without a single word.

lots of people look at dogs and just see a dog.  but for people who have had the opportunity to live with and have loved and cared for one, things are a bit different. you realize, you cannot dismiss them because they don’t have “human capabilities.”  and it is true, they don’t have human capabilities (a blessing, really). what they have is greater than anything we could ever grasp. and if you can attain their state of evolution, consider yourself, a lucky dog!

see what Bailey has taught me are four simple, powerful lessons: loyalty, unconditional Love, patience and the ability to forgive… easily and quickly.

she has remained loyal through my countless changes. she has Loved me, even when i take a little longer to get home or when she’s had to be somewhere without me for extended periods of time.  she has been patient with me in ways no one has. but the greatest lesson i have been taught by The Beagle is… forgiveness.

forgive my self and others. do so easily and quickly.
time is too short. it is not an ally.
all we have is now.

her Love has taught me, that a dog’s life is a lesson on the things that matter most: Love, patience, walks, treats, taking time out to be lazy and greeting each other with excitement.

i am lucky that you picked me to be your human companion Beags. here’s to more tail waggin’ lessons.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

maga

September 19, 2011

ella tiene que ser maga.
porque, junto a ella
desaparecen mis temores
y aparece mi esperanza.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

chance

September 16, 2011

it was late.
past your bed time.
but you stood in that corner
with an anxiety that had you
biting your fingernails
and pacing.

waiting…

the red light kept my car
idle. it seemed to take forever
to change.

not as long
as the pain i saw in your eyes
when they met mine.

for a minute,
my short hair
gave you a glimpse
of what you thought
was your chance.

you walked closer
and looked in,
only to see
that i wasn’t
who you thought.

frustrated you walked
…away.

the light turned
the color in your eyes.
you just tryina’ make that paper,
to make that payment,
to buy diapers,
to fill your stomach.

sometimes a clear night
can be cruel to look up to.

we can’t all shoot for the moon
or reach for the stars,
when our reality is
a hard concrete pavement
filled with the cracks we fall through.

i wish i had change in my pockets
-not the kind you spend.
i wish i had…
systemic change available.

the kind of change
that creates real opportunities.
a change that addresses
the needs of a people
who are starving
for a real chance… at a chance.

 

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011

 

trickery

September 15, 2011

mira…

if you go to stuckonstupiddotcom
you’ll find a picture of me.
and if you look closely into my eyes
you’ll see her silhouette
shufflin’ in my pupils.

she drives me crazy.

that kinda’ crazy that has me wondering
if i might be having some stalker-like behaviors.

she got me
counting hours ‘til i see her again.
i check and recheck my phone
to see if i might’ve missed her text
between now…
and the time i put it back in my pocket.

when she touches me,
i can feel it in the toes
of my next life.

when she speaks to me,
i get hooked
on the phonics of her lips.
i’ve been diagnosed
with attention deficit disorder
but she’s got
my complete attention.

she’s got this smile…

and when she laughs,
her entire face lights up.
and i’m looking at her light
walking towards it without fear
’cause if it’s death
…bring it.

she makes me laugh.
that ‘hood laugh.
(you know that laugh)

the one that got you standing-up-
running-slowly-clapping your hands-
shit-is-so-funny-your-stomach-hurts-
kinda’ laugh.

mira…

she drives me crazy.

the kinda’ crazy that got me wondering
if i should be in a straight-jacket
‘cause i wanna’ run into the walls
of her body and just crash into her.

she. is. so. good.
she’s got me thinking i’m free falling
and when i look around
i realize, i’ve been lying on her floor
for a minute.

…that’s some trickery.

~Sarahí Yajaira, 2011 ©

She

September 14, 2011

she’s not a carpenter
but she’s building me up.

never used brushes,
but she paints my heart
a green shade of hope…
slowly and perfectly.

serves dinner onto plates
filled with laughter.
plays connect the dots
with my freckles,
drawing out her touch…

i get feverish.
my skin burns
out fears.

her silence
tells me to rest
worries.
as we breath
in and out
and Up.

moves me
to stillness…

She has a way
to find ways.

~Sarahí Yajaira. 2011

long distance

September 14, 2011

the distance is long
between your hugs and kisses.

i am here. waiting.
for life to give us the opportunity
to see each other again. i miss you so…

yes, i know.
i can hear your voice
on the phone.
but it is your touch
i miss most.

a hug that only you can give.
a kiss that rest so gently on my forehead.

tonight, i think of you both.
in separate worlds
i still keep you together.
mami y papi.

i dislike how i can’t
just show up for dinner.
plan a day with you.

i struggle with the geography
between us.
it’s always been that way.
still, i can’t get use to it.

distance. space. time.

your Love keeps me grounded
on the very same ground that is
miles away from the physical you.
the you that phone calls
can’t connect.
the you that letters
can’t touch.

the you that i wanna’ go see
on days that are long
and nights that are lonely.

i look in the mirror
and there you are.
in my eyes.
in my smile.
in my frown.
i am…
the beautiful imperfection
of both of you.

i am thankful
you are still here.

but tonight…
i miss your scent. your hugs.
a game of rumi. a cup of coffee.

tonight… su hija extraña su presencia.

~Sarahi Yajaira, 2011