i had a meeting with a life coach last week. it was nothing like what i was expecting. but i will write about that at some other point. i want to share part of the homework i was given -or as she called it “soul work.”

the assignment was to write every day for ten minutes from the flow consciousness of little Sarahí (five-years-old to be exact). i couldn’t edit. i couldn’t go back and move anything. it was just ten minutes of non-stop writing as if little Sarahí had been given a crayon and told to go at the walls with confidence.

i’ve always been a good student. so i did my assignments. though i don’t have to submit it. this was just for me. this was tough. a lot harder than i thought. i mean, i am a writer. it’s what i do when i am not working for that job that pays the rent. so i thought this would be “simple.”

so i wrote. and i cried. and i wrote some more. and i cried. i was angry. i laughed. a lot. recalling and reliving moments that reminded me that i had a horrific and beautiful fifth year. and i laughed. and cried.

if we can look at a part of our life for ten minutes and put ourselves in that exact moment, you can savor bitter sweet events. you can smell the air of the times. hear the sounds like classics. you can see smiles. faces. clothes colors. but the only thing you can’t do is touch.

i couldn’t touch little Sarahí. that was the most difficult part of this assignment. i couldn’t hold her. i wanted to hug her. to tell her that everything would be so much different at thirty-three. that the moment was just a moment. but i couldn’t. and the truth is the moment isn’t just a moment. because little Sarahí remains a five-year-old in that time and space for an eternity.

so instead i did what i always do to heal… i wrote to her:

Dear Little Sarahí,

I am sorry that the first thing you think about in this five-year-old moment is that day. I am sorry you carry it in your backpack like it was essential for your walk. None of it was your fault. Not a single part. Let it go little Love. Set your Self free.

I wish you could see your brightness.

Your spirit shines much brighter than the darkness of that day. I wish you knew that when you walk into a room, darkness dissipates. What a beautiful brilliant child you are! Abuela always told you that your light would win the world over; she’s right. It’s your “golden ticket.”

Remember sunny days. Randall’s Island. Night pool. Handball. Softball. Best cousins ever. Church. Sleepovahs’. Central Park. Third Ave. Summers with Manny and David. Dinners with abuela. Christmas. Great Adventure. Action Park. Pigtails. Bofi. Castle Greyskull… surely these days weigh so much more than that day.

You have an amazing ability to recall so much and you will use it when you get older to heal and tell your story. But keep smiling and shining. You are so much light to the infinite power.

Big Sarahí

it is difficult to forgive a time and space you didn’t have control of. it is even more difficult when you feel at fault for that something. but to begin the healing process we must first give the event light, forgive the Self for being hard on the Self, and then let it go. often times we hold on to something so hard, we think it’s holding on to us. we think it’s holding us hostage. when the reality is, we’ve been holding it hostage.

there’s a freedom in freeing your Self from yourself.

…and so begins my process.

poetic prayer

January 24, 2012

may my poetry only hurt
in the places that need healing,
as a gentle reminder
that i will be stronger
at the broken parts,
if i remain open
to the process.

may my words
suture the scars
of a little Sarahí.
may they mend
the hearts of those
i have injured.

may they bring me
to action and healing.

i pray…

that i use the sharpness of my pen
to stab at hatred.
that i use its soft felt tip
to write gently.

may i heal
through forgiveness
of Self.
may i be patient
with the wait…

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

i can’t deny

August 19, 2009

i can’t deny
i am my
mother’s only daughter.

i can’t deny
the reflection in
the mirror stares
back at me…

a spitting image
a splitting image
a constant reminder
not just physical,
but spiritual, emotional,
and without shame
psychological: good, bad.

i can’t deny
i carry mami
in my words
in my veins
in my heart.

she is heavy
the ghost of
her past actions,
inactions, distractions –hell,
even her contractions
mold, scold, hold
all that is
me, myself, i.

her love lifts
bearing her gifts
forgiveness, compassion, kindness.
i unwrap each
one with care
to remind me
and remind me
that she is
always with me.

i can’t deny
that she is,
all her own.
and i am,
on my own.

but always, always
we will be
reflected and connected.
the umbilical chord
will filter that
which keeps us
from fully evolving.
and the beauty
of our individuality
and our duality
cannot be denied.

~Sarahi Yajaira, 2009

bruised angels

August 18, 2009

my favorite aunt was a victim of domestic violence.
bruised, battered and beaten
both physically and emotionally.

she woke up every morning in pain
and went to bed hurt.
in between ironing his shirts, brewing his coffee
and preparing his food.

she had two daughters and a son from her first marriage.
and with him, she had two more daughters.
witnesses to her sorrow-
they tried to protect her.
but they were too young to block the punches.
too young to break down the door.

his anger taught her son how to be a man.
her silence taught her daughters how to be women.

as an uncle he was among the favorites.
with us he was different –always kind and generous.
he would treat us to eat after church services,
take us to the park on sundays.

we knew who he was inside and outside of the apartment.
and most of us wondered what was going on with him.
what made him so angry? why would he want to hurt our aunt?

we would whisper behind closed doors-
listened to adults say he was “possessed by demons.”
i felt anger towards him.
despised his dual personality.
and wondered why the adults never stopped him.
they said, “those are marriage issues they must work on.”
“we just have to pray that God intervenes.”
these were just excuses…
the stuff i thought was bullshit.

but Titi and my cousins,
they lived it every day.
and only they can actually
express the truth.

we all carry the weight of our past
and some of our experiences we hope to bury along the way.
today, he is still an ex-husband, a stepfather and a father.
time has taken a toll on him.

what i admire most
is this family’s forgiveness.
they survived–
it has made them individually and collectively stronger.

they didn’t have to bury their past to lift the weight.
they simply acknowledge it as “part of life.”
they overcame adversity… and it seems as though God’s finest pencil
etched wings on each of them…

…and today, they are living angels among us.

**dedicated to the then residents of 105th street… i love you all dearly!**

~Sarahi Yajaira, 2009