Posts Tagged ‘the world’

There is a field

May 26, 2014


(c)Famiglietti 2014

Out beyond ideas

of wrongdoing and rightdoing

there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

–Rumi, 13th Century 

I’m the question mark with a bag over my face. The ashes I’d rubbed all over my body were too dramatic compared to other question marks in this field. The woman from India sits on a sunny rock, wrinkled face exposed, gnarled hands relaxing at last. She killed her infant daughter “to spare her the miserable life I live.” Here, she finds acceptance if not understanding. The price of admission to this field is not understanding.

My friend Deanna sits beside the Indian woman and hugs her gently. Deanna’s wrongdoing was stealing $10 from a humane society donation jar. She stole the money to buy a tube of Preparation H. Her hemorrhoids were excruciatingly painful, and she was flat broke with no health insurance. Yet, those stray dogs would be euthanized if the jar did not fill quickly.

A man I once worked with has his pockets turned inside out to show he is still broke. He confessed his homosexuality to a small group of senior managers at the Christian charity where we worked. His brothers in Christ fired him within the hour. I don’t see them here. I don’t see abortion clinic bombers or FOX News. In fact, I don’t see anyone who makes my skin crawl.

The prostitute from Uganda approaches Deanna and the Indian woman, a tiny smile twitching at the corners of her mouth. She prays to God every day of her life and blesses the food she feeds to her children. The only way she can earn that food is to sell her body. Her children survive; her spirit shrivels. The Indian woman looks her in the eye and invites her to sit on the sunny rock.

I linger in the shadows, hugging excuses. Is this the place where I can leave them?

I won’t tell you my question marks. I won’t ask yours. Just know there is a field where some walk into the light naked in their truths. Many are here in the shadows with me, gathering courage.

This post is dedicated to my life-long best friend Deanna who died several years ago leaving a large hole in my heart.

Thanks to Nicolo Famiglietti, Ph.D. for providing the beautiful photo. You can see more of his work on his web sites:



Punta Cana bait and switch

July 7, 2013

We selected Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, for our three-generation, all-inclusive beach week, because we thought the youngest generation should have a day of culture and history sandwiched between pool and beach. Santo Domingo is just a three hour drive from the resorts that define Punta Cana. Yes, Columbus slept in Santo Domingo and might be buried there, although Spain argues against that sacrilege.

Where we slept was an important consideration that needed to be balanced by budget. Our “garden view” room at NOW Larimar was in an unspecified location, but as the farthest building looked close enough on the map, we figured we could deal with any “garden view” room. As the van from the airport drove past an outlying hotel building and then on and on to the reception pavilion, my mind ceased its inner soothing tropical music and snarled “bait and switch.”

Yes, we were assigned to what we came to call “the projects.” Despite free golf cart rides to the beach, we knew we had to take the upgrade offer. Our “preferred” room was, literally, steps to the private pool with swim up bar for “preferred” guests, and our balcony had a fine view of the sea. We could enjoy the sea view in a Jacuzzi tub on our porch while other guests, “preferred” one would hope, sauntered by perhaps wondering why we were taking baths in bathing suits.

Rose petals scattered on the beds was an over the top romantic touch for a grandmother, mother, and grandson, but appreciated. Our maid tried to do something artistic with my nightgown, a leftover from Greece. It looked like a melted plastic peony and reminded me I was long overdue for a trip to Paris to buy fetching lingerie–to impress the maids, of course. At my age, the most divine lingerie would not look fetching off the hanger.

The pool, beach, room, and service were exquisite, making for a near perfect beach week that went way over budget. The food was lamentable, but dieting is a virtue and we managed to be virtuous in the buffet line and in the specialty restaurants. But, really, shouldn’t they advertise “food sucks here” so guests can plan for a weight loss week and feel virtuous in advance?

The day trip to Santo Domingo will be covered in a later post. All parents and grandparents should dutifully take the kids there — and warn them in advance so they won’t scream “bait and switch” when you drag them off the beach

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