"Her and Her Episodes" Acrylic on paper... All content copyright! 2005 - 2017 and so on, and on, and on....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


He ain't heavy, he's my brother...
She ain't heavy, she's my sister... did we ever utter this one?

What ever happened to that concept, that feeling?

Volunteering for one cause close to my heart or another has been part of my adult life... spanning the length of three decades.

Most of my volunteering revolved around ethno-cultural affairs and all those breathing beings that prompt one into action in a foreign land: Immigrants and refugees.

The latter perhaps has been where the stronger focus had been placed, as throughout the years I seem to have been called to join up again and again with one group or another...

Did not come as a surprise neither that my first "official" volunteering job at the Surrey Arts Centre would be for a book launch, particularly, on the topic of Latin American Politics.

I jumped at the opportunity to participate in such event.

It turned out to be one of an intimate nature, where Amanda read from her book and the men of "her Mayan family" to whom she dedicated it, performed a couple of wonderfully sounding marimba sets. Zoila, the spouse and mother, wearing a traditional Mayan costume spoke of her oppressed and physical abuse filled childhood working as a "sirvienta" in a number of households since the age of nine.

She recounted being passed on from household to household as a young child and adolescent working long hours without ever getting any pay...

About being shamed for wearing her traditional clothing, about how still today the Mayan Indians are disrespectfully being pushed around in their own land.

(Only last night I saw the report of a Vancouver based company mining for nickel, where the inhabitants of the "adjacent" village were being "relocated" and their huts burned to the ground - the company claimed not have knowledge of how this could have happened!?)

Amanda's new book is a historical, political, colorful novel titled "The Reddening Path" which tells the story of a little Guatemalan girl adopted in the 80's by a lesbian couple in Ontario, who goes back in her 20's to meet her past ... We all left with a (signed) copy!
(Amanda, a former journalist, is also a visual artist who has been previously invited to Guatemala to paint a mural, along with a couple of other Canadian painters, on the subject of human rights)

I don't know what else can I add to this post, other than what we are experiencing more and more often in an ever increasingly overt, blatant, greed riddled, unethical, immoral behaviour of peers as we stand back and watch in "helplessness".

Without a doubt we all must survive in "this jungle" - what I do not understand is this increasing paralysis in the general population that lacks the compassion and the individual leadership and risk taking required to affect changes - even in our ow backyard!

Peace, love, joy and laughter and a huge hug to one and all

PS: Having specifically been hired by Social Services in Calgary, to set up a contingency plan for Central American refugees in 1984, I had the opportunity to meet and work with a number of refugee families from Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador.

Remember the Iran-Contra Affair? The shameful arms sales shenanigans of the early 80's that brought on the hearings where Oliver North took the stand to testify on behalf of a "disgraced" administration...? That is still simmering at the bottom of it all.

The good news is that two women are running for office in the next elections in Guatemala.
One of them is Rigoberta Menchú, whom herself had won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992.
She tells her story in the book I, Rigoberta Menchú, an Indian Women from Gautemala
(I just found that is not without some controversy - Ay Chihuahua! Irrelevant, in my opinion.)

It certainly gave me an in depth view of how indigenous populations have and are still living in the Americas. Yeah... still , today!
(my apologies if you tried to read this post before tonight - 11:20PM, June 14 - as it appears my dyslexia gets really out of control when under prolonged and humongous stress... I hope it reads well now)


Margie said...

You are so good!
I'm proud of you and happy to call you Friend!

We need more people like you in the world Alicia.

Take care dear!



Pauline said...

It is always good to expand our view of the world and its people. I donnot believe that people care less. I do believe they are struggling with their private journey and are exhausted physically and emotionally.Most families I know are just holding it together, fighting the forces that constantly seem to attack family unity.Blessing to you...our houses are being burned invisibly our beliefs fragmented our road more challenging...

"Angeldust" said...

Hope you are keeping well dear Margie - thank you for your words.
Big Hug back

"Angeldust" said...

dear Pauline

Thank you so much for this insight - sometimes it is hard to see the tree from the forest...

you are so right in your description of the times and situations we are living through - all too often I think it is only me experiencing, seeing this AND exhausted physically and emotionally!
It does take its toll indeed - particularly because the strugle and fear for ones's survival has the potential to take over all common sense.

Love and blessings to you along with a Big hug

Rauf said...

oh yes i remember olie, Oliver North.
Angel, It has become very common paractice for the powerful people
to drive away the natives and take away their lands. Its been happening for hundreds of years and it is happening now. Money is power and money rules. We have to just silently watch. Protests have not helped a bit. The media is run by these people and it is often silent on such issues.

Banjaras of Andhra have been pushed around like that. Today a very posh area of Hyderabad retains the name of the Banjaras once kicked out. It is called Banjara Hills. Only big politicians and movie stars live there.

"Angeldust" said...

What am I thinking?

Raufie dearest, you are right we have been voluntarily or involuntarily been "re-locating" since the dawn of civilization.

It all boils down to as per a vary raw/clear conversation with a friend whoom pointed out that no matter what - it always all boils down to the survival of the fittest!

It is only in my delusion (and in that of a a few others) that "community/environment takes a place...
Time to get "real" for me or I'll be eaten alive!

Big hug

mystic rose said...

It is sad to hear these things till happen, everywhere in the world we see the weaker ones are pushed around and even though on a large scale it gets into the news, do we not see aspects of that behavior in our daily life, when the more aggressive ones push the others around.. a long stretch from here to displacing a hwole village, but I believe the seeds are within everyone either to love and be compassionate or to aggress and take advantage.

And that is why you do make a difference, and not just by volunteering but just by being hte compassioante you.. so that someone else might find the courage to be the same.

It is inspiring reading about Amanda. It seems unbelievable that attrocities still continue
in this world, that when most people inthe world woudl like to live and let live peacefully, the minority who aggress do so and get away with it.

Plus Ultra said...

I am refreshing my blogspot, I miss my old friends in blog spot, the multiply site is a bit challenging forthe more senior people, I think, and I get a lot of hits from the younger people, some drop by in both places, there will be parallel postings, bless you and hope it is bright sunshine again, I have bee praying for you, Lord Bless Alicia

"Angeldust" said...

I am happy to hear that dear Kianseng - see you soon.
thanks for the prayers!!!

LOve and blessing