After learning my flight was detained 4 hours,
I heard the announcement:
If anyone in the vicinity of gate 4-A understands any Arabic,
Please come to the gate immediately.
Well—one pauses these days. Gate 4-A was my own gate. I went there.
An older woman in full traditional Palestinian dress,
Just like my grandma wore, was crumpled to the floor, wailing loudly.
Help, said the flight service person. Talk to her. What is her
Problem? we told her the flight was going to be four hours late and she
I put my arm around her and spoke to her haltingly.
Shu dow-a, shu- biduck habibti, stani stani schway, min fadlick,
Sho bit se-wee?
The minute she heard any words she knew—however poorly used—
She stopped crying.
She thought our flight had been canceled entirely.
She needed to be in El Paso for some major medical treatment the
Following day. I said no, no, we’re fine, you’ll get there, just late,
Who is picking you up? Let’s call him and tell him.
We called her son and I spoke with him in English.
I told him I would stay with his mother till we got on the plane and
Would ride next to her—Southwest.
She talked to him. Then we called her other sons just for the fun of it.
Then we called my dad and he and she spoke for a while in Arabic and
Found out of course they had ten shared friends.
Then I thought just for the heck of it why not call some Palestinian
Poets I know and let them chat with her. This all took up about 2 hours.
She was laughing a lot by then. Telling about her life. Answering
She had pulled a sack of homemade mamool cookies—little powdered
Sugar crumbly mounds stuffed with dates and nuts—out of her bag—
And was offering them to all the women at the gate.
To my amazement, not a single woman declined one. It was like a
Sacrament. The traveler from Argentina, the traveler from California,
The lovely woman from Laredo—we were all covered with the same
Powdered sugar. And smiling. There are no better cookies.
And then the airline broke out the free beverages from huge coolers—
Non-alcoholic—and the two little girls for our flight, one African
American, one Mexican American—ran around serving us all apple juice
And lemonade and they were covered with powdered sugar too.
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always
Carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.
And I looked around that gate of late and weary ones and thought,
This is the world I want to live in. The shared world.
Not a single person in this gate—once the crying of confusion stopped
—has seemed apprehensive about any other person.
They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.
This can still happen anywhere.
Not everything is lost." Naomi Shihab Nye (b. 1952), “Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal.” I think this poem may be making the rounds, this week, but that’s as it should be. (via oliviacirce)
Moment by moment, heartbreak by heartbreak, God is changing and molding you, equipping you to be the tool He will use to build His kingdom. He is filling you up, so that He might pour you out. It is never an easy thing to be poured out for Christ, often times it is with a call to die to self; but its glory will outshine all that we do here on earth.
To be used by God is to be chipped and bent, immersed in fire and hammered out on an anvil, it is the defining thing that will set a course for eternity; the call to holiness starts when we say “Send me.”
And when we are in the process of this change, our lips must be quick to praise, for we are being made into something wonderful by a God who is altogether good." T.B. LaBerge // Go Now (via tblaberge)
I’M GONNA BE OKAY I’VE GOT PEOPLE WHO LOVE ME EVEN WHEN I DON’T REALLY DESERVE IT I’VE GOT THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO AND PEOPLE TO LOVE AND DOGS TO PET AND RAIN TO LISTEN TO AND I’M GONNA BE OKAY WE’RE GONNA BE OKAY
Camp hasn’t taught me anything new. But it reminded me of God’s love for me, no matter what. It’s so easy to forget who I am and how loved I am when faced with societal pressures to conform to the world.
I am a child of God. That’s who I am. Nothing more, nothing less. And frankly, it’s more than enough.
the world alone until you
realize you don’t." Haiku # 5
tough when I know millions of
reasons why I can’t." haiku #4