April 11, 2014 – Footsteps on the concrete

#familia042 copyThey are another Colombian story …

“Ahhh!” she screamed as she looked up. Her blood was rushing while the soarness in her legs from the workout of the day before suddenly became more painful. The hot water was running in the shower and the bathroom was filled with vapor. It was early in the morning and the dream from last night had been extremely vivid. She could not stop thinking about it.

The dust from the ceiling was falling on her shoulders. She thought bugs were falling from the ceiling. She had been struggling with bugs at home for a while, therefore she expected anything. The place where she was living was strange enough. There were no doors, except the entrance and the bathroom, by surprise. The walls were weak, and there were many little black holes in them. She used colorful drapes as curtains which were hanging from thumb pins. The christmas lights hanging next to the bed had stopped working for a while now. She had no kitchen, except, a rice cooker and toaster oven. She had a small fridge, where she managed to store food for at least two weeks, sometimes even more.

She didn’t like to eat meat at night, it made her feel a little too full before going to bed, she knew that if she didn’t fill herself up at night, she would have nice dreams.

The night before she had gone out with some friends whom had convinced her to go watch the sunset with them. She was exhausted, all she wanted was to lay down and close her eyes. They walked to his car and she sat in the back seat, she didn’t carry her purse as usual, she didn’t want to think about anything other than wanting to sleep on the grass. As they arrived to the place she was the first one to get off the car. She found a spot with some nice grass, checked for dog poop and layed down. Everything was perfect now. Suddenly her friends wanted to sit next to the water and watch the sunset, they sat on the edge of the stands next to the water and watched as the sun went down. She hugged one of them, the cool air was too strong for her, plus, it was nice holding someone’s arm. She hadn’t had any physical affection in weeks.

It is strange to hear people discuss about how poor the neighborhood is, and how bad they feel about those kids who have free or reduced lunch in schools. Even more strange when you have been one of those kids, and you never thought of it as being something important. After living all your life, after arriving to the United States, with paycheck to paycheck and seeing your parents work three jobs so you could have food on your plate and having a rich life of hope for a better life makes you think of how spoiled some of us are. When you dress up and see those whom you are serving dressed down, and feel like you have to feel better than them, that is not right. After feeling part of the white-collar workers and have been a blue-collar beforehand, you prefer to be blue-collar, just for the quality of life. Caring for family, helping others, and feeling compassion for them. being able to trust others and the only thing you fear of loosing is your mind and humbleness.

When you have just barely what you need to eat, and you give others food because they need it more than you. This is when your life will change, when you let go of the ideas that the material things can give you happiness, you can actually discover yourself.

As an artist, you may always be worried about when you will be able to be recognized for what you do, and you feel that you have to try so hard for others to understand it and give you a chance. After a while you realize that not having expectations and pressure from third parties telling you how much you should be doing to be a better artist because that will make you happier is sometimes better than having that pressure of pleasing everyone, including yourself. Then you are able to think for yourself and do for yourself, you can listen, feel, give, and love what you used to hate.

-KAR

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