Blacks, Blood, and BLS International Indian Visa Office- Houston, Texas
So I sit here at the BLS International office and smile so deeply into my soul. First of all, I’m joyfully impressed that it is not the jungle I assumed it would be. There are no blood stains of the carpets, no recently added skulls hanging from the ceiling, and, yes, sigh, there are no hysterically pleading patrons pulling out their eyes and groveling on the sandy gray carpet for sweet asylum. Yes, I’m a full hour early for my 9:40 appointment and only now are people lining up, but, already the sun filtering though the windows, the soft tones of patient voices all around me, and feelings in my heart in this spacious office fill me with deep peace.
I think of the kindly, gentle-toned, black man who helped me get untangled in the parking garage and the sugar-sweet black gentleman who bowed and waved his hand for me to enter the elevator before me as he kind-kindheartedly escorts me to the visa office. His smile, as he says, “here you go ma’am” would melt the heart of whoever it was who told me so many years ago, “He was a black man, but he was nice.”
“Oh no, friend, you DID NOT just use the conjunction but,” but you did, and I sadly understand. I, also, had so many prejudices and deeply-rooted pre-conceived notions (anyone else hating missionaries?) about how the world worked and who was who. And then, and then, I breathed.
Well, actually, first I jumped. I turned my back on the perfect little fairy tale life we had created for ourselves in a mountainside, sun-lite home on the sloping hills of the Upper Galilee Valley of Northern Israel. Ideal minus disconnected husband bread-winning and missing out on the field-trip, home-schooled, conglomerated heaven the kids and I were living. So, we did the leap of faith and dumped paradise for The Great Unknown,and comfort and stability for the nomadic backpackers wandering ways.
All Figured Out
So, I also had it all neatly figured out in my head and I met my Muslim Mother Lima and I watched the wind Dishevel my son’s curls as we hung off the back of pick up trucks hitchhiking in Central and South America. And we still forever laugh how those three magical kids hid in the bushes with Kobi, Kendall, and the dry-erase board as mom stuck her thumb out in the rain and hugely smiling Latino men’s warm welcome turned into a lope-sided confused stuckness when they the whole drenched tribe (and that damn dry erase board) came out of nowhere and onto their flatbed. We taught them early the more humorous ways of the world, or more accurately, the world spinner us like a feather in a sand storm and taught us that we know nothing.
And so I’m doing my lists, drinking my chia water, and perfecting the art of Presence. I’m succulently enjoying the 1000 piece puzzle I bought at Hobby Lobby while trying to vicariously live through my kid brother (who has shelves and drawers) and allowing the oddities of the West to slowly seep into my soul and not feel so strange anymore.
It is a God-sent blessing to be married to a man who says, “Go!” With a twinkle in his burnt-honey brown eyes as I walk out of the cow-grazing back roads of Goa, India and into the six-landed highways of Houston, Texas. He’s been a single a father for almost a month now, and still sends me tear-jerking messages like, “thank you. i love you.good night.” and “come and help me to balance my life back… come my lady, come…”
It is beyond super sweet to have this time alone with my mother, with my father, with my brother. I’m without having to feed or care for anyone other than to complete whole sentences,hour after hour, with the all-adult humans around me. I play Kalukee [ card game our grandparents played] for hours a day and ask the questions and get the answers and the little sun-lite snapshots of raw tenderness we all deserve to have when childhood wounds slowly dissolve into love. Blood really is thicker than water.
God, I’m lucky. I’ve known this for a long time and I guess I just wanted to say it, remember it, wink at it again.
Have you had the sacred chance to close some of them open wounds buried deep within yet bleeding all the same into your current life situations? Have you done a 1000 piece puzzle or whatever shakes your boat lately? Have you met a black man ( or Jew or Chinese guy or Arab), “but who was nice” and forgave yourself for being such an arrogant fool who lived according to what you were pre-programmed to believe?
Speak to me. I’m listening. Or, stay silent, and I’ll feel the pitter pattering of your heart and know that you, too, can live in Presence and love. A dear friend, I’m still fighting to be free. Are you?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Insanely unorthodox, embarrassingly honest, and on her path towards spiritual awareness, Gabi Klaf blogs about her family’s ups and downs in their now third year of non-stop budget world travel. This family of five has lived with an indigenous tribe in the jungles of Ecuador, hitchhiked throughout the world, danced with drunk Vietnamese at weddings, and hiked the entire Annapurna Circuit trek with a documentary film crew in tow. Gabi writes about the untold sides of family travel life, those moments that take your breath away, adventures and mishaps while globetrotting, and how bits of her soul remain in this small town and off the side of that river. She is a guitar-stumming, energy-healing, ADHD wind-loving scaredy cat. Hugely romantic, tantalizingly sweet, and hysterically funny, Gabi Klaf represents a rare Rubik’s Cube of family world adventure.
We’re out doing crazy stuff and making our dreams come true, every single one of them, and a few more that sort of flew into our mouths while we were smiling into the wind. Should you like what we are doing as a family, BUY AN EBOOK to support us, share this, tell any media source or local newspaper, leave a comment. Your footprint makes all the difference in the world friends. Gracias!
Gabi and Kobi, Dahnya, Orazi, and Solai
And, sweet new news loves: In addition to parenting, family life and trauma therapy, Gabi is now offering Make Your Dreams Come True/We Wanna Travel But.. Coaching too. Engage with Gabi!
Photo credits: boys jumping in the air- Hamad AL-Mohannna,