Monday, March 19, 2012


Mariachi music made me cry real tears tonight.

Volver,Volver. A love song.  Come back to my arms, it wailed.

People who don't understand Mariachi music mock the men in cartoonish sparkly hats playing accordians and wailing to lost lovers and dead horses.

Mariachi music is the common language of my grandparents.  Hearing those strains reminds me of them and from whence I came.

So I cried a little.

I love when I cry a little.  It reminds me I'm human and tender.  A woman.

I love being a woman.  Soft, kind, gentle, loving.  A nurturer.  I want to hold the world in my arms and rock it to sleep with a Spanish lulluby of my own design.

My mind wandered tonight and I thought of a woman I knew in Mexico when I was a child. 

I slept in her house many nights and woke to her making fresh tortillas on her cast iron stove.  She watered her dirt floor and swept it clean before I arose.  She smiled a missing teeth smile and offered me coffee and milk.

She's gone now.

There is the story of her husband, who is also gone.  Her husband loved her.  She bore 13 of his children.  She loved him.

I loved them both.

He was a handsome, charming Macho Mexican man.  He enjoyed entertaining the ladies in town.  He had a way with the softer sex through no fault of his own.  A family trait.  A gift and a curse.

One fine day his wife knew he was at the home of his lover.  She sought him out. 

"Abre la puerta!"  Open the door! She cried.

She kicked open the door to find her husband flying out the bedroom window with his pants below his ankles and his cowboy hat in hand.  He ran as though the devil were chasing him.  Perhaps he was.

She took the oppotunity to beat the hell out of her husband's lover.  The lover scarcely fought back.  How could she?  Being in the wrong and caught with her skirts up she deserved a good sound beating.

Our heroine returned home to find her husband at the kitchen table sheepishly smoking a cigarette with his hat pulled low over his eyes.

"The other women are little chapels.  But YOU are my cathedral, mi amor."

The charming men in his family loved this light refrain and used it often in jest and in truth.

There was no divorce.  No seperation.

There was only family.  Children.  Food.  Forgiveness.  Musica. Laughter. Tears.  Survival.  Poverty.

She lived not for herself.  Pero pa' la familia. She lived for the family.

Not many have the perpective of this unsung hero. 

Today's society is Me and Now.  And how do I feel?  And I will leave you! And who is to blame?  And what's his/her name? 

Certianly the unfaithful are blame worthy.  But so too are unforgiving counterparts.

Their lives are over now.  They are together with their children who went on before them.  Mistakes are forgotten.  Earthly trials cast aside as learning experiences for the eternities.

The power of music is undeniable and real.

One song brought this flood of memories and tears. 

I am grateful to a woman.

I am even more grateful still to be a woman of Mexican decent.  I feel the power of my ancestors lift me in times of need. They are always Here.