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Friday, March 05, 2010

The Joy of Tears

"Promise you won't hide anything from me." I said

"Absolutely not. I fully intend to be clear and upfront about my feelings" She responded

That was a snippet from my conversation with my friend Marisa last nite as I announced to everyone that it was my last thursday nite church group before I head back to Canada. If you recall, she is the group leader who's gotton rather fond of me here at Centro. Last nite was all about breaking that news to her and giving her time to have some closure. For all my friends here, this is a new situation for them. But I fear that Marisa is going to take it really hard my going away.

But even though it wasn't the most joyful news to tell someone, it's very interesting to see how people deal with emotions in another culture. And the one thing that I truly enjoy is that people are very organic and down to earth with their feelings. In the conversation above, what I was doing is that I was like saying "OK girl, this is a new experience. I don't know what's going to happen to you or what you're going to go through or feel. But you need to be honest with everything and don't try to hide anything"

And she was like "Yeah, absolutely. You can rest assured that we're in this together." In this culture, wanting to look good or seem independant isn't a high value. For this woman who openly shows me that she adores me and my presence fills her life with joy for her to say something like "Oh, I'll be fine. Don't worry." If that was her response, I wouldn't have believed her one bit. But I'm glad to be in friendships where people are secure enough in themselves to say "Let's be honest....this isn't going to be easy."

The knowledge of that makes it so much easier for me to go away. Because in everything we do, we are in it together! Another thing that I loved last night was the way people here just take compliments, blessings, and gifts securely and confidently without hesitation. Last night I gave away several things and lended several things to people. I gave away a "Delirious" CD in spanish called "Libertad" to my friend Romina. She was the one who's family took me in for Christmas. It was my way of saying thanks. When I showed it to her and said "You want it? I want to just bless you." She was like "Yeah! Thanks". None of this " don' t have to do that for me."

Of course I know I don't have to do it! But because I love someone I want to do it! I want my friends to have good things. Another person I had a bag of stuff for was my friend Evelin who has always had a dream to learn english. I gave her a tiny lesson on tricks for learning a new language. As well as some DVD's along with a billingual Bible with spanish on one side and english on the other. She was just like "Awesome, that's great!" People are just so humble about receiving stuff. They don't feel to proud to receive it and they aren't on the other end either where they feel " shouldn't have." They just show gratitude securely and confidently

But my favorite one of all was last night when I said to Marisa simply "I'm glad you're in my life". And she was like "Me too." And then we launched into this conversation on how this is her first time with a friendship from someone in North America and things are going to be different and there are going to be many new experiences. And we stood there talking about how we are going to miss each other and that it might be hard but we will make it through.

And the funny part is that when we were having this conversation, it was in a normal tone of voice. It wasn't weepy or overly emotional where we are like crying on each others shoulders like the world is going to end. It was just this calm, logical conversation in a tone of voice that you would hear two people talking if they were going out for coffee. The conversation was open and honest and friendly without needing a dramatic open display of emotions. It almost seemed rather pragmatic and strategic in some ways.

Here we are, two healthy adult women being willing to lay our cards down on the table and be raw and organic and real about this budding friendship that we have and the challenge of seperation that is coming. Are there times that we are going to cry in the next few months? Absolutely! By now, you've probably noticed that I've titled this blog "The Joy of Tears" NOT "Tears of Joy". There is nothing joyful about being seperated and not being able to do anything about it! But I named this blog "The Joy of Tears" simply because I believe that one of God's greatest inventions are tear ducts. It is a joy to be able to have tears!

"Tears are Summer showers to the soul" by Alfred Austin

I cannot tell you how much I love that quote! It makes tears seem like a beautiful thing and the truth is....they are! She and I have developed this beautiful relationship that is open, honest, and deep and slowly we are weaving bits and pieces of both our cultures into a lovely harmony. And the two of us wouldn't be shedding tears in the next few months if our relationship wasn't worth anything. I'm glad that I have someone that means enough to me to make me want to cry about!

In North America, there is so much junk we have to unlearn to even get to where these people are naturally. It's like "Try to look good. Don't let them think you need them. You need to come across as totally self sufficient and independant." What a rare blessing it has been to have someone you can be organic with with no surprises or strings attached. With how messed up society has gotten, it is good to know that people like this still exist.

Yes, being on two different continents, we are going to cry and have tears in the next few months. But in some ways, I look forward to it. Because I know that people who are able to cry are also able to laugh. And the day that we're reunited, you can be assured that sound of laughter is something no language barrier can withstand :)

"And all three stood and wept. Even the Lion wept: great Lion-tears, each tear more precious than the Earth would be if it was a single solid diamond"

quote from C.S. Lewis's "The Silver Chair"

Amorous Alpacas

Amorous Alpacas