Dangerous Compassions

mother of all

mother of all

Hello, I made this necklace.  I’d had this Virgin of Guadalupe on a purple cord by itself for years.  She is mother of all and a powerful goddess.  Maybe you don’t need a mother, but I sure do.

lost and found

The funny thing is that I lost it at a friend’s place in Sacramento when Ming and I were on a trip around four years ago.  I asked my friend to look for it, and he said he would.  Then his partner ended up finding it in the guest room.  I was so happy.

I think she mailed it to me.  Or maybe I got it back when we visited the next time.

Then when Ming and I left Las Vegas in June, we left the Nevada Desert Experience house a mess.  Ming had not finished packing, so many final housecleaning things were left undone.

  • thorough sweeping
  • dusting heaps of desert dust
  • cleaning out fridges
  • throwing away old pantry snacks
  • scrubbing the kitchen

We felt horrible, but plane tickets had been purchased.  Friends had agreed to help on specific days.  We apologized and asked to leave it a mess for a while.

full house

The house was full when we arrived–an activist house.  It was stuffed with furniture, kitchen stuff, old office supplies and craft maerials, signs, equipment, books, photos, papers, aged technology, religious items, relics.  Almost a museum of the past.  Crosses, crucifixes, rosaries everywhere, candles, and even some historic paneling from back when it was a friary.

The fullness of the house was stressful.  For the first few years, we barely even moved anything.  By about five years in, we finally felt empowered to throw some things away.  An example is a round bottle of sake that was in the pantry when we arrived, and in the pantry when we left.  We don’t drink alcohol, and it never seemed a good time to share the sake.  Is it still good, or has it gone bad?  Is it going to explode in the pantry?  The house was filled with a thousand things, and each required choices.

Another hard part is that some people were attached to the stuff in the house.  So people would tell Ming about valuable banners and how to wash them, about the limited edition candle that was made for a special anniversary by the closing Catholic Worker candle factory…  People would visit and want to see a thing that was donated previously.  It was hard maintaining not only our own stuff, but the stuff of countless other people, living and dead, returning and never returning.

how to hurt Ming

Ming suffered the most, as he cares more about physical possessions.  His stuff getting moved or mixed with things that aren’t his is torture to him.  And he cared for a lot of NDE’s gear and equipment, during our seven years living there.  When other people treated the equipment in a less respectful way, Ming was hurt.

That was hard for me to watch.  Ming is a kind person–flexible, caring, open to possibilities, curious, generous, and slow to anger.  He doesn’t ask for a lot.  Seeing people hurt him is so cringey.  Kind of like if someone kicks a puppy.  Really?  He loves to help and give.  No one should hurt him.

It’s not like we had to leave the house empty–it was full when we got there.  But we could have done much better, cleaning and clearing out what had been ours.  We had to return to Bartlett so Ming could move out the last of his stuff.  We rented a van from a stranger in the Bay Area and set out for an adventure.

mother of all

When we arrived at Bartlett, my Virgin of Guadalupe was there waiting for me.  In all the rush and confusion, I didn’t even know I’d lost her.  Some other sweeper must have found my necklace.

I’d been mad at Ming that his poor time management, disorganization, and accumulation of stuff had necessitated this trip, including huge stress and expense.  But when I saw my necklace in our old bedroom waiting for me, I smiled.  Yes, this was worth hundreds of dollars and some heartache.

I love Ming, which means accepting all of him.  Even the few things that are a pain in the ass.  Of course this world class love comes with a few challenges.  I give the same to him–world class love and challenges.

I wore the necklace for some weeks, happy to have this mother of all to protect me again.  Then I noticed the purple cord was almost worn through in two places.  Oops.

So I took it off.  Then yesterday I put it on this pink hemp with pretty green and red travertine beads and red glass beads.

mother of all

I like to watch easy Spanish videos to help me get Spanish more in my head.  At this point I’ve seen at least a hundred of their videos, and this is probably my second-favorite ever.

From the title, I thought it might be about la Malinche.  Lots of mothers, in this world–good, bad, complicated.  I love them all.  Virgin, whore, traitor, translator, nurturer.  Kind cooks, cookie bakers, bean boiling abuelas.  Hippie moms, cold moms, rich moms, homeless moms, drug addict moms, absent moms, scientist moms, teen moms like my own.

I like hearing how Mexicans talk about the Virgencita.  Such affection.  I like the lady in the video who says she almost died as a kid and was dedicated to the mother of all at a young age.

I dedicate myself to her–no illness necessary.  Laura-Marie is my name.  Mother worship is my vocation.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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