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  • In the local radio the leaders of the invaders of our neighbors land spoke. They say they have 3 enemies, one is my husband. They say he wants to build his hotels on the land they invaded, which is totally untrue. They say he is Spanish and one of the ones, who came to take away the land from the indigenous peoples, which is untrue. He is Mexican from a Chiapanecan mother; neither he nor his family has ever had other land that what they bought just as anyone else does nowadays. He is scared now, we live close, they see him as an enemy, and they are violent people….

    I feel helpless. There is no law.

    I went to my Saturday morning meditation and we danced for an hour. I remembered my first boy – friend and how I thought that he was so good – looking, but then we mostly sat in front of our cokes in a mall – restaurant not knowing what to talk about with each other. I did not love my next boy – friend, but needed a boy – friend. I was flattered when another one fell in love with me at first sight, because he was 10 years older. I did not love him either. After these the pains of what we called free love started. I competed with wives, who also were unfaithful to their husbands. Whenever I wanted to enter the kitchen I had to step over my ex Klaus, making love to his new girl – friend right there on the floor. I did step over them to get to my coffee and with time my heart did not hurt anymore. From the coffee in the kitchen I stepped into the shower, often with Nik, a lawyer, also married. Later he told me that much better than our sex were our times together in that shower. I remember Hans – Peter, with whom the love – making was out of this world, but then he did not want sex anymore, because he said he had discovered that he was gay. I still knew every time he would come and was always home when he did, always unannounced. We would talk for hours, sit through short northern German summer nights at the river Elbe. I felt so close to him, I felt we were the same, in a different dimension apart from sex. There was Christian, who sustained that he did not at all fear death. He left me for my room – mate Hanne. One night he waited for me, but I did not come, so Hanne and he had the best sex they claimed they had ever had. It was fine with me, did not break my heart. There was Wolfgang, who had lived in an Otto – Mühl – Community, where everybody dressed in blue workers overalls, everything belonged to everybody and everybody had sex with everybody else in the community. If you did not want to have sex with a certain member of the community, they put you through therapy until you desired that person also. Wolfgang was not supposed to have sex with a person outside his community; our relationship had to be kept secret. I did not love him either, but he was a sweet man. I knitted a scarf and he was very moved when I gave it to him as my farewell – present.

    Many others I hardly remember. I looked for love and found a lot of sex, mostly not that outrageously good.

    I lost Hans – Peter to a man I also knew well and Nik would not leave his wife, who also became my friend. Then I wanted to learn Spanish and met Tito, a Chilenean freedom fighter. The first word he taught me was RELOJ (watch), which seemed unpronounceable to me. Then we fell in love. He said he had never cared about politics, he was a musician, but now President Allende had been killed and it was, because he had not been political enough and now, here from Germany he would do what he could to free his Chile from Piochet. His wife was a German – Columbian. They were just communist comrades, he said. He felt so guilty about Pinochet he said, he worked day and night for another revolution and so did his wife and that united them. He felt so guilty; he did not enjoy anything but sex.
    Sex we had and I completely fell for the man and waited for him to come to me at the latest hours at night after endless political meetings and when he did not come I was devastated. He taught me Marxism, I tried to teach him Buddhism, which I had recently discovered. We never fought, we understood each other.

    I fantasized about being tortured for him, sacrificing myself for him. I wanted to have a baby. I had never loved like this before.
    I did not get pregnant and he did not leave his communist comrade wife, who I also met and liked. He accompanied me to the train, which would bring me to the plane that would fly me to America and gave me his flute as a good – bye – present. He said,” I know that you will marry a Mexican, you will see!”

    I did. He had a daughter when I had a son with my Mexican husband. We even once all met. But Tito hardly talked and just played music and his wife kept calling me, because my baby – son seemed too small and thin to her compared to her baby – daughter.

    When the Zapatista Uprising made its round through the world news, Tito called my mother and Hamburg and asked if I was okay. Decades later his daughter came travelling through and wanted to meet me, but I was in Africa.

    Dancing today I felt so very grateful for all that love and sex and confusion and craziness, for Tito to have taught me a deeper love.

    I am not young anymore. I have become invisible to many, but all the life that stirs inside me!

    Nik still writes me once a year how important I am to him. He has been married three times with 7 children so far.

    I might have become invisible to many, but some see me, call me, hug me, want to talk to me, deep talk, finding meaning in the valley of tears.

    Tomorrow I will see Shoshana again, after lunch we will listen to Richard´s piano concert in Na Bolom, the local museum. Rena returned from the US and Barbara will soon return from Germany, Helga and Christel wait to eat together. The German composer I have become close friends with recently calls me. Nobody wants sex, but they all enjoy something with me and I do with them and that something makes life absolutely worthwhile.

    These days my head spins with a bit obsessive ideas about knitting (That Wolfgang – scarf!!!) and embroidering and soft sculpture and empty glass bottles. The less your eyes see the easier it is for thoughts, images or memories to become obsessive loops. I am in such. Yesterday I added folded Origami hearts out of gold – paper to the mixture. I do not know if any art will ever emerge from these wild dreams of my cortex. My thoughts, memories and dreams resemble whirling dervishes.

    My son just sent me this photograph. Yes, this is my middle son, who lived for ten years with a schizophrenic woman. He was a single parent of 2 boys during those years, he got severely sick with kidney stones, he is so handsome, but often looked like an old man. Now he has a second wife and this baby – daughter and he is happy and just looking at this photograph I feel the goodness of life, the love and tenderness and that makes me feel hope. Not a hope expecting anything concrete, but an open feeling of possibility and hope for my son and his children, for me and my husband growing old, for joy, for justice someday even here in Mexico…..

    Photography by Andrea Betancourtt, my Colombian daughter - in - law
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