Friday, November 18, 2016

Today Unfinished


Fieldtrip this morning with Lucia to see a play wherein
Tobias Turkey learns the value of determination.

To get fat.

Then lean again!

Lean in.

On the bus there had a conversation with a Muslim dad
about the Pres. elect's desire to deport three million
immigrants. He was all for it. Because he thinks
it will only be the criminal element that get sent.

Then he talked about how
Islam, Judaism and Christianity all came from Abraham.
That we are all one religion with three books.

I remembered this song from church when I was a child:

"Father Abraham had many sons
Many sons had father Abraham

I am one of them and so are you
So let's just praise the lord.

Right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg
turn around, sit down."

That song's subversive for a church song
because the subtext is that
we all come from the same place
have the same origin
and therefore let's forget about differences
and just praise the origin of said origin...
Wherein praise basically means dance.


After the field trip, went to the park.

Talking with the au pair of Lucia's school mate, Ada.

The au pair's name is Paola. She's from Spain,
where they pronounce it "Powla."

I said her name packed a pow.

I told her about my daughter Lucia's name,
the way I pronounce her name with an S sound,
but her mother pronounces with a "ch."

Lucia means light, so onomatopoetically,
"ess" is lighter, and therefore more transparent to light,
whereas the "ch" sound is like a film on the window pane.

But "ch" gives the name strength too, toughness,
so I still find it beautiful either way.

Paola pronounced Lucia's name with a soft th,
and that was somewhere in between.

I told her the story of Lucia's name,
just like I'm about to tell you now.

Lucia's full first name is Analucia.
"Analucia" derives from "Andalucia"
because my best friend had a dream he was the king
of this beautiful place, something about the art, but what?
and I was drawn to Andalucia after that,
and so the name for our daughter.

But, alas, on the day she was born, my mother said,
"I have one request, please don't call her Andalucia!"

Why, Mom?

"Because my friend dreamed
(her best friend dreamed?)
that an evil spirit inhabited Andalucia."

Mom, what?! That's absurd,
we're talking about a whole region here.

And she said, "Nevertheless."

And I was pissed.

Yes, it was true, this whole region was a mess,
infidels on both sides, two thousand years
of distress over beliefs, from one grandfather
these two tribes, coming together and
killing each other en masse,

Inquisition style.

So yes, I'd say there's an evil spirit of sorts, mom!

It's called murder in the name of belief.

I grew up with it, in my own way,
with the subtle idea that I'd be worse than dead
if I didn't believe as she did.

That sounds dramatic,
but I ratchet it up to make a point,
because there was an underlying sense
that if I wasn't a "child of Christ,"
didn't share her belief,
I was banished from her heaven
to hell.

I think that's why I yelled at her
on the phone the next day
for putting an "evil spirit" hex
on the chosen name of my daughter.

She was one day old
and we still hadn't named her yet.

Tired of my ranting she said,
"What is it you want me to do?"

And I screamed back,
"I want you to love Muslims!"

Meaning, mostly, I want you to love me,
but also anyone else who may believe differently.

I want you to love, which doesn't mean pity,
but merely accept, like any barnyard animal
accepts their own unconditionally,
without original sin, or any sin,
with only love, me.

Can you even do that?

Or do your beliefs get in your way?

That's the question, the meditation
the "prayer," if you will.

So here's what happened with the name.

I did a little research and get this:

The southern part of spain, Andalucia,
was originally called Vandalusia,
Arabic for "land of the Vandals,"
named thus by the conquering Muslim Moors
200 years after an earlier captor of the region
the Vandals, conquered the area in 100AD.

The Vandals were brutes,
thus the current meaning of the word vandal.

So imagine the implicit insult of one set of ruthless invading overlords
calling a people by the name of the last set of ruthless invading overlords.

But then something happens, something conciliatory, over time,
something I discovered myself in the very process of naming my child,
something remarkable.

Eventually the language of the people
drops the V from Vandalusia,
softening the violence of that hard vee sound
and opening the word up to it's vowel, it's air,
the ahhhh sound, Ahhndalusia.

This happened from within
seemingly from the unconscious will of the people.

And then there was another evolutionary mutation
to the name. It began, rather recently too,
to be commonly known as Andalucia instead of lusia
The latin "lucia" (light) instead of the arabic "lusia" (land.)

Light over land.

Which is shorthand here for: love over possession.

So now you have "lucia" for "light," which enables
"Anda" to take on the meaning of the verb "andar,"
the third-person present conjugation of "to walk."

The name now contains the sentence, "Walk (toward) light."

This is where the words stemming from the heart
eventually may take us. The language of the heart softens.
It goes from the oozy sound of "Lusia," of land,
to the lighter ess of "Lucia," meaning light.

And that's what the word itself does over time,
it walks into light. Walks from Vandalusia to Andalucia.

So, you go with it, with the word,
and the whole country does too,
because now she blends what is beautiful
in both the Muslim and Christian world
into something rich beyond compare.

And so we named our daughter Analucia,
(took out the "d", which softens the word even more)
named her what she actually is; walking light,

Father Abraham had many daughters...

If not too prosaic, after all that
here's how I ended the night:

There was a cross school G&T seat fight
at the CEC about the DOE
A101 ruling, local school politics,
3 hours worth of sound and fury. Right?

And then I finally ended up, exhausted, brain dead
around a fire pit with some neighborhood dads
drinking Aperol and lemonade
and arguing about politics.

No comments:

Post a Comment