Saturday, October 30, 2010

My Beggar Women

OK, they aren't my personal beggars like a personal assistant; they aren't women who beg for me so I can continue my amazing journeys to far flung places on the weekends, so don't worry that something odd has happened to me here. (By the way, I'd love to have a personal assistant; I think everyone should have one. That's another story.) My beggar women are the four ladies who sit across from my apartment and right next to My patisserie. 

Like the red hibiscus and pink flowering bushes that continually bloom in the courtyard below, along with the mangey dogs, soccer-playing boys, donkey carts filled with cactus fruit and our faithful parking lot guardian, my beggar women are sure to hunker down on the curb many a morning, especially Saturdays. Today is Saturday, so here we go. 

Good morning ladies. I like your baseball caps. Do they help with the sun and wind? Why so bundled up? Did you plan out your outfit? I'd love to hear your story. Tell me about yourself. Where in the world do you go after begging? No, I only know five Arabic phrases, so we aren't going to have a conversation. 

Then, I wake from my small musings and think about how I only enter their world when I hand them a couple of dirhams. They put their hands to their hearts and thank me in Arabic. I put my hand to my heart; I long for greater connection with them. We blow kisses at each other if I give them five dirhams. I feel this tangible wall of separation from them as I enter my apartment.

I have been struggling to know where to start drawing or painting in this wild world, this cacophony of color, loud speaker sounds, minarets, hooded robes tiles and archways. A blank piece of paper or a blank canvas is a wall for me, too. Another wall of separation, but this wall is keeping me from a creative place of color, shapes and expression of beauty, of truth. 

Put something down Marcia, anything. OK. What matters to me? Let me draw my beggar women; I care about them. So, today, my beggar women are helping me lay a few lines down on that frightful white paper and climb over that wall into a creative space. We can go there together. 

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