I'm sitting in a Starbucks in my little town in the USA thinking about all those men who sit in the cafes in Morocco, waiting for a call for some sort of work. The cafe is their office. So is mine now.The coffee does taste a little burned, sorry Starbucks fans, but the wi-fi is good. I am sitting near the fire, but at a table, trying to think I am actually working, not lounging.
I have gotten a good chunk done on painting number five in my series of twenty Morocco paintings. I know I need to push the lights and darks just a bit more. (I am nearing one fourth finished with my goal!) I am hoping to get painting six up and running this week, even though I have a speaking engagement and a move to my more permanent home all happening almost immediately. While driving around with heavy, cumbersome piles of all my worldly goods, odd shoes and boots, I feel homelessness to some degree. I even had to seatbelt in my items on the passenger side so the alarm would turn off!
I'm not living in my car, so I smile and think, I am blessed. I have helpful, loving friends and family. I have girlfriends.
It is just like the women in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco who have banded together to form a co-op to make money for couscous, carrots and maybe a new scarf. They have each other, even though they have no husbands, and their lives are working out because of their female friendships. The nuts they grind produce oils that are made into health and beauty products.
There is wonderful nut butter for sale in another room at the complex. And there is a wealth of creams, lip gloss, wrinkle removers and soaps all made from the oils these women make. They grab a handful of nuts at a time, and grind them on the central stone in the device placed on their laps as well as a supporting stone. On the floor of their little structure, they sit and survive. I think they are beautiful.