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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: South America (02/05/09)

TITLE: Blessed, Not Stressed.
By remi oyeyemi


I feel the boulder on my shoulders as I walk slowly towards the little quaint Sao Paulo chapel. The doors are wide open, beckoning. I slide in quietly, not wanting to draw any attention to myself. I didnít have to bother, it was quite empty. Kneeling on the padded kneeler of a pew at the back of the chapel, Iím ready to talk.

ďI wonít say itĒ. I bite my lips in an effort to restrain the words threatening to rush out unbridled. This is not why I have come. I think of the adulation and gratitude that freely flows anytime Iím here. The praise and love. Iím trying to get into that now but itís so hard. Itís in my head, yes, but not in my heart. ďThese are horrible thoughts I know; youíve got to forgive me Lord.Ē

I try but all I can think of are bills, mortgage, tuition, expenses and more bills. This is my world and itís crazy because Iím losing control.

My help quit about a week ago and I feel all burned out. Sheíll no longer baby sit or clean up so Iím adding chores to my list of worries. Iíve been at it for a little over a week and I feel like pulling my hair out, screaming and giving it all up.

Leandro came home yesterday, shoulders drooping, he dragged his feet all the way from the door and I just knew the worst had happened. His company was downsizing and thanks to the global crisis or financial meltdown, credit crunch or credit squeeze, whatever they choose to call it, his job was a victim.

Itís ok. Iím fine, Lord. I wonít talk about it, I wonít lose it.

Now, Dad has got Alzheimerís. I fight the tears because I love him so. Heís my mentor and confidant. The man who raised me, talked and laughed with me, watched me grow into the woman Iíve become doesnít even know my name. Medical bills are accidents waiting to happen.

I think this is good time to laugh. Yes. That crazy wild, uncontrolled laughter that makes you burst into tears, keep sobbing and end up feeling horribly sorry for yourself. ďIím trying Lord, really trying.Ē

I canít remember the last time I had any fun. I used to love to go to the Barra, the central beach in Salvador da Bahia. Iíd walk barefoot on the sand, feeling it slide through my toes while holding my shoes (itís not much fun when you donít hold them) in one hand and the other entwined with Leandroís. I love the view from the shore, made you imagine the water stretching on and on. Iíd lie on the shore with Leandro watching the sunset. Those were the heydays. Weíd talk about our love, plans for the future, a little family and how weíd love to travel the world as we watched the clouds chase each other lazily across the red Brazilian sky. The beach is still my favourite place to be quiet and at peace, the panoramic view always made me want to dive straight into the ocean and find its secrets. Of course I never did, not with Leandro reminding me I could catch my death, literarily of course.
Now, I sit and wonder what happened to our dreams, most of them at least. We have a cute little family and we still love each other to bits but being caught up in the hustle and bustle of the demands of daily life is damaging, even to a love like ours. I love this land. I love my country, its so South America. Real, true and alive
But Iím wondering why I havenít found peace where I belong.

This is not why Iím here Lord. Not to whine and complain. Not to tell you how big and menacing my issues are, but to tell you how great and Awesome you are.

I sigh, as I remember your soft words of blessing, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Then itís all okay Lord, all okay. I can walk out of here with my shoulders square, ready to face the world.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Juliana Gonzalez02/13/09
Great piece! I love the progression and the imagery.