I went to watch a meaningful documentary for me a couple of days ago which is called “Llévate Mis Amores” – translated ‘All of Me’ which led me to experience a certain renewed ‘hope for humanity’ as it is said, but not in an airy fairy way. I mean it in the ‘love is work made visible’ way where a group of women have given themselves the purpose to daily cook for hundreds of migrants that hop on the train called ‘The Beast’ or ‘La Bestia’ which comes from southern México and passes through their hometown in a place of Veracruz, México, on their way to the north. They use their hands, their strength and will to make this daily routine work because they understand that one meal for them is a matter of life or death – and that life takes no ‘days off – in their quest to get to ‘the other side,’ which is migrating to the US.
I’ve heard of this documentary a couple of years ago and couldn’t make it that day to watch it during Ambulante Festival and only yesterday I got to watch it and even the showing in itself was again, a sort of simple yet remarkable decision coming from a lady at a corporate facility that bought the documentary DVD after meeting the creator of it and setting up a showing at the office where they work. This is the first time I don’t go to an ‘established’ or ‘well known’ place to watch a documentary, but instead go into a more private showing where most of the people knew each other – lol – and a few of us there got to know of the event through Facebook and showed up, giving in exchange a couple of bags of rice and beans that will be given to the ladies that appear in the film to continue doing their work.
It was also great to have the photography director there to share more about the way that they made the documentary. What I liked the most is that he shared how he is a human being first of all, which meant that at times he had to throw the camera to the ground to support the handling of the food to the people hanging from the train, who eagerly prepare themselves to grab the plastic bags with food and water bottles on a moving train, which means there’s only a split of a second to grab their meal.
That moment right there of seeing the handling of the food after seeing the whole process of preparation, the quantities of food, the logistics of making these lunch bags for them was heart wrenching if that’s the saying. I held back my tears because I didn’t want to start crying in that moment, but it was that touching considering that these people aren’t ‘well off’ themselves, it’s rather the other way around, which is quite common to find in this country: those with the least tend to help the most.
How did they do it? They go and ask for food or leftovers in the market, in stores that give them stuff for free to make the food they know they provide to the migrants. Now they are recognized by human rights associations and have won international prizes, I’m sure you can find info by searching ‘Las Patronas’ which is the name of the group of females that have done this work for over 25 years now. Yes, daily, yes, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve and day, and yes, they are not paid at all for that – but their society recognizes their work and provides them with the food they produce or sell in order to be part of the cause.
I stood for almost an hour after the documentary ended hearing the conversations and reactions from everyone else there, I asked the question of how they were able to afford it and got it answered – food donations, food that was going to be wasted, their own town assists now, etc. The documentary makers knew they had to tell this story, they gained recognition themselves and so forth, but the most relevant thing for them is for people to watch it and to have been able to work there, because he said that it was like a little utopia, to be able to work doing what they love, to assist with the cooking and support others in exchange of having a place to stay and food to eat. Simple.
I wondered how many of these projects would be able to be done if people decided to actually do something about it, instead of only looking at the problems that ‘the system’ apparently has. Sure, migration has become a consequence and I’ve written about it before, but if it is already happening, then some actions can be taken to at least make it easier for some to go through it, and these women are an example of that.
Their character showed such determination, will, discipline and an unbreakable spirit so to speak, which seemed like ‘a lot of work’ for most of us in that room, but then we all realized that THAT work made visible was their strength, their will, their courage, their determination and motivation to keep going in their own lives, and I’m talking about generations of people from the grandmother, daughters and granddaughters working on the same project. Well, yes, I take off my hat for these women for sure, but then the question came of ‘What can I do? What am I doing that can stand in a similar point of support for others?’
Times before when asking myself the same question, I’d become paralyzed, thinking I’d have to now go to shelters and save others, change people’s minds and kind of ‘shake them up’ to understand there’s more to life than limitation and struggle – or try to convert them to my newly found ‘path’ so to speak, which never worked lol – yet I was myself still very much living in such self-limitation in several aspects that I’ve come to identify over the years of walking this process. But it’s good that I had such intent anyways, I just wasn’t focusing so much on myself and I was too much focusing on the world ‘out there,’ well, I already told that story in the previous blog to this one.
After I left the documentary show, I realized that I cannot suddenly decide to go and live somewhere else to do the work that those women are already doing, nor do I see handing food for the poor as a solution either. It is a noble act, but I understand that my position and awareness of the totality of the conflict and situation we’re living in has an origin and starting point that needs to be understood and needs to be disclosed in the form of personal stories that relate to personal change, learning to change our values, our ways of perceiving our reality and making things work without simply falling into consequences or believing there is no way out.
As I was walking away from the place, I realized that I needed to stop rushing in my mind trying to ‘go and do more here and there’ because that has been a pattern in me that only becomes a nuisance, a worry-wart type of experience, and instead looked at how to me being part of Desteni and the work that I’ve committed to do for myself and to extend as a point of support for others walking the same process is my ‘grain of sand’ that I contribute with for now, which is what I can honestly do and can do based on what I’ve also learned and gained through the Desteni Process which is a whole new way of understanding our minds, the problems we face and create in our lives, to create a more meaningful and supportive life that in turn, can impact many more around us and I’m only now starting to see how that works, yes, after a decade of being ‘on it’ consistently.
To me even if the community is not physically together except for one place on Earth, being an interconnected community in the internet over these many years has been that pillar of support where we know we can always count on each other to share, to gain perspectives, to learn more about each other and in doing so, being able to reach out to more people that may resonate with what we do and the tools we live and apply, so that’s what I see has become my motivation, my response-ability, my contribution to the greater changes that need to take place in this world.
So, this way, I also remind myself why I like watching documentaries, I like embracing the lives of others, I like using them as a way to place my shoes in their lives and find a way through in it, to create my own solutions to it even if it ends ‘without a way out’ at times. I’m extremely grateful for documentaries – which is one of my favorite past times and activities – and currently there’s a burgeoning culture for them in my home city, so I’ve watched them not only by myself on my computer, but it’s become a collective meeting of sorts to go downtown to the theatre, watch the documentary, discuss them with the creators – when available – and with others watching and that is extremely cool and I enjoy that a lot. For a moment I also pondered how I can contribute to this ongoing cycles of documentary showing for the people because it is great, it assists a lot of people to create awareness about seemingly distant situations that we would not be able to otherwise face or confront if it wasn’t for the work of documentary makers.
For now, I’m simply disciplined myself to attend to those events and invite others whenever I can, it is a point of self-enjoyment but also of self-education, because not all stories are la-la-land and rosy, most of them are not. I realize I should have done a little commentary on a lot of the documentaries I’ve watched over these past months and I’ve drowned this idea within me because of thinking ‘well, people can’t watch them because the docs are only available to be watched in film festivals – most of the time’ but I realize that I can share what I gained from it without ‘telling the whole story’ so, this is a first point of it and will look at sharing some insights and perspectives on the stuff that I watch and listen to. I say listen to because also long format podcasts have become a constant in my day to day while painting or doing anything that doesn’t require me to read or write – cleaning, cooking, laundry, walking etc. It’s amazing to have the internet, to have this media, these documentary festivals and that is really what ‘moves’ me so to speak, to see more and more people speaking about change, bettering themselves, overcoming their difficulties and troubled backgrounds in life, that’s just amazing that I can get to ‘know’ a bit of a person through a long podcast.
One of my favorite ones is Joe Rogan’s podcast which I appreciate a lot, even if I don’t entirely like or relate to all of the discussions going on at times – and even if I discredited it some 9 years ago or so – listening to the people there and the questions asked allows me to check my reactions, prejudices, my ‘dismissive’ way of being with people that I believed I would have ‘nothing to learn from’ and then, bam! I end up really taking a lot of what they shared and realizing how much I was assuming about them and their life stories just because of how they talked or dressed. That’s a sure kick back at my own ass-umptions and ego there, and I love doing that for myself J because it broadens my perspectives about life and it assists me to embrace different mentalities, ways of getting to the same solutions I am aiming to create in my life and learn from a variety of people that it’s quite difficult I’d get to meet otherwise in my reality.
So, the word here is embracing, embracing more of my reality without having to ‘go somewhere else’ like traveling to ‘get it’ because we know how expensive it is and sometimes even dangerous like in some areas of this country nowadays– but we have the possibility to do this, to learn from other cultures, ways of living through the internet and all the media created by you’s and me’s. So that’s something I commit myself to share even when I believe ‘there’s nothing to share’ – I’ll share more of what I like sharing to myself as well as a point of support, of broadening the confines of my mind and learning to step out of prejudice and embrace another human being as myself. Each documentary I watch is like stretching myself a little bit more, expanding my awareness of the lives of people in this same world, and that’s a priceless opportunity.
Ok keeping it short this time. Thanks for reading and check out these recordings which are supportive and related to some of the things I’ve shared here
Meeting as Beliefs vs Meeting as People
What the Mind Can Teach Us About Sharing