Paula greets Phil
Dear Friends of Atzin and Tlamacazapa,
In these difficult months, now stretching out to years, we persist through the consequences of events beyond our control, events that have taken such a toll on those living in poverty and on Atzin programs and sometimes, have struck hard at the morale of our team.
I take comfort in the wise words of Clarissa Pinkola Estes: “In any dark time, there is a tendency to focus on how much is wrong in the world. Do not make yourself ill by becoming overwhelmed.” (2001/2016).
Clarissa says (and I paraphrase): Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of reaching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small act that one can do to assist another will help immensely.
Having learned the art of survival, we at Atzin know that dramatic change comes with the accumulation of acts, one by one - acts that pile up until their weight collapses the rotting fabric of this suffering world, leaving open the possibility of a new way of being, of believing, of speaking, of behaving, of relating.
Responding to need, we are “simultaneously fierce and merciful” and bravely display “the light of awakened souls in these shadowy times.” Just in February 2020, that light included such seemingly small acts as these,
- Overjoyed, Marcela watches her youngest son, three-year-old Derek with cerebral palsy, take his first steps, having faithfully carried him four days a week to attend early stimulation and therapy.
- Sitting on a worn palm mat in her small hut, blind, elderly, and fearful about her husband in hospital, Paula reaches out for water to drink and more so, reassurance that she is not alone.
- Gentle comfort is offered and received by a thirty-year-old woman just after a positive pregnancy test – she in bewildered shock because her boyfriend drinks and suffers from convulsions.
- A small group listens attentively as Elena tearfully recounts her pregnancy and delivery of Armando, born with severe spina bifida, now 18 months old. She blames herself. Armando plays with a car in her arms; and she dreams that one day he will walk. We are at a loss to respond, realizing that three physicians had made multiple errors in her prenatal care and delivery. Promoters deliver a makeshift cushioned seat for Armando, and invite them to the early stim program.
- Three teenage girls eagerly accept a scholarship for junior high school; Atzin invests in their education. Atzin health promoters and educators attend four Saturday learning circles, discussing The Four Agreements: Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.
It is true: when we hunker down in protection, yes - we are safe. But that is not what Atzin, a small but mighty organization, is made for.
In grateful appreciation of your support for these fierce and merciful acts,
As always, Susan