I’ve been awake for all but about two of the past thirty hours. Pittsburgh to Charlotte to Munich and finally to Chisinau. That last little stretch of flight afforded me those two hours of sleep, due to an extremely unhappy young traveler on our long flight to Germany.
So as we were listening to Vladimir tell us about girls sold into slavery to cover the cost of a bottle of vodka and girls who are primed from 11 to become prostitutes by the very people who are supposed to be giving aid to these orphans and young women who come to Beginning of Life and ask, “Where was God when I was raped?” I knew that I couldn’t lose it. Because if I started crying, I wouldn’t be able to stop.
I’m going to cry. There are stories here that deserve oceans of tears. Ugly, hateful, shit-covered, foul-smelling, disgusting stories.
But there are beautiful stories as well. In all of that shit, there is beauty.
As we were descending into Moldova, something that struck several of us was that a number of houses had bright blue roofs. Not just blue, but electric blue. Like, brilliant bits of lapis lazuli in the midst of granite.
There will be much granite in the days ahead. Hard, cold, unforgiving granite. But already I’m hearing stories that are those beautiful hints of blue. Precious gems in the middle of the harsh rocky terrain.
I don’t only want to cry for those ugly parts and in the midst of tonight’s exhaustion, that’s what would have been coming out. I will cry because of the agony here, but I want to make sure that there are tears of joy as well. Tears that represent not only the hurt, but also the healing. Sad tears for the losses these girls have experienced, but happy tears for the futures these women are making.
So tonight, I held back the ocean. But not forever.