Maria & Matthias
“Dando y dando, palomita volando” if you receive you must give,
comparte el amor
I will take flight as I grow with my wings of great integrity to share all I’ve learned with the world…
“Que Papi?” Maria, laying on the grass, looked up toward Father…
“What will I learn, Papi?”
“Todo querida. Con Todo el cuerpo…”
For how long?
“Siempre. Por siempre…”
“And who will I share it with?”
She wonders and looks at Matthias.
So often she wondered of him, Matthias and their change…
He stood at the dock and
Wondered at the shore line of the coast that
Looked out into the great sea
Wondering of his home…
“Your greatest love.”
And she longed for…
All that she left and was…
All she had known, wanted and who?
Alone…she longed for all she promised herself, those she dreamed of and still dream of…
Maria…Maria was her name, Maria Agatha… the Latin form of Mary taken from the Hebrew Miryām, a name under much debate. Many believe it to mean “sea of bitterness” or “sea of sorrow”, sources cite the alternative definitions of “rebellion,” “wished-for child,” and “mistress or lady of the sea.” The name is borne in the Bible by the mother of Jesus, the son of God. It is not what she imagined and would not imagine the thought for years. Maria was just a young girl and the only male presence in her life was her father who could never entertain any sexual urge or thought to satisfy Maria. She was not even a woman yet but the presence of Matthias would begin to change those thoughts, make her see, make her aware of the woman present and call it to attention, call her to appear and wonder of her needs, desires and questions that would have been answered with the help of a mother who was never in her life.
Matthias… his name was Matthias, “gift from God,” typically given to the much desired first born son of a Christian family. Matthias therefore usually has a healthy sense of self-worth, strong, independent and self-assured. Matthias’ mother had become a Christian while her husband, The King, would lead his people in the war against Portugal, as she became the traitor, embraced Christianity, converting herself and the child and naming him as such to earn and satisfy her weaker religious needs.
Maria, born upon the death of her Mother, Don Lilo’s wife, Agatha ..Maria never had the chance to caress her mothers breast. Suckle a toast to life from her mothers nipples, salute the abundance a child should expect, instead she found her own way. Loving her Father but needing a mother. Agatha died at the violent hands of strangers, pale white men invaders in Africa during the Portuguese occupation of Mombasa. Mombasa, where Matthias’ Father, The King Ruled. It is where they both promised each other to care for the others current child. And it is why Lilo is recognizing Matthias’ arrival. For Matthias would become King after his Father, the King of his home, a just man who was deceived by the Portuguese into giving away his peoples land.
Maria imagined she could see the coast of Africa across the sea from where she lived with her Father in Catania. Their home sat on the edge of a stream that flowed into the Mediterranean.
“Tell me again Father where he will be coming from?”
“Over the horizon, we can’t see their home from here where he will be coming. The land he will be coming from is distraught. The Portuguese have landed and are taking their home from the people. Matthias will stay here until it is safe for him to go back. Until his Father the king and his mother can be found. Until then he will stay here with us.”
All of Maria’s Father’s offerings to her, friendship with Matthias she cherished most though spoke the least about, to whom she would never pledge her love and instead waited too long.
“In a city deep in Africa. along with his people, he battles the Portuguese for control of the land he is king of.”
“But if it’s his land why are the Portuguese fighting for it.”
“Because the Portuguese believe they can manage it better.”
Maria looked back at her Father. “Matthias’ Father must submit or battle for control. I’ve known the king many years.”
“The world would in times of strife, help with the cost of influence whether invasive or persuasive changing your home because the world can and truly believes their way is the right way, and they violently force their way, insisting… out of fear that their way may not be the singular right way, their way enslaves you.”
“It is greed Maria. In a world where people often need help, a much stronger aggressor often becomes invasive in the effort to offer help and instead becomes the aggressor and uses the weaker to feed off.”
“Yes feed. People who believe and feed off the weakness of others as nourishing…There are those who believe the guidance without question.
“The world angers me, Maria.”
“So few are satisfied with what they have to live the rest of their lives but always want more for the express purpose to oppress others who don’t have and never have had enough.”
Don Lilo was often heard commenting with other statesman about the Portuguese interest in Africa, “we battle the white man to influence and control all of the other black influence.
Their friendship was established quickly, soon after Matthias’ arrival from the near Mediterranean shores of Africa soon after they were introduced. Matthias traveled with his Mother away from what would become Kenya after the colonial period, his father a tribal King fighting the Portuguese.
Don Lilo’s house sat along the river, so quiet a visitor would barely notice that it was occupied.
Old, unkempt, so loved and lived in, the house, a young woman given to laying about in the sun, by the pool waiting for her lover to be free. Maria and Matthias became the best of friends until they aged to include the thoughts of lovers… a matter of time until those thoughts bore fruit, set root and sprout quickly to become lovers.
Maria the love of innocence in sync with the innocence and love of a child in Matthias who would become a King yet the darkness of truth whirled in their heat, a wheel of fortune spinning with choice.
Regret, at so young an age, is regret unto oneself…one looks at how brief life is and regrets the unfortunate choices made as battles lost without ever having fought them…
I will learn so much from you…I will learn so much from you likewise and we both will learn so much from each other…
“Maria, baba yangu amekufa.”
“I’m sorry Matthias? Did you say? Your father – ”
“Yes, my father has died.”
“I’m sorry, Matthias.” She sat up, having laid down on the warm sunlit green grass.
Matthias, the dark haired, handsome Moor child, she’s grown so fond of, who stayed and Don Lilo adopted until he had grown into a young man, Matthias he was called by his family, so fond he was of Maria and knew for so long ago as she matured into a young woman, who amused her in youth, long before Baldo, never could…even though Matthias was looked upon as suspicious by so many. Maria noted his dark skin as others noted and became apparent to others who worried some without cause.
“When did he die?” Said Maria.
“A communique your father handed me, from my mother.”
“Really, your mother? She’s been found?”
“Yes, una carta. A note from my father before going into battle and another from my mother that she came out of hiding and found notes from my father letting my mother to whom he left me with and where. After that I was easy to find, but for the distance she traveled to find me was great. Did you know your father was a warrior, he fought along side my people, alongside my Father, Maasai Warriors for the Portuguese.”
“My mother angered my father by giving me a christian name in addition to a warrior name.”
“Then your father as a Somali Warrior must’ve had a warrior name. What is your warrior name?”
“My father did and I do. My father divulged it to me when I was very young, long before I understood the purpose and it’s meaning. A small piece of paper he entrusted me not to show to anyone, even my mother but I want to show it to you.”
“Yes Matthias I love that you entrust me.” She felt queer but refreshed. For as long as they had known each other, been together as friends, they were on the verge turning of mind to become adults and were sure they never would. They would always only be friends the rest of the way. War, death and family commitment would force them apart.
“Are you sure?”
“Yes. Of you? Yes.”
“You will keep my secret.”
“My Father called me Simaloi.”
Maria held the small note written in Swahili on a thin sheet of bark held close and carefully to her breast.
“What does it mean, Simaloi?”
“It means no matter how difficult my challenge is, I am capable of completing it by being exceptional, my quick wits and my tremendous adaptability to various powers. Which is why I am always needed! I have a special talent of coping with all hurdles that make me indispensable.”
“I don’t know much about my Mother, she died soon after I was born. My mother, Consuela was a distant cousin of your Father’s.” The weight of her sadness came washed over her again as it had so often before but knowing of Matthias’ happiness…
“Matthias?” Maria looked up….
She had been laying on her blanket on the grass and looked at Matthias…
“My father has died.” His voice had lowered to a whisper…In the few short years they knew each other, in those few short years.
Don Lilo cared for him, and Maria came to love him.
“My mother traveled far with her aides and she told me the sadness, far from our home, Abiba.”
“It isn’t so but I always imagined this was your home, I feel we came to be as…one.”
“I will miss you Matthias.”“I will miss you too Maria.”
…she longed for…
Her father, Don Lilo…the day before his death upon which he left her a trinket and a thought of defiance, “Dando y dando, palomita volando”…he sang as she danced roundabout his guidance…once he was everything to her but she never really knew him. And now there was only darkness…then Lilo gave way Matthias and they danced about in looming desire…
Matthias was already gone and age distanced them more. The world had changed and she sought more and looked where never expected.
They are a couple in love they became older and their love became real though unsure. She was fascinated by his physique and him with hers. Time limited, his mother coming get him.
From afar she could see him talked at a distance she could see him talking to his mother.
This is something both expected and dread.
Maria, she watched Matthias walk away, a kiss unkissed, a touch untouched, a desire or undesired…Matthias looked back as mother tugged…
Matthias was raised in the house of a Spaniard, in the arms of their love, he walked away from her, feeling her release she watched him as he walked, along the river bank away from the bridge and… as if he missed the crossing then walked up to the foot of the bridge, looked the length then looked back at Maria. She was going to be different, grow different, become important and it was time and though they didn’t hear a call, it seemed they were, as if they were.
“Matthias, do you believe in God,” she asked.
I dream of God and yearn to sleep when awake to open the caverns of God when I sleep. I know God is there but I can never find God. I love to talk about God. The mystery of God is that there is so much to know because there is so much mystery. Simply put, God has created us and yet we really don’t know why.
Yes, God’s presence is deep, almost unknowable, deep, but look often, look often and the walls will open, you will become aware.
Have you been there, to God’s Caverns?
Not yet, but I dreamed that I had dreamed of them, one day, I will find my way there.
Tell me about the Caverns of God.
God is not a person, a being that you can categorize.
But the Cavern’s?
God lives no where but is all over, to behold, to have a presence
For a moment she tried to imagine his thoughts.
I have been there Maria. Gods Caverns. How? But you say it can not be categorize, God has no home. But I have seen it. Not in a dream but not asleep but and expanse of being I don’t understand but that I don’t clearly.
Matthias, I didn’t know that you were so aware of God.
He looked confused by her query.
True, you and I have never spoke of this but I have thought of God often. I spent many years as a child. I don’t know when I started. One day I was aware of these thoughts. I talked to the Catholic priests and the Priests and wise men of our Tribe not so much to follow but to learn why. To know the purpose.
Come Matthias his mother called. It is time to go.
Maria watched from a distance, the child with his mother, they talked and she felt their loneliness invade, a darkness from without felt clouding her sight of him.
Don Lilo watched from an upper floor window as Matthias walked away. When they were gone Don Lilo walked to Maria seated by the pool.
“I will miss him father.”
“I will miss him also, Maria.”
“Why does he have to go.”
“His mother needs a man for the house. For Matthias it is that time. He has become a man, that man needed to assume the duties of a man, a King, to carry on his father’s wishes at which his mother will be come disappointed when he becomes a man and that King he must and not son she can’t have.”
“And why do you not need a woman?”
“Yes. Your mother. Your mother died, you know that. I decided that after your mother I would prefer to be without a woman. Maybe one day long from now, in a different place as different people and in a different way, you and Matthias will meet again.”
“What way will that be, Father.”
“Ese es el futuro, mi Palomita, no puedo decírtelo.”
Maria relates her yearn her sadness for Matthias silently telling her father nothing about her feelings, her concern for Matthias.
Conversation among soldiers about the growing world… Not enough of the world no matter the shape for every animal, man, woman or child…