Borders | Robin Sparks


US border


I’m meditating. In luxury. Sitting lotus position in a king size bed overlooking the fawn colored Bay Area Hills in Northern California, the San Pablo Bay, my skin toasty from a morning hot tub. A cup of fresh coffee steaming next to me. Sipping a decidedly non-third world green drink.

And I think about the photo I recently saw and re-posted on FaceBook. The one with the hundreds of boys crowded in a room at the border between Mexico and North America. The one which I captioned, “This is not Syria or the Turkish border. This is America. What can I do?”.

I think about how so many of the world’s borders are teeming with the poor, the frightened, the chased out, those who want only what ought to be a human right. Safety, food, opportunity. The right to survive for God’s sake.

Me? When I want to go to another country, I get on a plane and fly.

The majority of people in the world don’t have that choice. And not only because they don’t have the money, but because of something we call borders and these things we’ve invented called visas. How is it that we erect arbitrary lines between countries, keeping some people out and others in? Why do we do this??? As if there was not enough to go around if only we shared?

Who decided to divvy up the planet? Doesn’t it belong to all of us?

Forget the word belong – This planet and our place on it is on loan, ours for a short time. No one leaves with anything, so why pretend to own it? Why do we want to keep the best places for some of us and erect walls to keep out the not-so-lucky?

The word luck is an apt one. Show me one person who chose the country, the tribe, or the family into which they were born? Why would we who were lucky enough to be born into abundance, want to wall off that abundance from others? Fear and a scarcity consciousness that there is not enough – meaning that we should have lots and they should have none?

These thoughts make my heart do this strange liquid thing. It doesn’t exactly break, but it bleeds.

This is not right. What can I do? What can I do?

I await the answer, knowing it will come. I think about my upcoming trip to LA for my daughter’s bridal shower and that I will be so close to the US Mexican border. Who do I know that can get me into one of these horrific holding places to meet the poor boys stuck there, their families? To tell their stories?

Robin Sparks in Marin, California

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