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The Virgin dialogue - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Judy Dykstra-Brown

The objects in my house have become a form of dialogue between my housekeeper Yolanda and me. I put things in places where they are artistically pleasing to me. That is why the Virgin of Guadalupe has resided for a year in my bathroom, along with other sculptures and paintings of female forms. But when I arrived home after a month in the States, I found my large terra-cotta Virgin moved to the small table below my entryway nicho. Around her were placed a few cacti in small pots that I'd had up in the nicho next to a grouping of stones, greenery and pre-Columbian replicas. Now the Virgin stood solidly in front of them, the nubs of white candles rising from attached candelabra on each side of her. read more

The wedding - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Gloria Marthai

Some of us wondered how that wedding could be blessed by God. Was it really His will? The village padre said it was. No one dared ask why. That would just give him a chance to preach to us about the power of faith. And, after all, our good standing in the church means a lot to us. The church provides the major distraction in our tedious lives, giving us religious fiestas and processions, baptisms, weddings, first communions and funerals. read more

Maid in Mexico - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Harriet Hart

When I refer to "my Mexican maid," my Canadian friends cringe. I suspect they picture a stooped crone in a shawl, scrubbing my floors on her hands and arthritic knees. Lupita is young, a handsome woman with strong features, too strong to be described as pretty. She arrives for work wearing tight jeans and a sweatshirt, dons my Harrod's apron and sets to work. She has her own methodical approach - bleach in the toilet bowls, shower curtains tossed over the rods, laundry in the washing machine, efficient methods I never interfere with. read more

Three señoras named Lola - an excerpt from the book Agave Marias Gloria Marthai

Two things the three señoras had in common were poverty and pain. Even their names, Dolores, meaning pains, seemed to cast a grim prognostication on their lives. Their informal names of Lola did nothing to lighten their load. read more

The delivery - an excerpt from the book: Agave Marias Harriet Hart

Giving birth is difficult enough with one woman involved; imagine when it takes ten. We conceived of this anthology in October of 2004. We had no instruction manual to follow, no physician to monitor our pregnancy, check our blood pressure, give us internal examinations or prepare us for delivery. How hard could it be? read more
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