There is a Mexican bar on one of the squares of Etterbeek; in summer it is shaded by acacia trees of delicate leaves. The bar is great, full of colors, music and goodies. It is run by a young couple and we spent there a cozy Halloween evening with my friend last year. I pass the place regularly; once, coming back from work, I saw the owners on the pavement yelling at each other in a family row, their little daughter was standing and observing. I did a mental judgment: What a shame, to have such a nice place and to behave like this. Later, I corrected myself: Not easy matching family life with running a restaurant business.
Around Christmas, the guys shut the place and left for holiday, as the note on the door said. Of course, you do not go to Mexico for a few days, they announced a closure for the whole month of January. Nevertheless, they left outdoor Christmas lights on, plus the wooden furniture, plus many pots of plants and decorations outside, as if they were only up the street and could show up any moment. Nice, to pass the place and see it lively, even without them, lights shining into early, wet winter dusk. It is a statement in this over-protecting, fence, alarm and lock obsessed world. On the door, there is a motto:
Life is not a problem to be solved. Life is a mystery to be lived.
Generous, I tell myself and it resonates with a topic I have been walking with these days: Open and secure. Shutting off/out/away does not protect, or, it does, but it only protects illusions. At the same time, I am learning to state healthy borders, which, actually, give real liberty to being. The Mexican bar also has the borders clearly traced: by the lines of decoration lights, by the wooden terrace construction, by the pots of plants and messages in the windows. The territory is marked in an open, playful, colorful way.
For years I thought I was sun-shy, protecting or failing to protect my skin. Now, I understand the deeper meaning, the skin as the protective zone, communicating the desire to defend one´s own values, rights, the unique self. Normally, in a healthy family, children learn this step by step with soulful carers. But parents are often wounded children themselves, so the lesson is passed partially or not at all. What I unconsciously learnt was, as many girls, I believe:
I am loved only when I please others. Okay, no regrets, no turning back, to be born psychologically is our own task and the time is always Now.
By the way, the owners are back from holiday, I went by today and saw the lights inside. The oven is on, delicious pizzas, cheese and ham and veggies. Bottles of wine glimmer on the shelves.
By singing our soul´s true song we gain the freedom.
The bar is called Terracotta.
The current book: Creating Love by John Bradshaw. A great teacher, an inspiration, this guy. Just one quote, related to a Jungian interpretation of the Greek myth of Eros and Psyché:
“The nurturing soul mother in all of us must learn that we will love and serve our children and our lovers better by attending to our own fate, by healing our own unfinished past, our own time of enchantment and mystification. Only by confronting this past can we make it real and transform it.”