Reading the Barren Land: On the Mexican Border by Barbara Flaherty
During the height of the Mexican drug cartel wars, I lived 60 miles west of Juarez on the US/Mexican border working with women’s coopertiva in both Mexico and the USA. The harsh Chihuahuan desert, the brutal violence of the cartels, and the incredible resilience of the people remain with me to this day. We live in a communicating universe and the desert speaks to the heart of things and to an emptiness that flowers.
Barbara Flaherty is the author of two books: Holy Madness (Chanting Press 2006) and Doing It Another Way (Chanting Press 2008). Her works have appeared in journals, anthologies and encyclopediae. A citizen of both the United States and The Republic of Ireland, she was a recipient of the 2005 Irish Drogheda Amergin Poetry Prize. Barbara writes out of both the Franciscan and Sufi traditions. Her current work is focused on the world as sacred text. She lived in Alaska for thirty years, is a former chaplain and dual diagnosis clinician. She is a co-founding companion of the Fourth Order of Francis and Clare, a loose association of trans-faith fools, clowns, troubadours and wandering mystics. During the height of the drug cartel wars she worked with women’s cooperatives on both sides of the Mexican/USA border.
© Barbara Flaherty