Sunday, December 30, 2007
and at midnight
the first moment of Christmas day
and for new year's
I have to spend the first minute of the new year
listening to you,
the whimsical voice of a few years of my youth,
wishing you a happy year
you, the friend.
the eternal friend.
and I think of the conversations we had
at the stroke of midnight.
a phone call
Every year, on christmas eve and new year's ever, right at 11:59 pm I think of a pending phone call. So I wrote a poem...
Saturday, December 29, 2007
This is the third day of my sickness and I still don't think my body has decided if it's a cold, the flu, or strep throat. And while my body decides I just hurt.
I have taken very little medicine, because I know when your body gets down is because it needs it. I just need some rest, and a little more tea... although the night-time thing I took last night helped with the cough all night.
Te de limon con miel. That's about I need to ease the pain and feel like I can talk again, although when I open my mouth no sound comes from it. I was just talking a few hours ago when a friend came over for a visit with her little boy, Jonah. But as the night is going, I don't see myself talking much tomorrow (well, actually, today). I hope I can still go to the basketball game at the university.
Let's see if I survive with no voice tomorrow. I take things for granted until I need them and they're gone. I need my blanket. And another sip of tea.. :(
Friday, December 28, 2007
It's gotten easier to say it, to write it out. But has it gotten easier to actually define a person? To define oneself? I think not. I think it's rather harder. But with the words we believe describe us, we get distracted, from actually finding meaning for ourselves.
That's just what I think. It might change tomorrow,
just like my about me.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
She loved the portrait. I think at the end it was worth the almost hr and 30 min she was posing. I won't forget her reaction when she saw the portrait "wow! it looks so much like me!"
I was a little worried, since it had been a minute since I last drew anyone from life, but thank goodness I still got it ;) and Mili's parents and my uncle were here and they loved it too. I love affirmation, it shoots my self esteem to the sky :)
Saturday, December 22, 2007
propositos de Dios para tu vida y esta generacion a
traves de tu vida. Es decir, no pregunto ¿Que me
ofrece la vida y Dios? sino me pregunto ¿Como cumplo
los propositos de Dios para esta generacion a traves
de mi vida?...Senti en mi corazon compartirte esto."
gracias a Dios por emails... y los amigos.
and even though i've been planning on not getting gifts this year, we ended up with some nice gifts per family.... we couldn't do individual, cause that would be too many and too much, so we bought gift cards to different restaurants and are going to give those per family... so that each family can have some time for themselves. different restaurants, that way we dont go all together. we do that enough at any other time.
and i made some cool photo calendars and photo books for my sister, nephew and bro-in-law. that's the Erickcito family... i think i'll start calling them that, cause none of them go by the same last name. no restaurant gift card for them.
and i got my mom the face lotions she wanted. pricey, but i know she'll love them.
hopefully i'll finish the scarf i'm making for my sister in time for xmas. she'll like it.
and after that i'll start a scarf for my other sis... lidi... and mail it to her. and i'm bringing juanca a bunch of stuff i've been saving for him. i am so excited to see him for new years!!! thank goodness the cotton bowl is there, so i have a ride to go see my big bro :D
let it snow... but not too much cause i dont drive good on it :D
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Desde la terraza aquella
donde siempre te encontrabas
después de un largo día
o durante una migraña,
ahora ruego al Dios eterno
que te guarde y te bendiga;
y te veo (no te miento)
en cada luz de la cuidad,
te recuerdo con el viento
que antes de la lluvia va.
Era la terraza aquella
más que un sitio de descanso
era el lugar donde tu alma
se llenaba de alegría.
De aquella ciudad tu amabas
su eterna indiferencia
a tu vida y tus migrañas.
Esa es la cuidad que espera
algún día tu regreso,
que te vuelvas y contiemples
Junio 21, 2004
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Let's talk about the weather, the perfect conversation for an empty moment. It's cold, very cold. And it has been raining for the past two days. So my hair has been wavy at the touch of the air... humid air. And my nose gets cold, and my toes... but they rather be cold than imprisoned in a tennis shoe.
Time to go to bed, there's work tomorrow. And dinner at Noodles with the co-workers. The merry-xmas times, with lots of traffic, but pretty little lights, colorful, like the scarf I'm making.
Sunday, December 09, 2007
I hadn't heard of him before, so I was a bit confused as to what he was doing next to all those republicans. He has some ideas I like. And I looked at his website and some articles about him at univision.com and he's .... a very unusual republican.
Today has been like that all day, because I saw early in the morning two republicans I liked in Jorge Ramos' "Al Punto." (If you're a Latino living in the States you need to watch this, and if you don't know what it is, you can learn about it here... I don't understand why univision won't publicize this tv show but they will run about 10 commercials about the latest somebody that fell down in the Televisa version of Dancing with the Stars.... we need to get it together, univision, por favor.) And I'm not supporting Ramos here, I don't really agree with all his point of views and I'm not crazy about his obsession with Hugo Chavez (today, he ALMOST made it through the show without mentioning him.. almost.) But Ramos is a great journalist and I love Al Punto. Latinos need to continue the dialogues on the issues that are affecting us and take action. Al Punto is an awesome start for families to start a conversation. Because whatever happened in the 8 pm Novela last night is not going to matter much tomorrow.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
cuando las luces del vecino se apagan
y todo se vuelve más frio,
cuando el abrir y cerrar de ojos da igual
y cuando los miedos vienen corriendo.
nadie cuenta historias cuando tú faltas,
y más alla del fuego que me calienta
no veo nada
porque faltas tú.
haces mágicas las noches
cuando danzas sobre agua
y llenas mis horas huecas
con tu luz prestada.
I wish the moon was out tonight.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
"B- So sorry to hear about the car. I hope this book helps to brighten you day. Miss you! -J."
I really brightened my day, actually, the whole week :)
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Soft color light bounces off everything
and anything on its way.
Little lights that cry celebrations.
melodies and lyrics
that are hard to understand.
Constantly thinking of the impossible.
And I'm happy.
But I'm not sure.
And I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow
or a year from tomorrow.
If I'm not here anymore,
and sweet dreams.
Don't worry, that's just in case I'm taken from you.
I won't leave you.
I will never leave you.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Today my 1988 blue ford taurus piece of crap gave me the last headache and near heart attack.
It's burned the last of me.
Yes, I am through with it... with car problems, with smoke coming out of it, with no heat in the winter and no a/c in the summer.... with no radio, and sudden stops when going uphill.
It's sad, because now i have no car.
I'm looking for one.
If you know of a good used car for sale... you should call me.
yes, the end of an era.
"It was real and it was great, and it was really great."
you should comment... to cheer me up.
or buy me an used book, that always cheers me up.
See the photos: CLICK HERE
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I've been dreaming of showing art at La Luna. Dreaming, because that's a bit far away and lately it seems like the border-crossing talk is getting irritable.
I'll have lunch with a friend this week, just to catch up.
And I'll jump on top of another pile of dry, dead leaves. They're so crunchy... makes me happy.
It's getting cold. Pero la sangre que salio de la herida estaba calientita.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
But talking about the weather wasn't all I wanted to do.
I wanted to say I'm thankful.
I know I don't always sound thankful, but I am. I'm thankful for my wonderful family that fills my hours with conversations and laughter, most of the time. My life would be extremely empty without these wonderful individuals.
Thanksgiving is not a holiday of mine, but why not say thanks when everyone is doing it? Is not a bad thing to imitate... oh, and I'll be making two pumpkin pies tomorrow. Wish me luck.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Mira lo que me encontre... si es que youtube no es solo bueno para encontrar videos de la Tenchis y de su programa Duroblandito. No señor... tambien me sirve para encontrar a Rucks & Parker y los videos que me recuerdan de los años noventa.
Lo interesante es que esta musica me recuerda a otras cosas.. entre ellas, al comercial de las galletas TIPO!
ps. "Tengo que lograr... que vuelvas conmigo, seguire intentando todo tipo de cosas...vuelve conmigo que pasa, es que acado no soy you tu tipo?...." jejeje
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
So I get others lost.
And I get myself confused.
And I wished I only did that for writing. No, that seems to be the rule in my whole life. But what I wanted to say is something completely different from what I'm talking about right now. I just wanted to tell you about a story with maracas and little cousins making fun of my friend. But now I was just thinking how I wish I could go deep and make good points on things, and maybe teach myself a lesson from things that happen. I learn. I'm just not sure how, because I don't have any specific styles or methods. Bullet points do nothing to me. And highlighters just make me get sidetracked and draw a little man with no arms on the side of a page. And introductory stories or examples make think of more stories and more examples. Oh, wait, I got it. It's in the numbers. The numbers and formulas. Math.
You know how people say that you're either good at science and math OR social studies and communication (or something along those lines)... well, I always thought (get ready for this) that I'm good at everything BUT science. Maybe is just that I like everything but science. But maybe I'm just truly and naturally good at math. I enjoy it and it comes easy to me... but when it comes to science, I just hate that stuff, for more interesting it sounds it just gives me a migraine.
And I just thought of all this cause Pau told me something about el profe Victor and I started thinking about math and how we would sometimes (him and me) solve the problems in the book that nobody else was able to solve on their own... not even me.
HA! And I thought this would be an interesting post for my readers (HA! my readers... I crack myself up). Well... sometimes a little introspection comes in handy. Although I'm afraid I didn't finish the thought here.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
I am here right now, writing to tell you what's in my heart. Like I do always. Because that's why this blog is wisely titled "from b to z"... I talk about whatever I'm empilada* on. Tonight, I want to tell you how much I loved the 8th annual Latin Grammys. I LOVED the whole thing. All the performances were awesome... and I'm not even hating on the norteñas and reaggetones that didn't hit the spot. Let's see what I liked the most, we'll go by my memory, because I only remember the things I like (in cases like the grammys and any other entertainment related topics, i'm not like that for the academia, etc.). Ricky Martin, good. Calle 13 and Orishas, good. Miguel Bose, good. Jesse & Joy, good. Juan Luis Guerra, GREAT. And of course, Stomp Out Loud that went along with Calle 13 and Orishas, great! I cannot recall something I didn't like. And if I had to add something else to make it the best show awards show I've seen in a while, I'd add a performance by Mana. Just cause they're so awesome.
("Mienteme y di... que no estoy loco...quién teme... quién teme dí... si yo me pierdo..Mil años pasarán.. y el duende de tu nombre de luna en luna irá" --that's just the song that got stuck in my head)
I have to say, I am really really happy that Juan Luis Guerra was the big winner of the night. He's had my musical heart since I first heard "El Costo de la Vida" (you should really read that as "el costo 'e la vida").
Oh, I am so excited... this moments of excitement have been popping up on me for some time now. My sister calls them Chispazos** and truth is, I've been having them a lot. I got so excited that iTunes latino had a 40-song album of Aleks Syntek for $9.99 that I bought it without thinking about it for too long... forgetting, of course, that i'm broke and that gas is $3.06 the galon. I just thought it was a good deal... you know, 40 songs. Do the math.
I wish I was able to get music easily. Not music, but musica. What's here "latin music" although I have to be careful with the way I use that term because sometimes it's understood to cover only one genre or music, or worse, one song. A year or so ago would have been La Gasolina... now I think it'd be I Lean Like a Cholo. But I have to stop complaining... maybe iTunes latino will get it right soon, cause right now, they're lacking. Gimme some more of those specials like the Aleks Sintek one... now that you, iTunes latino, are so naive when it comes to musica.
OK, the writing chispazo for this post is over. And remember, if you think this post was weird and out of the blue, think again... that might just be the rule.
PS. OH!! I must not forget to tell you that yesterday morning when I put on one of those jackets that I hadn't used since before Spring break in April this year I found the jump drive I thought I'd lost!!! I just found it about 7 months after I really needed it.
*empilada: span. fem. someone who's very interested on something at a specific time. Salvadoran slang.
**chispazos: span. pl. sparks of something... mostly madness, love, or some obsession.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I am pretty tired of car trouble.
I am also a bit cold. Because my wet hair is touching my back... and it's cold outside. That probably doesn't make sense to you, but that's OK, it's before 7 am and I don't think I'm very reliable before that time. Unless I'm pulling all nighters, which is not going to be happening anytime soon, because I am not applying for grad school just yet. I do have to take my GRE soon, but no filling out applications for me yet. I am still to decide what road I want to take. Right now, no road is just right.
I am getting hungry. And I need to go blow-dry my hair. Ciao.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Coffee with a friend tomorrow. And babysitting too.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I have so much to say, so much to tell you and show you... I spent last weekend in Las Vegas. I spent the time with my dear friends Ja and Jo, and I made a few new friends. I have a few photos to show you, and some I won't show you. I got there on Thursday morning... starting with the flight, it was amazing. All my flights and connections were on time, and even though it felt like I was awake for fifteen hundred hours that day, I loved every minute of it. So I'm sure I'll go back as soon as I can... or maybe as soon as I can find a cheap flight from this little airport. Man, I wish sky bus was available here.
My connecting flight on the way to Vegas was at Salt Lake City, Utah. I've never been there, so when I saw the big lake under us and no visible place to land I got a little scare. Thankfully, there was an airport in the middle of the fog. Then I got to Las Vegas that Thursday mid-morning... Man, I was so excited to see Jenn and Jake that I think I still have a little excitement left in the body, cause I am getting excited as I type this. Jake was waiting for me at the luggage pick up and Jenn was driving around the airport, so that she didn't have to pay for parking... classic. And did I mention there were slot machines at the airport?! Those things are everywhere in Vegas.
And well, I had an amazing time. Most of it I won't tell you.... you know what they say about what happens in Vegas. I do have to tell you about the wedding and the (approx) 13 times that Jacob cried that day. He's such a great man, but I didn't know how emotional he could get. I did a questionnaire about him one day (one of those myspace deals) and one of the questions was if I had ever seen him cry... I said no to that question, but that has sure changed now! I got to hear from Josh that night after the wedding a recount of the times Jake cried... it was quite funny, specially the way Josh was telling it. They were really counting. It's not that I didn't cry, cause I did... many times, specially right before and during the ceremony. Oh, it was so emotional, and how could you keep your eyes from tearing up after seeing Jacob's face all red and teary eyes. No fight to those tears!! I mean, EVERYBODY in the bridal party was crying.. And Jenn, she looked SO beautiful in her dress and she was so happy. Couldn't wait to be Jake's wife and she cried too, when she was going down the aisle.... well, was it an aisle? anyway... At least I think she was crying. I couldn't really see, because I didn't wear my glasses for the ceremony.
Everything was just so great, and so... them. The wedding really fit Jenn and Jake. They had a bit of a halloween theme to the party, since they love Halloween so much. The nightmare before Christmas, baby! I loved the cake, their champaign glasses, the earrings Jenn gave me... everything. It was all just so beautiful. And that's the night I said hasta la vista to Jenn and Jake. Because I had to take off the next morning at 5:30 am, because my flight left at 7:30 am. It was until then, when I wished I had booked my flight until Monday and not Sunday. I really needed to sleep. So the next morning, still with perfect curls thanks to all the hairspray on my hair, I took a shower and was able to get the curls down to head to the airport. All the flights were on time, but now it really felt like fifteen hundred hours. I was SO tired by the time I got back.
I made some great new friends... and I will sure watch for cheap flights for Las Vegas in the future... maybe not the near future cause I'm so broke right now. And well, that's about how much I can tell you about the trip, everything else will have to be in pictures (I'm also putting some on flickr). Ciao.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
And about the quote on the last posts. I saw this movie, The Last Kiss, during the weekend and got the quote from there. I thought it was really great, because the main character had just done something really stupid and hurt his girlfriend and the relationship they had up to that point. And while the guy was talking to the girl's dad he was telling her dad how much he loved his daughter and at that point he said what he said (see previous post). And I thought that was very true. How our words, though sometimes they might sound amazing, are really just air if we don't have actions to back them up.
I'll go to bed now. Early. Because it's been dark for a while now and it's cold. I guess we're officially out of Summer and in Autumn. But before I leave I wanted to share with you two things. First, is this blog. It's about this couple in the process of adopting one (or two) little girls from Guatemala. Actually, one of the girls was born in El Salvador. You should look at their blog, and if you pray, pray for them. They seem like they would be great parents. The second thing is very mundane, specially when compared to the first one. It's just that I wanted to show you this album I made on facebook that I really liked. I just wanted to post some photos, but it ended up describing me in a couple of levels. Enjoy.
Sweet dreams. Buenas noches.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
do whatever it takes... it's that simple.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I already told Anna to go and to get me a poster. I love the nwaadc events, and this one is a bad one to miss, but hey... I'll hopefully get the poster.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
The only thing I'm missing is... the gift. (HINT Ja or Jo, if you read this, give me an idea or you will most likely end up with a Target gift card, which I don't want cause it's not memorable, but which I WILL get if my creative juices don't flow before I have to leave for Las Vegas).
I fly out next week on Thursday morning. I got the earliest flight I could get, as always, because I will spend over there the most time I can. Yes, I also got the latest flight I could find for Sunday.
Now, please don't wait for any updates when I come back. You know what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. So I won't be telling you any stories. The most that you can expect from that trip is a couple of pictures from the wedding (pictures that I will most likely steal from someone else since my camera decided to become a piece of unusable crap this summer... cause, you know there IS usable crap out there... Berthito, my car, is a fine example of it).
Ja and Jo, get excited, and get someone to come get me at the airport on Wednesday, OK?!
Monday, October 15, 2007
You could have guessed that I would love this movie if you knew I also love What Dreams May Come and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. "Hey Jude..." AWW!!! A piece of art, that's what it is, a masterpiece of film.
look at the website: www.acrosstheuniverse.com
Sunday, October 14, 2007
i have a question and a funny story for you. the question is the same question i've asked myself ever since i can remember the hot nights at the third-floor apartment where i grew up, but i forgot it. i remember questioning and answering with made up lines and stories, but i can't remember now why it was so important to have an answer. sometimes, just seeking that answer is where the meaning of the answer is, not in the actual answer. i think it was in a movie, where i heard that the human heart/mind cannot live without something to strive, something to desire; and if that something is achieved, then the whole meaning of it changes and somehow loses its essence. so i forgot the question, like the woman who thought of the name for her newborn baby and ended up naming the baby something completely different to what she had thought for nine months.
and well, the funny story, wasn't that funny after all. i told the story in my head a few times, and by the last time i told it, i wasn't laughing anymore. not even smiling. i think it lost its flavor in the translation from one language to the other. like that "salty" joke i made today. it only made sense in my head that's why mili didn't get it. or maybe her spanglish is better than mine, even when that's not even a real language.
oh, star, sorry for making you read all this. sometimes i just want to get some words out without a purpose or end. with the end result being lost time. yours and mine. sorry, my star. i think i would be better off getting words in than out.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
y con mi sueño frustrado de aprender a cocinar
y que voy a hacer con los domingos
y feriados ningun plan es apropiado
cuando intento no pensar
Que me inventare para decirle al mundo entero
si me ven tumbada al suelo
y sin mas ganas de volar
como escondo este par de alas rotas
y las suelas de mis botas cansadas de caminar
Yo quiero que vuelvas
yo quiero que regreses
ya ves que hasta mis manos
de tanto no tocarte me duelen....me duelen
Y que voy a hacer si mi barbilla lega al piso
y aunque intente la sonrisa no me sale natural
si ya me han visto con la mirada perdida
unas cuantas libras menos
y unas lagrimas de mas
....Yo quiero que regreses
Si sabias que eras para mi
Y siempre quisiste estar aqui
Aun no entiendo como, cuando, donde,
Ni porque te perdi, yo no se vivir asi"
There are times, places, voices, sights, faces, traces, lines, cars, colors, shapes and sounds that make me myself. You see...Although I like flying, there's one flight that took a part of my heart away. A part of my life... and gave me another part, another life. A strange life at the beginning, then familiar, but still foreign to my skin. So when I go over the clouds I look at them and dream of the flight that makes me whole again. The flight that brings me home. Wherever that may be now.
The thing is, I'm afraid I'm living in images stored in my mind, and I'm afraid I'm living in a skin that fell off me long ago. It doesn't matter how much I try to make this home.... four seasons, layered clothing, snow, freezing rain, flowers in the spring....it'll never be home because I'm not welcomed. Home is where you're welcomed....all the time....no conditions.
I'm a Veranera trying to bloom in a four-seasons climate.
Monday, October 08, 2007
"Sometimes I wish that I was the weather, you'd bring me up in conversation forever. And when it rained, I'd be the talk of the day." --JM
I like it when it rains in the spring, because the rain is no longer freezing and it leaves flowers behind. In the summer, it usually refreshes the air, and it brings some clouds to ease the burning sun over our heads. But in autumn... I think I rather have storms that light rain. The winds bring down the lose leaves from the trees. Trees that change their colors. I love storms and the dark sky in the middle of a day. The clarity that it brings to life. The dust goes down with the water and things are clear and quiet just for a few moments after the storm goes away. I love storms. They make me feel fragile, so human. Thunders are the voice from heaven. Sometimes I wish I was the weather...
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Yes, those are brushes. Free photoshop brushes I got at the design fruit. I might have overdone it. But it's OK, cause it's the first time.
Friday, October 05, 2007
So I went to see her tonight after getting back from a photo assignment I'm getting ready for the weekend. After finding the place and her, I gave her a big hug. It had been too long since we last saw each other. So we talked about a lot of things, where she's been, what she's been doing, who she's been talking to, the Bible, church, boys, email... and well, you get the idea. She is so great. I looked at some of her photos from her time in my Central America and well, my heart just shrunk a bit. What do I mean by that? I don't know, that's just how it felt, like my heart shrunk a bit. Because I wanted to be there, in those pictures, instead of the other side of the image. She listened about parts of my life I don't talk about that often, at least not here. I even told her about Job 26 and why I love that chapter so much. And of course, we goofed around too... she got this crazy, not so pleasant image in my mind and now I can't get rid of it. I hope, if I one day read this post again, I don't remember what that image was.
I love this girl. Her heart is so focused and her vision is so wonderful. She's what I once dreamed about becoming...some time ago. I'm going to help her out putting up her website. If I can't help her out financially at the moment, then this will be my contribution. I know one day I'll be able to do more.
Stacie's heart is in Latin America. She loves God and she wants, and is, making a difference in this world. I saw the pictures she takes of those she's met and love, there are some many faces stored in those photos. People she might never see again, or whose names she doesn't know, and still she can tell you how she met the person and how that person marked her life. I heard some stories... about the girl who has the cute 2 year old, about the guy with the tribal tattoo who played basketball under the rain and smeared the tattoo away, about the tall French guy, about the Canadian girl, the photographer, and the Tica bus driver that took her through Central America by chance (he happened to be the driver every time she took the bus to the next country) and who ended up exchanging her currencies for dollars at the end of the journey. Pictures of sweet strangers. Amazing stories. She has a story behind each bracelet she wears. And I now there's a story behind each ring she wears... she told me years ago. She wants to make people's lives easier and better and put a bit more love in their lives, and then she wants to tell their stories.
If you pray, pray for Stacie. You'd love her just as much as I do if you got the chance to meet her. Well, actually, maybe you will get the chance to meet her. Only God knows where she'll be next. Really.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
"I'm writing you to
catch you up on places I've been
And you have this letter
you probably got excited, but there's nothing else inside it
didn't have a camera by my side this time
hoping I would see the world through both my eyes
maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way with words.
Today, skies are painted colors of a cowboy cliche'
And its strange how clouds that look like mountains in the sky
are next to mountains anyway.
Didn't have a camera by my side this time
Hoping I would see the world through both my eyes.
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm
in the mood to lose my way
but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
NO more 3x5's
I guess you had to be there
I guess you had to be with me
Today I finally overcame
trying to fit the world inside a picture frame
Maybe I will tell you all about it when I'm in the mood to
lose my way but let me say
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
no more 3x5's
just no more 3x5's"
Only that with me the part that says " Today I finally overcame trying to fit the world inside a picture frame" isn't true at all. I miss my camera. (youtube video)
Monday, October 01, 2007
I find the falling economy of this country very closely related to the blockage on immigrant workforce, education, and development.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Last night was long. My brain didn't want to go to sleep and my eyes were too busy looking for shapes in the dark to care for a little rest. My feet longed for fresh air, yes, my feet, not my lungs. I wanted to walk on the wet grass and get my eyes tired with the air coming from-- there.
But I didn't go outside. Too many crazy people in this side of town. I should know, I'm one. I got up and wrote a list of things to do today, of things to find today-- where's that letter I need to return? Where's that box?
The sunshine is still there, by my window. I haven't lost it yet. I want to take a picture, but I'll take it with my mind-- sorry you'll have to imagine, no visual for you today. It's just that my mind is less blurry that the image of that box. The sunshine is almost gone, peering through the natural-looking shades that keep the one out from looking in. It divides the image in litlle lines, as if cut with a small blade and put back together funny.
But I can see the leaves moving, from line to line. It's mostly green, I see. Thought the brown of the shade blends with the brown of the trees and then I realize that it's mostly brown, I see.
My space is too crowded. Do you want to buy some paintings?
Do you want to get some books? How about some old t-shirts. They're great for cleaning brushes, or counter tops.
Beads. A blue sun-moon. Several newspaper clippings, one of the "starbucks nation" article I liked. And one of the selling of St. Andy. I also have canvas... I don't have the frames yet. And I have too many containers, I can't contain my soul.
Last night was a long night.
I walked on the streets of Alajuelita and San Jose, and I was lighter. I drew sunsets and faces and people were buying my art. It was enough to get me some coffee on that famous and very expensive cafe in the corner of that block.
Then I went back to the living room in the A building, third floor. A 31. And the floor was cold. It's because it was tile. Tile is better than carpet... in hot nights. I laid there, and sang.
Then the night was long, and I forgot the rest.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
After work I went to the car shop and left my car there. I hope that when I pick it up I have no more trouble with smoke coming out of it.
Later, while driving to my uncle's house, I saw the most amazing sunset I've seen in a while. It was very orange and isolated. Soft orange in one side and the harsh rays peering out in between some clouds. You see, it was cloudy and it had stormed earlier, so most of the sky was gray. On my way back I saw the moon behind some soft, thin clouds. First, it was gentle and shapeless, then as the night feel under the moon got defined by its reflected light.
And finally, I had to clean up the blog. So it's white now. There was a little bit more of a mess than I like. Maybe I'm compensating my need to organize all that's in my room, but hey... I had to start somewhere.
Please pray for the couple I almost know. And next time you go out, take the camera, you don't want to miss out on photographing an amazing sunset.
Monday, September 24, 2007
April might have left too early, but she brought our group closer. Much closer. It was so good to see my friends. To hug them and remember broken promises of cooking. I loved to see Justin, and John, and Mary, Kasey, Tina, Jose, Roshunna... and all others that came today.
There were many missing, as so many have left town in look for their next degree, or for a job, a better future... I didn't see Shonda, Rosalba, Andy, Gigi, LaTrice... but they were present, because we were present, just like when we're together is as if April is still part of us.
That's what the UA is for me. The place where I found home again. And I found friends again. And where my soul began to heal.
Goodnight. Until the next smile...
Sunday, September 23, 2007
backlight in black and white
Originally uploaded by begutierrez
I have my camera back. I got it from the repair guys from circuit city. They didn't leave it like new, it still has some problems with the auto focus, but it's better than it was. So I'm back at taking photos.... and in that same note, I found a nice blog/photoblog. It's here: Julia Busca
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I sit here and I'm grateful I got to see a few of my good friends tonight. And I'm thankful because I was able to step on campus and feel what I was afraid of feeling and survived. Because it can be scary to go back to a place you belonged for so long, but now as a part of something different and foreign. It was like coming home to a place that no longer is. Things felt familiar, the place and the atmosphere felt familiar... but it wasn't for me anymore. My entire group of friends is no longer there and the laughs and name-shouting wasn't there either. But it was fun. Seeing some of those who are still there and hugging them, and catching up.
Something else that's not leaving my mind tonight is that email I got. That's just life, I guess, some you can make happy....some you will never make happy. It's just a little harder to get to that conclusion when is someone so important. And even when I've gotten used to the short sentences, that even when they might be sincere, they feel so fake. And even when I'm past that phase of taking things to personal, taking his words to personal, it still makes me think and go back to re-read and think what was behind those words, and why the sentence wasn't longer, and how much was left unsaid and was disguised by that one short sentence. At least he said he was proud of me, he never says it, or at least I don't remember. Might be that I don't remember because he always taints the moment with something else.
I'm also thinking of things I need to do. And things I would like to not do and the reason's why I don't want to do them, and the reasons why I have to do them. I have to mow the lawn. I'm not finding reasons not to mow the lawn, I'll do that tomorrow. All that thinking is about other things. More important things.
This midnight blogging just started to make me uncomfortable. I wish I was talking instead. To someone who wants to listen... I love late night talks. I don't know why, but I wish I could write more and get everything that's in my head (at this moment) out. I always feel like I never quite finish my thoughts, and that bothers me. I guess I'm better at drawing. Or talking.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I'm trying to organize them before saying a word.
In the meantime I work...
and forget how to spell
the pronunciation of my middle name
as if should be any different
from the name itself
I better get back to work
before I forget how to spell
"wake up at 6 in the morning"
I ramble when I have nothing to say,
or when I have too much to say
and don't know how to say it.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I've been thinking a lot about the case of Andrew Meyer, the University of Florida journalism student who got arrested and tasered by police a couple of days ago during the question/answer part of a lecture by senator John Kerry.
See? I don't care what he was asking, or how long he had been in front of the microphone talking, the police officers had no business arresting him...let alone using a taser on the student. What they did was abuse of power.Negligence even. But something else that disgusted me, maybe even more, was the fact that no one else in that auditorium did anything about the situation. I don't know how many students were there, but man, were they cowards. I don't know if it's this generation, or the culture, but college students in this country tend to let others "deal with their own problems"... which is, by my standards, bullshit. How did we come to be spectators? The only thing missing was a glass case that separated the audience in that auditorium and what was happening with Mr. Meyer and the police officers. I wonder if the officer who used the taser would have thought about it before using it if only the others in that room (including Senator Kerry... who had a microphone in front of him) had said something
I am also disgusted by the reaction of the university. They have let the matter go into an outside investigation of the case. HA, of course. It reminds me the time two black students that were volunteering under my somewhat leadership during the collection of donations for hurricane Katrina survivors in the fall of 2005 outside the Razorback stadium, and got taken into custody by a UAPD officer because the officer thought they were stealing the donations. They happened to be the only two black volunteers with no volunteer bracelets (there were about 5 other volunteers with no bracelets, but of course, they wouldn't be stealing, right?!). Oh, I got in the middle of that one. I took it to the VP of student affairs and what did she do? Put the matter under investigation, of course. So I've learn what that means, it means NOTHING will be done. Which is, again, by my standards, bullshit. Those who have the power don't use it.
I've heard and read all over the place that Mr. Meyer was not most loved student at that university. But it doesn't matter how big of a jerk someone is, what happen to him was unacceptable, and if you dig a little deeper (which I haven't done, so this I'm just saying) a violation of his civil rights. I'll be watching this case, and waiting for something to be done about it.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
No tengo nada que decir.
Y cuando esto pasa, digo cualquier cosa. No he aprendido a quedarme callada y pensar. No he aprendido a dominar los pensamientos que corren libres en mi mente.
Por eso, a veces, escribo disparates.
Y me voy.
Para que no te quedes vos.
Monday, September 17, 2007
stuck on this land
I can't move with all the freedom of my heart....
I keep finding things that stop me and things that made me mad
I just want to be free to be who I am.
Looking in the library for a Mark Twain book
I found it and let it go,
put it aside to grab one by Alberto Fudguet.
Tinta Roja. Red Ink.
Reminds of the writing of a friend,
and of school.
And I'm so stuck inside my head.
Friday, September 14, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Portrait of la hermana
Originally uploaded by begutierrez
Hoy cumple 21 años la baby de mis hermanos, por lo menos de los que cuento.... Felicidades a la madre de mi sobrinito bello, a la compañera de mis bayuncadas, a quien se rie cuando imito a la tenchis o al cipitillo y quien siempre me ha aguantado... bueno, casi siempre :)
Feliz cumpleaños Barbie!
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I have good, bad, and tasty news.
The good is that I checked this morning and my computer is on its way to me, it's in Indianapolis right now and I can't wait to get it. It might make it to my arms by tomorrow, or Friday. This is very exciting.... it's been a long time coming.
The bad is that my car, well, my mom's car that I've been driving since mine broke down this summer has broke down. This morning on my way to work I had to pull over because the car overheated, and after a minute or so after I turned the engine off the thing started smoking. I'm not kidding... smoking! Like when the orange Ford Cortina used to smoke on its way up any hill in San Salvador. Smoking... and I check and it wasn't that it needed coolant thing, because I put some of it just last night and it was full. So after checking that, I didn't know what else to check for. I got picked out and made it to work.
The car is still in that parking lot where I left it.
Besides that it worries me a little that I might not have a ride tomorrow morning, I don't feel a thing.... Cars break down so much on me I'm used to it, I guess.
And the tasty is that I made banana pudding last night and took it to work. People liked it, so I am now sure that I can mix things right. Yay for me!
I have to go now.....
Monday, September 10, 2007
I miss her calls and the way she talked, that sweet Southern accent. I miss how I could just call her and we'll be together in the next half and hour, and how she encouraged me to do best... always. How even if a class was difficult or if the project at hand was ridiculously long or seemed impossible to finish, she always said, with a smile "it'll be fine!" and then we would take a break. We were always taking breaks in between studying. I loved that, because we would talk, then read, then talk some more, then read, then we would just look at each other and smile... and we understood we were ready for some food. Ay, my April... those dinner breaks would go from planned minutes to hours of talking and laughing. But when we needed to study, we'd get it done and we'd do it right. Those As didn't come from only sitting pretty at the library. And I will never never forget the night she was studying Spanish, for a quiz first thing next morning, and when I started helping her with the vocabulary cards she'd made from pages of old print outs. That night we talked so much Spanish, and we used funny associations so that she'd remember what things were. We new what "estoy cansada" meant. And then, that next day, with a big smile and a hug she told me she got a perfect score on that quiz. MAN, that was great. I miss those celebrations. I remember when she was filling out the application for the internship with the Black Caucus in DC that summer... it was really close to the deadline, of course. But ay, we were so excited, and then when she told me she got it, we jumped and hugged at the ballroom at a BGSA event. She was SO happy, even more when I told her I would be in DC for a week at the AAUW conference... we started planning to meet in the city and what to do, and all that.
We came to be really close friends almost since the beginning, because of her friendly, open nature I found to be so rare with most of others I had known here. But she was great, and she included me in things, and she was so honest all the time. We talked about everything, for hours. That night at the Multicultural Retreat was were we became really close. We were roommates and so awake until so late. Our laughs drove Rosalba from the room next door, and Shonda from the room on the other side of the house were we stayed. That night was great. It was the beginning our the true friendship of the four of us. Those ladies... I love those ladies. And I was so hurt when none of them walked with me at commencement. Life just took so many turns. And didn't let us walk together.
April made me part of her family. I have so clear in my mind the time when she stopped reading and looked at me at that table in the periodical rooms at the library and she asked if I wanted to come visit her for a few days and meet her family down in Hope. I said yes at once and got so excited. "You should come stay at home with me some time this summer" she said. I had a great time in Hope, and I got to know her parents, her grandparents, her cousins, and some friends. We went by her church, by her high school, by Bill Clinton's home in Hope.
And then she was taken just a few months later.
I miss her so much. And I believe she's better, but I get so mad sometimes that we can't talk anymore, that we can't laugh, and we can't discuss articles in the newspaper and talk about politics. I mostly get mad at the lose of this country. I know she would have made it far in politics. I would have been a campaign...something...but I would have been with her. This world missed out on knowing April Love. And I talk about her and write about her so much because I want other to know her and how wonderful she was, and how deeply she impacted my life. I have her in mind when I dream big. And I think of what she would say, and what words she would use to tell me I can do whatever I want because I'm so strong.... her words were always empowering. Always.
"Cuando por las noches mires al cielo,
al pensar que en una de aquellas estrellas estoy yo riendo,
será para ti como si todas las estrellas riesen.
¡Tú tendrás estrellas que saben reír!....
estarás contento de haberme conocido.
Serás mi amiga y tendrás ganas de reír conmigo.
Algunas veces abrirás tu ventana sólo por placer
y tus amigos quedarán asombrados de verte reír
mirando al cielo.
Tú les explicarás: "Las estrellas me hacen reír siempre."
-- de El Principito (The Little Prince)
Hasta siempre, Abril Amor... 1985-2005
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Too many shadows in my room
Too many hours in this midnight
Too many corners in my mind
So much to do to set my heart right
And I thought I had lost documents I have there, cause I use the thing as a drive for docs since I seem to be cursed with jump drives and always lose them or get stolen, and of course... I didn't have a back up for those docs. My senior paper was there, my resume, my vita, all my presentations that were important enough to not get deleted when I cleaned my docs at the UA server. I mean, I am so dang used to losing stuff like that... important stuff that I don't back up, that I didn't even cry last night. I usually cry, of course I do, all the work and time spend in those projects and things.. just to be lost. OF COURSE it hurts. But my heart might be hardening because yesterday I just thought "oh... forget it" and left the iPod to die with its battery.
Oh, it’s taken so long
I could be wrong, I could be ready
Oh, but if I take my heart’s advice
I should assume it’s still unsteady
I am in repair
I am in repair
And this morning, when I saw it was finally off because the battery died, I decided to charge it and try to see if I could get anything out of it before I could call the apple costumer service to give them my story and see if they could repair the thing for me... and then the iPod just came on after charging. It showed the right time in the clock... I checked because after 4:27 yesterday the clock froze with all my docs, music, and photos. Man, I was so relieved. I still wanted to call apple, cause those costumer service guys have sexy voices, but I just left it like that. Oh, I was so relieved. I just copied the docs on this computer. Yes, I backed them up. About time.
Stood on the corner for a while
To wait for the wind to blow down on me
Hoping it takes with it my old ways
And brings some brand new luck upon me
And I'm relieved. I am so happy, not only because I could rescue my docs, but also because I didn't cry last night. See, I think I've learned that sometimes I just have to give it a day or so... and things get better. It's one of those lessons that life teaches you and then you take it and don't even know it, don't even notice when you're applying things in life that you've learn by.. living. This, that little spark of wisdom, it gives me hope. Maybe I'm wiser than I think, maybe, just maybe, I'm not completely lost.
And now I’m walking in the park
And all of the birds, they dance below me
Maybe when things turn green again
It will be good to say you know me
And now, I'm about to get ready and walk out of the house. I have some things to do here, but I'm going out. I'm going to go to the park after getting the groceries and the envelope to send Lidi the sunset I made for her and I'll look at the sky. And I won't take a picture and post it here, since I don't have a camera, but I'll look at the sky and that will do for my soul today. Maybe, like my camera...
I’m in repair
I’m not together but I’m getting there
Friday, September 07, 2007
I'll make my way to the kitchen to see what I can get for breakfast. And I'll try to take a picture of the butterfly that's stuck on my window this morning... and of the wonderfully rainy today.
Mmmm... Circuit City better fix my camera. Or else I'll ask for a refund on the protection plan I paid for. I took my baby yesterday to the store, and they said they'd ship it out in 2-3 days. I won't see it for a couple of weeks, I hope when I get it back it'll work again. I miss photography. For now, I have my film camera and the crappy vivitar (enough said). Oh, Fridays.
Dinner tonight at my friend's house. I want to see her painting. I want to see Anna too... where the heck has she been? I must remember the busy days of the student life. I'll call her tonight.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Nunca se te olvidara ni el pasaje, ni el momento a ti tampoco.
"¿En qué ayudaste al que no tiene poder?
¿Cómo has amparado al brazo sin fuerza?
¿En qué aconsejaste al que no tiene ciencia,
Y qué plenitud de inteligencia has dado a conocer?
¿A quién has anunciado palabras,
Y de quién es el espíritu que de ti procede?
Las sombras tiemblan en lo profundo,
Los mares y cuanto en ellos mora.
El Seol está descubierto delante de él,
y el Abadón no tiene cobertura.
El extiende el norte sobre vacío,
Cuelga la tierra sobre nada.
Ata las aguas en sus nubes,
Y las nubes no se rompen debajo de ellas.
El encubre la faz de su trono,
Y sobre él extiende su nube.
Puso límite a la superficie de las aguas,
Hasta el fin de la luz y las tinieblas.
Las columnas del cielo tiemblan,
Y se espantan a su reprensión.
El agita el mar con su poder,
Y con su entendimiento hiere la arrogancia suya.
Su espíritu adornó los cielos;
Su mano creó la serpiente tortuosa.
He aquí, estas cosas son sólo los bordes de sus caminos;
!Y cuán leve es el susurro que hemos oído de él!
Pero el trueno de su poder, ¿quién lo puede comprender?"
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Why does life get so complicated, serious and fake?
Because I feel less human than usually... or maybe is because
I haven't meet anyone new in so long.....
has it been that long already?
What... two months?
I have to get out of the trap I've made for myself.
I keep talking about being better
I'm getting tired of myself.
Can I get a glass of water?
no ice, just water.
no glass... maybe just the water.
And a new perspective.
Monday, September 03, 2007
Me gusta la paz, la naturaleza, los animales, el pensamiento universal. Deliro con el olor a café, a incienso, a tierra mojada, a madera vieja y pino.
Soy como el aire y la tierra abrazadas: me atraen los opuestos y lo similar de las cosas: el movimiento quieto, la abeja con alas de mariposa, un árbol azul, la calma en el caos y la revolución en cualquier principio. (Mis principios aprendices igual que maestros para mi).
Creo que me gusta sonreír alreves, no estoy segura del todo. Pero si se, que noto drásticamente la belleza, los colores, la estética, la vida con todo su estruendoso sentido, muy opaco a veces pero la belleza es imperfecta.
Estoy enamorada de la equidad, la sinceridad y el arte; expreso mi sentir y mi espíritu através de la poesía. Me inspiran las expresiones simbólicas y abstractas. Lo simple y luminoso me da calma. Soy hipersensible a los lugares cerrados, al sabor de lo artificial.
Ando buscando cosas inusuales que me hagan ver al mundo desde todos los ángulos y ampliamente. Amo la libertad, y cuestionar lo establecido para reinventarle algo.
Me gusta pensar en la inmortalidad del cangrejo o de la libelula. No deja de deleitarme la sensación de tener los pies desnudos sobre la tierra firme. Ando en búsqueda constante de conocimientos y experiencias que no hagan olvidar a la persona que se es un ser humano ante todo. No tengo religión, prefiero mi propio sentido de fortaleza espiritual: el uno que engloba un todo.
Ya nací pero busco mi origen, aunque sé que en cualquier lugar de la búsqueda, me reinventare a mi misma una y otra vez. Fin y comienzo...
Saturday, September 01, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
So I saw this commercial, it was a Cox Communications commercial in which there's this little kid between 2 to 4 years old. He goes around with his mom and is presented in different settings and situations. He always has some electronic device (tv, portable dvd, etc) where he's always watching "Pauly Penguin" and the kid smiles and gets all excited about the penguin every time he sees him, he even has a little stuffed Pauly Penguin toy. Then, the kid is shown at a mall (or some public place) where he's in line to meet Pauly Penguin... like you would see a kid in line to see Santa Claus. But when it comes time for him to meet Pauly, he gets close and just as Pauly is about to hug him the kid backs up, scared of the big animal and goes crying to his mom's arms. Then the kid is shown in a car seat with a portable player watching Pauly and smiling again. And at the end you hear "no matter where they are, generation cox is coming. Are you ready?"
Well... hell no. I don't think this world is ready for a generation like that. Having things too easy, too accessible, staying too much in the comfort zone cannot be any good. Are we really expecting a generation that's going to be so foreign to reality that will be afraid of reality?
I often feel trapped in my own body... and often feel so free.
What am I talking about? I don't know. Isn't that so wonderful?
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Un mapa viejo
me trajo a un lugar
ajeno a mis pupilas
y prohibido a mis pisadas.
cuando este lugar
es más mio que de
sus propios hijos
yo quiero volar lejos
para poder quitar
los momentos de llanto
de mi memoria
y el sabor a extranjera
de mis venas por donde corre
sangre más caliente
que el sol de cinco veranos aqui.
No soy de aqui,
mis palabras no caben en el vocabulario de la region
y mis pies rehusan seguir señales
de quienes no me quieren aqui.
Mis brazos anhelan el calor
de los abrazos de mi hogar tropical.
Y aunque mis dedos se han acostrumbrado ya
a las espinas heladas de rosas muertas,
como quisieran mis manos
tocar la tierra con la que de niña jugué...
y aquellos ladrillos
que marcaban mis dedos
con colores de tierra santa.
Veo en mis sueños
las gradas del edificio viejo
donde tantos pasos supe reconocer
y los árboles que bailaban para mi
en las noches cuando el sueño
me dejaba sola
para pensar en cosas importantes
y en nombres de amores
con los que me veia
sentada frente el ocaso
a la orilla del Pacifico...
cuando el sueño me dejaba sola
para invertar palabras nuevas
con letras robadas
de nombres de niñez.
Ahora solo en sueños
veo los árboles que me vieron crecer
desde la ventana de mi cuarto azul.
Ya no sigo mapas viejos.
A donde voy
me lleva mi corazón y las memorias
de una niña intranquila
que extraña la brisa
que entraba en las noches
por la ventana del cuarto de su Libertad.
Nov. 20, 2006
Creo que somos los mismos con el aire y con el frío,
o con el calor de los primeros rayos de luz en la mañana.
Con permiso de aquellos que quisieran ser nosotros
pensamos en cada gesto, cada palabra que nace en nuestro corazón.
Y nos preguntamos por qué no podemos ser perfectos.
Y nos preguntamos por qué nos cuesta tanto amar.
Y por qué gastamos tiempo en lo que no nos gusta.
Y por qué a veces las cosas salen mal.
Somos mejores de lo que pensamos,
pero debemos más de lo que llevamos cuenta
y a veces olvidamos decir gracias
y decir adiós.
Y no mencionamos cuánto amamos a aquellos a quienes amamos,
olvidando como a veces nosotros necesitamos oírlo también.
Y a veces decidimos dejar al amor pasar frente nuestro
como algo imposible, aun sabiendo que puede ser nuestro.
A veces decidimos dejarlo ir por temor a ser heridos,
otras veces es descuido.
Y todo termina en la misma conversación.
Todo nos dirige a la necesidad de amar y ser amados.
Y al ver al cielo podemos imaginar
que hay una estrellita que nos pertenece,
Y que nada nos robará la paz.
May 16, 2006
as i peel the orange i got from working all day
inside a windowless mansion
i think of the tree that gave life to it
and how it was meant to be eaten by me
yes, sometimes i think life
was meant to be lived
every petal of every rose i ever smelled
was meant to touch my skin.
there are many petals i'll never smell, touch or even see.
there are many oranges i'll never taste
but this one, this one is mine.
in all its flavor it'll serve me
it'll remind me that life is more
so much more
than a windowless mansion
were the sun never shines.
the moment comes when you realize
how life is made up of little things
of little moments
of tiny stars.
it's better to feel the air on your face
for five minutes
than to live five hundred years
in a windowless mansion.
May 15, 2006
reveal the time and place
where love began.
Some others just tell
where it all ended and why.
But my story
has not a start
The story of us is simple
you and me,
Sinners and saints,
the story of us.
Nov. 06, 2005
Saturday, August 25, 2007
I'll trust you to get me lost
and take me back
to more important places to my weak heart
Lead me back somewhere
make me be there on time
I can't seem to find the key
or a word in the dictionary that doesn't sound poetic
as I fail to be noticed or recallable by him or her.
Monday, August 20, 2007
midnight, glasses, tired eyes and a cup of black coffee.
a romantic walk on the beach... during sunset.
an ice cream truck in a hot summer.
lighting bugs and camping.
snow and hot chocolate.
waiting an eternity for something
or someone that usually means more than the life at hand.
dancing in the rain
and love at first sight,
and some combination of the two.
a broken heart
or a heart breaker.
being her father's daughter
and some happy ending.
extra virgin olive oil
over a green salad.
peanut butter and jelly.
salt and pepper.
apples and cinnamon.
strawberries and cream.
a travel book
in the hands of that who cannot travel.
love to all
except him or her
their not one of us.
black and white.
blue and red.
two clouds, two mountains
and a yellow sun.
being alone in a city of millions.
not saying goodbye or hello.
a secret handshake
or a milkshake.
an old picture kept by your heart.
a lonely old man
remembering his days as a hero.
a sad clown
who once made you smile.
seize the day.
wine, cheese and bread
in front of the Eiffel tower
or by some palace.
promises of forever and always.
a trite phrase or expression
the idea expressed by it.
is this a poem? what is a poem?
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I look back a lot, and I figure that's just how I make sense of things. I would have been the woman that turned to salt.
But tell me, how can we appreciate the better if we have never seen the worst, of if we don't look back and reflect on it? How do we know if we're going in the right direction if we don't take a moment to examine our paths? Even in heaven, we'll have to have memory so that we know what's been given to us by grace. We have to know where we come from, we have to know who helped us in the way.... so we can recognize the gifts in the future and now.
This is a work of fiction, remember that. Any similarities are pure coincidence.
"A little bit of milk and no sugar"
The day Dana left her home her mom hugged her and wished her well. Her father didn’t say anything, he didn’t say goodbye. Now, five years later, he was coming to visit. She had waited for him all day. She thought about his arrival all week. These years her dad and she had been apart felt like an eternity to Dana. And now he was coming to see her, he would be here and things between them would be fine. Even if it was only for a few days while he stopped on his way to visit her brother, at least she would get to see him again.
She waited in the blue chair in the living room. The book on her lap was the same book she had seen him reading last time she saw him. She had read it a few times because she knew how much he loved it. When he got there they could talk about the book, or about the author. They could talk about her apartment, or about the fact he hadn’t spoken to her for two months after she left until the day he answered the phone because he thought it’d be the cable company calling him back. Or maybe they would just play chess, like they used to do on nights when there was no soccer on TV. She wanted them to have a real conversation, not like the times they talked on the phone for five minutes before he would hand the phone to somebody else. They were both bad about keeping up phone conversations, even when they had so much to say. Dana’s mother always said it was because Dana was just like her dad. They both needed to see people’s faces to fully understand them, so phone calls were just not good enough for them.
She just wanted to see that face again. She wanted to hug him. She wanted to stay late listening to the stories of his life abroad, and have coffee with a little bit of milk and no sugar while watching the news. She wanted to play chess with him. She wanted life to stop for a moment and be able to feel like his daughter again.
The wait was getting too long. She was ready for anything during the visit. She was thinking of what she would say if he were to ask about her job, about the pictures on her wall or the ones that were in the copy of yesterday’s newspaper with her name in the credit line. She was looking for the right words in her head and for the right explanations to everything, when she heard the motor of a car pulling in. She saw the car out the window, and she saw him with his orange sweater; but she couldn’t see his face so she ran to the door.
“Dad” she said, in a tone that revealed her excitement, “Hi! How was the drive? Do you have any bags? Let me help you get them inside. It's been a long time. Are you hungry? I made lasagna, just like mom makes it, with extra cheese. You'll love it.”
He looked up after closing the back door of the car and saw her coming down the steps. She grabbed the bag he had just gotten out of the car and smiled at him.
“You must be tired. I like that sweater! Hurry let's get inside, it's too cold out here. I'm not used to the weather still. But tell me, how was the drive? I was getting worried about you. I thought you'd be here before five.”
“There was no rush. I tried to enjoy the drive. Did you say you made lasagna?”
“Yes, yes. Let’s go inside, you must be hungry. And maybe we can play chess after dinner. I have the chessboard you got me in Panama. Maybe I’ll finally get to win for once!”
He didn’t say anything. He hadn’t played chess since she left.
The apartment was warm and cozy compared to outside, but it was still colder than what he was used to back at home. So he didn’t take off his sweater. He looked around the place, Dana disappeared with his bag and he didn’t see what room she went into. There were photos all over the walls with cityscapes and sunsets. Next to the bookcase there were more pictures. Dana was in most of them, but he didn’t recognize anyone else. There was only one of those pictures he had seen before. They had taken it at the beach years ago. The three kids had been playing with sand all afternoon, and they were covered up in it. And he was holding his wife by the waist with his right hand, his left hand was on Dana’s head which barely came up to his shoulders. Christopher and Daniel looked like they were pushing against each other fighting for the middle of the frame. He looked at that photo until he heard Dana coming out of the room, asking again if he was hungry.
“Did you take those pictures on the wall?” he said before she could finish what she was saying.
“Most of them. Those were just for fun. When I still didn’t know many people here I used to go walk around the city after work to take pictures. And lately I’ve been doing some freelance projects, a lot of family portraits. Last time I saw Chris with his family I took their portraits and they turned out nice.”
“I liked your paintings better. You should’ve never stopped painting.”
She didn’t expect him to say that. “I think I still have some paintings here. I'll look for them later. It was hard for me to paint when I moved here. I didn't find a studio and the apartment was too small. But I can start again. And if you want to, you can take home some of the paintings I have saved. If you like any.”
“Where are the pictures of Chris you said you have? Last time I saw your brother he didn't have that little girl yet. I haven’t seen him in a while.”
“In the room. I have some copies for you.”
She looked at him. She’d always thought he didn’t like her paintings, he never said anything about them before. So she looked for clues to see he had lied about liking the paintings, but she didn’t find any. He was still looking at the pictures by the bookshelf.
“I stopped for food on the way here,” he said.
“You don’t want any lasagna?”
“Show me where I'm staying. I'm tired and my back hurts after all the driving today. I just want to rest.”
“But are you sure you don’t want anything?” she insisted. “I could make some coffee. No sugar. Maybe we can just sit and talk. You just got here.”
“We'll talk tomorrow, Dana.”
She smiled and nodded. She took him over to her room. She would stay in the room where she had set up an office. The couch there had served as a bed for many before, and she was ok with using it, but she could have never put her dad in there.
“Hey dad, there’s an extra blanket here, in case you get cold,” she said, and left him in the room after giving him a glass of water for his medicine.
The lasagna went into the fridge; she didn’t see the point of getting some just for herself by the end of the evening. She didn’t like to cook and she had spent quite some time in the kitchen just to make sure it was all perfect. She even put extra cheese in it. It wouldn’t taste the same the day after, but she tried not to think about it. She told herself it wasn’t that important after all.
She couldn’t sleep that night. She had trouble sleeping and most nights she tried to not get in bed before two in the morning, she knew she’d stay in bed for hours before she could drift away. That night was a little worse than usual. She kept going over everything she said that evening, trying to find the moment when something went wrong. I should have taken him out to eat instead of cooking, she thought.
The next day her dad woke up a little before the sun came out. She heard him looking for something in the kitchen. It was too early for her, so she just stayed in the couch. She had gone back to sleep when he came in the room, telling her he couldn’t find the bowls. She glanced at the clock but couldn’t see the time. The numbers in the clock seemed to had disappeared during the night, or maybe she was still dreaming.
“Don’t get up,” he said, “just tell me where the bowls are.”
She started at him for a moment, while her brain processed whatever he had just said to her.
“Dana, I found the cereal and the milk, but I can’t find the bowls. Do you not have any?”
People don’t eat breakfast right after waking up, she thought. He must have been very hungry. She got up, the lack of sleep had caused a slight headache. She looked for the biggest bowl she had and gave it to him. She looked at the clock and saw it was six thirty. Growing up, her dad was the one waking up the whole family on Saturdays. He wouldn’t let the kids sleep in because he wanted everyone to have breakfast together. He also made the kids prepare breakfast, he used to say their mother had to put up with that all week long and Saturdays was their turn. Daniel, the youngest of the three, was the last one to get up and the slowest to get to the kitchen to help. He was the baby of the family, so their dad was more forgiving with him than with Chris and Dana.
After getting him the bowl, Dana sat with her dad while he ate his cereal. She started telling him about her plans to take him downtown and then to the modern art museum. They had a Dali traveling exhibit she knew he’d love. She even had plans to stop by her office so that he could see where she worked. So that he could go back home and tell her mom how nice the building was and how she well she was doing at her job. But he looked confused, like there was something missing from the day’s plans. His face was so easy to read, she thought. His expression was the exact same one he had when they talked about art school and he saw the catalog of studies. That day he made fun of every single class listed in the section of the catalog. From the art history to the drawing classes, it all had seemed ridiculous to him. He wanted her to study architecture or engineering, not art. She was great at math and he told her he didn’t want her to waste her brains in something that wasn’t worth it. That night she cried and he apologized and told her to do whatever she wanted, but still was surprised when she decided to still major in art. He had the same expression from that day. And she was still smiling, as if she hadn’t noticed.
“Well,” he said, “what about that boyfriend of yours? I thought I’d meet him today.”
“He’s coming by on Monday. I told him the weekend was ours.”
“Dana, if you’re marrying him I need to meet him. And a three minute chat with him’s not going to be enough. Tell him to come today so that I can talk to him and see if he’s any good.”
“He’s a sports’ reporter, so he’s out of town covering some game. He’ll be here on Monday. You’ll get to meet him. But listen, we’ve only gone out for a couple of months. I never said I’ll marry him.”
Her dad looked at her for a moment and didn’t say anything. He didn’t need to. His eyes were big and his pupils wide open. His face got red and then she knew she shouldn’t have said anything about marriage. He finished his cereal and got up. Not saying a word.
She saw him walk into the kitchen and put the bowl in the sink. “Hey, dad, I just want to show you around the city. Forget about the Dali exhibit, we’ll just go wherever you want. We can even go to the library, you’ll love it. It’s huge and the building is amazing.”
She had so many things in mind. Where to go, what to do, what to see, what to talk about, she even had in mind the right places to take pictures of them together. She would try not to mention her boyfriend anymore, or marriage.
They got ready to leave and while she was looking for some change for the bus and getting her small camera he waited in the living room. He kept looking around, still feeling like a stranger in his daughter’s home, when he looked in the blue chair. It was his favorite book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He picked it up and saw some of the underlining was in the same places he had underlined his copy of the book. He even checked the inside cover for his name, he thought it might be his and maybe Dana had grabbed it when she moved. But it wasn’t his. It had her name and a date. Maybe it was the date she had bought it.
He put down the book on the table next to the blue chair. He wondered if that was also her favorite book. She came out of the room with a little bag, ready to go. He could tell she was excited. Her face was so easy to read.
Before she opened the door he said he wouldn’t be here on Monday. If she wanted him to meet her boyfriend she would have to ask him to come by later that day or Sunday morning. “I’m leaving tomorrow night. I don’t want to get to Chris’ house in the middle of the week. I rather he receives me before he starts his week.”
Dana was standing in front of the door. If she had just gotten out a little faster she wouldn’t have to be standing in from of that door, not knowing what to feel. She wouldn’t have to have to turn back and face him. She couldn’t pretend what he’d just say didn’t matter.
“You just got here,” she said.
Her face felt warm. She knew he would be able to tell she was upset.
“And you want to leave already?” she said, as her voice was breaking up.
“I haven’t seen Chris in a long time--”
“You haven’t seen me in a long time.” She couldn’t let him finish. She didn’t want to hear him say anything else. Everything he’d said so far was more than enough.
So she turned around and looked at him.
“Let’s go,” he said.
“No. — Why do you want to leave so soon? Chris knows you’re staying with me for a few days. You don’t have to leave tomorrow. I don’t know what else to do so that you’ll love me again. You used to talk to me. We were friends, but then you stopped talking to me. You think I didn’t know you were there all those times I asked to talk to you? You didn’t even want to hear my voice. And then you come here and you don’t even want to eat the food I make. What is it that’s so wrong about me? You need to tell me because I can’t figure it out. You got here and you didn’t even hug me. After all these years. You have no idea how excited I was to see you again. I didn’t know you didn’t want to see me.”
“You were the one who left, not me,” he said.
“This job was a great opportunity and you knew it. I needed your support. I didn’t leave you I just wanted to be somebody. Do something with my life. Life is like chess, remember? You have to think of the next move, you have to sacrifice some things if you want to win. You told me that.”
“Living alone, away from your family is not the best for you. You need someone to take care of you.”
“Is that the best for me? Depending on someone else? You don’t know what the best for me is, you don’t even care enough to ask me how I am now. You’ve never wanted to know about my job. You don’t like my photos or my friends. I even thought you didn’t like my paintings. You never said anything about them until I stopped painting. I’ve worked hard to make you proud. And I don’t know what else to do. — I need you in my life, dad. I need you to celebrate with me when I’m happy. I need you to talk to me like we did when I was a kid. I’m still here. I still need to know you love me. I didn’t move here to erase you from my life. I moved here to keep making you proud. I don’t know what else I can do. I don’t know how to get you back. I’m tired of trying so hard to be the best I can be, to not let you down. I’m tired.” She said as she sat down on the blue chair. Her legs couldn’t bear the weigh of her body anymore. She felt as if all her energy had gotten out of her body with every word she’d said to him. This wasn’t the day she’d plan, but she felt free. She didn’t know what would happen after that. He was still standing in front of her in silence. She expected him to leave that very morning, after all she’d said. He had chosen to leave her out of his life, she couldn’t make him forgive her for a sin she never committed. She would hold on to anything she could; the chessboard, that picture of them by the bookshelf, the simpler times when her dad loved her. But there was nothing else she could do about the future, or this moment.
He saw her in the blue chair and didn’t see his little daughter anymore. She was strong and everything she said reminded him of what he’d once said to his dad after returning from years of studying abroad. She was just like him. So he turned and went inside the room where he spent the night. And when he came out he was holding the chessboard she had left on the night table.
“Do you want to play?” he said, and put the board on the table. “All these years you’ve made me proud. I look for your photos on that newspaper.”
“Do you want coffee?” she said while getting up from the blue chair. She would hold on to the few words he’d said that morning.
He had told her what he wished his dad would have said. And he smiled and said yes to coffee, “A little bit of milk and no sugar.”