Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring cleaning

     Tonight I'm alternating time between cleaning, schoolwork, and Facebook.  I think about how Facebook, and other social media, are being used in Bahrain, Tunisia, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, etc. etc., as I post a comment about how I cleaned out the refrigerator today.  I guess it's all relative.  Get rid of outdated miso and rancid refried beans, get rid of Mubarak: either way we're purging, right?

     Now, while people in Morocco call for political reform, while Quaddafi's green book still smoulders,
 I purge my bedroom closet.  Unbelievable the number of bags filled with perfectly good clothing, and thrown into the back of our van.  The thrift store won't  blink when it sees my surplus; just add it to the pile, chalk it up to Manifest Destiny (I'm sure that the parallel works, so humor me).

    Humans are hard wired to clean periodically.  We may tidy our nests, or subvert a political situation.  The universe, however, favors entropy; no clean house, or  revolution sparkles for long.  Keeping my closet clean will  only be slightly easier than sustaining the promise of a political movement. Still, there is hope.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Way Closes

   The water is anoxic; gasping koi stir up mud as they swim laps through excessive phytoplankton. I am a fish, completely at home here.  When the gnarled hand lowers to lift me from the pond, I defy my biological destiny, and  pursue new ways of respiration. Wonder where I'll land?

Friday, February 18, 2011


My neighbor called as I was leaving work. Some guy driving through the neighborhood tried to take a thirteen year old girl. The girl ran away. The man drove on.  He's still out there looking....

At twenty two I didn't drive; I walked everywhere. Walking ten, fifteen miles was nothing to me at the time.   Every day, while minding my own business, at least one creepy guy would offer me a ride, reveal himself to me, or  both.  It started to wear on me.  You can react in different ways to these people: scream, run, look away....but their ugliness starts to cover you like slime.   Today if I walk down the same streets, nobody harasses me.   I'm less vulnerable, less of a mark, however, I'm sure that the sharks still circle.

During those walking years, only one, ONE, woman ever stopped and asked me if I wanted a ride.  I said no, but  months later I heard someone running behind me, and it was she.   We ended up becoming good friends, like family.   She was Nicaraguan, and hung out with many people from Central America and Mexico. We went many places, parties, dances (cumbias!!!), apartments where people spoke Spanish.   It would have been a great opportunity to become more fluent in Spanish, but I was too self-conscious and weary to risk speaking out.  I often think about this when I'm with my ESOL class.  My students are gutsy.  They want to learn, so they take risks, and make mistakes.  They ask questions; they are golden.

As for the creepers, they are out there.  They feed only on the small and powerless.  In my neighborhood, and in yours. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

We're just babies, ya'll

Here are forty living things far are older than I am.....but just babies in the wide expanse of space and time: