Crying in the Embrace of the Great Lakes

As snow drifts into winter wind and winter wind caresses snow into shapely domes, I cry for the igloo I once built around myself in a north-facing bedroom in a small Wisconsin town. I cry for a no-in-nor-out igloo, lacking a trapdoor for letting in love’s light. I cry for the sleepless thrashing nights spent…

hypochondria

I. being a hypochondriac is a feminist issue there must be something wrong with me                         wrong with us always and especially when most functional for what else are we? we, such sorry, dependent creatures if not to need, if not for always needing      nurturing  …

s.p..a…c…..e……………… [part the first]

My birthday gathering has wound down a bit by now. The background noise from adjacent conversations is no longer shout-inducing. People have relaxed beautifully into each other despite (or perhaps because?) of the fact that they’re wearing ridiculous outfits and drinking hard apple cider on a cool Saturday September evening. I find myself standing in…

Cotton-Eye Joe, bell hooks and National Coming Out Day

It’s National Coming Out Day and all of these self-prescribed labels zinging around the internet are making me anxious. Labels feel like the women’s shirts with shoulders too narrow for actual upper body strength and the undressing stares of lounging men as I walked Valparaíso’s streets. Labels feel like the first time I put on…

the new normal [part 2]

In my last post, I talked about [de/re]sensitizing myself to clashes of cultures and injustice, and the importance –for me, that is– of staying conscious of that process. That post was inspired by a list I started making this semester of all the things that I now find mundane about my existence here. Have at it!…

the new normal [part 1]

Traveling naturally causes a rub of cultures, and nowhere have I noticed this more than in Chile. I spent my first semester bouncing between various reactions to that friction. Nº 1 I’ll call Self-Righteous Structured Capitalist Meets Socialism + Burocracy + Constant Strikes, which went something like: “ahhhh! why do they do things like that? what do you mean I…

{11.4.15} (un)mask

We Wear the Mask // Paul Lawrence Dunbar We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile, And mouth with myriad subtleties. Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and…

{4.4.15} multipurpose love buckets: a how-to guide

¡Dejale regalonearte! Let her love you! says Juan, my host dad, as my host mom hovers about trying to bring me ice or kleenex or an apple, all of which I turn down, even as I sit in a crumpled heap after yet another Knee Incident. I’m more than a bit desolate, but accepting help feels, in…

{28.3.15} friction

How can we talk along friction lines? Feel out the clash without crashing… and burning? This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. I keep on reading about feminism, about heteronormativity, the hierarchical gender binary, internalized sexism, daily microagressions. And then I have conversations about this, all gung-ho with my new knowledge, with guy…

{28.3.15} elemental disaster

[fire] They had cut off Route 68, the artery between Valparaíso and Santiago, and the poet arrived an hour and a half late to his poetry reading, the post-reading discussion already in full swing. Incendio, solidaridad, our hearts go out to the people, on the lips of the gathered. They let him read anyways, because how…

{15.3.15} crying to the swing of the pacific

In Latin America, I learned to cry. Correction: In Latin America, I unlearned how to not cry. When I was younger, long ago in the distant past of 18 on down, I fought a lot with my dad. A natural reaction to what I often felt –anger, frustration, annoyance, self-righteousness, not being heard– is generally…

{11.3.15} time

I stopped seeing time as rigidly linear long ago. Maybe it was when my dad decided to read us Einstein’s Theory of Relativity before bed in Costa Rica. Or noticing how, as I got older, the years seemed to accelerate, a swiftly sneaking whiplash. Whatever the reason, my current conception of time is pretty analagous to that…