Thursday, December 30, 2010


Given the torrential downpours in the Caribbean and the heavy snow fall in the northern states, it is surprising how mild a winter we have had here in Central Mexico. Since I have been back it has been cloudy approximately twice while the majority of days are composed of flawless blue skies averaging 75 degrees. These stunners coalesce with what can only be described as a real-life planetarium at night, a rose colored sunset between them. Though this isn't my first winter in Pozos, last year was overcast and rainy for 2 months steady, something the locals proclaimed extremely unusual, so this is my first experience with the normal weather for the season. 

Because it has been about 5 weeks since it last rained, I have been noticing several roadside fires ignited by the friction of the dusty brown grass against the wiry brush. The flames ravish the land leaving only the high standing cactus alive while the rest of the previously beige landscape gives way to strikingly black earth giving the road from Pozos to San Miguel the feel of a patchwork quilt. As I drove home yesterday, ipod dead, and my sisters tired of speaking, I reflected on these natural fires. The prairie grass and dry leafless bushes were ready to be wiped out, simply waiting for the desert wind to ignite the burn. I find these fires have a somewhat spiritual significance and they resonate with me especially at the juncture in my life, as things haven't exactly been peachy in the last week.

To me, these fires represent a need for change, as I learned in my environmental english class at the University of Minnesota, fire is a source of renewal. A human who has been going through a rough patch could see them as a a wild means to an end, that end being letting go of the past and forging onward. The peaks of newly green grass sprouting up from the black earth is a reminder of the fresh starts evoked by letting issues of the past go up in smoke and eventually turn to the air we breathe in and exhale with out even a thought.

So as I drove I observed these strikingly green blades beginning their new journey and I began to feel oddly at peace with the events of the last week, month, year. It seemed only fitting that the fires were consuming the fields at years end, as if to say to those who will listen to the brilliance of nature "the year is over, make peace with it and let it burn."

Happy new year to all.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Doubt And Other Bad Feelings

Since before I left for Minnesota I have been feeling far away from my self. At my best I feel productive and creative, but for the last couple of months I have not had my usual sense of self assurance and I have been engaging in a lot of questioning of the purpose of my very existence. A few specific things are spurring this uneasy feeling forward:

1) I am 22 and living with my family, I contribute by helping and baking, but there are times when I feel completely useless, like I should be forging my way through the world at a much greater speed than I currently am.

2) Davis is back, and though I wake up and set an intention of peace and understanding, there is residual feelings of anger lurking ready to strike me whenever my eyes fall upon his face. This not helped by the family scuffle (that was Mom's word, mine would have been earth shattering blow out brawl) that ensued on Monday in which he called me a parasite, an unpleasant nickname inspired by my lack of my own residence, this coming from a man who lived with his mother until he was 35, but like I said, I'm working through it.

3) I want to write everyday and I haven't been. Aside from the times I sit down to write and am interrupted by Tallulah or a menial tasks, I just haven't maintained the motivation that originally prompted me to sit down and get it done. 

4) Until today, Tallulah has had a relentless diaper rash that has prohibited her from sleeping longer than 2 hours at any time of day or night, and has caused her to be fussy and squirmy. My sleeplessness has made it difficult to focus and has clouded my enthusiasm as I am chronically exhausted.

5) Davis got unjustly arrested on Thursday and was in jail for 24 hours. This turned Mom into an unrelenting cynic who is untrusting of everyone and wants to move out of Mexico as soon as possible. As someone who's significant other has been wrongfully locked up, I can sympathize with her present state of mind, but her extreme mental state has the entire family on edge and hasn't made for a very jolly holiday.

6) I don't know what to do about Keikai. I want very badly for him to be a part of Tallulah's life, but I'm not going to sacrifice mine to make that happen. Similar to the Davis situation, there is still a hint of resentment that I am having a hard time shaking. It makes me feel awful and dirty and I want to let it go, but again, it's going to take some time.

7) Chloe is going to Greece and although I am incredibly happy for her, I am also sad at the uncertainty of when I will see my baby sister again.

Those are the big things. I know everyone experiences these patches of self doubt at some stage in their life, and so I am prepared to obey my new tattoo and allow for the feelings this period of time is providing, one of those feelings being guilt for the 4 cookies I just devoured and one being immeasurable pride for as I sit here and write this, Tallulah is starting to crawl. She constantly reminds me of how adaptable humans were meant to be. Whenever the shit hits the fan, as it so often does around here, she is always seen smiling and giggling as all the other members of the family engage in screaming or fits of hysterics. Even through the discomfort her rash has caused her, she has mostly maintained her sweet, calm demeanor which is refreshing in a family that more often than not veers toward the dramatic rather than the rational side of things. In the end, I guess we are all doing our best, and that's all that matters. If we can wake up and be kind and helpful to the people we love, these phases of unsatisfactory auras will eventually be lifted and reveal what was there all along; wonderful people, and at the end of the day, the people are all that matter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Air Head

When I was 7 my dad found me staring at 2 people talking 5 feet away, picking my nose, completely enthralled in their conversation and oblivious to the fact that I wasn't at a movie theatre, rather in the middle of Target making these strangers mildly uncomfortable. Such behavior has been a trademark of mine since I was wee, and has designated me the family space cadet. My 'head in the clouds' manner once spurred my dad to imitate me by stating "I'm sitting on a pie... what's the problem?" Though at the time I was embarrassed, I can laugh about it now, and understand why he and other members of my family are chronically frustrated with me.

The first sign that ones dear to me would ongoingly have to help me focus was when I was three. It was sweltering and I was waiting, not so patiently, to get back into the pool. Adult swim was a cruel and awful time that seemed to go on for hours as one lowly grown up waded back and forth through the otherwise still water. Beads of sweat were starting to form on my pale freckled face, I stared at the water, the same shocking blue as my eyes, anxious and thirsty. The lifeguard's scrawny figure slouched in his chair as I watched him bring the whistle to his lips. The abrupt shriek was followed by Open Swim! And I failed to contain my excitement. I ran and jumped in the water to feel it crashing not only around my waist as I was accustomed but over my shoulders and head. The sun shone through the water, moments later blocked by the lifeguard who stood to dive in after me. Mom was up from her lounge chair with a panicked expression on her face, my water wings lay on the chair next to her, the obnoxious orange screaming How could you forget me?

Another milestone of airheadedness was when I failed to put out the sterno from a buffet pan at my catering job. Though 18 years had passed since I first exhibited forgetfulness, I was still up to the same shenanigans. I later claimed to have tried to extinguish the blue flame while the truth was I forgot. I carelessly dumped it in the enormous garbage can and walked away only to be summoned back moments later when the room was filling with smoke and black bits of ashy trash. I stood there shell-shocked as one of my co-workers hurriedly poured the left over drink bucket on the fire only to see it soar from the drops of assorted alcohols inside.  It eventually died down and left a burnt odor that every new arrival  inquired about and was told of my err as I stood there quiet and blushing. 

Now, at 22, a mother of a 7 month old baby, I thought I was finished with these life threatening catastrophes... not so much. During a skype session a couple weeks ago I allowed Tallulah to bat a glass of water out of my hand and onto Mom's MacBook which hours later had a fried motherboard. You may be thinking That isn't life threatening, but believe you me, she wanted me beheaded. She thankfully found enough compassion to forgive me and kindly request that I pay more attention for the billionth time since I was born.

In between these isolated incidents there have been several accounts of parking lot fender benders, forgotten diapers, sending credit card numbers through email, and even bringing two left shoes to go out dancing causing me to salsa in my Nikes, and through it all I just thought it's who I am, but I am starting to see it doesn't have to be. Of course some may find it charming at first, but as one who is well used to it, it's downright irritating running around like a chicken with your head cut off trying to find your retainer only to realize after your mom has emptied the trash into the kitchen sink that it is in your mouth. So here is what I propose, we all have traits that are less than desirable, and we can lay back and pawn the responsibility on habit or genetics or we can consciously make a change. It isn't easy, believe me, but it is worth working at, in my case, not only for my sanity but for the safety of others.