A few January notes.
Bye bye, Trump
I woke up at 5:00 am on January 21 without an alarm and an hour and a half before my usual time to spill out of bed after another night of ragged sleep. I realized I was up in time to see Trump’s departure from the White House. I switched on my laptop and watched the helicopter take him to Joint Base Andrews where he excreted from the hole in his face his last lie-laden speech as president. When the plane with him and Be-Worst Melania aboard taxied the runway, I waved my hands to shoo the damn plane along. Fly, fly away, I urged. And when it did, I clapped and cried and felt a relief as expansive as the sky that held those small, small people.
I’m taking Anne Liu Kellor’s Hugo House class Shapeshifting: Reading and Writing the Mixed-Race Experience. I think the readings, prompts, and discussions will help me access thoughts, emotions, and memories for an essay project I’ve begun on family, identity, and heritage. So far, I keep finding my way back to the events that I fictionalized in Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories as if I’ve exhausted my supply of memories ripe for literary exploitation. But over the next eight weeks, I’m hoping to dig deeper to discover whatever skeletons and shapeshifters still lay secreted in my brown girl psyche. You can find information on Anne’s workshop offerings here.
Living Color still living
My book is officially last year’s news, even though it’s only four months old. I suppose in book years, it’s middle-aged by now. Yet, in the spirit of the motto of book publicists (which includes writers of books) that “every day is book marketing day,” here’s my friendly exhortation to please buy, read, review, and share Living Color: Angie Rubio Stories. And a reminder to those who already have the book, if you would like an Angie Rubio themed notepad, drop me a note with your mailing address.
La búsqueda sigue
Yes, I’m still trying to splutter my way to a reasonable level of conversational fluency in Spanish. I practice conversation and grammar with online tutors several times a week. Sometimes I do okay and other times I utterly fail, my mind suddenly erased of all the Spanish I’ve stored for years, apparently in vain, in the crannies of my cerebrum. I listen to a Spanish podcast every morning for about an hour and half, rotating among a variety of podcasters based in Spain, Colombia, or Mexico. My recent favorite is How To Spanish hosted by a young Mexican couple named Ana and David who converse about Mexican culture. I listened to an episode about the band Café Tacvba, which is featured in Rompan Todo: La historia del rock en América Latina, the fascinating documentary series I recently watched about the evolution of rock in Latin America. I also enjoyed an episode about the Mexican singer Natalia Lafourcade whom I was familiar with but learned more about with respect to her musical education and her commitment to social justice issues. The most interesting episode to me so far has been the one about the Latin American “boom” writers that included Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, and Jorge Luis Borges, all of whom I read many years ago in a Latin American Literature class. What I didn’t learn about until this podcast was the life and work of Elena Garro, wife of Nobelist Octavio Paz, famous for his Labyrinth of Solitude, a marked-up copy of which has lived on my shelf since the 70s. Garro’s work had been disappeared from Mexican culture for many years while she herself exiled in Paris. I ordered one of her books in translation and will also be reading this one: Uncivil Wars: Elena Garro, Octavio Paz, and the Battle for Cultural Memory. Anyway, listening to these podcasts introduces cool vocabulary such as auge, which means boom!
Another year gone, a new one upon us in “this carousel of time”
I end this post as I did last month with a video of Ilio. This one is called Circle after Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game” – Yesterday a child came out to wonder… and the seasons they go round and round…