Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sort of like horoscopes...

You know the kind of blog post you don’t want to write because, well, you’ve kind of got a broken-ish heart, and you know that you'll be fine, and everyone’s been there, and it just seems kind of cliché’d and trite to even write about?  But it's sort of on your mind?  Yeah, that’s the kind this is trying not to be.

Aries (3/21 – 4/19): I guess everyone is doing the very best they can along their own sorry little path.  Yeah.  That's actually true.  No one sets out to be mean-spirited.  So be grateful for the good and true moments in your life, and forgive the rest. In fact, those moments come at you so fast that you really need to be careful in order not to miss anything. Be that. Be that careful, tender person who doesn't miss a single good thing.

Taurus (4/20 – 5/20):  Of the thirty seven confirmed signs of ugliness, you don't even have one.  Not even close.  Share your lovely self out in the world, and enjoy your blessings.

Gemini (5/21 – 6/21):  Gemini, if you were born in Nicaragua and had a whole different life, I think we'd be riding the bus together, selling home made baked goods, wearing frilly aprons, and laughing.  Let's do that anyway.  Life gets hard and then it gets easy again.  Be patient.

Cancer (6/22 – 7/21):  There are two kinds of people:  the kind who's like, "wait, you said you work at the DMV?  I don't believe it.  Lemme see a paystub."  And the kind who's like, "Well, I can totally see how you'd feel like you worked at the DMV, it was such a long line you were in that day, it must have felt like you worked there. I get it, it's not actually a lie."  I dunno, which is worse?

Leo (7/23 – 8/22):  I know, it's hard to not keep waiting by the internet for a sign, some kind of sign.  Here it is:  the internet's got nothin' you need.

Virgo (8/23 – 9/22): Believe it or not, I'm not a real hockey player, but I do know this: the goalie can only lose the game for the team, they never win it. That's just the way it is.

Libra (9/23 – 10/22): So, you know that thing when you think what's going on is that someone has a broken wing, and you're all gentle and sweet with them, help them nurse the wing back for months, and are patient with the fact that they can't fly, but the second the wing feels better, they're all, "whoa, no, I never did have a broken wing, never did like you anyway.  I'm flying directly into another nest. I was just practicing saying nice stuff. You seriously didn't think I meant any of it, did you?"  Yeah, I know that thing too.  Be grateful for that person, for they're a great gift on your path towards enlightenment. If you can find compassion for him, your life will be excellent.

Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21):  Hola!  You lovely complex Scorpios, just let it be easy for now.  Don't answer the phone if you don't feel like it, show off your chaco tan, and relax. 

Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21): You know when you're out of town and miss a bunch of big news, like Egypt lost their pres, and Wisconsin is not for solidarity, and there's something going on in Tunisia, but you really feel so out of the loop that you're not sure you can catch up?  Well, here it is, straight up:  there is no loop.  Just this moment, so be honest and kind in it.

Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19): Sometimes you sign up for a tour, and you're told there's going to be a lake, and a waterfall, and maybe some monkeys.  But after a while of walking on the hot dirt road, the tour guide says, "um, yeah, about the lake.... it dried up.  And the monkeys?  Well, they moved to another part of the forest.  There used to be a waterfall."  Don't begrudge the tour guide.  Its not their fault that the monkeys moved.

Aquarius (1/20 – 2/18): Sometimes, you find yourself at an international poetry festival, and you can't  understand a word that anyone's saying because it's in a different language, but still, you can tell it's poetry, and you know that someone took their deepest feelings and placed them into the best words they could gather, and polished them, gently blew life on them, and released them into the world as an offering.  Even though you have no idea what it's about, you can still tell it's true and good.  Trust that that exists in the world.

Pisces (2/19 – 3/20):  Oh!  You know when you have great friends who just listen, and pick you up at the airport in the middle of the night, and check in on you?  Yeah, me too.  That's the best, especially when the friends have been on their own journey of enlightenment, and rather than moving the dark parts out of the way, they've been picking them up, holding them to the light, and thinking, hey, these bits aren't so terrible.  There's good here!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Home Stay

We just returned from our first Nicaraguan homestay, something that would be impossible without M., who speaks pretty fluently at this point. Or at least it seems like it to me.

We boarded a Nicaraguan bus at 6 am, rode on a windy dirt road listening to loud Nicaraguan radio for about 2 hours (have you heard ¨Killing Me Softly¨in Español lately¿?), and were dropped off at an intersection in the middle of nowhere. Our instructions were to take the road to the left, walk about 2K, and look for a sign. We did find a sign for La Perla. The sign pointed into a cow pasture, so we entered the barbed wire fence, and headed across a field. I was getting a little nervous that we wouldn´t find the house, or wouldn´t feel welcome. Shyness prevails with me in these uncertain situations, where I feel awkward being a privileged white American among such poverty.

It had been about three hours since we´d had access to a bathroom. We stumbled upon some people, and fortunately, our hostess was among them. She brought us to her house, and I immediately went to use the outhouse.

As soon as I stopped thinking about how relieved I was, I realized that there was some kind of hole in the toilet, and my urine was not going into the pit, but rather, spreading all over the floor. I know. If you´re already nervous about being an ugly American, um, probably this isn´t the best idea -- to pee all over the hostesses floor within moments of arriving.

Our host family spoke no English, so I was able to tell M. my plight.

"I just peed all over the outhouse floor. Should I tell someone?"

M. has already started seeing me as sort of low-functioning, due to my low vision, poor sense of direction, and inability to speak the language. In fact, she´s started reading all of the signs to me, even the ones written in English.

She started laughing pretty hysterically, and saying she really hadn´t had that problem before, and wasn´t sure what the customs were, but she was sure it would dry on its own.

We were both laughing pretty hard by now, me mostly with embarrassment, but I felt bad laughing, perhaps because when I´ve gotten pedicures when the Thai women are laughing with each other, and I always feel like perhaps they´re laughing at my horrible feet, which, well, I wouldn´t really blame them. My point being that when there´s a language barrier, laughing can so easily be misunderstood.

At any rate, that´s all I have time for at the moment. Adios!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Another week, another horoscope

Air Signs:  
So at the dentist the other day the chatty hygienist started telling me about how when she was a kid she used to pin her dog down and brush and floss his teeth every day.  "Wow, so that’s how it started," I responded.  She looked at me blankly. I know! So I explained, "you know, you’re hygienist career,"  she looked startled, and said that had never occurred to her, but maybe I was on to something.  Seriously?  She has to know it’s not normal to brush and floss a dogs’ teeth daily.  Anyway, Air Signs, start by looking at the obvious stuff.  It's really not that complicated.

Water Signs: I was sitting in my cubicle ruminating about some things, and maybe I didn't look super happy for a second because I was sort of staring into my full-spectrum light and sort of putting my head down on the desk at the same time, when my hockey agent walked by.  "I know that feeling.  The puck is so small, and the goal is so big.  And sometimes, it gets in.  You just do the best you can." That's it, Water. Just do the best you can. 

Fire Signs: Speaking of my hockey agent, he told me that he's feigning disinterest when people call to sign me on one of the pro teams.  He says, "I tell them I'll call them back, maybe.  But I don't.  We don't want to look too eager."  Well, Fire, I disagree.  What the hell is so wrong with being eager?  Are we so chill as a culture that we must profess boredom and disinterest at ever turn?  REJOICE! Don't be too cool to live your life.

Earth Signs:  I bumped into an old acquaintance at the store the other day.  When I asked how his daughter-in-law was doing, he said she was doing great, and he attributed it to the fact that she had eaten the placenta from her recent pregnancy.  I try hard to be open minded, but I've seen a placenta, and, well, I'm not really even that into sushi.  So, Earth, see what you can do this week.  Step it up just a notch, without going full-board into placenta eating.

All the Rest:  It's starting to really bug me, this whole, "manifest your destiny" stuff.  I know, it's all the rage.  But there's serious resource disparity in the world, and if you woke up as a person living in Haiti, watching your children die of tuberculosis and cholera, um, it wouldn't really be something you could manifest your way out of.  So let's be grateful but not to self-congratulatory, eh?

That's it. And by the way, the blog and I are taking a little vacation; posts might be scarce for a couple of weeks.

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