September 26, 2008

Hector's Index Card

He patted his left pocket to make sure the money was still there. Good. He could feel the bulge. Self-conscious, he put his head down and kept walking. Spruce, Locust, Walnut. He still had a ways to go.

He trudged past the army-navy store, imagining himself in a flak jacket, carrying a rifle through the jungle. No, the desert. However animalistic and adventurous the jungle may seem, the desert was realistic. His face morphed into Carlos’ in his mind, and he shuddered. He wished he hadn’t walked past the army-navy store. He should’ve turned west three blocks back.

Looking up at City Hall, he saw Billy Penn point to his wrist. Glancing down at his watch, he cursed and sped up. His hand dove into the right-side pocket, fishing for the paper. Shit. He withdrew his hand and sucked on his finger, licking the cut clean, tasting the bitter blood. Fucking transpass. He didn’t even need it.

Walking cleared his mind. Helped him forget. The air rushed past his ears as he strode along the sidewalk, creating a white noise soundtrack to block out his thoughts. Every so often, a snippet of conversation swirled into his head from the people strolling by, and he found himself creating a whole dialogue around it.

Think. Wait. Don’t Think. Don’t Remember. Just Walk. Just Get There.

He decided to turn onto Market. Walking through City Hall, he could feel the eyes of the stone lions following him. What did they know. They knew nothing. They felt nothing. He was a lion. A stone lion.

He reached back into his pocket and gingerly extracted the paper. The schedule was creased and thin from checking and re-checking the time and location. Yes. It was still the same. Same time, same place.

The skyscraper offices slanted in, suffocating his vision. He anxiously shoved up his sleeve and checked his watch. Ok. Plenty of time. He could relax.

But he couldn’t.

Carlos—but he wouldn’t think about Carlos. Couldn’t think about Carlos.

He kept walking.

He turned.

He paused to re-tie his shoe. He should’ve double-knotted them. But he never did. Carlos always did.

He resumed walking. He would not be late. He could not be late. He checked his watch, sped up. He was almost there.

He could see it now. His destination. His beginning. He patted his left pocket to make sure the money was still there.

It would be something. He couldn’t give much, but it was all he had.

As the doors came towards him, his eyes developed blinders. He walked straight inside, straight down the aisle, straight to the front. He swatted away his thoughts, and looked down at Carlos inside the box.

He unlocked his mind and was whole.

September 17, 2008

Vengo de

My Spanish teacher has propelled me into an existential crisis.

¿De donde vengo yo? Yo no sé.
Where do I come from? I don't know.

Literal: I come from my mother. Her cells divided to form me, a fetus, inside her uterus. I come from my mother. I am a link in a line of strong women, women who followed their passions.

Literal: I come from Philadelphia. I come from the traffic on the streets and the traffic on the sidewalks. I wind through crowds; I walk on cobblestones. I buy soft pretzels on the street; I stop at the Wawa for a snack.

Metaphorical: I am from the loom, woven into a skein of brightly colored wool. Throughout my existence, I will become unwound, then wound tighter again. I will be tugged at and coaxed into forming a shape. Perhaps then I will be agitated and smoothed into one cohesive fabric. I will keep someone warm, cuddled in cold months, wrapped around necks and flung over shoulders. I will need repairs. Eventually I will be eaten by moths.

Metaphorical: I come from a field of music, rhythms and harmonies blending into cacophony. The clink of spoons, the pluck of banjos, the bowing of fiddles. All dictate the beat of my heart. I come from community, a closeness to friends seen only twice a year. I come from shared harmonies, voices in beautiful contrast. I come from campfires and stories, from encouragement and growth, from support and sound.

¿De donde vengo yo? De más puedo decir. De la historia. Del hilo. De la música. De mi familia. Del mundo. Del amor.

September 15, 2008

That cloud is dead!

Summer is over.
School has been in session for over a week now.
My life has fallen into routine.

I like routine.

I can remember to boil the kettle for tea.
Orange pekoe has a lovely scent.

I painted flowerpots yesterday.
One is a turtle.

September 8, 2008

Nature is a Lovely Thing

I have been reading A Walk in the Woods, as you may know, and while Bill Bryson, the author, tries not to inject too many facts and science, there is quite a bit of information. However, I am not going to talk about those parts of the book in this entry.

This entry is for nature.

Nature, the natural world, is what we humans are from. Much as we may attempt to distance ourselves from nature with fiberglass and concrete, without it we would cease to exist. Sorprendo a la naturaleza (Just to add some interdisciplinary learning – sorprender is a Spanish vocab word this week!).

I marvel at nature. Have you ever stood in the middle of the woods and just looked up at the trees? It is humbling.

I had the privilege to attend an elementary school with a wonderful program – once a week each grade went out to a Girl Scout camp in the woods for the whole day. In the younger grades, we mostly just ran around and made forts and had loads of fun. However, we also learned about the plants we saw, and took time to appreciate the natural setting that was so different from our own urban environment.

I will always remember the hours I spent sitting by a creek, shaded by tall stately trees, writing poetry about the sheer beauty of my surroundings.

We need to slow down and appreciate the splendor of nature. I know I need to remember this so as to remember why I care about this topic. No issue is devoid of emotion, and every so often we all need to remind ourselves why we care.

Photo credit: denis collette on Flickr

September 1, 2008

What I'm Going To Do With My Life

...for this school year, at least :D

Stop wasting time on the computer.
  • I refresh Twitter every minute. I need to wait a bit. I click on links that I know are merely fluff. I need to stop doing that. I stare at my screen blankly for minutes at a time. I need to be productive. I will not waste time! I will not waste (as much) time!

Be an attentive student in science class.

  • I slacked off last year in science class. By the end of the year, I simply was not paying any attention at all in that class. That is bad. I will not do that this year. I will just get the assignments done, quickly, no matter how mundane. Get it done. Get it done now. On time. Plus, science fair will hopefully no longer be mandatory. No more science fair! No more organized, legalized torture!

Be more regular in journal-writing.

  • We were handed out journals in English class last year, a la Freedom Writer's Diary. And we wrote in them at the beginning of each class. I like journal-writing. But I have a hard time keeping up with it. So, I will make a concentrated effort to write a little bit each night before going to sleep.

Remember that others are complex, even if they don't yet know it themselves.

  • This would require a long explanation... Basically, I find types of people annoying, and I will try not to dislike certain people just because they follow a stereotype.

Get outside more.

  • This relates to the first goal: I am indoors for too much of the day. Perhaps this will manifest itself in a simple walk after dinner, or doing homework in the park or on the porch.

Actively engage my friends instead of just being content to know that they are my friends.

  • Basically, get a life? Not really... I see my friends in school. Not so much outside of school. I think that that should change a bit. We could go see a movie! Or just chill.

Watch less TV.

  • I am in love with Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The problem is, when the TV goes on, it's hard to turn off... So, we came up with a plan to just rent stuff! Watch more movies, and rent the shows. I enquired at my local video store as to the status of L&O:CI discs, and apparently they don't have any! So, my plan is falling apart already. Oh well, I'll still watch less TV.

These are my goals and aspirations.

Signed: Hannah Feldman