We bore this tide of echoes with lightness, attributing most of it to having lived in a country with a similar history of Imperial domination, down to the same conquistadores. But who didn't Spain touch when she was in her hey day? It was evening by the time we left the cuotas (toll roads), navigating through small towns and villages, till we were finally in Valladolid where we'd stay the night.
I'd summarily described it to the Lovely Libran as "you know, it's like a small Spanish town" deliberately leaving out most of the details to surprise her. The evening had done my efforts better, for we'd arrived on the night of a fiesta. The streets had garlands of lights, flags and flowers hung everywhere, and there was that general buzz of celebratory excitement.
A long, long time ago, in the very same space where I sit now writing this, I lived another life. I would like to be light about it, and thankfully, time, friendships and healing now allow me to be. Even if there are moments when I simply must bow to the gravity of that past and avoid summarizing it into a few short statements that follow the rules of good story telling. There is a protagonist/heroine and the anti-hero. Everything in between gets mashed into a formula, Bad Man, Good Woman, a tale of woe/betrayal, recovery. La voila, Hollywood.
I used to think that my consciously careful resistance to doing this was me stubbornly holding on. A refusal to let go of all those shed tears, after all I'm pretty sure I was crying for three straight years. If my tear ducts could've gone on strike, they would've. But it took the death of a presence to remind me, it wasn't all hard-headed Cancerian wallowing that made me keep those memories alive. I used to think that "arriving" at life or coming out "finished" was about getting it together. That the all-access pass came when you scored the trifecta of career/wealth, love/romance and family/friends. That one "becomes" when you join all the shiny, happy people you see in ads everyday, white teeth flashing even and perfect, bodies lithe engaged in that flawless life.
I had no idea. And it took a damn while to forgive myself for not knowing that.
It happened a month ago today. Naturally, with the speed of world events and need to sell papers, we don't hear as much about it now, buried as it is under by-lines about Gaddafi, Mubarak, government shut downs, Posh Beckham's baby bump. As far as headline-retention is concerned, this isn't surprising. Katrina suffered the same fate.
It is the most video-documented natural catastrophe I can recall. The devastation caused by the wars we’ve seen, whether military, religious or gang-related, the nose-diving stock index, the recovery of incest victims from dark basements, car chases, shootings, etc. - all these man-made, still leave open the possibility of justice. The chance to pursue the perpetrators, to question our mistakes and to rue our follies.
Japan’s tsunami showed us the Pacific’s watery hand, reaching ravenously for a country turned toy land, leaving little escape and no recourse. It was so apocalyptic, it almost looked like CGI. Halfway through watching it, it feels so surreal that you think at any moment, the Hollywood version of Perseus should appear and set things right.
FA on feathers, fangs, furies and all sorts of folly, yes, even the serious kind.
content copyright 2011
Yep, my life, my insanity, my copyright. If you like what you read, let me know :)
Did I use your image & attribute it incorrectly? Sorry! Let me know and I'll take it down. "Sssshhhh" image on blog header by Deborah Azzopardi. It's an amazing print now available thru Ikea.