Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ted Kennedy 1932-2009

The first time I ever cast a ballot was for Ted Kennedy in the Democratic Party primaries in early 1980. I had just turned 18. Even though he lost his presidential bid I learned that there is always hope in the democratic process. I am one vote and so are you. We are powerful. I was taught from an early age that it was my civic duty to go out and vote. Dad was a lawyer and mom came from a very influential political family in Puerto Rico. A deep belief in the sacredness of the democratic process was paramount in our education. For some reason Ted Kennedy represented that process for me. I know he was part of a big intriguing political family and I also know of his less than perfect personal life but he represented what you could do with your own personal power. You can change the world. Some of us are way less influential but every step I take is a step forward, I'm heading somewhere, always accompanied by both my experiences and my values as a human being. I'm so grateful that we live in a democracy. I know is way less than perfect and that so many of us minorities have struggled to have our basic rights being respected. I hope we can come to a satisfactory conclusion in our health care debate and be able have true equality for all. Ted Kennedy championed these and many more causes. He will be missed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer of 1978

I have been thinking so much of the sea lately. It's no coincidence James Joyce called it "our mother" in his Ulysses. It's been almost a whole year since I have seen the vast ocean. As a Caribbean man, the sea has always been my backdrop, my life's wallpaper so to speak. I often think of the magical summer days I lived in small villas or rented houses in Puerto Rico's Northeast coast. While I was growing up my family would spend two full months on the beach each year during the 60's and 70's. From resort-like Dorado with its white and peaceful coves to the raging surf of Humacao's Palmas del Mar. I distinctively remember July of 1978 at Palmas del Mar. I was about 15 years old. It was a summer of tennis and backgammon as I remember it. The soundtrack from Grease and an Euro-disco band Voyage was all the rage in those days. We were discovering that we fancied adulthood. Me and my beach buddies would do anything we could to imitate adults. We thought adulthood was about pleasure, pure and simple. We would smoke behind close guarded doors and sip rum and coke until we got nauseated. It was a cool thing to do back then. We would be on our bikes all day long with our swimming trunks underneath our clothes so we could rush to the beach or the swimming pool as soon as we wanted. These were formative years for me. I started to find my own identity in the late hours we stayed out by the Mediterranean style villas bathed by the Atlantic Ocean. I remember the mystery and seduction of the starry nights in the marina. Young golden men and vibrant women wearing blue eye shadow were the inhabitants of this world.
Memory is a fantastic editor, I must add. I also felt the angst of inadequacy back then. I had mild acne and was overweight, but boy did I dream back then...I imagined my future life to be full of love and happiness. I was too naive to realize the complexity of my world, present and future.

But these summer days gave me the wonderful gift of discovery. Now, the glaring sun had baptized me into adulthood. Indescribably sensuous adulthood. I could never go back again, my universe was forever changed, I began to dream like an adult, thirsty for adventure, hungry for love.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Magic Carpet

Trying to fly as high as I can. It's been a day full of promises, several job leads, one phone interview. How much would I love to ride on a magic carpet. Sweeping across the land. It's a strange world this one we are living. Speed is our new god. Acceleration is the highest virtue. It seems like that to me. We have gone insane. We are led to believe that whoever is slow or just takes his or her time will be left behind. I seldom feel I am rushing to nowhere. I crave an open green space where I can quietly sit with a book and a cup of tea. I read Arabian Nights when I was 7 or 8 and marveled about flying carpets. It would definitely be a cozy way to travel around.
I am a very visual individual, and I imagined to fly on a peacock blue Persian rug, what I later came to know as a birjan rug. Intricate patterns interwoven through thousands of silken threads. But isn't life like a magical flying carpet? You are the master weaver. You always carry your pattern with you. You have created this pattern, bit by bit, year after year. The colors are your joys, your tears, your epiphanies and your defeats. A weaver takes time to make a beautiful rug. Then why do we settle with a mass produced bland looking version of a magic carpet?

Monday, August 17, 2009

One morning at the Job Club

Merciful Heavens! I had a bit of a busy day today. I've joined a job club at my local church. It has proven to be quite good since you get support and help of other fellow unemployedlings. In this case 12 heads think better than one, mine. So your efforts in trying to land a job get multiplied by the ideas and feedback offered by others. This period of unemployment has been unprecedented in my life. It's goes beyond my economic situation. It's a feeling, strange as it is, that my soul is unemployed. Let me explain. This last year has been the most devastating year in my life. I lost my anchor in life, my mom, suddenly, without any kind of suspicion about her health. I found her lifeless in her apartment. I'm dealing with the loss in all ways that I can, still it hurts like nothing I have experienced before. Six months later, I made the decision to move to Texas with my brother. I needed to escape the loneliness I was feeling inside, I started to hate the very place I lived for so many years, as if it had something to do with her death.
I could not stand living in the island, maybe I was projecting my inner feelings and found Puerto Rico to be the cause of death both my mother's and my dreams. To some, probably many, it would seem childish to blame a country. Maybe I'm childish, who knows?But I cannot possibly tell you how isolated and hopeless I felt living in a place where I had very few friends left and where I did not relate to the beach culture of the Caribbean.
I saw an open door...Texas. And here I am . I do not know if it's going to be my last destination, but I'm trying my luck like everybody else.

At the job club I mentioned the fact that I was shy when it came to introduce myself to people I did not know. They look at me as if I was from planet Jupiter. Shy? Are you insecure or something? Someone asked. What am I suppose to answer? For some reason I saw the humor in it, it was a most impolite question, it put me on the spot...but it made me laugh at the impertinence of the woman that made the question. She reacted the same way someone would react to something that was disliked like a certain color or a certain type of music. Maybe I'm too Victorian or Edwardian about manners but I think this blabbermouth of a person was rude. I displayed my humble panache in mean this is not the Insecure Anonymous group?, then I stood up in mock confusion. They all laughed. I have to go into actor mode to overcome my social shyness. Of course it's based on insecurities....may I say a big and loud DUH!
So I'm discovering the New World all over again. Injecting colors and forms into my Self to reanimate my quest for true joy. Who wants to dance with me? What are you doing to inject passion into your life? I would love to know. Bunch of hugs and kisses to all, you are succulent people.

I had to buy these yellow roses, I saw them at the flower shop in Bloggyville, they remind me of frindship and luxury.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hey, I'm just human.

I'm alive, thank you so much for sending me e-mails reminding me of how loving the blogging community really is. I've been semi-retired lately from writing due to a bout with depression. I often thought about writing but I could not commit my thoughts to the blog. I'm feeling better now and I'm planning to share the comings and goings of my personal landscape with all of you. I'm healing from this depression I just mentioned about. I am very idealistic, I think, and for that same reason I get disappointed by people and situations much too often. I know art, spirituality, colors, books and music can be healing agents too, so are flowers, sunsets and trees, and laughter, so I intend to keep on writing in spite of my depressive condition and unemployment. I beg you all forgiveness for abandoning my post during these hard times. Is good to be back. Love and Peace to all.

I put some red roses here to enjoy their beauty and perfume. I am a hopeless romantic at heart.