Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How did I get here?

And you may ask did I get here?
(from Once in a Lifetime by The Talking Heads)

A question that I sometimes have to stop and ask myself. I never imagined that I would be living in Southern Australia. In fact, many years ago my husband (at that time partner) asked if I would consider moving to Australia. I told him no way. Yet here I am. Our journey here has not been simple or direct, but rather an amazing adventure.
It all started in the fall of 2003. I was tiring of working as an Elementary School Teacher, and my partner of 10 years was having some doubts about a career in Academia. We were ready for a change. When Mark was offered a job, as an Environmental Engineer, in Southern Spain it seemed perfect. However, there was one hitch, the company was unable to offer a Visa for a domestic partner, so we would have to tie the knot if I were to be able to go with him. So within one month we were married, and Mark headed off . We decided that I would finish the the school year, and join him in the summer. Besides someone needed to pack up the house and put it in storage. So six months later I joined him for what I believed would be a year abroad. Little did I know that one year would quickly turn to four.
We lived in Utrera, a smallish town just outside of Sevilla. We made friends and settled in. Weekends were spent hiking through the Spanish Country Side. Vacations spent exploring Europe. We found a comfortable routine as well as a lifestyle that suited our needs and we were happy. However, with the passage of time, things became mundane. We were enjoying life, but were not as excited by it as we had once been.
As we rang in 2008 in Pisa, Mark asked where I wanted to ring in 2009. My response was Sydney. After all ever since the year 2000 we had dreamed about bringing on the New Year under the Harbour Bridge. Besides it would be fun to visit another continent. I have since learned to be careful of what you wish for. Our comfortable life continued to beg for change, and within five months Mark was offered a job in Australia.
My dream of fireworks in Sydney was turned into a life in Adelaide. Within a month we were packed up and moving to the Land Down Under.

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?

And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
My god!...what have I done?
(partial lyrics from Once in a Lifetime, The Talking Heads)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I am

I am from a seed that was planted to keep a young man from going to war,
an everlasting bond between two people.

I am from east coast meets southwest.
Mayer and Mayita.
The sandpiper of the beach,
and the road runner of the desert.
Periogies, cabbage rolls, babka,
Chile verde, enchiladas, and empanadas.

I am from the flat lands of Indiana,
a place never considered “home”.
Cold winters and humid summers.
Corn fields, horses, playing in the woods,
the musty smell of antique shows.

I am from the picket line.
A child’s voice chanting
¡Justicia si! ¡Uvas No!
¡Que viva
Cesar Chavez!

I am from
New Mexico.
Turquoise blue skies,
and sunsets the color of sandia.
Bicultural and bilingual.
Two worlds coexisting,
yet the constant us/them or ellos/nosotros.

I am from
but I am not an Española.
The sun of
Plaza Nueva,
toastadas con tomate y
cafe con leche.
The passion of los gitanos,
moonlit nights at the
Cañas, tapas y Flamenco.

I am from the bedside of my Abuelita,
“buscame piojitos, m’hita” .
Helplessly watching her wither away,
unable to ease her pain.

I am from south of the border,
the home of La Virgen Morena.
The tunnels below
Mexico City,
my escape route from Polanco.

I am from a family of teachers.
Not an academic,
but an educator and a life long learner.

I am from many places,
but I am one.
I am Maya.