Liberté

Tango at Luna Red

My intent wasn’t to to sit fireside at a Spanish tapas restaurant

on a day that commemorates Mexico’s triumph over France.

It wasn’t to sink sweetly into Argentine nostalgia,

while pulling salt from the rim with a light touch of tongue.

But when a couple on the patio excused itself from the only set table

to tango under suspended lights,

I dissolved into inky darkness

and watched, invisible, as they traced the outlines of their kingdom.

Reina, his only subject.

Rey, her every move.

 

George’s Girl Takes 5

Here we have it: The First Edition.

A recap of the week’s sounds, smells, sights, touches, and tastes from a girl who lost her father but not herself. 

Let it be said that I had my first date with Photoshop this weekend. These images are my notably novice creations. What’s the phrase, Rome wasn’t built in an hour?

Feel_final

Taste

See

Smell

Feel: 

  • Grateful. Under a grey sky, someone new took me somewhere new.
  • Surprised. A beautiful stranger left this anonymous note, and a book titled “50 paintings you should know” for me. Whoever you are, Thank You.

Nicole, You inspire me everyday. I hope this brings you some more inspiration to fuel your mind and soul.

  • Able bodied. Started my running regiment for my Israel half marathon. The lungs and buns are burning.
  • Shocked. It’s been almost sixth months since I’ve seen/heard/spoken to the greatest man I’ve ever known.
  • Progress. I finished the prelude this week – now to polish, and polish some more.
  • Relaxed. Been going to acupuncture. I haven’t a clue if it’s working, but if it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right.

Taste: 

  • Gluten Free Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. I spent Friday night baking these bad boys. They tasted like a somersault, back rub, sun salutation, and bear hug all in one.
  • Gin. Which is one letter away from grin. Which is what happens to me when I drink it.

See:

  • The skies in San Luis Obispo. They explode at sunset.
  • The hills, the valleys, the stretches of road, the glittering tides, the rows of vines.
  • More chances to grow.

Smell:

Scentless Sunflowers,

when I close my eyes, my nose

detects your brightness.

  • Stables. I visited a friend in Atascadero this weekend. Helped her feed the horses (!!) and enjoyed a night in with plates full of salmon, and ears full of John Coltrane.
  • America. Beers, Bean dips and everything in between, Super Bowl XLVII wasn’t won by the Ravens, but by Pinterest. Thank you, pretty little push-pinned site for exposing so many finger licking good recipes to taste and taste and taste some more.

Hear: [this week’s repeat offenses]

  • Beethoven’s Appassionata
  • The Head and the Heart
  • Kendrick Lamar
  • Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Blue Foundation
  • Gustav Holst
  • Trampled By Turtles
  • Passion Pit

And there we have it, friends. An overview of a week in the life of a girl who plain and simply is not fatherless.

If you’re so inclined, a sneak peak behind the serious curtain:

February 3, 2013

It dawned on me yesterday as I was driving down the grade.

Foot off the gas, heat expanding my pores and drying out my hands. It’s February, I thought. I’m entering the sixth month without my father.

Alone in my car, plunging into the valley, my breaths became shallow and my shoulders caved. I realized I didn’t cry once in January, and I panicked.

Was I forgetting about him? Am I okay without him? I don’t want that; I can’t possibly be.

And as if cued in by an omnipotent conductor, tears fell, dropping in time to a song I had on repeat. Some shot down like pellets, some lazily serpentined down my cheeks. Some stung more than others. All blurred the construct of reality I had unintentionally crafted for myself during the previous month.

January was busy. Filled with progress and opportunity, newness and fondness, it arrested my time and attention in such a way that I hardly noticed the handcuffs. If not people, then things. If not things, then thoughts, if not thoughts then work, if not work then something. I was always surrounded.

But in my car, with this song on a relentless loop, the message drilled into my every cavity and I found my solace.

I realized how in grieving, my mind demands expansive time to itself. That crucial exploration of self via sensations or wonder or the complete absence of the two.

I cried for my father’s short life, for mine, and for the uneasiness I feel when my alone time is chipped and chiseled away.

Tonight I am reflective about my week. About this month, about my father. About the way I choose to spend the time I’m gifted. It appears as though this little series is becoming my own little prescription pad. Just by seeing the writing on it, I already feel better.

the meaning of words

I love words. I love them in English, I love them in Spanish, I love them in Greek. I love them when I don’t understand them, when they’re terrifyingly complex, when they roll of the tongue, when they’re perfectly simple and succinct. When they’re strung together, when they’re alone – hopelessly, or happily, I love them.

On my weekly lunch date with my Argentine lady friend today (go ahead, call me a Golden Girl), we deviated from our usual topics of family, embarrassing memories and daily stressors, and dove in to the linguistic pool. We started and ended our conversation with the spanish words ocupar – to be busy, and preocupar – to worry.

Silvia dissected the latter into two parts: 1. pre and 2. ocupar. 1. Before and 2. to be busy.

A lightening rod of enlightenment electrified my body – its tissues, nerves, synapses.  To worry, preocupar, is nothing more than to busy yourself, ocupar,  before it’s necessary to. It is nothing more than wasting precious mental energy centralizing thoughts on an event before it even happens, if it even happens at all! It was there in Luna Red restaurant, sitting across from Silvia, and at a table next to a woman in her late fifties whose breasts noticeably defied the natural pull of gravity, that I realized how much time I’ve been wasting busying myself with thoughts that don’t even deserve the time it takes to be thought up. No more.

…30

The average number of alfajores (per month) that made their way into my digestive tract and subsequently onto my thighs between the months of September and December….

The average age of the fleet of men clad in business casual who stood at a welcomed but obnoxiously close distance during rush hour on the subte….

The average number of times a day I spent considering selling all my belongings and some of my non vital organs to support my addiction to Argentina….

The number of times Gloria called me a chancha for spilling (otra vez, Nicole?!) on her tablecloth….

The number of days I’ve been away from the place that challenged me, cultivated my spirit, and fostered my sense of adventure and creativity….

…30.

It’s been a month, 30 days, that these size nine feet of mine have been planted on US soil, and truth be told, not a day has gone by where they don’t ache to be skipping down those Buenos Aires sidewalks, dodging dog-poop bombs and cracked pavement once again. For the one-month anniversary of my departure, I’m going to take you del otro lado de la nocheand share one of my favorite poems by Francisco X. Alarcón. This  bilingual book of poems is currently my nightstand companion, and since I value both the status of your bed-side table and your poetic mind, I implore you to at least entertain the idea of upping the stanzas and muting the static in your life.

I. Orden en la casa                                                                                     I. Order in the home

me reclamas                                                                                                    you complain

porque dejo                                                                                                     because I leave

toallas húmedas                                                                                             damp towels

sobre la cama                                                                                                  on the bed

 

todas las cosas                                                                                               all things

tienen su lugar                                                                                                have their place

me aleccionas                                                                                                 you lecture me

recogiendo                                                                                                      gathering

 

los libros                                                                                                          the pile

amontonados                                                                                                  of books

en la mesa                                                                                                        off the kitchen

de la cocina                                                                                                      table

 

yo me apresuro                                                                                               I hurry

y cubro                                                                                                             and cover

con mi cuerpo                                                                                                 with my body

los calzones                                                                                                    the underwear

 

que relucen                                                                                                     that gleams

como sonrisa                                                                                                  like a smile

sobre el sofá                                                                                                   on the red

rojo de la sala                                                                                                 living room sofa

meanings & mantras

I’m willing to bet the vanilla flavored Greek yogurt I’m currently enjoying that every literate person out there has read too far into something. We over analyze, we jump to conclusions, we put scenes on repeat in our minds and act surprised when the game of cerebral telephone leaves us with an end message that is drastically different from its likely innocent beginnings.

… Do I have a gambling problem if I’m willing to bet that I won that bet? Either way, I now have an empty recyclable container in my hand, a happy belly, and a high count of protein entering my bloodstream. And with that, I raise my glass personalized Trader Joe’s yogurt to make a toast. May we all cease to hyper sensitize the messages at hand and pull from them only the meanings and mantras that serve to improve our mental sate of mind. Salud.

(love with the proper stranger)

salsa, poesia, viajar.

This goes without saying, but I am partial to going out with the locals. Last night, Meghan and I met up with two Argentines and a Columbian friend for some salsa dancing. A 13 piece live band with trumpets, trombone, bongos, conga, piano, cello, guitarra, oh sweet lord have mercy, I was in heaven. For the first time in my life, the countless times I watched Selena as a kid paid off, as I put my hips on spin cycle  {J.Lo’s  ‘washing machine’}. Dale? If that reference went over your head, get on netflix right now and change your destiny.

It was an absolutely incredible night – full of musical energy, passion, and fun. As for the rest of the weekend, my program is taking us to the Iguazu falls up north, and I couldn’t be more genuinely excited for the 14 hour bus ride, asados, 90 degree weather, panoramic views, bathing suits, swimming pool, and experience! Traveling Besos.

Also, I’ve been digging deep into my poetry roots a lot lately. Here are two poems I wrote during my stay here. Que se disfruten!

I.

Crece salvajemente
Esparcete por todas partes
Escala hacia mi ventana

Enreda tus ramas en mi cabello
Trenzaré quienes somos en uno

Tu curso con mi suavidez

La fortaleza de tu alcance me conquistará
Y mi cuerpo se convertirá en tus miembros extendidos

Serás forzado a tomar uno nuevo

Pero yo soy vos
Vos sos yo

[I. english]

Grow so wildly
spread yourself
climb into my window
tangle your branches into my hair
I’ll braid us together
your course with my soft.
the strength of your reach will conquer me
and my body will become your stretching limbs.
you will be forced to take a new
But I am you.
I am you.
II.

Usame otra vez
me has dejado complete

Sopla mis pensamientos

Alrededor de tus dedos fríos

Girame

Hacia tu fantasia primaria

Te dare significado

Reinterpretame

[II. English]

Reuse me
you’ve left me whole
wind my thoughts
around your cold fingers
Spin me
towards your earliest fantasy
I will give you meaning.
Reinterpret me.