Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ya hace un mes

Hello to all my lovely readers (if you're still reading this). It has been about a month since I returned from Buenos Aires and the transition has not been easy. I can't imagine it would be easy for anyone experiencing a culture show and I, particularly, am no good at transitioning. In a way I feel like I'm living this double existence, partly trying to be present here in Chicago and part of me wondering how life is continuing over there. I keep having these dreams about being back there, or secretly having never left. A large part of me was ready to return, and yet there are certain things I got very attached to; things and people I took for granted and very much miss now that I am back.

For one, I miss Spanish!! Last night I put on the radio to the Mexican station (even though I don't really like that kind of music) just to hear the commercials and feel more "at home."

Fortunately, I managed to find Fernet, the local drink, at Binny's liquor store, so, at least, I can get a little of Argentina on my palate. However, there just isn't the cafe scene here like there is there (in a non-pretentious sort of way). I'd have to walk about fifteen minutes to get to a cafe; over there, I'd have at least five options on my block.

Life is quieter and obligations are minimal. Sitting in the backyard is so peaceful and relaxing, and yet living downtown in a big city gives the feeling of being closer to humanity. I've been working very hard trying to write as much as I can, but it's hard at a distance; trying to find the words for things I can't see out my window, and in a language different than the land it's describing.

There is this overwhelming feeling of being hurt by Buenos Aires, matured or over-ripened. There is so much I have seen and felt that is impossible to undo. I wouldn't want to, but feel lost as to where these kind of experiences fit into my life here. In a way, I feel like I've fallen in love with my captor: stranger who has taken me away from all that is familiar, stranger who has made me feel disoriented and alone, why can't I stop thinking about you? This morning I was sitting in my backyard reading a wonderful poetry book by Cesar Vallejo, a Peruvian poet. What's wonderful about this book is that there is the Spanish version on the left side page and the English translation on the right. Anyways, a few lines of one poem really stood out to me....

Doblo el cabo carnal y juego a copas/
Donde acaban en moscas los destinos/
Donde comí y bebí de lo que me hunde.

I round the carnal cape and bet on hearts/
where destinies end up in flies,/
where I ate and drank from that which drags me under.

Saludos a todos