Monday, January 21, 2008

[More for me than for you]

Enternecida me tienes...

But not really.

I don't feel touched by anything right now. Cold, yes. Not hunger, tap water, jealousy, pain, intrigue, English (pues, maybe a bit), pressure, alcohol, fear, even gymnastics, even paper (my hand feels so slow, but I've written all along -- why are you heavy, hand, when my heart is not?).

I am touched by Mexico, every quote (every laugh-sobering sobremesa-error-talk of finding ourselves or finding our way through talking) those wonderful girls that I quickly became so close to, these pictures, laughing with Emeline across the table because she knows it's true and because I know she actually cares, Mike and Kelsey and Rachel and the real love of friends, ice in water, Jane Eyre, this calm and pervading peace as I look around and wonder, Where next?

I know I can at least offer the who and how (myself, my skill) and be patient - yet tenacious - in finding the where and when.

Because you see, I honestly don't know what to say about all of this. It was wonderful, incredible, inspiring, bewildering, frustrating, enlightening, encouraging -- and -- rarely frightening. I felt little fear. How about that? I was not so vulernable after all, little white girl wearing shorts in Tepoztlan. Of course the accent gave me away. Of course some spoke so quickly that all I could muster up from ten years of Spanish education was the polite request, "Repita, por favor?"

But as I finally felt validated with writing last spring, so I finally felt the same with Spanish. All of you forced it to be me: the interpretator, the listener and the speaker, the dictonary, the conjugator. Thank you for making me speak, make those requests, reply even in mentiras (there's another tale).

Maybe you were all correct all along -- that this Spanish thing, it will serve me well, that maybe that 4.18 within the major meant that I could apply -- and get by -- with the real speakers, even throw in a touch of Sor Juana or Marquez to show that I paid a bit of attention.

Well, two languages later and I still don't know what to say or think -- just know that these three weeks have changed my life and I must re-form myself around them, hoping all the while that I will never be the same again.

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