How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?
Zsa Zsa Gabor
A number of new small businesses have opened in the neighborhood, and there’s construction taking place: space being cleared for new houses and businesses and parking lots. I’m happy for this optimism.
The transportation authority left a note under the gate notifying the owners that a meeting would take place to discuss parking on the privada: this was prompted by the Americans who bought the neighboring house from the Canadians and who feel they should be able to park their space ship anywhere; this goes against long-standing understandings among the neighbors.
That restless feeling has moved back in and thoughts of Germany and Hungary have been lying about, kicking each other, like siblings are want to do, off the couch, then climbing back on. This is fostered in part, by some extremely low airfares and the need for something more urban in my life. I almost booked a flight, but the usual concerns cropped up: learning and understanding another language, Hungarian bureaucracy, and distance.
I checked the blog’s statistics today and saw someone has visited the page named “Where” multiple times … that post talked at length about Hungary. Coincidence? So today a quote from one of the most famous Hungarians and some contemporary Hungarian music.
In that post I talked about Hungary’s shift to the far-right, which has since been followed by a similar trend in France’s recent elections and which America’s führer-hopeful seems expectant to ride. I almost feel as if what difference does it make where one lives if one is governed by whimsy, personal prejudice and the perpetual search for scapegoats.
It’s beginning to feel a little like Las Posadas
I learned recently that this is the season known as Lupita Reyes … so named for the Virgin of Guadalupe (whose feast day is the 12th of this month) and Three Kings Day (January 6, Epiphany). This Friday night, the 11th, there will be caroling at the Episcopal church (St. Paul’s) led by a woman from the UU Fellowship. Toy drives are taking place, stores have nacimientos (nativity scenes) for sale and the sun has reverted to its near-solstice habit of appearing (as do I) mid-morning (at its earliest); otherwise the adobe, brick, concrete, and stone absorb the gray and cold. We are definitely in that time of year when it’s warmer outdoors than in.
Observations under gray skies
The recent gray skies began last week and all of a sudden doors to businesses were closed in the mornings to keep in the heat, street vendors were wearing hoodies AND sweaters or jackets and kept hands in their pockets to keep them warm, near-everyone wore a scarf if she had one and kerosene heaters appeared at eating spots.
Cafes do a brisk business these days as people escape homes to capture heat elsewhere. I overheard two women talking at my new favorite cafe.
Woman one: I feel as if I’m a caterpillar in the cocoon, just goo, and I don’t know if I’ll ever emerge a butterfly.
Woman two: I was feeling like anything that wasn’t saving the world wasn’t valuable. Then I realized, “Just do what you can.”
I went to La Biblioteca yesterday to see a movie and there were three of us in the audience. Unfortunately they weren’t able to start the film and offered a different film; I was in the mood for a comedy, not drama, and so left the theater to grocery shop.
Then while grocery shopping I saw C who said friends had given her a lot of money to help out the families she’s helping – she said she’d stuffed “so much money in her bra” that it now fit.
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Du Schwarzer Zigeuner (You Black Gypsy)
Rhapsody Romanes No. 1
Ha Én Rozsa Volnék (If I Were A Rose)
translation by Daniel Bujak
If I were a rose, dear, I’d be in bloom the whole year.
I’d fill the fields with colour, both far and near.
I’d bloom for all the children. I’d bloom for the forgotten.
For true love to find us, and this very moment.
If I were a gate, son, all would be welcome,
I’d let all my brother pass, whoever wanted to come.
I would never ask them, from where they are descended,
What would make me happy is when everyone had made it
If I were a window, I would hide nothing.
So that the whole world I would be revealing
As they gazed through me, the people, they’d see it all
I might then be happy when they tear down the walls
If I were the streets here, I would always be clear.
Even in the darkest night, all could pass without fear.
And if one day, death set out on the road,
Even the earth below would swallow them up whole.
If I were a flag, sir, you’d never see me stir.
To every gust I faced, I’d be its defier.
Grant me my freedom, take me from this timber,
And I’ll no longer bend at the will, of my oppressors.