Because a) a trip to Mexico b) trip to Mexico is a major undoing of my mind c) getting ready to leave the country, leaving the country, getting detained in that country (taken off the airplane minutes before takeoff to come home, mind you!) because of a clerical error, returning to the country after about nine parties in nine days with the same people in different spaces and in different combinations, reconnecting with all that I love about Mexico and all that makes me terribly uncomfortable in Mexico, all wonderfully jarring and joyful and luckily, with the right amount of decaf every morning and the right amount of wine or Topo Chico or both every night, making the most of being with family family family d) leaving my husband, kitten, KITTEN! and dogs, friends, and work for another extended time, hating doing that because I do love traveling with my husband who likes to spoil me and showing him all that I love and all that bothers me about Mexico like it is new because he is seeing it for the first time, and so it is new to him and telling him my life feels like best friend cake time because he makes me feel like my life matters a whole hell of a bunch and that is a nice feeling, e) bringing along my son, a seventeen year old who has not visited Mexico with me since he was nine when he took the air guitar in every restaurant and who allowed himself to be dressed in drag to because his all female cousin clan began with the fingernails and did not stop at the boa and who is now old enough to hang out with those legally allowed to drink ant cervesa they want and drive and get into Ubers and take med school exams the next morning and who convinced me to watch two TWO horror movies with him while we were there, okay one and a half, but more than one, and this is something I never do on this or that side of the border, never even consider doing because i) I have nightmares the very night I see a preview for a horror movie on free to air tv, nightmares, and ii) I have successfully sensitized myself to them after being a desensitized teenager and I never want to be de-sensitized again because these stories are tropes, powerful tropes and tricks, right? Camera tricks. Right? My cave-woman brain does not seem to understand this and sends me running from knives and sick looking dolls who want to eat my flesh while I am supposed to be "resting." No. So-- that was a good portion of June.
There has been much to process, always there is too much to process to focus on me, my writing, my inner life, my reflections, all while living, and living to appreciate live moments, and to be present with myself and with my kiddo and with my mom who traveled with me and with Stewart who was home and kitten-tending and in touch with all our south of the border calendar. He keeps telling me, "Honey there are really only 24 hours in a day" because I say yes to too many things because I have trouble with boundaries clearly, as you can see from my total lack of respect for punctuation here. And I realize there are times of yin and times of yang to keep a balanced life. I have been in a major yang time right now when I want to be more yin, in the darker restful place where reflection and writing happen, and yet living is there to balance it all in the light of the sun, in the action of it all. The action is just too much though.
The politics. Orlando still heaving and blistered with the greatest most horrific, violent trauma and sadness possible coupled with stories of parents of victims denying them. And Independence Day this week? What part of our country is in any way independent? What kind of independence are we supposed to celebrate? No.
On July 4, I went to see The Lobster instead and took unassuming family members with the hook that the movie was going to be quirky. Not that I am not grateful to be returning to this side of the border after my dive into my home country's delicious food, fabulous architecture and mountain views and excursions, and horrifying politics, crime, and unabashed lust for the US, its freedoms, products, prices, and fashions.
And Hillary-gate. And Trumpster. And Latinx and Black Lives Matter today, today, there is another hideous report of an assassination style "arrest" gone to hell.
This yin yang balance and imbalance is happening to all of us, the onslaught, the on, on, on of go go go life, the what is next, next next. It is not just me running from rabbit hole to rabbit hole nibbling and taking in the stars while evading the latest predator. Facebook is too much, Twitter tweets are too much, this blog is too much, and, "Mom did you see this instagram video? and did you see the 2016 XXL Freshman Class list? And did you see how this Charlie Chapman video is being used as proof of time travel. The woman is talking on a cell phone. Look." It is all to much.
Poetry is my way to hang on to the spinning thing this world is and feel something and not get thrown off the side and ripped up by the gears crunching underneath our spinning and barefoot feet.
Remember that roundabout playground ride? Remember jumping on while running, catching onto a bar before they spun past you and hanging on tight for the joy of it?
Remember spinning it
for your friends or, even
better, letting them spin you
until they jumped on sweaty
out of breath, hair sticking
in weird lines to their foreheads,
pimples not budding from their foreheads
yet, and spinning terrified and joyful all at once?
Remember that stunned spinning feeling we sought out as children? We would spin into compliance, giving into the centrifugal force just so much while the G's pulled our very skins to the skies.
That is what this month has felt like to me, the good, the bad, not mentioned here in any detail at all except maybe being taken off an airplane in a third world country.
Perhaps this is one of the many reasons why a whirling dervish is such a beautiful force and art form, allowing the body to be pulled while holding a center, because there is a lesson in that, if you do not hold on to the inevitable turn, to that rhythm and force, it will fucking throw you and injure you!
So maybe July will be about calm, but in July I have some things coming up. Macondo is next week. Macondo through the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center here in San Antonio. My poem, interview and a wonderful analysis of my poem featuring on Women's Voices for Change: Redefining Life After 40, the Gemini Ink Writer's Conference, during which I will be on a panel with Wendy Barker, Cyra Dumitru, and Eric Cruz, a Poetry Group meeting, a revision, I hope, of many Virgen poems. I am secretly gathering notes for these poems between all of this and looking for a spot in time to really work these and send them out. A short honey-honey trip with my honey coming too, between between all that. And then at the end of July organizing trainings for new faculty in our DE program at NVC. It is full on, full on on these summer "days off."