Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Time and Again

Graduation from high school seems as if it happened yesterday, but since I am not a person who keeps track of time. Like my Granddaughter, Amber, I'm a dreamer with my mind firmly focused on dreams for the future. I think I have a daughter like that too. High School was something I lived through but I have no close connections to anyone in my graduation class. I remember two people well Linda Koenig and Gary Rothbart but I was never in their group of friends. I remember a couple of Bobs and a Richard but do not ask any more than that from my memory. It looks like the planners of the event have out done themselves and I will be missing a lot of fun. However, who would I go with? I'm an only child whose husband is dead and whose children are busy with their lives. I can't date them?

When I was high school age I had to move several times so I never stayed with any one group. My best friend during high school years was Judith G. Herman and our school Walton High School in the Bronx was far from the Bruin Den in Long Beach California where I finished my high school days.

So I'll spare myself feelings of being an outsider by NOT going to the latest high school graduation reunion. I"ll not mention the number of years this year makes because like the dreamer that I am I don't feel that old. :-)

It may be that I'm being unreasonably sensitive for although many of my dreams came true, I've not "made it" in the ways that matter to most USAmericans.

So while my fellow graduates from Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach California are celebrating, I'll be writing out part of my "memoirs" for my family and for myself. I might, like other Latinas, include the feelings of balancing on the lines that define USAmerican and Latina cultures and hope that I find a revival of memories and joy from my past that I may have overlooked. I think I owe it to Ernesto Rodriguez and Escolastica Oquendo to finish this one project.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Time and Again

I'll be using the title of this entry to continue musings on earlier entries.This time I want to return to my musings on the fact that Bin Laden harmed people whose beliefs did not match his own thinking. But then I thought that we all have moments of clashing with folks whose beliefs differ from our own. I suppose in a certain way we are no different from the Bin Ladens of the world.

Currently I'm reading Obama's autobiographical book Dream of My Father. I've not finished it but have reached the section where he has grappled with his sense of being an outsider. He mentioned some of the books on post colonialism which I discovered long after he'd read them. However, I am older than the President. So the impact of studying post-colonialism and contemporary feminism "hurt" more than I imagine it would have had I learned these things at a younger age. Today there is no way of testing this idea. But like him I had to go through the anger that "consciousness raising" can lead to when we must deal with the facts of our lives within the USA.

The US is my country but being a woman in it hasn't been a cake walk. Study "awakened" me to many factors of the political and personal injustices that had occurred while I was in the sleep state of not understanding how systems work to control people. So I nodded my head in agreement with the angst the young Barack grappled with as he comes to a way to live in his own skin.

Living in one's own skin requires much self-knowledge as well as an understanding of the systems in which we live. When I read, Location of Culture I could almost see the margins or structures which many of us have to navigate and do so without that "otherness" that Homi Bhabha, Simone De Beauvoir, and others have theorized.   However, being comfortable in my skin has been a different and longer journey for me.

More to come later.

Monday, May 09, 2011

As Time Goes By

Yes that is the title of a song featured in Casablanca around two years before I was born. The idealism, latent and active of two of the main characters, were part of the love of country and doing the right thing which were taught to those of us growing of age in the 50s and 60s. As in many areas of my life, I half fit in baby boomer generation and half in the generation preceding it. Thus it is that I've lived to see a few truly great leaders of my country, the United States, do right by her. I so love all of those leaders who did the right thing at the right time to do justice for our country. On May 1, 2011, I once again found myself full of love for our country, the men aned women who serve in its services, the behind the scenes "government workers" who recently took a hit from those who do not believe that government is here for the purpose of working for all of us--rich, poor, short, tall, skinny, or fat. More importantly, Last week I rediscovered my weakened belief in Our President, Barrack Obama, and found I had ample reason to trust his judgment.

In one week he made so many public appearances with the knowledge that he'd ordered the capture of Osama Bin Laden so that Bin Laden could face justice.  Personally, I think Bin Laden did not pay sufficiently for his crimes on citizens of the United States and around the world.

Instead of doing good for his people this wealthy man, inflamed the passions of his followers so that they could do his bidding.  His beliefs fly in the face of real Islamic traditions and should not be resurfaced again.

Killing people who hold a belief system not to one's liking can only lead to pain and suffering of many.

While I do not cheer for the passing of Bin Laden, I am content that he no longer will create pain in the lives of many more people.

So like Sam and Rick in Casablanca I want a tune that reminds me of American ideals. We need to play such a tune over and over as our time on this earth goes by.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Donald Trump Has Revealed the Truth About the Republican Party

Most of the issues raised by Johann Hari have been noted by those of us who've been around for more than 30 years. Success measured by money in this or any country is a sign of its decline whether or not we can stop the rot is something for all of us to work on.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost