The Utility of Looking Back

How I imagined my life in Andalucia, and how closely it resembles the life I actually lived. Here’s why anniversaries are important, why remembering doesn’t tether you to the past but invites you to celebrate where you are right now. I landed in Jersey a year ago today and think I’ve been home now for a long time. But once you live abroad, and you’ve stuck your feet in the muck and mercy and discovery of another country, you’ll never be the same.

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From the plane, flying into Madrid—-Spring 2009

 

Red shoes. New passport. Glossy love, with real smudges. A longer pony. New earrings. Fish by the sea. New waves of my tongue – in Spanish. Liquid water, lightness, sun. Packages to the U.S. A burst of love to Alex and Dylan. Good-bye to Leyden Street and pristine apartment. Good-bye to Safeway, Tommy’s Thai, Andy the hairstylist, and Thursday nights at La Rumba. A history course. An ease with money. A skip down the beach. Meaningful anger. Booming laughter, at myself and others. Writing stories. Opening the windows to salty air and long sunsets. Weaving history, psychology, and language into a web that explains people’s behavior in Spain/DR/US and ??? Poetry. Colorful things in our apartment. Funny ways to name his scoffing. Solidly yet porous-ly myself. A tailor to make pants for accepted, large be-dunk-a-dunks. Engaged, involved, connected. Still a pony, but looser. Kindness to myself. Dispatching judgment. Loved. Squeezed. Hopeful. Inside, a part of, together. My beloved, that breath, that sigh of home and opening. The voice of the mother, the lap of the father, the guidance of the sister and toughness of the brother. All together. Beloved you. Me. Beloved, open, tingling, exuberant sun of days.   ~

 

 

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2 responses to “The Utility of Looking Back

  1. Hey You!

    It was great to finally catch up, and hear your voice in real time. (That phrase is so odd, real time… 20 years ago, nobody would know what the hell you meant by that!)

    I like what you’ve done here. It feels wistful and uncomfortably cozy. If that makes any sense. It’s very different in form than most of your other pieces, but is still feels like you. Your voice is beautifully weaving together your quilt of many pieces.

    It leaves me wanting more.

    xo

  2. Mia, Can I sing that song to you when we meet in person, You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…Thanks for reading. Wistful yes: isn’t it funny I wrote that before the plane touched soil in Spain, before I had any notion what it meant? Just a jumble of things I hoped I would experience. There is something to say for getting the hopes out on paper…..xoxo

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