Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm back!

Coming down from a little culture/re-entry shock. I had a wonderful time with my aunt and grandmother, I was so ecstatic to see my kids, and I got to see the new project at San Rafael! It was just so fantastic.

It was also hard to be there because I wasn't going to stay. I miss my kids, and to see them be so much older and to not have been there to see it makes me a little sad. I am so excited, so indescribably excited to see them growing and changing, and developing and meeting goals. I just always have this part of me that wishes I was still a part of it. And that little part stings more because I was there again.

Returning home also gives me a round peg, square hole feeling for a while. It's strangely ironic that I can navigate anywhere, anywhere, any other country but the United States. I have never been lost in Madrid. I can always find my way in Antigua. Toronto didn't faze me. I even managed to navigate the twists and turns of Toledo. But drop me in Minnesota? I couldn't navigate my way out of a paper bag. It also feels different. It's a different language, a different culture. A different way of living. And I feel out of step.

In Guatemala, I talk to a taxi driver, any taxi driver, and he can tell me exactly what's wrong with his country. And it doesn't sound so different from what is wrong with ours. But I get on a plane and the Americans behind me go on for hours about how backward Guatemala is, how they don't know how to use their resources, how their politics are corrupt. In the first half hour I learned, to my surprise, that these people who built pyramids that will be standing when every glass and wood and metal monstrosity we have here are dust can't construct worth a damn. The people who created a calendar more sophisticated than the Roman system may not be "intelligent enough" to learn a new way. Every five minutes, there was another "obvious" solution to a complex problem. And these weren't your average American tourists. I could tell from their conversation that these people were actually architects, with plans to rebuild a community. But I could also tell they were save-the-world-in-a-day types. Everything seems simple to them.

Of all the things I dislike about living in the American culture, the need to boil everything down to something with a "simple" and "obvious" solution makes me the most crazy. Nothing is simple. Everything is interconnected. If you pull this piece out here, the whole Jenga tower could collapse. People get so focused on that one piece that they fail to see the puzzle. I guess it's one of the things I like best about Tarot. Tarot celebrates life's complexity and doesn't see a problem as insurmountable just because it has a lot of pieces.

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