Saturday, March 19, 2011

Crow Moon

Tonight, for the first time in 19 years, the moon is at its fullest and its closest to the Earth. We couldn't miss the show, so my husband and I "saddled up" Lizzy (basically put her halter and leash on) and I placed Chiquita inside my jacket and off we went to the nearby trails to await the moon rise, which was scheduled for 8:05 p.m.

However, because we live in hill country, the moon didn't actually rise over our hills until about 8:45 p.m. and Chiquita got quite antsy given that she's not used to being out in the pitch darkness on a cold night. Lizzy, white against the dark shadows of the trail, veritably glowed, as if she was phosphorescent.

The moon was worth the wait. It rose, pale faced and serene, over the blackened sky, glowing like white fire. If let loose, the she-wolf in my soul would have howled.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mi isla

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Caribbean blue

We arrived in Puerto Rico last week, taking advantage of the long spring break at my small college on the hill, and leaving behind the dreary winter weather that has run clear almost into mid-March up in Ohio. When we got to my mom's apartment, weary and hungry after two flights (it's more complicated to get to Puerto Rico from Ohio than to Europe!), my mami prepared her yummy serenata, a native dish of boiled viandas, which is accompanied by the most gorgeous and delicious aguacates you will ever find. Those scrawny, sad avocados we get up in Ohio are but a shadow to the ones that grow freely and lustily on this island.

Our first morning here we promptly made it in to a nearby Starbucks, where (as I mention each time we're here) not only does the coffee taste even better than in any other such one stateside, but where they actually know how to spell my name without my having to spell it out for them. In Ohio, I've opted for just giving my last name rather than having to go through the trouble of spelling my first name, which gets mangled and mispronounced/misspelled variably as WHYVONNA, WHYVONNEY, WHYVONNIE, EVON, EVONNEY, and so on.

It happens so often in Ohio that I'm repeatedly reminded of the Martín Espada poem:

Revolutionary Spanish Lesson

Whenever my name
is mispronounced,
I want to buy a toy pistol,
put on dark sunglasses,
push my beret to an angle,
comb my beard to a point,
hijack a busload
of Republican tourists from Wisconsin,
force them to chant anti-American slogans
in Spanish,
and wait for the bilingual SWAT team
to helicopter overhead,
begging me to be reasonable

This is the view from my mom's balcony and the pristine Caribbean blue sky never ceases to amaze and delight me. Yesterday, we went searching for another kind of blue, the Atlantic, and drove all the way to Luquillo, on the east end of the island. To get there, we drove on the road by the beach and feasted on the azure ocean views and the greenery, which often canopied the road in a green glory.

We made one stop before Luquillo to take pictures and then continued on to our destination, where we hoped to scout out a possible place to spend a few weeks here in January 2012 since I will be on a research leave for the next academic year. The thought of spending the worst of the Ohio winter here, or at least part of that worst time, is very appealing for us, especially if we can do so in a nice place where I could work on my book and my husband could do his freelance work overlooking the Atlantic, especially at a time when we don't have to worry about hurricanes.

The natural beauties of my patria are breathtaking, and the hard work and loveliness of most of the Puerto Ricans who live and toil here, is amazing. Corretjer said it best: Yo sería borincano aunque naciera en la luna.