Oct 27, 2012

Cafe Duran and Blessings


Life so good, it is Saturday morning early and I am writing.  I have my Cafe Duran cappuccino  with an extra shot; I am so happy to be at my PC writing this update.  

I have my 3 companions, Maddie and Morgan and Cody all upstairs, near me. They've all had their morning routine, going out, stretching, having their breakfast, a snack of banana and now they are being my dear dear companions.  I will take a picture and post so you can see them. 

I know when I get up to take the picture they will move, I have to give you a visual. Cody, the Border Collie, is closest to me, he is stretched out, eyes wide open, looks like he is thinking about the Falcons game this Sunday. Maddie is on her back, her 4 little paws up in the air, she was a minute ago scratching her back against the carpet, now she is laying still. She is definitely not thinking about sports, she is always in charge of safeguarding everyone, her radar never ever stops working. Morgan is sitting up right, chewing on a bone. Morgan is highly food motivated, my understanding is that the chewing of the bones when they work it, gnaw on it,  in the corner of their mouths, is releasing some type of doggie endorphins that calm them down, make them feel good. Soon she will be sleeping. 

I am writing early this morning. I am so happy. I've been thinking all week, it is time or discipline, I think it is time for sure.  When I was off work during the course of my MFA between 2005 and 2007, I started at my PC everyday by 7:30am, I worked on my writing and workshop assignments from 7:30am to 11:30am Monday through Friday. I loved loved loved that time.  

Back then Morgan was a puppy, I set up a tiny play area where was safe and I did not have to get up every 5 minutes. We were such a good team, Morgan, the Corgi puppy, back then super high energy, very curious and even at her earliest days, 12, 14, 16 weeks she always thought she was a big dog with a big attitude. Sometimes I still shake my head and think, Elena, with 2 dogs. Some of you know that when I was young, in 1969, the year before we left Panama to come to the States, I was attacked by an all black German Shepard, a MOM German Shepard who was protecting her litter.  The event was traumatic and I was afraid of dogs in the serious panic attack way for a long long long time. 

OK back to writing, TIME OR DISCIPLINE.  I think it is time.  I have told people recently, put me on an island, in a cardboard box, on a hill top, as long as I can write, I would be OK.  I have so many writing projects in my head, ready to get going, I need time.  So here are a few of the ideas... 

1_ Write about the moments in my life that are with me forever. Moments, that I can see, taste, listen to and feel. Moments that changed, impacted, added to the course of my life.  Moments that informed me, that taught me lessons  that I carry forever. Moments I can see like a movie in my head and remember every single frame.  Moments like the last day I was with my Father in Panama. The elevator ride from the 14th floor of his building,Torre La Cresta, to the street level, each story descending a lifetime of goodness, compassion, love, admiration, physically flooded my body. An emotional tsumani filled the elevator. The elevator is walled on one side with mirrors and I cant forget the  the anguish in my eyes, I observed the realization of is this the last time ? 

I was intentional that early Saturday morning telling my DAD how much I loved him, we'd spent the past seven days having conversations were the gestures were much louder than the words, where holding hands was all that was spoken. I am thankful to God for giving me that time in Panama with my Dad, it was the second week of December 2002. I honored him as best I could that week.  One day I will post the eulogy I shared at his services in Panama. 

My preliminary work on this project is to complete the list of the top 10 moments, and begin writing about them. I have the list partially complete. And not all moments are serious or sad. I have two scuba diving experiences on the list, when I write about it you will know why.  And when I made the first Paella of my life, with my Grandma Chichi, my paternal grandmother.  And definitely my visit to Iguazu Falls in Argentina and Venice in Italy. 

The day I met my niece, JoAnn Catherine, she was six months old, December 1992. 

When I first saw  The Irises painting by Van Gogh at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  I need time for sure. 

2_ Another writing project, memorable meals stories.  I wrote about French Toast a few posts back and why it is so emotional for me.  When I was in Ghana two weeks ago, one day I sat with the KG2 class while they ate their lunch, I watched them intently for the 15 or 20 minutes it took them to eat, that day they were not eating with utensils and I observed, observed, observed. They all have a special technique and for good reason. I have a mental movie from that day I want to share. The first time I had Pulpo a La Parilla, Grilled Octopus, in Malaga, Spain. I was 18 years old. And coffee shakes made with Cafe Duran and the best vanilla ice cream ever, at The Boulevard in Panama, oh my..... I need time. 

3_ I have 7 or 8 short chapters of experiences with my Grandma Arosemena.  That project I am completing for sure.  She is the person who had the greatest impact on my life and the stories are amazing. Funny, poignant, loving. She was such an incredible human being, Gertrudis Varon de Arosemena ! ! ! 

So why writing, why not signing painting, drawing? Certainly I wish I could sing, or draw, or paint, the only two subjects I am comfortable drawing, hearts and palm trees and sometimes fish shapes. 

Writing.... I love to tell stories. I love to share. I love the highlights of moments or details that can be captured in poems, details that can be frozen in a stanza, captured to magnify, celebrate, recognize, appreciate, perhaps reconsider. 

I love that you can isolate the uniqueness of something ordinary and appreciate the detail or the structure or the order or maybe the repetition and see something new. I love committing the experience to paper, I get excited when the words, the image, the interpretation, the perspective, lends the possibility for someone else to feel love, or hope, or joy, or for them to want to read on or read again.  

For example, I've written many poems with food references, food titles, poems where food is the subject matter.  One of them is titled Saltine Crackers: The Bridesmaid of all Pantries. I will post the complete poem one day; I characterize saltine as 

   .... The tugboats of nutrition, the compass of digestion,  
         with twelve perforations in each, who knew stars were being consumed?  

   .....After a nap on tongues, they dissolve like the Eucharist,
        human bodies always hungry for the starch salvation.   

And did you know that right now, 87% of all pantries in America have a box of Saltines, and usually within reach of the peanut butter. 

Why writing, Miss Young my 7th Grade English teacher at Pitcher Junior High School is one of the reasons, Mr. Braden, my Independent Studies teacher at John F. Kennedy High School.  And Dr. Kaplan at California State University, Northridge. All three of them significantly responsible for my love of writing, reading, and celebrating the written word. Thanks for your wonderful teachings and influence.  

I was paying attention for sure.