Friday, December 24, 2004

At a glance...

A lot can happen in one glance. I try to pay attension to the little moments of life, but sometimes they get ahead of me. I'm usually pretty dumb when it comes to the glances associated with attraction. However, I was alert enough to catch a passing smile and a glance from afar. A stranger, but nevertheless, it was a recognizable moment in time.

There are a lot of things I could have been doing today, but instead I chose one specific place to be, and this moment occured. It sounds very trivial, but I find myself asking the question, "what if?" In reality, I could have missed that moment altogether.

I heard some quote once that said something like, "Half of life is just showing up." How true is that! My guess is that the other half of life is your actions.

In this case I smiled back (in that shy sort of way) and I continued on. There are a lot of things I could have done instead, but anyone who knows me well, would know that the most I would ever do is maybe say "hello" along with that cute smile of mine. How hopeless I am! :)

Tonight I listen to the Garden State soundtrack, and I laugh at myself!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

How Surreal!

I was just reading an article that Kathy Kelly wrote for and I am reminded of my first exposure to here about two months ago. I didn’t even know who she was. “Some activist lady that is receiving an award,” they told me. I met her at a peace and social justice church. I shook her hand and we talked about my experience being a Jesuit Volunteer. She seemed shy, this woman in black tights and an outfit from the 1980’s to match. She gave the sermon that Sunday about her arrest and detainment at a prison. She spoke about the horrible realities of prison and she talked about the war in Iraq. Apparently she is an activist, because now I hear about her all the time. She was a speaker at the SOA rally, and one morning while sitting in my hotel in Georgia, sipping coffee, Kathy Kelly comes striding down the stairs. How unreal!

She begins to get breakfast just like everyone else. Sits down and mingles with people. She still has that certain shyness. I remember her, and think, “oh ya, she’s a normal person.” But is she? And then she starts passing out brownies; some special mint brownies that So and So made! How surreal!

They were good brownies too! And now I think of Kathy Kelly, the woman I met, the one who gets arrested for civil disobedience and also passes out brownies the morning before a huge protest. Amazing!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

My Future

As today comes to a close, I can’t help but wonder, “where does my heart lie?” In this intense day, I have intense thoughts with no particular direction for an immediate future. I reflect on where I’ve been, and ponder where I might end up. To serve another, is one question, but my question is what population. I often think of this, but tonight has posed the question in two different ways.

First I went to Gesu parish to learn about the four church women who were killed in El Salvador. Most of them were nuns, if I remember correctly. Nevertheless, these women were working side by side with the poor and speaking out for their rights. They were stopped at a road block one night, raped and shot point blank. They died on December 2, 1980.

I am affected greatly by what happened to them, due to the fact that I can see myself doing what they did. I can see myself working with the poor and speaking out for human rights. I know this is controversial in the sight of many governments, and I often wonder if my life may be lost in this fight.

I have a deep love for the people I have met, and a strong conviction that my life and heart are being used to make a difference. However, I do not know to what extent. I keep my options open, and try to listen to the callings in my life. I educate myself and go with the wind, hoping that I might be an instrument of peace.

In my travels lately, I have also had the experience of helping gay kids on campus find a safe place, and a group to converse within. It is my belief that such a group is an exercise of faith, and that advocating for equal rights for gay and lesbian people should be accepted. It is a personal issue of my life, and it is also controversial.

Later this evening, after learning about the church women, I decided to preview a documentary that was recommended to me. The film is called “Dangerous Living.” It’s about gay and lesbian people in the developing world, and their struggle with coming out, and being out of the closet. I felt such a connection with the people in the film because I recognized their lives as a symbol of hope within oppression. More importantly, their lives lacked the basic human rights that I want to fight for, and I wonder, “Is this where I am being led?”

What would it be like if I was a human rights activist with a focus on gay rights? What would my life be like then? I know so many gay people from all across the world, and I have heard their struggle, as I have also heard the struggle of the poor. There is no difference between the two. But I know people see a difference.

Even the question of my own life comes into play, and I wonder, “would I have a life?” In either circumstance, could I have a family? I know that I am not meant to be a religious person, and thus, I do not answer to any particular order. I go where I am led, and maybe that means without any support. Is this a healthy thing?

I ask these questions as more questions flood my mind after this evening. I do not have any answers. And like always, I realize that my heart and vision, may be larger than my life. What is a girl to do?


It’s Turkey Day 2004 and once again, I am without my family. Last year I missed this day because I was in Belize. I didn’t so much mind not participating in Thanksgiving then because I was doing something else that was meaningful in my life. I did miss my family that day, but I knew that I would see them within the next month. And I guess I also didn’t mind being without my family then, because Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Belize, and that means that there are not constant reminders all around me of what I am missing. However, this year is a bit different.

I decided not to accept my fathers offer to buy an expensive plane ticket to bring me home for the holiday. Instead I decided to stay in Detroit and maybe grow from the experience. I thought that by not getting the plane ticket, that I would be more mindful of simplicity in my life. I also thought, that if another community member also decided to stay in Detroit, that I might also be able to keep that person company. Maybe in some small way, if I stay in Detroit as well, we might be able to care for each other. Of course, these lofty ideas change.

At the very least, I am learning about the importance of family (the hard way). Today I think of all the people out there who are spending Thanksgiving alone. I think of the people who have no one to care for them. I know that people like this exist, and maybe I will gain a little more compassion for them in this experience. through empathy.

Now I do have people who care for me, and I never forget that. However, being away from them is a challenge.

Through the years, I’ve learned the importance of thanking the Lord for the blessings in my life. I know that things can change very quickly

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


I was speaking to a good friend, a short while ago, about relationships. She is in the process of a very painful break up and break off of an engagement, and six year relationship. Her story is not unlike others I’ve heard throughout the years. The details of this specific relationship aren’t particularly relevant, however, one major aspect sticks out to me the most.

Throughout their long history as a couple, one thing remained pretty constant between them. They may have struggled together. They may have doubted. They may have made wrong turns, but when it came to the core of who they were, they remained honest with one another. I know that my friend would not have stayed in the relationship if she doubted the level of honesty. Yet in the end, that is what crumbled first. Which brings me to my moment of pondering and questioning.

How is it, that relationships can begin and continue with complete honesty among individuals, but when it nears an ending, the honesty stops? In these situations, I am always amazed how people rationalize why honesty is not important anymore. In general, I wonder how lying suddenly becomes more important, and what this sudden change is a result of. In all, I just feel deeply sorry for the people involved, knowing that a heart really does break at such moments.

I guess what I’m saying in an indirect way, is that I value honesty over any other version of the truth. And I know that I can only control my own actions and words, and so I strive to be the most honest person I can be. However, there is a part of me that would like to empower (at the very least) people to be honest with me (and others). And maybe I’ve learned the hard way, but the pain involved in a lack of honesty is harder for me, than facing the truth.

Sure, I’ve been played for a fool, and believed all there was to believe in another person. I’ve trusted people completely, and was stunned when I found out I had been “had.” Yet, there has been no point that I would change any of it. And I am not a martyr. I am just a girl who believes in the power of forgiveness.

My friend struggles now with how to pick up and live life a different way. She struggles how to move on and hopefully love again. But the real blow for her is to believe in her heart again, because she never stopped being honest with herself or her partner.


Recently I’ve come across a bit of information about my heritage that has caused me to think a great deal. A few weeks ago I found out that by way of ancestry, I am a Polish Jew. I always knew I was Polish, but the Jewish part is news to me. Apparently, someone from my family, came from Poland before the German occupation. This person settled in the mid-west and later got married. However, at the time, it wasn’t acceptable to be Jewish, and thus, that part of one’s identity was hidden. It was hidden so much in my family that it was unacceptable to talk about and that is why I never knew until just recently. What is even more interesting, is that this person hid their identity so well, that they built a church and became a founding member, without ever being Catholic. I wonder how their life would have been different if identity wasn’t hidden.

Well for starters, this person escaped death. Probability was not on the side of Polish Jews at the time of the German occupation. In the states, this person could conduct life without the Jewish label, and thus, maneuver around the path of discrimination. Yet, this person also missed the opportunity to express their faith and traditions, the way culture had previously dictated.

In my life, I can’t help wonder what life would have been like if I knew I was a Polish Jew in conjunction with and Irish / English Catholic. I wonder what it would have been like to reconcile the two religious and cultural traditions at an early age. Even today, I can’t help but wonder, “am I a Jew now?”

What does it mean to be Jewish? Can one be Jewish in terms of culture and traditions, and not in terms of faith? How does one reconcile the two? The fact is, I know that many are challenged with these questions, and I am not alone. However, it is my personal priority of sorts to make sense of all this, because in a way, I feel like I owe it to my family member who probably struggled a great deal. I know what it’s like to hide a part of yourself to remain undetected through the paths of a discriminatory society. However, at this stage of my life, I do not feel that hiding any part of my identity (Jewish or otherwise) would be a danger to my life. And so maybe, it is my job to investigate and BE!

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Paloma Negra (Lila Downs)

About a year ago I saw the movie Frida and I really loved it.  Since then, I've seen the movie about 3 or 4 more times, including the DVD with all the extra stuff.  But what I really love about the film, is the music.  It was brilliant!  This woman named Lila Downs was the primary vocal person in the film and the soundtrack actually won and Oscar I believe, for best original score.  Anyway, the other day I picked up a CD of Lila Downs and her newer stuff.  There is this song on the CD that is also in the movie Frida...and I really love the song.  You can really feel the emotion when she sings and the lyrics are so poetically expressive.  I LOVE Latin music...I really do!  So I just thouht I would share with you the lyrics...and if you want, you can google the song and listen to it yourself. 

Paloma Negra
Ya me canso de llorar y no amaneceYa no sé si maldecirte o por ti rezarTengo miedo de buscarte y de encontrarteDonde me aseguran mis amigos que te vasHay momentos en que quisiera mejor rajarme Y arrancarme ya los clavos de mi penarPero mis ojos se mueren si mirar tus ojosY mi cariño con la aurora te vuelve a esperarY aggaraste por tu cuenta la parrandaPaloma negra paloma negra dónde, dónde andarás?Ya no jueges con mi honra parranderaSi tus caricias han de ser mías, de nadie masY aunque te amo con locura ya no vuelvesPaloma negra eres la reja de un penarQuiero ser libre vivir mi vida con quien yo quieraDios dame fuerza que me estoy muriendo por irla a buscarY agarraste por tu cuenta las parrandas

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

It's not easy...

I'm the kind of person that craves a certain personal continuity.  For me, personal authenticity is integral to maintaining stable and honest relationships.  This is a virtue that I often encourage and look for in others.  However, I have found that I am a hipocrate in my own quest to fulfill this challenge.

In some ways, I am a double agent.  And metaphorically speaking, I guess this is just another mask I wear.  I've been told that I have been doing this for years.  However, I feel that I've just been saving people from the trouble of dealing with reality. 

I know who I am, and I have a vision of who I might become.  There is not one societal or familial  bi-law that will prevent me from impacting the world around me.  Nor is there any clause in any constitution that will hinder me from being who I really am.  My humanity will always remain, depsite the hinderances of engaging in daily life.   And I guess each person will view me in a different light.  And in the end, does it really matter...for everyone has a different view of a good life.  And I will always be transparent if you need me to be...

Mariposa Traicionera (Mana)

I know that many of you will not understand the rest of this rant, but it has meaning for me.  Mana is a popular Mexican band that I heard a lot of when I was in Belize.  This particular song has a great deal of significance, and for some reason, it keeps repeating in my head lately.
Eres como una mariposavuelas y te posas vas de boca en bocafacil y ligera de quien te provocaYo soy raton de tu ratoneratrampa que no mata pero no liberavivo muriendo prisioneroMariposa traicioneratodo se lo lleva el vientoMariposa no regresoAy, mariposa de amor, mi mariposa de amorYa no regreso contigoAy, mariposa de amor, mi mariposa de amorNunca jamas junto a tivuela amor, vuela dolory no regreses a un ladoya vete de flor en florseduciendo a los pistilosy vuela cerca del solpa'que sientas lo que es dolorAy, mujer como haces dañopasan los minutos cual si fueran añosmira estos celos me estan matandoAy, mujer que facil eresabres tu alitas, muslos de coloresdonde se posan tus amoresMariposa traicioneratodo se lo lleva el vientomariposa no regresoAy, mariposa de amor, mi mariposa de amorYa no regreso contigoAy, mariposa de amor, mi mariposa de amorNunca jamas junto a tivuela amor, vuela dolorque tengas suerte en tu vidaay, ay, ay, ay, ay doloryo te llore todo un rioay, ay, ay, ay, ay amortu te me vas a volar

Monday, July 19, 2004

Packing for a new place...

There is this passage in the bible where Jesus tells his guys to go out by two and proclaim the word.  He says to pack light (a tunic and some sandels and no money),,,basically, they are to rely on the hospitality of others.  Jesus says that they are like "lambs among wolves," but that everything will be provided for them, and that they will be protected.
You see, I am leaving soon...being sent out "like a lamb among wolves," and I'm trying to live very simply.  I'm trying to think more about hospitality than materialism.  But I have so much stuff and it all sort of clogs my mind.  I have been wondering lately if Jesus' instructions hold true for today.  If I packed just a change of clothing, would I be ok?  I tend to think no...but then again, I could be REALLY wrong.
I met a German traveler once.   A guy that was a couple years younger than me.  He came to Belize with one change of clothes, a toothbrush and some money.  His idea was to rely on the hospitality of those around him and just experience life for a bit.  It turned out that he met a girl when he got off the plane.  She was younger than she was...and she asked if he wanted to come to her house.  He agreed.  Well, it turns out that she was the sister of a girl that I was counseling and he came to the home for a day.  We talked a lot that day and I learned a lot from him.  Even though is relationship with the girl was a little "fishy," I felt that his heart was in the right place. He wanted to know more about life from another perspective.  And in a way, I guess thats what I want most days.   And I admired this young traveler because he seemed to have no attachment to material things.  He came with so little and left with so much more.
I started packing my bags today, wondering what to bring for the next year.  Are ten pairs of pants too much?  How many CD's should I pack?  What about books, and shampoo...and all those other things that just seem to have a place in my life?  Should those things be packed or is the question the answer to my dilema?
At any rate...I think I am a little off from my idea self (at least in terms of materialism and packing)...but at least the though counts...right?
Simplicity is probably best, although it's not so simple in my head!

Friday, July 16, 2004

My New Haircut...

So today I got a new haircut because my old hair style made me look like a shaggy dog.  Well, maybe that's an exaggeration, but hair was in my eyes and it was driving me totally buggy!  Anyway, today's latest style is really short...which I was planning on.  I figure that if it's really short now, then it will take a few months to grown and drive me nuts again. 
But the thing is, now that my hair is so short, it sort of makes me look like a boy!  How funny is that!?  I'm sure that I have some sort of butch thing going on here, but I have confirmation that this style looks "really cute" on me.  So that's what I'm going on!  Besides, I'm ALL woman...and who could make a  mistake with on that one...I certainly have enough God! :)
At anyrate, this is my genderbending task of the day.  Ofcouse I've been doing things like this since the begining of my time (like the time I told the lady cutting my hair to cut it shorter than my dad told her...and she listened to me)! 
So the new Mego look is short and cute...not like a boy, but a little more of that sophisticated geek chic!  ya, that's it...

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Ok so I'm on this hunt to find cheap Maine Lobsters to send to my mother in Illinois.  You see, there is a form of robbery going on out there, and these poor people are spending $30 in US currency to buy ONE lobster.  I can't believe it!  That's just not like getting the little buggers off the boats at Point Judith!
Anyway, I've done some research and it costs upwards of $100 to send 2 lobsters overnight from Maine.  That really isn't a good deal either!  So the question is, do you think I can bring lobsters as a carry-on?  I'm thinking "NO" but maybe it's worth a try.  I would hate to watch $30 go down the drain on one lobster when I can practically catch one myself, or at least buy one for $7 at the most!  This is capitalism at its finest...and I want to beat it...

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


I took a nap today, and I think it worked. I get a lot figured out during those times of rest. Our fast paced society doesn't allow for rest in the middle of the day, but I think it's really useful. Call me counter cultural, but I believe that taking even a short nap during the day is more productive. I think the whole "siesta" way of life is the way to go. Think about it...have a big lunch with family and friends...lay in a hammmock for a bit...go back to work refreshed!

Personally, I get a lot done when I take naps. In college I had the chance to take a nap every once in a while. I even had my own blanket on campus (thanks Carol). I would map out and write whole papers in my head during naptime. When I got up I was refreshed and ready to crank the assignment out. If I was in a bad mood, the nap would let me rest my head and regain my SELF. Generally, napping was a really great thing for me.

Today, at least lately, I'm not too busy. Most days I wake up around 10AM. I don't have too many worries or stresses to bog me down. I go about my day at a pretty slow pace. I get to watch kids play as I wait in line at the library. I watch busy people rush in and out of the coffee shop. I surf the internet to do research, and I get to read books and watch movies. But most days when I am at home, I still schedule in a nap.

At 3 or 4pm, I rest for a few hours and I wake up totally rejuvinated. Not to mension the fact that I still get a lot done. These days I'm solving bigger problems in my sleep. Lately, world hunger and peace on earth are my biggest priorities. I'm making my way through the issues in a philosophical sense, and it no time, I will have things figured out!

Meanwhile, I will attribute any breakthroughs to taking naps...because really, what else could it be?

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

A wedding I am not going to...

So my best friend is getting married. I am very excited for her and I know she is very much in love. I support her with my whole heart and I pray for her joyful future.

Unfortunately, I will not be attending the wedding. (At least not by the looks of things!) least I'm in the country, right? Ya, except for one little detail...I'm in Detroit for a year full of commitment. I thought it was bad that I couldn't help her the role of the best friend. I've never liked that kind of stuff anyway, but who knows, maybe I would have been good at it! But really, thats the least of my worries....

The real problem is that I can't even be at the wedding! They are planning on tying the knot on June 4th...ironically, it's almost two months before my "release" from my year-long commitment!

How do you like them apples!?

So today I am sad...and maybe even a little hurt. But they will have my blessing, I will send a card and life will go on!

I hope there are no regrets...those always stink!

If you can't hack it, don't read it! (poesia)

Pissing patriotic immages - waving
scattered memories - flash
Haunting replayed masochism
lesbian lip-lock in July

Stars and stripes...forever freedom fighting
Freefall fingering - something in between
The rush...exhaust

Black tie butch in blue
Save us from the passion
The "F"ing force...
Facist fairy on the hill
Don't tell me who to....
If your G_d can't deal

Society slips a lie
locked n some kind of cultural warp - war ties
cant' break the bonds
provoke loose lips - slip - slide
savage sandman in the night
stand by your...

What you make of me
Protesting for peace
Protecting people...quality of life

Monday, July 12, 2004

ESL Lessons

So here I am, searching the internet for ESL lessons for Julio. Can I find anything that will help him? The answer is no!!! The ESL stuff on the internet is so...not right for him. Then there are these books that cost money.

He is learning his simple greetings now, but he needs help on pronouncing things. Somehow the spanish language and the english language have some gaps when it comes to the alphabet and speaking. Then ofcourse he knows certain vocabulary words, but putting them in a sentence is far beyond expectations at this point.

I try to think back to what it was like when I was first learning spanish. I remember the "Me gusta" movie and churros. I remember flamenco dancing and trying to pronouce things like a real spanish speaker. Somehow I forgot all the dynamics of the whole thing.

Teaching english in Belize was differnt. At least they spoke the language there. Their grammar might have been off, but at least they undertood things and the lesson was in English. Now, I speak more spanish in my english lesson than I probably should.

Then there's the culture factor. Julio likes to talk about his country and his family...IN SPANISH. I love listening to him and I understand about 70-80% of what he says, but he can't say anything in english.

Anyway, I will keep searching ciberspace and maybe, just maybe I will come up with something good. Until then, tomorrows lesson will be homegrown...that is, I will be making it up! Won't that be always!


I once loved someone who was not very honest with me. I lost that person and now there are so many unanswered questions. It is as if this person is dead, because I will never speak to this person again, and the answers only rest in time. And like a sailor looks out at the sea, I wait for a light to guide me in.

I love another person who was once very honest with me. It was painful and I ran away. I hurt them too, in my fear. This person lives a life wondering why, and so do I. And like a sinner, I rest on my knees and pray for forgiveness.

I know the error of my ways. I know all the things I could have done differently. I know that I am complete, even in my wanting. I just want to be a REAL person.