Saturday, February 24, 2007

Prince of Wales

When I first read that the 21 year old son of the Prince of Wales will be serving in Iraq, I was impressed. Wow. That is a leveling of the class system, where all serve equally. Yet, we all know this is not quite true. He will be in a highly armored vehicle and deployed in less dangerous areas. I started this entry on February 22nd or so, and then my own little prince at home decided I had more important things to do.

But that's just it. Each human is a prince to someone, the center of a universe--a father, son, daughter, sister, brother. You get my drift. So how is a real, technically speaking, prince any more important? Why do we elevate their lives above our own? We don't really, but as a mass society we do. Perhaps we just don't have the capacity to value each human life lost and we need a personal story to relate to in order to feel a connection. Without that human interest vantage point, another death is just too hard to take in; there's no more room at the inn of compassion. Iraqi citizens and soldiers of the US led allied forces die about every day, and its only minorly newsworthy. Yet each one of those deaths is the death of a human being and its like we can't see it anymore.
I felt the same way when the US was attacked on 9/11. Why is that MORE newsworthy than say, a similar death toll in another country? Its as if we view others as lesser nationalities, their blood diluted, second class. But of course any time you're attacked, your family, your friends, your country, it becomes personal as someone has invaded your universe. But I couldn't help thinking way back then--of course this happened. We've been the bully in the international playground throwing sand in everyone's eyes for decades, using our might is right approach. Did we think the whole world passive?

Futue prince of Wales or Prince of Oak Park, both lives are equally valuable.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

La Mesa de Trabajo

So here I am, at la mesa de trabajo, contemplating my sleeping wonder. He hears my thoughts. He raises a hand into the air, eyes closed, and holds it there, stretching the material of his little onesie, as if saying, "I am growing faster than you can blink, mom." Or, perhaps he is sending a message to the universe. Something grand. Something only babies are capable of doing. "We must speed up the intervention plan. They're destroying our planet future." Or perhaps, the thought is simply, "booby."

My days are filled with long stretches of looking into tiny blue eyes, wondering if they'll change color. When my man comes home, I am shocked at how huge his eyes are, and then I realize my comparison. I feel as if nothing gets accomplished and yet each day is a wonder. I idolize this small creatura who is turning into a baby.

Today I took a walk through my neighborhood. I passed a number of people. A man with swarthy, pocked skin and baggy clothes clinging to his plastic bag as if I might grab it from him. As he walked past, he retrieved a plastic tube of mustard from the bag, past anticipating his lunch in the park. Further ahead, three young latinas with the mark of Ash Wednesday across their foreheads walked toward me. They smiled at my stroller. I passed two other lone men who glanced through me like people in New York. They look into your eye, but only for a smooth moment that is just one click of a panoramic intake, no more, no less.

The king has cried. I must depart this ramble.

Friday, February 9, 2007


During this rare time of being home with a newborn, I find myself traveling more then ever before. A few days ago, I was back in Brugge, Belgium inside a medieval catholic church, lighting a prayer candle for Niki and Inge. I remember slipping the euro coin into the metal box to the side of burning candles, and taking the last spot. I thought of all those prayers winding their way through the dark vaulted church and onto heaven. I wonder if science will ever be able to measure our intentions and how long they take to travel to their destinations.

The other day as I took a sip of decaf green chai tea, I was suddenly walking along a snowy path with my man, deep in a valley beneath sheer the stone walls of Luxembourg. So long ago, yet there I was, my boots losing their traction on the ice, marvelling at the beauty of this ancient city.

I suppose you develop wanderlust at many different times in life, but it seems most poignant when you are truly unable to step aboard an airplane due to life's circumstances.

Does this happen to anyone else?