Saturday, October 27, 2007

...Y después de todo.

The mail came last week, on an evening when I was at home visiting the padres, and what appeared in the middle of a stack of Macy's ads and Visa bills but an envelope with the familiar stamp of the Spanish embassy, postmarked from Barcelona.

I knew immediately: Spain found my mom's license and had the courtesy to send it back to her! For all my doubts, Spanish chivalry isn't dead. I would give anything for the little picture of mom to come to life and tell us all about the aventuras she has been through since July. Who knows? Maybe the license has better stories than we do...

Friday, October 26, 2007

sentences need not apply

As someone who lives and breathes words more every day, who feels incomplete without some kind of literary food and feels more at home than ever when language plays a central role in what I'm doing, it makes me uncomfortable to say this: lately, words haven't really done justice to the quiet peace that I have found washing over me as I find more and more contentment with my job, my home and with my place in the world. It's an unexpected blessing and I can't really hope to describe it well.

Sometimes words are too frail for thoughts.


I love Pedro Almodovar, and even though it's a year or so late, I love Volver. And I loved watching it with my mother, because Volver seems to touch on all those things that moms and daughters never talk about, and looks at what it's like to "come back"- what does it mean to begin again, to reconcile, to finish things that were once left undone, say the things that were unsaid, to try again to do them better.
In the last scene, Penelope and her mother embrace in a dark hallway and Penelope says genuinely, "I need you, Mom." And her mom answers her in that brusque tone that you can only use with people you love deeply, "Stop it. I'll start crying."
I wanted to ask my mom if there was anything left unsaid between her and my grandmother, wanted to know what she'd say if Helen Ruth were standing in front of her today. But I didn't, because I know that there are, and I know that they are none of my business. But it also reminded me that I don't want to have anything left unsaid between me and my own mother. Life's just too brief.