Sunday, August 24, 2014

Buenos Aires: To Be Remembered

I am trying to remember what has happened over the summer. Do you remember? What did we do? Picnic? Break hearts? Write poems? Eat cherries and sleep on the cold hardwood floor with the air on? Did we dance in the small bars of Buenos Aires and sip on caipiroskas? Watch the moon rise and cross our fingers for more of them. Yes. Some of us did.

After a whirlwind of a trip to California, then to Buenos Aires, then back to California, then off to Chesapeake Bay, VA and then home, I was both exhausted and ready to melt into the couch of my own mind. But, it’s hard to return to reality, when your reality is a country (and a world) torn apart by so much rage and violence. It was as if the elevator dropped me off at a floor that had no floor at all, but a sheer drop down into the abyss of my god, we humans are really messed up.

A kiss on the wall
Some of you may know that I struggle, like many writers and artists, with anxiety. I worry about things. A lot. And sometimes that means I don’t sleep or it means that I get odd stomachaches or brain aches or need to be alone for a long time at the bottom of a well. Still, I am always trying to find the way out, the ladder thrown down so I might find my way back in the world. For me, that’s always poetry, both the writing and the reading of it. Poetry and the return to the microcosm. To remember love in the midst of everything terrible. To remember love in the midst of everything terrible. To remember love in the midst of everything terrible. 

Let me first remember Buenos Aires for a moment, before it is lost forever in some scrim of vagueness that we call memory or nostalgia. Each day began with café y medialunas and drifted into discussions of poetry and ended with raucous dinners with rogue poets and fiction writers. I was often enthused and ignited. I was also often tired. It was winter there, and there was so much to read and see and eat and drink and soak up. I was the overwhelmed doll in the window watching the world go by. I was both small and large at the same time. Infinite sponge, infinite hard glass, I was both.

Day 2: We explored La Boca and ate our first alfajor (Argentinian cookie that is now my favorite food).

Day 2: The railroad tracks in La Boca.

Day 2: La Boca

Day 4: Evita, Evita, everywhere Evita.
Day 4: At Cafe Tortoni, toasting to Borges. 

Day 5: I shall only eat empanadas forever.

Day 7: En Estancia La Porteña de Areco. We ate these things.
Day 7: En Estancia La Porteña de Areco. We sat in the winter sun.

Day 7: En Estancia La Porteña de Areco. Where writer Ricardo Güiraldes wrote.

Day 7: En Estancia La Porteña de Areco. The dance of the gauchos. 

Day I don't know: En Palermo. The streets! The streets!
Day I don't know: En Palermo with Sangria. We ate these things.

Day 10: En Palermo, I signed my name in the cement of Buenos Aires so as not to be forgotten.

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