Updates from my urban life


My sister blew through town earlier in the week, bringing with her a handful of new songs, John Elliot, Mudge the accupuncturist and lots of chaos. She rolled in a minute or two after 4:30 pm on Sunday afternoon, pulling her ‘new’ Subaru station wagon into the parking garage just as I was leaving to go to latihan. She lept out of the car and tackled me with hugs. It had been nearly ten months since we had last touched. Also standing with me was my cousin Sabrina with a sleeping Juliet (now nearly two months old). They had been walking past, heading home after some errands and so had waited with me to see Raina. It was a moment of gorgeous synchronicity, as four members of the same family unexpectedly met on a little patch of concrete for ten minutes.

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Two weeks ago, Aunt Anne died. She would have been 89 this Monday. After living for nearly nine decades, she was more than ready to go. I am sad, though, that she didn’t live to see the November election. She hated George Bush and would have loved to have seen Barack Obama win (and according to recent polls, he is winning!). She was the last member of her generation and lived in altering states of disorientation and clarity. My father often spoke with her about god, spirituality and the possibility that the soul continues to exist after the body dies. We all hope that those talks gave her some sense of comfort and aided in her ability to let go. I am relieved that she is no longer struggling with a body that can’t seem to get enough oxygen, but I do miss her loving sass.

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Last Friday, Scott and I were driving to a friend’s surprise party, trying to get there before the birthday boy got home from work. The post-work traffic was slow and I found myself getting frustrated quickly. I normally try to be a generous driver, believing that the world flows better if you let people change lanes and pay attention to your part in the body of traffic. However, in that moment, I struggled to stay in that place, just wanting to get there. At the peak of my frustration, a cab driver to the left of me rolled down his window and asked me to let him move over into the lane in front of me. In Philadelphia, cab drivers never ask and rarely attempt to obey traffic laws, moving as if rules do not apply to them. The fact that this one individual was willing to communicate and engage in the conversation of driving surprised and delighted me. I let him in with a grand wave of both arms and felt my frustration drop away.

2 thoughts on “Updates from my urban life

  1. Diane

    So sorry to hear about Aunt Anne’s death. I know how fond you were of her and how you worried about her welfare. She and you are both in my thoughts and prayers.


  2. Marisa

    Thank you, Diane. In most ways, it is a wonderful thing that Aunt Anne is out of this life. However, selfishly, I wish that she were still here.


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