Wednesday, August 29, 2007


So, Adonis and I have been in Boston for almost a month. Him, less so, because he joined me later in August.

I have been working 70 weeks with little time to organize my new apartment, my new office, my schedule, and, overall, my new life. My new life has vomited upon itself several times with no bib for stain control. The remnants are disgusting.

A truly spectacular facet of life is the ability to move to a big(ger) city and feel like your world is actually smaller than before. Living in downtown Boston has cornered me to visit the same 7-11, Dunkin Donuts, grocery stores, and walking parks. Everything is walkable, which is a dream, but it also has shrunk my world to my own two feet. For (mostly) better or for worst, my car runs on the same tank of gas it has run on for almost 3 weeks. That has never happened in my entire life of driving. It's a beautiful thing.

But the urban life has it's downfalls. The human-made noises of cities can be a bit much, there is no available quiet. Just last night there was a shooting across the street. And while I do not live my life in fear of danger, it is a bit startling to think I just walked through the door, walking that sidewalk where such violence occurred.

Adonis and I have been talking about the issues of homelessness that cannot be ignored in our new community. Poverty has always been the most central issue in my social justice feats, but to begin to recognize faces everyday has begun to unravel me. The man on crutches, with one leg, who has stopped shaking his cup when I walk by has entered my dreams now. Who I am to this man that he stops hoping I give him change? Who am I and what do I do? Do I give? How much and for how long? Do I volunteer? Do I pray? Talk to him? Hope for the best and expect the worst? What happens when a nor'easter comes through in a few months?

How does one respond to systematic injustice in which the effects are so visible in our everyday lives? I am human as this person and feel trapped. The vulnerable and weak humanity in both of us is so clear - his ability to live a just life, my ability to help.

I think about how much I wanted to move to a city after the midwest and I laugh. Every time I think I have passed a stage of naivety, I realize I am merely entering a new one. Ready for the bustle, speed, and excitement, but ill-prepared for the exhaustion, urbanurbanurban-ness of it all.

Adonis begins his doctoral program in two weeks and I am trying to keep my greedy hands off of his new books and syllabi. Ooooo, I get excited for doctoral classes. I rip open his book packages - which are clearly labeled with his name - for myself because I want to sniff out the topics he is delving into: genocide and Rwanda, violence as an epidemic, and theological ethics.

I am going through another bagel phase in my life. I have eaten a Lender bagel nearly everyday for three weeks. If I missed a day, I have grabbed one at Dunkin Donuts. They are supplementing my meals in which I have had no time to cook or, for that matter, no money to buy for real meals or experimental recipes. I still have my beautiful spice rack, but I think my manaical cooking escapades must take back burner as we step down to a one-income partnership.

I miss my family, I miss my life. I miss working in a place that centered feminism where it was so easy to live it out. Feminism, these days, are about explaining who I am to people who are not familiar with it and nod slowly when I explain wedges of complexity. My co-workers are deeply curious and, for some reason, I feel intensely private about my beliefes. I fear they might be too radical. Perhaps that should be a welcome challenge. I am living out my feminism where it is unprotected and unknown. A new territory has been ventured, and I am walking slowly through it. With bagels, of course.

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