10 diciembre 2006
I’m sorry for the delay in writing to you! You know me, normally irritatingly punctual on Sundays. I love the routine. Wake up, have a cup of tea with Tomás, start working on the newest efforts for Hogar de Cristo, take a break by the window at 3:00, write to you for an hour, until it’s time to start preparing dinner. Today, I had to skip my window break to keep reading the propositions for community events that Héctor sent me. And because of that, amiga, I’m late in writing. My apologies.
Papá’s been calling me every hour to ask for help with his new computadora. I’ve just started working by the phone so it’s less disruptive to answer. Poor Papá. He’s so excited by the new technology, but it’s just so foreign to him still. I can hear Mamá laughing in the background whenever he calls.
It’s a stunning day outside. Blue sky, bright sun, heat crackling off the rooftops but not heavy enough to bake us inside. A beautiful summer day. Brillante. Maybe Tomás will want to have a picnic in the park tonight. I wonder if we have any chicken, to make sándwiches?
We just got home yesterday from Ana’s graduation, and it’s been so wonderful to spend time with her. UCV is a gorgeous campus, set into the mountains around Valparaiso. Ana’s been so happy there. She’ll be home this summer though, working in a research lab at “la U.” Something to do with regeneration in flatworms, I believe. I’m still amused that the daughter of a historian and the media organizer of a non-profit would take such an avid interest in biology. Mira stayed in the family business, after all— it surprised me that her little sister would stray. But I’m glad for her. Her lab will hopefully be an excellent stepping stone into the internships I know “la U” can offer.
Juliana and I are going to walk down through the city this evening, amiga, to visit the farmers’ market and maybe see the new exhibit at la MAC. Art from the Islamic Empire in Northern Africa, I believe. It sounds fascinating. Tomás was going to take his class there as extra credit on Tuesday. Mira’s also going to be spending hours there too— she’s writing her dissertation on the growth of Christianity in Ethiopia, after all, and Islam in Northern Africa had a massive impact on that, I expect. I can’t quite remember. Funny how that happens when we get old, amiga! I’m sure I studied it during my history major in school, though. Oh well.
Note: remember to call Mirita, tell her to pick up chicken.
Pinochet died today, amiga. I’m a little bemused at my reaction. No celebrations, no tears, no embraces like we had after the coup. I saw it on the news and just went on with my day. Maybe I really am getting older. I can remember how bright my joy felt on hearing the news of that plebiscite so many years ago; I can remember how hot my hatred sat in my stomach when they said he’d be coming back. But now? Now I just look out my window, at the sun gold and warm on the buildings of Santiago, and I relax and keep working. It’s fitting that the day is so beautiful. It’s a pure beauty, washing away the hatred and fear that so long polluted this country. Pinochet’s demon became a shadow to us a long time ago, still casting darkness into us, but able to be destroyed by enough light.
The anger has been gone for years— it’s too draining and deadly on my soul to hold onto— but these days I feel deeply sad. Sad that such a hateful man lived free when people like Sebastián die. Sad that now his children have to carry his name and his legacy with them. Sad that my beautiful country suffered so at his hands.
His legacy sits in every aspect of the country, from the most corrupt conservative to the most reformist liberal. El congreso still stinks with his influence. Bachelet still wears her scars. I’m sure efforts are being made to cleanse the political system from his touch. But honestly, amiga, I’m just tired of having to deal with the pain left over. I want us to just move on and not hurt anymore.
I know, amiga, we can’t do that… have to keep on fighting the good fight, after all! What else would we be here for? We feel, and we hurt, and we move on. But you can’t blame a girl for feeling a little down sometimes, after all this, can you?
Note: Tell Mirita chicken y avocados. I might make fajitas.
I think I’m going to go get ready for my walk with Juliana, amiga. I want to spend as much time outside in this sun as possible today. Today’s just one of those days, I think.