here’s where I spend my nights

…and a fair amount of my days. (Ask and ye shall receive!) I love the color green of this room. It is that fifties-pastel gloss I used to make by covering my slate in chalk as a child. It’s a well-loved sidewalk’s color. It’s nice to wake up to, and to surround yourself with beforeContinue reading “here’s where I spend my nights”

in the garden of the Lord

I was about to start writing this post when the Ferguson announcement started. I’ve been watching coverage saddened but not stunned, like I was when it all began back in August. Of course, it didn’t begin in August. I know that now. Tonight I did what I always do and I turned to the musicContinue reading “in the garden of the Lord”

TINO-TINO-TINO! PA-LE-STI-NO-DE-CHI-LE!

CD Palestino vs Santiago Wanderers Estadio Municipal La Cisterna, Santiago de Chile (x) “Porque de Oriente nos llega la luz.” That’s the motto of Club Deportivo Palestino, a first-division soccer team based in Santiago de Chile — a Spanish translation of ex oriente, lux. As a rule, I happen to agree. I was one ofContinue reading “TINO-TINO-TINO! PA-LE-STI-NO-DE-CHI-LE!”

las vértebras enormes de los Andes

Cordillera de los Andes between Mendoza, Argentina and Santiago, Chile (x) In my country we have a long tradition of running west. The slight problem with this is that there is always more west to run to, and so we stretch our maps. We have a hunger for big sky and rocky grandeur. But thenContinue reading “las vértebras enormes de los Andes”

the saints Catherine

Photo via my friend Amanda, 2 February 2014 My parents say they called me Catherine because it’s a classic, the name of many saints and queens, the kind of name that never goes out of style. But of course in our churches a baptismal name is also a point of entry into tradition, uniting aContinue reading “the saints Catherine”

Mother Maria in wartime

the martyr Mother Maria of Paris (1891-1945) Mother Maria Skobtsova, by then already a survivor of the Russian Revolution, reflects as the Second World War rages through Europe: Human nature, fallen, permeated with sin and its consequences, is a heavy thing. If we try to understand what happens to the human soul in moments ofContinue reading “Mother Maria in wartime”

paqarinkama

One of the very first things I learned in Quechua was paqarinkama, which means “see you tomorrow,” one of those words you pick up when memorizing initial dialogues that is encoded as a phrase of itself and filed away without further understanding. But that was months ago, and as I’ve gone on, I’ve begun toContinue reading “paqarinkama”

Holy Saturday

While Christ lay dead the widowed worldWore willow green for hope undone:Till, when bright Easter dews impearledThe chilly burial earth,All north and south, all east and west,Flushed rosy in the arising sun;Hope laughed, and Faith resumed her rest,And Love remembered mirth.  “Easter Even,” Christina Rossetti (x) It is hard for me to accept that itContinue reading “Holy Saturday”

yachay

Quechua has one word for to know and to learn: yachay. “You cannot ever really know something, after all,” my professor says. Even in Spanish, saber (to know) comes from sapere (to taste). It is a flavorful but incomplete action, and we all know it. I am grateful for this one word, yachay, because learning this language has required more and more self-knowledge withContinue reading “yachay”

runasimi

In Quechua, the word for boyfriend/girlfriend is yana. Yana means servant. It’s also the only language I know where that word is genderless. There is no word for thanks in Quechua. “We don’t need it,” my professor says, “we have reciprocity.” No word for hello, either, or for good morning. “No rhetorical language, just concreteContinue reading “runasimi”

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