Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Lost City

Today I watched Andy Garcia's The Lost City probably for the third time. It made me feel emotions that I've felt before, yet I've never put into words. As a child of an immigrant mother from Cuba, I have always been very much the loss of this lost city called Havana, yet I am only coming to the realization of the enormity of what happened to my family in my adult years. As a matter of fact, I tried so hard to be American in my growing up years many times denying my heritage. How silly! I guess it was a child's need to fit in. I mention this because I ask myself "How will Ling-Ling feel when she is at the age that I was when I denied my heritage?" For her it will be so much harder-she will not be able to "mix in" as easily as I did due to her Chinese looks. I want to make sure that she will never be ashamed or feel that she must hide her birthplace. Everytime she looks in the mirror she will be faced with it. I do not blame my mother for my feeling the way I did, she was trying to survive in a country that was so foreign to her-having left behind the man that she was in love with (my father) so that I could have a better life. I just can't help but meditate on the heritage that is "lost" to me. In Garcia's movie, he has to leave behind a mother and father that loved him, a lifestyle that was intrinsic to being Cuban. For me, I did not have to make such a difficult choice, yet I commiserate with my mother and grandmother for it had to have been oh so heart-breaking for them. I will never understand their plight-yet I can mourn for a life I never had. I so wish I could go back to those times and experience a slice of life that my mother and grandmother did....I feel strangely nostalgic for her past. I also admire the courage that she and many of my friend's parents had in starting over in this wonderful country. I wonder if I would have been brave or strong enough to do the same?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's been a while....

I've been very very busy with school and learning the ropes of chairing the department. Lots of new things to worry about, but all in all, it has been wonderful. I work with 11 other very different and strong people. We are known as the "difficult" department at school, but I also know that we are the most dynamic and efficient. Everyone is really great at what they do (well, mostly everyone). Professionally, this has turned out to be a pretty good year for me-at least thus far. I love the courses I'm teaching...and the kids are really great.

There is still no news on the Ling Ling front. The last we heard is that China has matched people through February 9th-we are end of March so we are almost there. We don't really talk about it-at least not until it becomes a reality.

I will write more soon-I won't be missing in action again