Sunday, August 24, 2008


This weekend I read a book called Salvador written during the time of the civil war in El Salvador. The world was an unsettled place during my childhood. I think about the US and how often people here have been sheltered from the events happening around the world. I remember talking to someone who was a youth during the apartheid in South Africa who said that they did not remember hearing about it. I was a youth during the civil war in El Salvador and as we lived in the realities of the re-building of Panama after its most tumultuous chapter, the violence in El Salvador was overlooked in spite of how atrocious it was and the large scale in which the violence was perpetrated. It was the 4th war... not as important as the conflicts in Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran.

In the grand scale, what does it mean to know something happened somewhere and to know what happened? It only makes you wonder, what is the 4th war right now? Which conflict is scarring the consciousness of a whole country and generations of people? So much that all that people know is violence. Violence is the stable factor for many people. Gender based violence is another type of atrocious thing that is feared with good reason. The truth is that I fear it on a certain level. Even here, I am at times overly aware of my surroundings and almost paranoid with the fear of what 'could happen'. I am so grateful for places where you feel 'safe' (at least relatively safe) especially when I remember those places where you never, ever feel like you can let down your guard and just enjoy your surroundings.

I have also begun to say goodbye. Real goodbyes. The, 'I don't know when I'll see you again' kind of goodbyes. They are cushioned (as they always are) with, 'I'll be back!' and yet I know that I don't really know what that means, or when that will happen. I think I know, but I don't really know.

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live the questions now... R.M. Rilke