Now back to our regularly scheduled program. You know, I've realized that I keep talking about my time here in Lima and haven't formally introduced you to my partners in crime. Well, without getting too much into it since I don't know how much of themselves they want out in public, I'll just show you what they look like dripping, soaking wet:
I should also mention, for those of you who are wondering how Lima has affected my physical appearance, that I've begun attempting to grow facial hair, so the aforepresented picture is not totally accurate. Right now my face is somewhere between where it is in the picture and this
(Quick side note to any new readers whom are waiting for this blog to take a turn for the serious: you're better off waiting for the Chicago Cubs to win a world series)
((Quicker side note to any and all future employers, particularly those of you whom are Cubs fans: I'm so sorry--for just so many things))
How on earth do I regain control of this post and produce something productive from it? (Redundant? I don't think it's not unredundant). Here's how: whenever you're interacting with a new group of people who's fundamental cultural assumptions aren't yours, it becomes necessary for you to justify your identity; although, before you justify your identity, you should probably know what it is. I'm finding more and more that I cannot seem to shake el extranjero attitude I've of myself as I continue my life abroad. I can't even describe my life in Lima without qualifying it with the term "abroad:" implying the fish-out-of-water sense that is ever-present in my daily life. Ojo! I should also clarify that this isn't a simple matter of "Man, I miss my McDonald's right about now, bro."
No. No. No.
I'm talking about the intrinsic elements of identity that one can only call into question when one is forced into a a deep self-reflective state--coincidently, I hear the state of self-reflectivness is beautiful this time of year.
Currently, I'm enrolled two very distinct literature courses at PUCP (Pontificía Universidad Católica del Perú)--Go squirrels!--one in Medieval Spanish Literature and the other in Contemporary Latin-American Literature. The latter is focusing on issues of gender, sex, and sexuality: so yes, Judith Butler and Michel Foucault en español--pray for my safety, and, those who can, tell Lisa Arellano I'ma do her proud!--thus, once again, I'm realizing that many of the things we use as cultural markers by which to identify ourselves exist on such fluid platforms: boy, girl, gay, straight, masculine, feminine, brown, American.
Though, don't mistake this post as a complaint of that; you're talking to a guy who believes in the essence of complexity with regards to the human experience: Che was a med student who killed A LOT of people; Malcolm X, before becoming a Civil Rights activist, was arrested for pimping and distribution of heroin; George Washington was a liberator who owned slaves; and I don't bring up these figures to smear their names. Quite the opposite, in fact, I admire them for what good I believe they contributed to society, I but still recognize their contradictory actions with regards to other things. Human beings who are made of contradictions? Fancy that. (Hold on a sec, I gotta step on my soap box real quick) If the world could learn to embrace the inherent complexities and contradictions in so many of our assumptions as human beings, I believe, there would probably be fewer things over which to fight. Then again, in the spirit of complexity and dialectics, maybe there needs to exist those whom are dogmatic and anti-intellectual, just to counter balance your beloved blogger.
After all, without the dogmatism of the Cold War Era, who knows if we ever would've put a human being on the moon. Seen here:
And without the feeling of longing for a place and time outside my existence and sense of otherness, to get Derridian for a bit, from being in a country that isn't my own, breathing air and feeling an experience that is completely new... sorry, a bit long. Anyway, without this change, I don't think I'd find the inspiration to write what I do, like this poem I recently finished. Disfruta!
Dirty Snow, Cool Sunshine, y Yo Sin Plata
Come find me in my room
after the white night falls,
unclear in the air—
before the sun comes up
—and the world gets a fresh breath
from the inverted tongue.
My dreams remain young;
though the ideas age and grow rust.
You and I still feel:
the blood flowing through our bones,
the unatoned sins we’ve only dreamed of,
and the home that’ll be waiting.