Diaries of Cuba

IMG_1816March 27 2017

Day 27 of Lent. I’m doing much better with the committing to something than the divesting myself of something. The latter has involved some trips and stumbles and a lot of trying to figure out why. I have spent a good portion of my parenting life saying something like, “oh, kids have a hard time with transitions.” Yesterday I had a moment where I realized that, oh, maybe I have a hard time with transitions too. And this thing I’m trying to give up for a bit, well, it helps me with all those annoying transitions: waking up; relaxing after stressful days; getting ready for bed. I’ve thought about it as a “reward” but it’s also, importantly, a “smoother.” I don’t think knowing this all will help me give it up for the rest of Lent, but at least I know a little more about me.

I rarely journal, but I’m always glad to be able to look back at my journal, like I just did tonight.

Diaries of Cuba

I have dreamed of Cuba since reading
a decolonizing Calibán
and Tres Tristes Tigres and Nicolás Guillén
with his son and ton and santo canto,
and who can forget Martí and his revolutions
for the Revolution.

My dreams of Cuba rerouted through Mexico
and California, channeled through images of Che
performed by Culture Clash poking loving fun

at what we all wanted: revolution without war.

In Cuba I wander the halls of the Museo de la Revolución,
yellowed newspapers and used battle gear side by side
in display cases.

Violence is tucked safely away, in between narrative sheets
of the way it happened to become
the glorious Cuba de hoy.

I walked the streets of La Habana,
salt and jacaranda in the air, people gathering in the streets.
They congregate on sidewalks; carry eggs from the market; they
hurry to get home before the aguacero hits.
The skies dim ominously, but people smile brightly.

Something to square: here images of Che and Fidel
illuminate the Plaza de la Revolución
and also every person we talk to asks, “the U.S.
sounds very violent; does everyone have guns?”

“You’re safe here,” they say.


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