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ruthless compassion
18 July 2006 @ 09:22 am
Today's poem is the one that is printed on the diplomas from PLQE, where I studied and worked in Guatemala.

Manifiesto por Pablo Neruda

Debemos hacer algo en esta tierra,
porque en este planeta nos parieron,
y hay que arreglar las cosas de lo hombres,
porque no somos pájaros ni perros,
y bien, si cuando ataco a lo que odio,
o cuando canto a todo lo que quiero,
la poesía quiere abandonar,
las esperanzas de mi manifiesto,
yo sigo con las tablas de mi ley,
acumulando estrellas y armamentos,
y en el duro deber americano,
no me importa una rosa más o menos,
tengo un pacto de amor con la hermosura,
tengo un pacto de sangre con mi pueblo.

(Like last week, I'll translate and put it behind a cut, or in comments, later. I enjoyed others' participation last week and invite you to join me again.)
 
 
ruthless compassion
18 July 2006 @ 02:06 pm
When I'm out west, I know how to respond to strangers talking to me on the street or in coffee shops or the like. Hell, when I'm out west, I'm as likely to be the one striking up the conversation. But here in New England, I've easily adapted to the mind-your-business attitude of the culture, and I tend to move through public places in my own little world, which means, among other things, that I sometimes take a moment to recognize friends when I run into them unexpectedly.

It also means that when the strange guy on the other end of the couch from me at Diesel says to me, while I'm wearing headphones, "It's 95 out!!" I laugh uncomfortably and say, "Yeah, it's hot!" And when he seems to want to continue the conversation, I just stare at him open-mouthed, like a fish gasping for air, wondering what on earth is going on. The wittiest thing I could come up with was, "Yup, sure is hot," after each thing he said. Now, he's stopped talking to me, but I fear he'll try again.