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Peru and NDSG

Dear friends and readers all,

I came back recently from a trip—to Peru and Texas.  I am feeling elated even though it is partially probably an illusion of hope that springs eternal.  Of course, a week with my granddaughter is enough to make anyone feel good about life and the future. She made me do more walking than I have grown accustomed to, and to try my hand (?) at hang-gliding over the city and ocean. And the sunsets we watched together gave me the feeling I have about rainbows, with a bucket of good news at their ends.  In short it was glorious.

Deb hanggliding

Then came 3 days in southeast Texas with my annual North Dakota Study Group of friends and newcomers. There were a great many newcomers this year—mostly from the region itself.  They bring a fresh perspective on the way I see the world—for many reasons.  Many are young, many are Latino—mostly with Mexican roots—and involved in many different ways in organizing communities and unions in Texas. They required me to rethink what it meant to be an immigrant on land that was once part of your “homeland” roots, while also seeing yourself as a citizen of the future of the United States. I have not quite the words to explain this as yet. But their collective determination to remake the future gave me courage to look ahead with rosier glasses.

Then I came home determined to keep the glow alive. I even avoided going back to my serious reading and am two thirds the way through rereading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  But, the world intrudes—like daily newspaper and magazine stories about the situation in Rikers Island and Attica prisons, as well as official US policy regarding the use of torture. I want to shut them out, for the sake of peace of mind, but I dare not. It is perhaps a healthy sign, I say to myself, that we are reading so much more these days about torture and abuse, and our own role as citizens in perpetuating it in our own backyard.

It is time to feel both optimistic about “what could be”—imagining otherwise, as Maxine Greene used to put it, while also being angry, and letting the anger motivate us to react to what is.

My reaction to the 3-hour interview on C-Span with Lani Guanier—another day.

2 Responses

  1. ☆ Happy Texas Independence Day ☆

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