Some one brings her a book; she gives him one.
The man who cleans the rooms makes a flower sculpture from towels.
She hands her a candy bar when she is losing energy.
We pass water between one another.
She carries her lunch for her: banana, bread, turkey
He makes sure she has just the right coffee every morning. Medium sugar, deep and dark.
He listens carefully when she asks for special food.
They will take the bus together.
A friend writes that she found another friend's things on the street and takes them home with her. Including her ID card.
She calls and then calls again.
Someone walks through Jerusalem lost and she wants to accompany her.
A writer thanks her, remembering that she had forgotten to at the right moment.
She reads the poem more than once, responds.
He wants her to know it's going well without her.
They take pictures of each other.
He stands to greet them every morning. His brown teeth smile.
Flowers grow around them.
Dust is removed from where they walk, sit, wait, stand.
The taxi drive smiles and says I know you now. You are with me second time.
She, in another country, arranges the hotel, the driver, says, you are darling
He, in the home country, wants to guide her. She thinks of his music, their days on the road.
She shows up, her bird sings behind her. They play with each other's hair on the screen.
She cannot collect these things all at once, makes it too hard to breathe.
As if breathing is already easy.
He is first in the morning the last at night.
He is the first in the morning the last at night
He is the first.
She worries about nothing.
Once in a while we count.
The first news across my screen is that Junot Diaz has been selected to the Pulitzer Committee. This is not a Facebook notice or a piece from an artsy/political/writer's site. It is front page news. The media knows what it means to give a piece of this power to Junot and to the perspective he has on American Letters, et al. So it makes the news unlike anyone else's election to the Pulitzer Board. As Junot is a friend and a co-founder of VONA, I relish this moment especially because, well, let him say it "I guess that I'm standing in for hundreds of other qualified writers, artists who should have been in that position before me. That's always what I think about when people tell you, oh, you're the first. Man, that's not really the way it should have been."
This is what VONA is about and for the generation of "ethnic-American" writers that came before, here is the pay-off or at least a little bit of it, along with seeing our students become writers, teachers, people of letters, movers, shakers and the voices that push from borders.
So it's a satisfying moment. In a face of creepy political times. Very creepy.
Junot has integrity and wisdom.
I need the good news. That someone will keep promises.
That someone will exercise generosity.
In a push-back-the-chair moment, acts of kindness tumbled toward me. In a time where I'm willing to give meanness my attention, i decided to shift to what may go unnoticed but sums up to clarity and solace. Ergo, the above list. Today, in the light of Junot's election, I tick off the ways in which the world is doing things right. At least, my little world. Here in the borderlands where the small things count as big as the "wondrous."
Causes Elmaz Abinader Supports