break em on down

I ran into some friends at the library on my way in. I wanted to make small talk – I really really did – but I kept twitching and finicking because I hadn’t been on the internet in so long and it was just so close. Several months ago when I moved, my roommate told me I’d get used to living without the internet. I haven’t. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, etc.

The reason I haven’t written in such a long time isn’t just because of the lack of internet, though. I’ve been having trouble with formatting. The page breaks haven’t been working and I am nothing if not a paragraphile. I’m sure you really want to hear more about how technology continually fails and abuses me and I love it anyway, but I have more pressing things to write about.

Like the weather. Overheard in Pima County Public Library:

A: It’s pretty hot today.
B: Yeah, but it’s not going to last. I hear it’s supposed to cool down to the mid-90s by the end of the week.

What have I gotten myself into?! It’s 106 F outside and it’s only June!

I’m just being melodramatic. It’s actually okay. Seriously. I can take the heat. I believe this is because I apparently have the homeostatic capacities of a reptile. Ssssss. Last week in Sabino Canyon on a balmy 95-degree day, I got hypothermia. This happens regularly (I asked a retired doctor about it recently. He hadn’t heard of chronic hypothermia and told me to google it. And people ask why I don’t have faith in general practitioners of modern medicine…) and the only cure is to attempt to get as warm as possible in hopes that my icy innards will thaw. They usually do within a couple hours. My friend concurred my self-diagonosis as a Freak of Nature.

Perhaps this is why I was not bothered by the weather this past week while walking 75 miles the past week. People said it was hot, but I thought it was quite nice. Like being in a womb. Much brighter, though. Too bright.

Anyway, I was kidding about the weather being a pressing issue. Even though it is.

I participated in the Migrant Trail this past week. The website says: The precarious reality of our borderlands calls us to walk.  We are a spiritually diverse, multi-cultural group who walk together on a journey of peace to remember people, friends and family who have died, others who have crossed, and people who continue to come.  We bear witness to the tragedy of death and of the inhumanity in our midst.  Lastly, we walk as a community, in defiance of the borders that attempt to divide us, committed to working together for the human dignity of all peoples.

Yeah, whatever. I don’t really get into the whole spiritual/emotional stuff when it comes to human rights. I try not to, anyway. Is this self-imposed emotional hypothermia? I haven’t cried about this stuff in ages. I don’t see the point. Have I made myself clear? I AM A ROBOT. My sense of humor often gets in the way of direct empathy. I think people think that I don’t care when I joke (I’M SO MISUNDERSTOOD), but that’s not true. I do care. But I also happen to think everything is hilarious. I attribute it to too much Kurt Vonnegut at a critical age. I’m compassionate in a logical sort of way. I believe in the ideas of justice and happiness and beauty and security for everyone, and with those sorts of beliefs, it’s hard not to get involved in activism.

Anyway, considering all this, I was surprised to find I cried on the first day. Dude, we hadn’t even started walking yet. And then I cried again the next day. And then a couple days later during a memorial service for the daughter of one of the participants. And then again on the last day. I began to wonder if there was something permanently stuck in my eye (cactus? scorpion sting?) cause I just – I don’t know. It didn’t make any sense. It still doesn’t.

In addition to getting hit full-force by all these “emotion” things, I understood much better why I was there and why this walk is important after several days of walking. Maybe it’s really just justification – people will find good reasons for what they do once they’ve already started them – but justification doesn’t necessarily always lead you in the wrong direction. I can’t directly explain it. Before, I had trouble believing that a group of privileged people making a fully-supported trek and calling it a spiritual experience was not really – useful. Not beyond the (relatively) minimal media attention. But it is. And since I cannot explain how, I’m just going to share the song that gave me confidence that we were doing was definitely a step (or many steps) in a positive direction:

Courage, companero
You do not walk alone
We will walk with you
And sing your spirit home

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