Be Still

I haven’t been around here much. Mostly, I’ve been taking long walks where I try not to talk to myself too loudly, getting plenty of sleep and not worrying too much about this recent lack of productivity. Sometimes it is ok to be still.  Continue reading

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Looking In

The irony of this blog post is not lost on me. I will write these words and then sync this post with my facebook in the hopes of it being read. In the hopes that my thoughts and experiences are not as meaningless as I often fear they are and  that I can be heard and am not alone. I think I understand why humanity is becoming simultaneously more voyeuristic and exhibitionistic…we’re terribly lonely. These are terribly lonely times. And while I appreciate social media and the internet for allowing me to share my thoughts and feelings and read the thoughts and feelings of people I would otherwise not have the privilege of meeting…I often wonder if it is good for us. Some studies suggest it is not and I tend to agree. Though I stay on these sites and have gotten quite a lot out of them I worry that I am harming myself or that the constant stream of information is overwhelming my easily overwhelmed self. But I’ve always loved to write and my ego wishes that it be read…so here I am. I am a contradiction. I be you are too. Continue reading

Hispanic Privilege

The house I grew up in is so close to Mexico you could walk there at a leisurely pace in about 40 minutes, my Mexican grandmother practically raised me, my childhood diet contained plenty of beans, corn and chile, summers and weekends were often spent in Mexico, and my life as of late has revolved around human rights in Mexico, but for some reason I have a hard time claiming my “latina” identity (though I’ve  tried). For a long time I thought it  was because those who grew up on the other side of the fence were always very quick to point out how much of a gringa I really am. That is definitely part of it,  I mean I AM very Amurican, but then when I moved away from the border I saw people who spoke less Spanish than me who grew up farther away from Latin America identifying very strongly as “latinos”. Honestly, at first it annoyed me, but I have come to realize that the reason they were more able to identify than I was was because they had been “othered” more than I had and perhaps fit the cultural stereotype better. I can’t really relate to brown pride (I turn red waaaay before I turn brown) and though the Virgen de Guadalupe is a cultural icon, as a Jew, she means very little to me. I’ve  also never been turned down/away from anything for being hispanic, don’t really have to worry about being unjustly incarcerated (my dad is an attorney) and generally blend in almost everywhere I go. I guess I feel it is important to write this because the idea of what it means to be Latino, Mexican-American/Latin American in the United States is very narrow. We’re not all poor, brown and uneducated. Some of us really don’t face much adversity at all.  Continue reading

The High Price of Wellness

I’m not incredibly wealthy, but I am well-aware of my privilege as a white, college-educated woman. I grew up very middle class and thanks to the Texas Guaranteed Tuition Plan (which I wrote about here) I am debt free.  Because I am training to be a clinician I have invested quite a bit of money in health and health education and though I dislike spending lots of money I look at it as a business investment because who wants to take advice from an unhealthy clinician? I also am fortunate to live in a place where I’ve been able to barter, use high quality sliding scale services and get very reasonable payment plans and even then all of my money is going to classes, herbs (building an apothecary), cooking supplies, water filtration (dude, getting fluoride out is expensive) and the occasional functional medicine appointment. Is my health worth it? Of course, but I could not justify the expense if I did not also think it would eventually lead to financial gain. Is that screwed up? Yea! Gah…capitalism…but let’s leave that rant for another day.  Continue reading

The Moody Blues

Outside there is sun.
It is only sun
But men stare at it
And afterwards they sing.

I don’t know the sun.
I know the melody of angels
And the hot sermon of the last gale.
It screams until sunrise
When death poses naked
In my shadow.
-Excerpt from “The Cage”  (my translation)

The above is an excerpt for one on my favorite poets, Alejandra Pizarnik an Argentine Jew who killed herself in the 70s at the age of 36. I am drawn to these lines because I feel it captures the particular type of sadness that can creep into your body in early spring when everything is coming alive again and you are stuck. This time of year, historically has been tough for me, but today as I prepared the earth for planting I realized just how far I have come. Continue reading

The Poetry of Science

Growing up I was always told that my gift was my ability to use words. In vocabulary and reading tests I nearly always scored in the 99th percentile while my math scores hovered above and below mediocre. In the fifth grade I wrote an essay about playful grass, streaming sunshine and how alive spring made me feel and my teacher showed it to my parents and told them he thought I would make an excellent writer one day and as their only child (together, I have a half-sibling) they delightfully agreed. It was in that moment that writing became a part of my being and I am still grateful to that teacher for pointing it out, but it was also around that time that science seemed to close off to me. I was a humanities person and not a math and science person. I read voraciously, wrote poetry and short stories, excelled in literature and foreign language courses and went on to get an undergraduate degree in Spanish and Portuguese. In college I took basic biology, nutrition and history of science courses which I loved, but those were considered “easy” and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to handle a chemistry or physics course. When I began to venture into herbal medicine I realized that I had missed my calling and this was  mainly because of the way science had been presented to me. Now, at 25 I am slowly taking steps to reclaim it.  Continue reading

Chaparral Lavender Lotion

I’ve been pretty absent from this blog due to months of frantic travel, but now I am back home in West Texas to recharge for a month or two and hope to get back in the swing of things. We have a full house: there are three senior citizens, one nearing senior citizenhood, three teenage girls, a doofy dog and me! It can be challenging at times, but you are definitely never lonely or bored and there are lots of people to try herbal recipes on. Continue reading