Panorama of San Bernardino

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Big 40

I turn forty in three weeks.  Forty is supposed to be the new thirty, but it doesn't necessarily feel that way.  There are some days where I feel sixty.  Yet, there are other days where I wake up feeling like I am sixteen and blast the Smiths while driving to work with a smile.

Many would say I have accomplished a lot in the last forty years.  I made it through my childhood for one.  And through my crazy twenties.  I almost self destructed more than once and it was not for lack of trying but instead through sheer grace and luck. 

This weekend we hung out in Hesperia at my mother-in-law's house. The house that my late father-in-law Alberto built.  People often put down the high desert, but I am beginning to see why my husband loves it so much out there.  Please don't tell him though because I am loathe to move over the Cajon pass (...over the Cajon pass and through the desert to my mother-in-law's house we go...).

We hung out, swam, went hiking, ate Pozole, drank margaritas and played Mexican Train Dominos.  Life should not be about being always on the go.  It should be about relaxing and spending time with family.

In my twenties life was about the party.  In my thirties, life was about accomplishments.  Now that my forties are almost here, I need to figure out what life is about.  Maybe it should be about reinvention?  Or maybe it should be about challenging myself?  The truth is, I am not sure.  I will just have to wait and see.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

A poem called IPOD

by Juanita Mantz (circa 2006-2007 in San Francisco)
Walking through the subway
I feel invincible,
not at all like my normal self.
The white headphones signify my ascent into
a club of sorts. The epitome of coolness
I tap my feet on the escalator
It feels good to be distant,
lost in the sound of bass and drum
I smile-no longer anxious
no need to meet other eyes
my audio sunglasses
bathe me in blissful
Do others feel this peaceful?
I know the immersion is an illusion
but I am drowning
feeling nothing
except the rhythms
running in my head, fast
I am addicted. I switch from
White Stripes to Miss Dynamite
to Aimee Mann
to my high school days
with a little of the Pixies
Erasure, then some Cure,
Joy Division.
I feel like a teenager again.
Hanging out in the quad
smoking stale cigarettes
I stole from my dad. 
Wanting to be someone 
anyone, but me.
black hair, stud earring in one nostril
(before that was overdone).
Bright red thermals cover legs
I will always be ashamed of
only later will I see this
as a costume
Designed to hide
the pure sadness of that Time
To obscure the goals I had abandoned
in hopelessness by age sixteen. 
I want to yell
“Girl, all is not lost”
And though years will be lost
drinking trying to dull
the sharpness of it all
somehow, someway
I will emerge
Defiant and proving them wrong.
who had given me up
for dead.  A high school
dropout, a statistic
But never humble I knew
I was powerful and equal
To all of Them.
here I am walking
to the beats in my head 
my feet pounding
the moving sidewalk
and suddenly I can’t suppress
the urge to Run.