The last few days have been spent walking. We have wandered Coyocan, Roma, and Division del Norte until the kids were too tired to walk. There is a desperation to our walking. I find that I want to soak in the city through my pores. If I can only draw the city into my body, I can carry her with me everywhere I go. She will be in my body, in my flesh and in my soul in such away that we will never be seperated.
In the class I TAed for, Jeremy talked about how for the Romans seeing was felt as a much more physical act than it is for most moderns. Seeing was like touching, like drawing what one saw into oneself. It was touch. And as I gaze over the city whether we are walking or driving, I find that my eyes caress each person, each moment, each building. I am reaching out and capturing the city, trapping her into myself. Like the pollution that invades our noses, covers our skin in a fine dirty soot, I am being invaded by Mexico City. She is becoming a part of my body. I am watching her, brining her into being in my cells, on my skin, and through the flow of my blood.
Yesterday we spent a few hours in Roma. It has changed but there was plenty that felt familiar. We had Arabic coffee in a little cafe situtated next to the Tibetan house. The kids loved the bathroom: It´s beautiful and red! Everyone was wonderfully tolerant of the kids, smiling indulgently at their antics. We then walked over to the plaza where Umberto giggled at the naked man statue. We had to get pictures of both the front and back. Umberto: It´s a boy because he has a peepee. And we gazed at the ¨the witch house¨which looks like a witch with a pointed hat (H amazed that I figured out why it was called the witch´s house because he had never seen the face before.) Camille made a friend who loved ponies, and they overcame the langauge barrier as only children really can. We then rode around the city looking for a place to eat and I photographed the city from the car, taking in all she had to offer. We rode through a rain deluge that cut off the power for many hours. We spent the evening sitting in the dark, candles softly lighting the rooms as we talked with H´s mom.
Finding new places and rediscovering the old has been bittersweet. There is a sense of lost when we find that old places are gone. The Arabic cafe used to house another cafe that we frequented but that lost was quickly replaced with the joy of strong coffee with hints of cardamon. And when we drove through the Condesa we found our old haunt. It was still there. Still open to the air across from the ¨dog park.¨I felt an intense joy at seeing this place, remembering how we spent hours, drinking coffee while Umberto made the rounds of the regulars.
The kids great joy has been birds. They have spent a great deal of time chasing pigeons and doves. They wait quietly until a bunch have gathered and then they run at them. Piper is quite seirous about this chase, and runs after each one with staunch determination. The other day an old woman came out to the balcony. She asked if we would like her to throw some bird seed to the children. She tossed seed out to draw the birds, and smiled as our children chased them. When she went back in she blew kisses to the children, commenting how on lovely they were. They also love the stray dogs and cats. Piper was thrilled when I spotted a stray cat on a wall in Coyocan.
I am trying to not think that we only have a few weeks left. I want to draw out this time. I don´t want to go back to Charlotte and this longing to stay makes each hour precious. I fight exhaustion because I don´t want to let go of the day. Each day takes on a quality of beauty and longing.