What if we could have had a happier story instead of decades of war? Just as we make progress for Indigenous Rights and build allies with settler community, it is time to distract and build a war. That ugly little pattern plays out in history repeatedly.
06 December 2012
Turquoise yoga mat
Oisin had always been so brilliant with his yoga. I walked with him to the yoga studio in park slope when he was small, and as he reached the top of the stairs -in awe whispered “Yooogaa!”
Today we had an impossible travel in front of us, as my errands were put back a day for a delay in the storage unit. I had just enough to pay the storage unit fee, and travel for the weddings. I had been looking at these yoga bags for weeks, thinking it might be nice to give to Oisin. Today, I thought why not. I bought the bag and mat, and after looking for a place to sit to go over travel times and details, I found no space, and left, only to be stopped by security. Apparently there were some bar codes left on the yoga bag. So the bright colorful stress reducer rewarded me with a quick search through my bag for the bar code. I ran out for the train, saw one closer than I normally hop, and hopped the train in wrong direction back to Brooklyn. Then turned around, went through the underpass and waited for a train back to Manhattan. I got out, thinking I would catch a rare cab to meet my boy, each one that I asked to take me to Allen street said no. It was off duty hour for the cabbies. Many were heading back to Brooklyn. I ended up walking a circle looking for a better spot to catch cab. I walked back to pace university. I saw a bus, and thought it might head towards Allen, though I wanted to check the route. The bus driver said I looked too anxious and he wasn’t sure he should let me on. He had stopped the bus, parked it, and stepped off to take a cigarette. I asked when he might go again, no rush- he said an hour and a half. I asked which way to walk it, and described some fun details of trying to catch a cab at the change of duty hour when the cabbies were heading home, and I was just trying to get to the bus stop and meet my kid. Steve called, and I could not answer the phone, the touchscreen interface was not responding to touch. The driver still on the sidewalk with his cigarette, mentioned it sometimes works to turn off the phone and re -set it. Of course. The driver was very nice, and finally the bus began to roll towards Allen street, with me on board, the tiny suitcase and bright blue yoga bag, all of us barreling towards Steve and Oisin.
I got to Oisin finally, and wanted to hand him the nifty new yoga bag, although he looked quite ticked as he had been trying to call, and two buses had come and gone already while he was waiting. Poor kid, we were facing a complicated trip to begin with, hence the purchase of a yoga mat. I kept trying to charge and fix the phone- a dismal battery life along with mysterious new ways of ceasing to function- all while I was trying to contact family to mention that we were really delayed, and arrange transportation to get Oisin in quick. Meanwhile, I was not talking as he still seemed so ticked. 6 o’clock came and we waited outside in a cue, and got notice the bus was going to be delayed. Oisin looked so done. We waited 30 minutes, and the bus rolled in, we boarded, and I promptly put the thin light-weight yoga mat and bag in the overhead. I forgot about it as we rolled off finally on our way, and I finally made contact with family. The bus arrived, we hopped off, the bright blue yoga mat stayed tucked away in the overhead compartment. Oh boy. The moral of the story is to just let go.
If he were to return alive, would I be aloof as always, or hug him as if I knew what it was like to miss him living for these 6 years. Who could ever know the future without living it step by step. The heart breaks repeatedly, and impossibly it grows again. It is a constant expansion of the heart. To love again seems utterly impossible, and to not do so is even worse.
To explain the life of a journalist with a heart would take years, it has been almost 6, and we are only getting started. We are a movement of joy from the beginning of time, resisting any and all impediments to human rights- the right to live joyfully and raise another generation in joy and in strong cultural traditions. Who is to say they are worthy to attempt to take that right from anyone, ever?
The night he was shot, I was walking south towards a central park playground with Oisin. We were having a good day, going to maybe play a little soccer while waiting for our friends to join us- suddenly I felt the wind blowing up from the south and on that warm October day, and I was instantly drained and cold- all I could do was get Oisin into a sit-down pizza shop and order a soup to try to pull in my draining strength. When we got home that evening (the kids: Oisin, and my friend Sarah’s little girl Ase), my friend Dawn Zuppelli called. She was going on about something, I had no idea what it was- as usual she was talking so fast, my dear Zoom -Zoom Zuppelli. She said “Don’t tell me I am the first to tell you this terrible news, this terrible, terrible news”…What are you on about, I was thinking, and then (as still), I just could- not wrap my mind around it. I laughed- “it can not be true; it is a mistake. If it were true he would have went out as he loved with his camera in his hands”. The connection faded. I dropped the phone. I went to the door and once again that Friday evening, the wind was blowing up fiercely from the south, I felt the Indigenous voices on the wind, blowing the leaves on the birch trees. I cried and punched the wall. I slid to the floor and listened to the wind. It is time to let go at the moment of death, we can-not hold on to those who leave this earth before us. I felt his hand come close to me that night, white and ether- real and I said to the wind: “you must go. Be at peace. “ His number is still in my phone. I called it so many times to hear his voice on the machine.
So many times I thought I saw him on the sidewalk. I would just expect him to turn up with a load of unedited raw footage to ingest and edit. I do not want to write these words. I do not want to admit even now that he will not be coming back.