More on Detroit current struggles in a later post.
detroit. aug 25th 2007. 1443hAugust 25, 2007 i am back in d-town. reminded of how much i love this city.
i went to visit my “Albanian cartel” aka the Royal Grill diner where I was a waitress for some time. It was cute, people remembered me as “the waitress who left” and said Hi and all…There is that sense of community (maybe just familiarity?) which was so hard for me to say goodbye to. Saw Djana, Valentino, missed Vince and Mirela cos I went after 3pm which is when they all leave…and it was good. altho as it happens sometimes, Valentino was in a bad mood cos supplies were low. I guess one good thing is that business was good! it was so good to see D again, and in a way I feel like she is my D-town mama or somethin, or at least, good D-town friend:) I saw A. again, even tho just briefly, in the grocery store, and from a distance, said some really customary greeting stuff, like “how are you? how long you stayin for?” blahs. I dont know how to describe this, and it brings me back to the first post on this blog, but A., Djana, Valentino, the whole Warren complex, represent something for me in these young years of my life — there are many possibilities in my life that I can live to the fullest. I’m not worried about keeping in touch a Djana, but with some people, they will leave my life as quickly as they entered and I wont see them ever again possibly. But I will remember that once ago a time there were some people from South Carolina in Detroit whom I crossed paths with and thought were amazing…haha:)
Then of course there is the Zen Center, my other home in D-town. It was so nice to see Sunim, to see Myungju, Hasuun, Jinju…and I really look forward to meditating with them again tomorrow. I like Ham-town, I like Detroit. I really do. I like the intensity, the seriousness of this Zen Center, the concreteness of life, the motivating sense of innovation, of new ideas that Myungju and Jinju are always cooking up. I hung out w them today at the Hamtramck Farmer’s Market. This was the first time they were havin it and they had a little stall of organic food. It was all very cute and it just like reminds me that life everywhere is always moving, always changing…is it strange that I feel some sense of hope? some sense of optimism when such small, you could say, apolitical things are happening around? I am looking forward to being in Seattle where I can really stick around and not have to leave cherished spaces so quickly. Anyway.
And then of course there are ARA folks whom I am going to get together with on Monday evening. Right now its hanging w Libbie and Mike and the ever exuberant Lumpi/lampah (Hokkien for a phallus…)
And then of course of course there was Providence which I said goodbye to yesterday. Hung out w Giselle, Marie, Belinda, Gordo, Smitha, Sharon and it was great. I had a strange feeling of nostalgia for P-town. I talked about this earlier I think, that I suppose one thing about school, as hard and roller-coastery it was, was that it was a place where I made mistakes and learnt from them…sounds sooo cheesy I know. But its true. I went from a hippie, to a third-worldist, to a revolutionary. My self-conception changed all so drastically in these coupla years and I know its a long way ahead but I feel so much more focus these days than I did when I was an incoming freshman — w my eyebrow piercing and my let’s be merry and enjoy life kinda attitude:)
3 kinds of sadness
1) when I left Singapore, it was a nostalgia of what was, and being away from what roots me as a person, my history. my physical break from a sense of continuity from my family’s history that revolved around malaysia, spore, china, taiwan. my parents, my childhood, my dogs.
2) when I left Providence, it was a bitter-sweet goodbye. it was like a kind of tonic, with a flavor that changes as I leave it to soak over time. it once nourished me. it once protected me. it once stabbed me w its sharp tastes, but w all its good medicinal properties, it made me stronger to face the world
3) when I leave Detroit this coming Tues, it will be a goodbye to what I could be. A lifestyle, a community that I found which made me feel really holistic. even if transient. i could see myself building a life here. it is concrete. but i am leaving it for other commitments. there are miles to go before i go to sleep, and this city was a resting place, and i know i will come back to it somehow. * just realized i always have this sense that i will come back to places..i suppose its a good thing, no?
i move, like Grace Lee Boggs moved 50 years ago to Detroit, to be where the movement ctn be builr. did i already mention that I love GLB? That she is the person I aspire to be? of course, w some tweaks :)