Monday, May 18, 2009

Así es la vida.

Así es la vida.

There is a meat shop in town boasting this name.

Así es la vida.

Large slabs of meat, retaining the shape of a dissected cow hang from ceiling to floor, the red remains boasting a life’s worth of muscle and fat.

Así es la vida.

A translation might be “such is life.” This store has provoked much thought on my walks through town. Sometimes I live as though it is true. I live. I die.

Así es la vida.

As I walk home, a sudden impulse causes me to turn and go instead to a nearby park. Children play in this rare but beautiful park. A man sits and waits on a nearby bench. What is he thinking about?

Así es la vida.

A party advertises itself with blaring dance music.
The crickets, not to be outdone, chirp on.
A dog lifts his leg to the rock wall.
A little girl climbs up behind my bench and watches over my shoulder as I write.

Así es la vida.

There are givers and takers.
Some want to play, some are driven to work constantly.
Some walk for hours to school or to sell wares in the local market. For some, the idea of this is absurd. For most, this is not unjust. Simply,

“Así es la vida.”

What are my assumptions about life? About what do I shrug my shoulders and say,

“Así es la vida?”

This question sometimes defines my thoughts as I struggle with or embrace cultural differences, my societal contribution, the influence of my thoughts on my actions, the influence of my thoughts and actions on this world…

Así es la vida.

The little girl behind me starts to speak. She and her brothers and sister are just here playing. They live across the street. As the two of us talk, the others quickly surround us, the two little ones eager to join in. Two, three, seven, and nine. The two-year-old boy is soon climbing onto the bench with me. His snotty nose and drooling mouth are all smiles. The kids run off to play and come back again, unaware of any bad in the world, only eager to play and release the laugh inside. I soon get off the bench and initiate a game of “Tag, I’m going to tickle you.” Why not? Those interactions are the stuff of life.
I hear a thud.
I look over, and the three-year-old is laying in a fetal position on the ground by the stairs he just jumped down. He roars with laughter. Baby brother comes to hug him by laying on top of him, giving way to even more giggles.

Así es la vida.

We sit down to play a game. Entre Rios-style Duck Duck Goose, it is called Mira Los Cielos, Que Cae Un Panuelo. Look to the sky, a handkerchief might fall. The kids sing this over and over again, drop a rock behind one person in the circle, and both run opposite ways around to be the first to make it back to the original spot.

Así es la vida.

Just as we start to play, the little one falls flat on his face, slapping his hands and nose onto the concrete. His screams instantly pierce the air.

Así es la vida,

I think to myself. Just when you’re enjoying yourself, WHAM!

Así es—

No, I keep watching.
He brushes off his hands, the game continues.
He’s quickly laughing his contagious toddler giggle once again. Words can’t describe this giggle.

Así. Así es la vida.

I choose this life. I choose this attitude. I choose to leave the confines of my work space and venture forth, though the venture be yet uncharted.

Así quiero vivir.

1 comment:

Spectrum of Amber said...

Bethany, I love this entry! You paint wonderful pictures with your words and you've given me some new things to think about. Thanks for inviting us in to your adventures through your blog.