Monday, January 12, 2009

An Interview with Cynthia Pittmann by the Novelist, Elizabeth Wix




On a Sunday afternoon, with the TV blaring "We Were Soldiers" in the background, Elizabeth Wix, author of "The Three Graces" and presiding head of About New York blog had a blogger's conversation with Cynthia...






Elizabeth: While you are in Puerto Rico, what things do you miss about the US mainland? - and vice versa.

Cynthia: The first thought that springs to my mind is freedom to walk. I love Puerto Rico but because it is a Latin society, though influenced by the United States, some gender traditions are hard to break. Why does it communicate that I'm "available" if I walk alone on the streets? When I lived in town, I counted all of the "incidents" I suffered through because of walking alone. On average, one harsh event a month for thirteen months in a row. I decided to be more careful, to change my walking habit if you will. I decided to make myself walk in protected/controlled areas. Don't you miss so many things when you leave some place? I miss Michigan for the soil and earth, and the extroverted straightforward people. I miss California because of the space, freedom to explore and general acceptance of difference. I miss Tennessee because of the way people value books and the "craft of making" out of anything that's handy. When I live in the country in Puerto Rico instead of the city, I miss the coffee house feel of local bakeries, the accessibility to art galleries, historical locations, the beach, and the theatre/music scene. With every positive choice, I have to accept that it is also a turning away from other possible choices. Living in the country now, I have freedom to have animals, garden, and lots of space but I also have to drive into the city every work day and take care of many things. It's like I live a double life; there's the 'country me' and the 'city me'. I'm on vacation now so the 'country me' is showing, I think my posts will change when I return to the chaos.

Elizabeth: What three books do you think have influenced you most as a writer and as a person?


Cynthia: I'm not going to choose the best books, or my favorite books or even books that I enjoyed, necessarily. I don't think a book has to fulfill these requirements to be personally influential. I'm looking at myself up-close after having read these three books a long time ago and my focus on life-impact brings my attention to these books. Another selection consideration is that a book does not have to be well written to make an impact because sometimes it's a matter of perfect timing. Consequently, the books that present themselves to my mind at this moment are: The Communication of Innovation; A Cross-Cultural Approach (Everett Rogers and F. Floyd Shoemaker), and At the Bottom of the River (Jamaica Kincaid) and Writing Down the Bones (Natalie Goldberg).

The first book is a communication research study on how people change, e.g what makes someone from another country go against custom and accept a water treatment method if they don't believe in the findings of health study research? I read this book from cover to cover. I memorized the research data, and understood two important terms "change agent" and "opinion leader." (A "change agent" is the person who tries to introduce positive change and an "opinion leader" is someone who is from your own community that you trust to judge in situations where you lack expertise. Change agents must rely on opinion leaders in order to help communities.) It was practical research for someone who ponders how to make a difference in the world and it inspired me to continue on to graduate school where I majored in communication. The Jamaica Kincaid book of prose poetry made me decide that my own poetry and prose might be okay even though it didn't always follow traditional models, and helped me to decide that I wanted to continue my English literary education in something that focused on "minority" literature. I discovered that the only way for me to study literature was comparatively, i.e. there is no need to avoid traditional literature. Natalie Goldberg provided me with a private writing technique, which combined meditation practice with writing practice. I needed to learn to write without being concerned about results. This book is organized in short chapters that are built around an autobiographically based story, which often ends up suggesting a writing activity. I use this casual but intense approach to writing because it pushes me on to the next page or the next writing project.

Elizabeth: If you could magically acquire a new skill/characteristic or talent what would it be?

Cynthia: I would love to trust life. I know many people feel a normal confidence in life but I'm talking about a particular kind of trust, more like a complete letting go combined with secure action. Years ago, I had a near-death experience where I felt completely at ease, peaceful and so utterly well (words don't describe the feeling). Since that time, I know that I have a great distance to go before I feel that in ordinary everyday life. I'm not talking about a religious experience, but maybe a spiritual experience. I just knew that all was well. Briefly, I had a car accident. When the car started rolling, I tried to control its spin, but I couldn't because the steering wheel would have broken my arms if I grabbed hold of it. I felt complete terror, more than I'd ever known before or since. Suddenly, I had the thought, "It's out of my hands." (literally and figuratively!) With this realization an incredible peace flooded me. As I watched the rest of the accident unfold, I knew that whatever happened, I would be fine with the outcome. Now that I know complete freedom from anxiety, I yearn for that peace every day of my life.

Elizabeth:You have an afternoon all to yourself -no chores or obligations -How would you spend it?

Cynthia: I think I'll bore others by answering this question. I could invent something but it wouldn't be true. Okay, I would listen to music, do some hatha yoga, light a candle and write. Which is what I do anyway, even if there is no time. I might vary the activities a little because I read so much that I even forgot to mention it. Maybe I should paint, take up photography, or enroll in singing lessons? My blogger friends are starting to inspire me...

Elizabeth: You have $1000 to give away. To whom would you give it?

Cynthia: Another tough question...one thousand dollars is not a lot of money and it's a one time give away, right? When we first moved to Puerto Rico, I was painfully distressed about the homeless people. I tried to do what I could. I got to know one such man, Hector, who was living on the streets near my apartment by the beach. He would ask me for money sometimes, or clothes, or batteries. He started coming to my window and calling "Misse, Misse" at all hours. I told him to wait until I was outside before he made requests. He wanted earphones for a CD player but the player was broken. He couldn't understand that earphones wouldn't make him be able to hear sound. While out for a walk, I saw that he was sitting near the dumpster by the Orchid Palace drinking orange juice and gin/vodka/whisky(?); he hid it from me. He started calling me "jefa" (boss lady) and it started to feel like an overly dependant relationship. I was helping to make his life worse. I felt troubled. Now, I'm trying to help with the stray dog problem here in Puerto Rico. But the animals need so much care, and our environment can only handle so many dogs. Between the injections, neutering, medication for health conditions, it cost so much more than a thousand dollars. And then there is the problem of violence expressed in hate crimes and war...and what about the world hunger problem?

I assign my students research projects on the homeless, animal abuse, violence and poverty and they come up with the most insightful ideas. Plus, they have the added advantage of youthful hope and willpower to accomplish difficult tasks so I feel I'm helping in some way to inspire positive change through these assignments. Consequently, I think if I had a thousand dollars, I would give it in a scholarship to a student who has the will to study but not the means. Maybe I would call it the "Practice Peace" or the "Pondering Paradox" or the "Will to Change" scholarship. (Okay, I'm free associating with the title but you get the idea.) It won't pay for much but the gesture would let that student know that someone cares if she/he finishes and would notice her/his contributions to our world.

Cynthia: Elizabeth, thank you for your excellent and provocative questions.



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Getting to Know You; An Invitation



Elizabeth was interviewed by willow, if you would like to be interviewed by me please leave a comment here. I'll write the questions and email them to you. You post a link to my name and Elizabeth, and then invite others to be interviewed. I enjoyed thinking about these questions and I will try to come up with good questions for you as well!







Logo from Conversation Cafe

43 comments:

  1. Wow, Oasis, this is great, being interviewed by a writer, how did you meet her? I saw some of her NY blog, it's superb, I want to live there again. Keep writing, you'll be one like her. Living in the Caribbean has its advantages, you have something not to many people have. To live in the Caribbean for British people is very exotic and cool. Oasis, maybe this writer will write about you. I'm excited, some day I will read a story and you are the protagist and I can say I knew her, have a good day, I haveto do many things today, back to my normal self, no relaxation today.
    see you, enjoy the Caribbean sun, Oasis.
    D

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  2. energizeyourlife! You're bubbly-self puts a smile on my face. I ordered Elizabeth's book, "The Three Graces" on Amazon, from what I've heard, it's based on her life. Btw, you know she'll likely read your comments, right? :-) <3

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  3. Cynthia, that first answer to Elizabeth's question that you answered also struck a deep chord with me.

    I recall so many confrontations on the streets or in school where someone would make a comment or whistle at someone else's girl even when she was with her boyfriend or husband. It was a totally disrespectful thing that always irritated me about some Latin men. I remember many a fight starting over this nonsense.

    About two years ago I saw a documentary (I forget the name) about the influx of baseball players from Santo Domingo who were headed towards the Major Leagues in the states. What caught my eye was that during their baseball training, there was a class they were required to take dealing with sexual harassment.

    I remember as the teacher would explain to them that in the states it was a no no to hoot, whistle, howl or make derogatory remarks at women like "Oye Mami!".

    Most of the men just sat there laughing and joking as if nothing was registering. She stopped them cold and sternly reprimanded them by shouting, "This isn't funny!" They quickly shifted their attitude.

    This is something that should be nipped in the butt early on by our culture in the schools and homes because it is degrading to ALL women. I believe that it somehow ties in to all the machismo crap.

    When I first came back to the states, I was suprised to find this attitude largely missing among men here, and amazed that it wasn't very common.

    Sure, it exists in every culture to some degree, it's just not the staus quo.

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  4. BTW, that was a great question and answer piece. Loved it!!

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  5. Yes, very thoughtful and interesting indeed.
    When we lived in Morocco I was pretty safe because I'm middle-aged but our blond twenty- something daughter had her rear end felt by some moron while she walking with us.
    I said she should have yelled "Shame on you, you disgrace!" in Arabic but she was too embarrassed.
    Yes, W.Europe and N.America have made some improvements. More needed for women in many parts of the world.
    Your book choices so interesting.
    Have you read"If you want to Write " by Brenda Uland (Graywolf Press)? written in the 1930's.
    She was a friend of Carl Sandburg etc. A gem.
    I agree about the money - give it to some young energetic person to teach the next generation.
    Oh the endless hand-outs in Maroc.......

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  6. Passion4Blue, I've thought about the meaning and effect of the behaviors you mention; but I was talking about more criminal behaviors. The monthly incidents were in the category of exposure, being followed (shadowed) grabbed or chased. Most people here, though not all, think that its okay, funny or just acceptably wierd if a man exposes his "privates". (They laugh and say he must be crazy or desperate.)

    There is an additional perception problem when you are seen as a foreigner; you may seem fair game- but it happens to all women and some young men. Only people who are culturally from here know that when you go to the beach by yourself, you should not hang back under the palm trees to protect yourself from the sun. You should not go up to just any car when someone stops you to ask for directions. Keep you car door locked. Notice if your being followed before you get to a narrow quiet path.

    The caution required really takes away a feeling of carefree connection with nature. I was followed to my apartment door four times. One time, the group of young men had sharp weapons and I was walking then running with my sister. One time a man exposed himself to me in Bayamon, and I told him off. He then tried to run me over with his car. He chased me up and down, u-turns and all, trying to get even with me for my anger I guess.(I used to jog.)

    Recently, I heard of this police officer (out of uniform woman)who had a man expose himself to her on the highway. (Maybe she pulled over to help him.) She returned to her car to get her pack of citations and he took off. She chased him down the highway and eventually overtook him. It turned out that he was a firefighter, married with family!

    When these incidents happened to me, there was a feeling communicated to me by others that I had done something wrong because I was out alone..it was early...it was late...it was isolated...I shouldn't have looked...I should ignore men on the street...(I do the last one.) Yes, men call from buildings or say some comments that are unwelcome sometimes but it's really worse than that. You know what they say, admitting the problem is the first step to finding a solution.

    Girls here are brought up to go with friends or family everywhere. A flag goes up when a woman is alone. Only it's magnetic and attracts..."This one is fair game!" I've developed my street face; very serious-eyes forward...it's a mask that comes on and off depending on who walks by...
    Btw...using an umbrella to protect from the sun actually seems to protect from unwelcome advances. Why is that? Only mature women use umbrellas...maybe it communicates that I'm an island/local?

    Passion4Blue, thanks for thinking about this with me--and your detailed consideration of the problem is valued-especially since you are from Puerto Rico. It's true also that this outdoor space issue happens in every culture just to different degrees.

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  7. Elizabeth, Morocco sounds like a wonderful experience but your daughter had to learn to cope with the attention, too, I imagine. Her blonde hair must have been a "look at me" flag! I'll check out the Uland book you suggested. (I enjoy Carl Sandburg's work,too.) Glad you agree with my $ choice! We have drugged/drunk/desperate people who frequently ask for money on the streets here too. But it's not as much as somewhere like Mexico. Sometimes sincere people take collections, they all wear matching t-shirts and stand between the lanes in the traffic jams or at stop lights--on weekends especially. They are helping someone who needs medical emergency help...often an operation for someone without insurance. It's a kind gesture.

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  8. Cynthia, This is a wonderful interview. I agree the questions are thought provoking and your answers well thought, open and clear. I feel as if I am just getting to know you....you have lived in many places, many cultures...it sounds as if you have adapted well and continue to be your own best self! Bravo!

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  9. Blue Sky Dream (er), Isn't it funny how we get a picture of someone in our minds in this bloggers world, only to revise it, and layer it, and sometimes turn it upside down! Our modern day penpal world is enchanted and I am glad to "Get to know you" too...honest, open, creative you!

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  10. Cynthia, I guess since I've been gone so long I can only attest to what I remember from my short six years living on the island, and that was during the late 60's through the early 70's.

    My perception of Puerto Rico is still buried in a time so far off and long ago. You guys moved there in `95, so it has indeed seen it's share of generational changes. From your description it only sounds like things have gotten so much worse and I can certainly believe it.

    I'm glad that your intuition has been sharpened enough over the years to perceive the danger before it is in your back yard. I can truly understand your concern over Amber as well as you described in a different blog.

    It's terrible that we have to fill our chldrens minds with so much fear so early on, thus destroying their puerile innocence.

    Simply, the world just isn't safe anymore. We must do our part to be a part of the positive and direct that energy to eradicate the negative.

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  11. Loved the interview, Cynthia.
    You certainly are a very interesting lady with some fabulous experiences under your belt.
    Also, you make me smile everyday with the little comments you leave for me. Thank You. :D

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  12. Passion4Blue, so now you know/understand about my sometimes obsessive-but-under-control-concern about 'discrete' clothing! I meant what I wrote, "I just want my daughter to be safe." She's a confident watchful girl, I don't have to worry.

    I like what you said about being a part of the positive energy that 'zaps' the negative.
    We are that! -all of us who care about others and the world.


    Natalie, I enjoy my visits to your busy corner of the domestic and reflective world. I also see that you have a creative gift-besides the children!!! -that color/header and the projects you do are inspired!

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  13. Hello Cynthia,

    After you happened by for a visit to my blog I set out to find a few moments strung together so I could immerse myself in several posts and get to know you a bit better. How delighted I was to drop by today and find such an open interview. Hooray! I so enjoyed getting to the heart of your thoughts and motives for writing, sharing, living. I sense a desire in you to find a deeper level than the drive-by blogging that I have found so many places. While I enjoy a chuckle and guffaw as well as the next person, I have a need to focus my reading/writing time in order to maintain balance with my full schedule here at home.

    I have a very rich and varied life since I still homeschool my two youngest (13, 10), provide LOTS of guidance for my 20-year-old "special" son, and am currently mentoring my 19-year-old daughter as she has come to a crossroads in her life, not to mention assist my husband in running his high-tech consulting/manufacturing business . . . did I mention cook, clean, etc? Well, you get the idea that I am busy and enthusiastic about my life, but also very careful not to waste my time.

    When my oldest son passed away at nearly 16 (twin of my remaining son, also handicapped -- severely, though VERY smart), I found myself with in instant glut of more time but a great urgency to make it count for as much as it did while I was caring for Andrew. Combine that with coping through the death of your son and, well . . . deeper thinking resulted for me and I set out for more intentional joy and living in the moment. These past 4-1/2 years have brought much change in my life, but also solidified what was good and right all along.

    When I began blogging last June it was a lark to keep family abreast of our daily doings. I never imagined I would write so deeply and personally for any and all to read. My bloggy spot has become a cafe for me to meet and interact with all sorts of interesting people. I love the impact of sharing joy and a new perspective without advertising and programmed ideas from a society bent on entertaining/shopping itself to death. My love of personal development, artistic expression, positive change, love above all else, has taken flight and soared in my blogging.

    When you stepped across my threshold I smiled to know another joyful one wanted to touch another with a smile and a pause to share. Your latest blog posts have delighted me and invited me to reach back and enjoy getting to know you.

    As a Californian (born and raised, though not always living in the same locale) I am so curious to read about life in other spots around the world. I have read Jamaica Kincaid and others regarding life in the Caribbean and find it fascinating to ponder iving in a place so very different from the Ca coast and mountains where I have lived thus far.

    I'm afraid my few moments have been co-opted and I am needed elsewhere. I shall return again soon.

    Thanks for the warm welcome.

    : D Debbie

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  14. Debbie, What compassion I feel for you in the loss of your son, the most difficult to bear. I'm also appreciative that you shared so much of yourself in your comment. I also home-schooled my son for a year...he has difficulity in school but in time he was able to adjust. He graduated with honors and now he's in college. Another difficult adjustment...I'm grateful for this life...and for your visit, Debbie!

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  15. Excellent interview, Cynthia! Elizabeth asked some very thought provoking questions. I enjoyed getting to know you a bit more.

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  16. I have really enjoyed the question and answer interview and learning more about you Cynthia - what an interesting life, xv.

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  17. Willow, Yes Elizbeth should make a question list for me to ask others! Her questions are person specific, though. Thanks for reading.

    High Desert Diva, I appreciate you coming over and reading, I hope you had a nice break at the coast.

    Vicki, I think you also have an interesting life...I finished "Almost French" a few days ago and thought about your bi-located life; England, France but from Australia! What a well rounded perspective you must have.

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  18. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview! Your answer to the first question especially resonates with me. I've actually written about how we always have to mourn change, even good change. It's one of the lessons I've learned on my short time on earth. Even if you're really excited about a change, it's ok to also feel sadness about what will never be again.

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  19. Alyson, I sure understand what you mean about change, even if we live most of our lives in one place, over the decades there is change-not only does the place change but you do as well. Sometimes people are miserable because they want it to be like it was in the past. Actually,come to think of it, we're all like that...psychologically or psysically looking for someone we once were or return to something we once knew...the familiar.
    Thanks for you visit! Come again.

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  20. Dear Cynthia -
    Hi there blogging buddy! I'm playing catch-up today with all my favorites and I always have to make sure I have extra time and a hot cup of coffee when I come to the Oasis. It's not just a blog - it's an experience! This interview was such an interesting insight into your heart and mind! You know what I thought after reading this? I wish she lived next door to me. I could spend hours talking to you. And I'm sure, with your teaching experience, you could answer my continual (or is it continuous?) stream of questions. We would definitly get on just fine. Thank you for all the beautiful thoughts you left me. I was overwhelmed by warmth this morning. Again - a terrific interview - and on Elizabeth's part too.
    Much love -
    Catherine

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  21. Catherine, I just love your stopovers to have coffee and a chat. What a compliment you offered me by calling my blog an experience. I wish you lived nearby as well I know we could talk for hours! "The woman with a pearle earing..." your artistic concept was inspired. <3 <3 !

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  22. "pearl earring" argh- responded too fast!

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  23. Thanks for such an honest interview. So, you want to trust life again. Good luck :-).

    Greetings from London.

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  24. I just came back for a trip to London via "A Cuban in London" and I'm afraid I 'over-posted' in the comment section. He has an excellent essay about gender dynamics so go check it out.
    Thank you for your visit, Cuban in London.

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  25. I found your answers very insightful. Each place you have lived adds to your general perspective of life. I enjoyed your openness in discussing this topics, you are admirable. I just posted my answers to your questions. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  26. Oh my goodness! I popped over to learn a bit more about you and I've hit the jackpot. It is always so interesting to read about other people's expat experiences. It must have been so frustrating (and annoying and probably sometimes scary) for you to be the recipient of all that attention. This was a really fascinating Q&A. Thank you for sharing so much about yourself.

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  27. TPC, thanks for your comments! Did you all notice that TPC has posted his interview? Go over and check it out!

    Just a Plan Ride Away, I enjoyed you Poland photos and your comments about the visit. Do I also enjoy hearing about these encounters. Do you want to do an interview? You probably also have a lot to share. Thanks for coming over for a visit!

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  28. Cynthia, You may need to quit your job soon just to keep up with your blog!

    I know there's not enough time in a day, but you sure know how to make the best of it.

    Your blogs keep my heart close to home...especially during the wicked winter we're having here in Michigan.

    How did we ever end up trading places?

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  29. Passion4Blue, I think it was a trick of fate, either that, or I decided that I wanted to live where it was warm and you preferred cold! Maybe you'll retire with T here in the warmth?

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  30. Fabulous interview. You always write/speak with such depth Cynthia. You are very articulate. The questions were thought provoking and your answers unique. What a life you have lived! I love the scholarship you would set up. I always thought that I'd like to do something like that if I had some money. Be well, Suki

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  31. Cynthia and Elizabeth, this is a wonderful interview. Good questions and thoughtful replies. It's fun that you two have connected in cyberspace.

    I thought it was especially interesting that you chose books that had influenced you but weren’t necessarily enjoyable.

    I agree that money is well spent on young scholars. My husband had a grant for his PhD and now he’s teaching and inspiring so many young minds. It’s the gift that keeps giving.

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  32. Thanks Sukipoet, I appreciate your feedback. I think the scholarship is a good idea, too. Maybe I can figure something out, there. <3

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  33. Sarah Laurence, Thank you for coming over to read our interview. About books, I've also learned that many books are worth reading, even if I suffer. There's a certain satisfaction in overcoming resistance; and a lot to be gained by the mental tug and pull that comes from reading theory, criticism, difficult poetry or books in another language (Spanish or French).

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  34. great interview Cynthia ! i was wondering if you mean to stay in Puerto Rico or if it is just a halt. It's interesting to read your views about your life there.
    now, knowing you more, i truly wish you to trust life more. I guess this is what we all want but how many of us can really assert that?

    Have a great week end
    possibly sunny and lazy
    :-)

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  35. Castle in Spain, Lala Ema, I've lived in Puerto Rico for over a decade and feel connected to so much that is only here. I feel no desire to move. But, it's the most popular passtime for people all around me here to talk about moving- especially now when there is so much transition and economic change. No one knows the future. (for sure!) Thank you for your good wishes for me, and I understand what you mean about life trust being rare. I'm going to start observing more to see if I know anyone who actually trusts life- continuously. Right now the weather is cloudy with rain on occasion...it's back to the very active routine of ordinary life.
    :-) Goodbye to lazy days!

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  36. Wow!
    Have just re-read through all your comments and so on.
    This cross-cultural thing is so interesting.
    I'm lucky I feel pretty safe in New York - I used to think when I lived in London and on LI that I would almost certainly be shot the moment I stepped out onto the street in Manhattan.
    I do think it's sad that a woman walking alone is considered fair game -anywhere in the world....When I was in Italy in my long past youth, tall fair N.European and American girls had tribes of followers.
    I learned to stride around looking fierce and purposeful.
    I still can't bear reading theory.........
    happy weekend.

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  37. Elizabeth, your comment made me think of the Ruth Orkin photo "An American in Italy." Please check out this site: http://www.orkinphoto.com/photographs.php
    It shows the referenced photo, and as I imagined you purposefully striding, this image is what I saw. Also, I'm sure the photos of New York will be of interest to you. It's all biography and no theory!

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  38. Yes,I know this photo well and LOVE it.
    It exactly captures what it was like back then - though the photo is a little bit earlier.
    This is a little how I imagine Antonia to look in the book.
    Thanks for making me remember this excellent photographer.

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  39. Elizabeth, great! I hope you go the the website because it has a lot of other photo shots that you could get ideas from. :-)

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  40. Good comment about the books, Cynthia...I always wonder how people can say "this book is my favorite" when one reads so many that influence us in so many different ways at a given time...

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  41. Dear Cynthia, I am so glad I back-tracked to read your interview. I feel we have many parallels in our living environments, your story about the homeless man and his interaction with you touched me. We have so many homeless people here in Africa, we have been told by the charities that assist them, not to give money to beggars on street corners. The charities are trying to empower the homeless with a roof over their heads and training for work possibilities, but they say they can earn more begging on the streets. We have parents that stand on the side-lines and watch as their children beg for them. There is so much poverty and need here.
    Interesting that you have a "country life" and a "city life", the best of both worlds.
    Love Dianne x x

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  42. Dianne, I'm glad you checked what you missed too. I think the homeless situation needs to be addressed here, too. There is public housing but somehow maybe drugs/addictions-the people on the street live no where in particular for very long. Once recently, I saw a pregnant woman, addict, asking for money for a few weeks. It was shocking/dangerous to see a woman, under some kind of influence, begging for money in the middle of the street. When she had her baby, she was back out there. I think the police/social services intervened. It's a complicated problem. In Africa, it is probably more common...Puerto Rico is in a state of change about this issue as with many others. When you move to a new place, your eyes see the 'ordinary' with surprise. I always remind myself that the US has serious trangressions with the world to make up for and its own shocking homeless problems. It too easy to get judgmental.

    Yes, when I read your comment about my life arrangement, I thought of the children's book- "A City Mouse and a Country Mouse" ---in the story they are so different in personality...the country mouse is the author's preferred character. In real life/now that is/ I don't think the character's would be so different...I'm thinking of my neighbors and finding my insight completely wrong! :-)Affectionately...<3

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