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21 December 2012 @ 02:37 pm
"And the walls went to heaven / Into endless darkness / But the train lit up the sandstone ..."  

This morning we stood outside and watched the sun climb up over the Rincons, its bright rays shining off of mountains, trees, windows, a passing airplane.

From here on out the days will grow longer. And while I know that’s a mixed thing in the Southwestern United States, where summer means 105F/40C days, in the thin chill light of winter, it always seems welcome, just the same.

As we headed back inside, reasonably certain the sun was going to keep rising, bells began ringing. Later I realized they were marking the start of the Sandy Hook massacre, one week ago today.


But this week.

This week a Tucson refugee was reunited with the family he hadn’t seen for 13 years.

This week my local elementary school was removed from the school closure list.

This week photos revealed a jaguar in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.


At white horse yoga this solstice morning I leaned into the wind and out of the wind, surrounded by the Rincon Mountains, beneath the wide blue sky, and thought about the ways in which we sometimes fear the wind and sometimes ride it, and also about the role that laughter can play.

From here on out the days will grow longer.

Mirrored from Desert Dispatches: Wordpress Edition.

melissajmmelissajm on December 22nd, 2012 12:02 am (UTC)
Thank you for this post.
Janni Lee Simner: dancejanni on December 28th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome.
asakiyume: feathers on the lineasakiyume on December 22nd, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
My mind bounces away from thinking about Sandy Hook, except in the most oblique ways. I made one of those snowflakes to send, for instance... but can't think on the why of what I'm doing too closely...

These things you mention, how wonderful. The jaguar! Like a mythical beast turned real.
Janni Lee Simner: dancejanni on December 28th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
I don't think there's an obligation to think about it actually, beyond knowing it happened. (And even that can be argued.) Thinking about it doesn't change anything, and it doesn't mean a lack of caring either. It just means choosing to put most of the caring energy towards one's own life and near ones and community. Sometimes I think we try to hard to make everything that happens everywhere about everyone, because it all feels so close now. But maybe it's ... okay to care but not live within and consumed by some events? Not sure I'm expressing that well, but ...

And yes! Jaguars in mountains visible from the city and only about an hour from it. The world is better for knowing that, even if (hopefully if?) I never see them myself.
asakiyumeasakiyume on January 1st, 2013 05:11 pm (UTC)
No, you expressed it very well: it's what I feel too.

And I have been telling everyone about the jaguars.
Marissa Lingenmrissa on December 22nd, 2012 12:41 pm (UTC)
I am so glad to hear about your neighborhood school. Long busing is not a good thing for children when it's possible to avoid it.
Janni Lee Simner: dancejanni on December 28th, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
Sadly, 11 other schools are closing and the children who went there will be going farther away ... but selfishly I remain happy for my school and my community.

I feel like if you can walk to your school, when you're a child, you have a sense of ownership and control and investment ... it's your school, and not just that place Mom and/or Dad drive you to every day.
Marissa Lingenmrissa on December 28th, 2012 11:01 pm (UTC)
That's definitely a factor. I also think we tend to underestimate the effects of a long commute on kids, particularly a bus commute under less-controlled circumstances. If you can talk to people you care about and do stuff in the car, then it's somewhat better. But at its core, vehicle commutes are still times when we're making little kids sit still and not do much else, so if they're more than 15-20 minutes one way, I feel like they're starting to be their own kind of problem.
Janni Lee Simner: dancejanni on December 29th, 2012 12:03 am (UTC)
Yeah. I don't think a long commute is good for anyone, really, and affects quality of life even for adults. But kids don't yet have the skills to shut things out and work through it ... and besides, actively interacting with the outside world is part of the learning process, too, and it's hard to do that inside a car or bus.
shewhomustshewhomust on December 22nd, 2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for that sunrise.

What's the difference between shortest and longest days, where you are?
some guy named Larrylnhammer on December 23rd, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
The difference between the longest and shortest day/night is almost exactly 4 hours (so, 10/14 > 114/10).
shewhomustshewhomust on December 23rd, 2012 10:38 am (UTC)
Thanks - I thought it was only northerners who were conscious of that turning point. Interesting to know you have enough difference to notice!
Janni Lee Simner: dancejanni on December 28th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC)
There's a definite change in the feel and slant of the light, too, which feels as much a sign of autumn and then winter as the (relatively gradually) cooling temperatures.