Tuesday, December 30, 2008

evidence of extreme hardship

i've been contemplating the meaning of extreme hardship for so many years now that i think i may be over it.  i have notebooks full of everything that it could possibly mean--to me, to my husband, to our families, to our friends, to the victims of war, to victors of war, to the very young and the very old, to the very rich and the very poor, to Buddhists, to athiests, to la Virgen, to George Bush, to Mahatma Gandhi, and...you hear me.

what matters is what the random person adjudicating the case sees as extreme hardship.  it is not a rhetorical question.  it is not ethics class (god knows).  it is a judge and our packet of evidence.  

and i thought it was said and done.  i thought that at this point we had entrusted our fate to the fates, or the saints, the cosmic power, what have you, and waited for judgement.  i thought that the packet of evidence we submitted was it.  our lottery ticket was purchased, so to speak, and we only needed to sit back and wait for the drawing.  but no!  they want more evidence.  more. 

i'm at a loss.  when will my hardship be extreme enough?  

would it be better for me to wallow in my hardship?  to lose my job, stop paying the bills, not get dressed in the morning?  because that's no joke.  i know.  and i'd rather keep myself healthy than end up sick but with some juicier evidence.  

i am so sick of these games dictating our lives.

Monday, December 29, 2008


i'm not sure where to begin.  i've been looking for a space to pull some things together.  and i've got this need to connect.  so, here i am.  i'm gonna start connecting here.  

why crossing through the desert?  apart from the metaphor, of course...you know, life's a journey, and what not, and i guess there's some religious overtone there, too.  i am a bit of a sucker for religious symbolism.  the romantic version of the story that's inspired this current endeavor is that my husband crossed the desert to find me, his media naranja, and i, uh, moved to the Midwest to find him. so, i know, he's got me beat, but moving to the Midwest is no piece of cake, either.  i'm not one hundred percent sure that our meeting was preordained, so to speak, but it sure makes for a good story.  really, though, my husband crossed the desert to find work, to find opportunity, to--let's go all the way here, why not?--find the American dream.  in the meantime, he found me.  what can i say?

we've been together for almost seven years now, and married for over four...the whole time skimming the surface between the visible and invisible, existing somewhere imbetween.  and now i'm here, and he's there, and we're waiting to find out what happens next in this mad, mad story.  but whatever happens, if he is or is not pardoned (again with the religion!!), if we spend the rest of our lives north or south of the border, there is no doubt, and will never be any doubt that we are, and have been, and always will be, part of the struggle.  we are in it for life.