I think that a year as foreigners in Argentina taught us to keep our eyes opened anywhere we go, and so it is with a visitor's vision that we are trying to greet our home in Washington, DC. We both loved this city immensely before we left for Argentina, but approaching the city "as a tourist," so to speak, really gives us renewed excitement and wonder at our home. We have filled these two months with "the best of DC," from DC United soccer games to National Portrait Gallery exhibits to the literary musings of the National Book Festival. Sometimes I am totally over-whelmed at the sheer number of options, like how at the National Book Festival, two of my favorite authors--Sue Monk Kidd and Julia Alvarez--were speaking at the same time. How to choose between all of these wonderful opportunities? I suppose that conflict is a pretty ideal dilemma to have. :-)
Some really wonderful highlights about the past two months in DC are as follows:
1. Meeting one of my all-time heroines, Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran and Things I Have Been Silent About. After her fiery and inspiring speech at the Book Festival (where she shouted, "Who is going to bail out the poets??!! Who is going to bail out imagination??!!), I waited in line for an hour to have my copy of Things I Have Been Silent About signed by her truly. As I finally approached her, I became so shy, but as Ms. Nafisi signed by book, I mustered up the courage to tell her how her books have impacted my life. :-)
~Images from the author's official website~
2. President Obama's Health Care Rally at College Park. To be in the midst of thousands of cheering people advocating for reform and to see the President up close & personal speaking his heart out on behalf of the welfare of his paisanos...It was a rally to remember, that is for sure. Tea-baggers, take that!
~image from the Baltimore Sun~
3. The Equal Rights March and Rally on the Capitol. Walking with thousands of others in support of our generation's civil rights struggle was a moving honor (no pun intended). It was beautiful to see the number of families, the number of loving and devoted and monogamous couples out asking for their equal rights and recognitions. And, I'll never forget the chants, such as, "Obama, let Mama marry Mama!" and "I'm not queer, but I'm here!" Who could forget such sayings?!
4. Regina Spektor's concert at the Daughters of Revolution Constitution Hall. Accompanied by a cellist, a violinist, a drummer, and her ever-loyal piano keys, Regina filled up the hall with her emotion-filled voice and chilling lyrics. I think it's safe to say the audience was forever-swayed by the lovely Ms. Spektor, and all her Soviet-Kitsch :-)
~from the Regina Spektor website~
5. Living with the Cunninghams. When else are we going to get a chance to live with one of the fams?! And, who can beat the home-cooked meals, an always-filled cookie jar, Ctrain in the next room over, and Dr. Who references by the dozen?! :-)
6. FRIENDS! From Ro's happenin'-home-comin', to Thievery (Corporation)-filled Baltimore excursions with Mike, to cozy dinners at Jess & Matt's, to Labor Day sessions of "Loaded Questions" with the 3 M's, it's all been absolutely amazing.
And, of course, there's so much more, but I don't need to bore you with all the details. My point being, of course, is just that, when you open your eyes enough, home can be just as exciting as traveling. :-)