There’s a lot on my mind right now. Yesterday, I almost wrote an entry called “Goodbye Manila” because Super Typhoon Malakas has left the capital of the Philippines in a state of chaos. It’s been almost two weeks since the storm made landfall and it still sounds like a rough situation. Hundreds of people lost their lives during the initial storm and tens of thousands more have been displaced by the damage and flooding. They’re still struggling to deal with the aftermath and restore basic services to the city. It’s at a higher elevation than Miami, though, so there’s much more prospect for rebuilding. I decided not to write the entry because I don’t want to get carried away and declare a city lost when it still has a chance of bouncing back. It’s their capital after all, so they’ll probably work out something to keep it going no matter what. I do have this sinking feeling, though, that at some point there’s going to be a blog called Goodbye Manila, and Goodbye Tokyo, and Goodbye New York, and who knows what else.
There are a lot of other climate-related problems too — the drought in Southern Illinois and much of the Midwest, the increasing severity of the megadrought out in California, the wildfires that we often don’t even fight anymore, the flooding in dozens of coastal cities. and so on. It really seems like a lot is going on right now.
And then there’s everything local. Cleaning up Gaia House was quick, but replacing the stolen computers and tablets is taking time. The raised bed garden was almost a total loss and parts of the other gardens were damaged too. And now they’re debating about policy. This is an all-inclusive community center where students and other community members go for all sorts of normal, peaceful social events like dinners, meetings, classes, music, worship services. Some people are saying that they need to distance themselves from any group associated with Green Front because it’s too political and dangerous. But others say that they need to stick with their values and welcome all nonviolent people who want to take action on global warming and the social justice issues related to it. They’re having special meetings and debating how to handle the situation. I’ve been attending some of it, but honestly I don’t know what advice to give them since I won’t be around here much longer.
That brings me to the main reason I actually sat down to write this entry. Ever since I joined up with Miami Diaspora and started working on GCOM, it feels like I’ve hardly spent any time with Alejandra. I technically see her every day — we live together, we sometimes have meals together, she sometimes comes to the events, and so on. But I mean real quality time con mi prima. Having a nice long dinner together. Watching some movies so we can laugh and cry together. Having drinks on the beach if we even had a beach around here. Instead we have to go to the bars and restaurants and pretend we’re on the beach. That’s the type of quality time I’ve been missing out on lately. And I’d better enjoy it while I can because it’s really starting to look like I’ll be leaving for Miami sometime next week.
So I’ve decided to spend one last weekend out with Alejandra. I talked to her about it and she really likes the idea. We haven’t come up with any details yet, but I’m sure we’ll find the right kinds of mischief to get into. We always do. It’s also my last chance to get a good long look at Southern Illinois before I go, so we’ll probably do something out on the town instead of just staying home for drinks and movies. I’m really looking forward to it, especially after how rough everything has seemed lately. It will be a good way to spend my last days in Southern Illinois.