I Used to Call it "Eastern"
Life begins again at Easter/Passover/The Equinox. Out there in the chilly sun of Illinois, enjoying our black earth. Picking up a juicy half pound of winter dog poo with Chayo. Picking dead sticks and old maple leaves out of our slaughtered garden. The squirrel somehow got a squirrel SWAT team up on the tall bird feeder and managed to bring it down. Did they use evil squirrel ninja tricks? Grappling hooks?

Under our happily decomposing logs (I'm a sucker for soft decomp logs), the slugs and millipedes are waking up. Snails slightly larger than this period. We reset all the edging stones to delineate the border of the coming joy of grunt-work as we prepare the flower bed for my next experiment in landscaping. (What if borders were only the edges of gardens?) (If I were King!) My garden usually looks like an explosion in a cheap florist's shop. But I'm getting better. Got my anti-rabbit pepper spray to save this year's sprouts. My old friends, the columbines, are already coming up and looking around. Bulbs are popping like the cameras of paparazzi.

So much coming--I recorded my episode of NPR's "This I Believe" this week. I don't know when it's airing, but I'm honored to be among the last guests, ever. (In fact, I was the last one recorded. How cool is that?)

I'll be on my way to Kansas on Wednesday.

The usual unease and terror of going to talk about immigration again. I hate immigration. I am sick of death and anger and rape and fear and violence and rage and insults and death and death and death. This is not where I want my soul to reside. Not anymore. Yeah--I was a fire-breather. I liked the Mad Max vibe. And now?

Just think: I have been writing about this particular shit-storm since 1992. I have punched my foul-union dues-card over and over. I have seen human blood, I have seen human insides, I have had guns pointed at me, I have cried like a baby, I have been in floods, fires, Mexican jail, Mexican hospitals, Border Patrol stations, trucks, caves, under bushes, in children's prison, in orphanages, in smuggler villages, among the undocumented, among the prostitutes, the junkies, the cholos, the cops, the street gangs, the murderers, the torturers, the guards, the pastors, the criminals, the glue sniffers, the punks, the gay activists, the gay victims, among the Border Patrol agents, in their homes, drinking beer with DEA, talking to FBI, smelling dead human, hanging with Mexican immigration cops, being watched by narcos in the desert, hiking, running, car crash with Mexican drug smugglers, years in the Tijuana garbage dump, being conned by waves of Hollywood fast-talkers, doing medical exams with American doctors in plywood shacks, feeding the poor, washing feet, crapping my guts out, eating cooked garbage, sitting in fancy rooms with fancy pols talking fancy lies, in consulates, in lawyers' offices, in newsrooms, in TV studios, on CNN, on MSNBC, on NPR, on "This American Life," in churches, among minutemen, among missionaries, among activists, among communists, among far-right Republicans, among Mormons, among Obamites, with Rush Limbaugh's cousins, among Chicanos, at 100 colleges, on Conservative talk radio, talking to rock stars, at BEA, on the web, on my blog, on Twitter, in newspapers, in the classroom, in books...talking about FREAKIN' IMMIGRATION. Trying to give the low-down on the border!


I'm tired. Tired of it. It's spring. It's time for flowers. But they found eight new skeletons in Arizona. But the dead keep walking. But they're beheading people in Juarez and Tijuana. But my Border Patrol contacts are under more deadly assault. But, but, but....

I just hope the good people of Kansas don't feel like yelling at me. I am especially tired of being yelled at. I have lost my shell. I am all raw soul now. The dead have dismantled me.

Still...we put that fairy castle in the garden, hoping a toad will move in. My daughter doesn't yet know anything about evil. So we give thanks this Easter. Give thanks for the cold sun of April.

And I give thanks for you.


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