Saturn's Moons: Phoebe and I. by Soraya Rodríguez - ESL for Spanish Students and Teachers - Barcelona

Soraya Rodríguez

ESL for Spanish Students and Teachers

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Saturn's Moons: Phoebe and I.


Saturn's Moons


IV. Phoebe and I.

 

Saturn’s Moons aren’t any beads or trinkets; they are gems. Precious gems. No one cares if they’ve been polished, smoothed or carved to suit one’s likings for they are gems and they just are. They can be the way they are. They already are. Despite changes, they still are. And so they will be forever after as thus they are now, virtuous in their core, incorruptible. Moons in my universe, walking eternity, muses and saviours and dragons and fire: these all they are.


 

We finally managed to make it to Los Nogales, in Jaén, after a long journey. Longer than expected or as expected, I don’t know. We needed to have lunch –very late lunch- with the volunteers so that they could have a rest before the teachers' arrival and the start of the program. Only two volunteers would find their way to Los Nogales, Phoebe was one of them.

I was told by a staff member that Phoebe had already got to the venue. She was charging her mobile phone at the reading room. I went to get her so she would join us for lunch and meet the other volunteer participants. Her journey to Los Nogales did sound like quite an adventure already. Unexpected and not: she would find her way out blindfolded in the jungle, I thought.

I had ordered green asparagus as a starter but there were way too many for the start of a program. I offered her some and she kindly accepted, and had a glass of wine. Phoebe likes her wine: grapes and soil and sun, timeless and placeless. Full of tannin and excellent back taste, wrapped in aroma. That’s Phoebe.

Phoebe is a Gemini. So is my favourite person in the world. Phoebe and I would have got on even if we hadn’t met for Phoebe and the world get on, Phoebe and the universe get on. In fact, it is impossible not to for her own world and her own universe expand to no limits and drags everything and everyone in and then there is nothing else but dreams, and roads, and miles, and wilderness, and creation, and fantasy, and warriors, and colour, and waves and all bundled up in little tales that break into words that break into sounds.

Phoebe and I had a few meals together. A table charmed by life pieces like marbles. I felt honoured.

And just like a Velázquez’ scene there was wine on stage at the meeting-room hours. And Phoebe. The cork pops open and eyes are on her. Inescapable: Source and Force, she dances to the Time Warp in the room, and smiles.

 

Surrounded by the Muses of her universe. And light.
 

 

Phoebe says


When I say “Language”, what comes to your mind? How would you describe what “Language” is to you?
I am a Gemini. Language is for me a multi-faceted tool. It allows me to express my thoughts, my emotions, and/or my understanding. It allows me to entertain, ingratiate, build relationships, soothe anxieties, and dismiss stupid people. It also allows me to get others to do or react in the way I want them to. A recent example: I am a political activist. I research candidates and ballot measures and publish my findings to persuade others to agree with me or at least to respect my opinion and incorporate it into their own analysis. Thus I will have some influence on their behavior and enhance the status of my opinions in their evaluation. I supported Joe Biden for president. I received a lot of blowback from Bernie supporters. I loved it. I responded to each of them in tones and words that changed some of their ideas and always enhanced my reputation with them. We Geminis are wonderfully entertaining people but we are also manipulators, and language is our tool.


What does bilingualism/ multilingualism feels like? Can you tell us what languages you speak or know level regardless?
Language is expression. It is formed and shaped by culture, upbringing, education, and experiences. By speaking another language, we are stepping out of our own expression and into someone else’s. I speak English, German, and French. I also speak Accounting, Management, Engineering, Marketing, and Finance. Yes, those are different languages. It is easier for me to speak with others my own age because at least we share some of the same historical memories, experiences, music, etc. I can understand a 70 year old Somali immigrant more easily than I can understand a White suburban teenager who grew up in Seattle!


Writing Canvas I : Try to describe what your ideal place -where you would live, the one you would share with people you love- would be like with as many words as you want.
I have traveled the world and enjoyed many wonderful places. Mengibar in Jaen is friends, comfort, family. Rome is history, majesty, and good food. Copan in Honduras is friends, research, and knowledge of the Maya. Nürnberg in Germany is home, belonging, Romantisch. Diverbo locations in both Spain and Germany is intense delight in connecting with other people. Arctic and Antarctic, African safari, Siberian picnics, and wandering Jaipur in India are adventure, living on the edge. Seattle, however, is my home. It is familiar. I am known and recognized here. In spite of the traffic, construction, expense, taxes, dripping rain and noise it is what I am used to. I fit into the Seattle fabric. I am constantly intrigued, annoyed, and inspired the diversity of people here and the challenges of Seattle politics. I can indulge many different cultures and worlds within a mile of my house. Seattle has all the resources I need – libraries and universities, hospitals and restaurants, happy places and wineries, friends and Pagans, water and mountains.


Writing Canvas II: Recommend any type of art and tell us why -a poem, a novel, a film, a speech, music, someone’s work- anything you consider art.
Music. I love music. Music is the language of the soul. It calls forth emotion and passion in equal measure. Baroque is my favorite: Bach, Vivaldi, Hyden, Charpentier, et al. I love how each instrument finds its own voice in the communication of a Baroque chamber piece. I like Medieval and Renaissance as well. Of course Beethoven! Then I skip over to Enigma, Dead Can Dance, and my latest find, a German group named Faun. I have hundreds of CDs besides these including Enya, Loreena McKinnet, and Lisa Lynn. Art is anything that captures my imagination, inspires my appreciation, challenges my understanding, and soothes my heart. There is a house in my neighborhood that has an alligator on the garage roof chasing a motorcycle. There is another house that has a purple harpsichord in the front yard with horns and guitars attached to it. I live in an artistic and creative neighborhood!


Given your experience as a woman and the role of women today, what would and/or what wouldn't you recommend to a 15-year-old woman? What words would you use to get your message across?
As a Lesbian, I can recommend that a woman does not need a man. We can use them and be friends with them, but we are complete and whole by ourselves. Co-dependence has stifled many women’s ideas and creativity. It has choked our self worth and our self esteem. Our culture has taught us to use our charms and wiles to appeal to male vanity or lust in order to get some crumbs of respect. Fortunately that culture is being challenged by the #Metoo movement. We demand respect, equal treatment and equal pay, and control over our own bodies. We can fly jets, manage companies, or be President.

 

 

We, Lifenguage Women is an account of real Lifenguage events in which their protagonists answer the same five questions to give the reader a very tiny glimpse of who they are -as there wouldn’t be enough room in the cloud for who they really are. They are an individual universe in themselves, they can't fit in clouds. 

 

Picture: “The Place of the Muses Where Phoebe Belongs and Olive Trees.”.
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