via La Garconne
All I can do tonight is stare -- at images from La Garconne's No. 6 inventory, which appears to house more dresses and blouses than I remembered. The past two days have been rough 10- to 11-hour, non-stop working days in the April heat. I am exhausted, and I need to look at beautiful things.
At one point this afternoon, I sat, cramped in a small dark shack, assisting an elderly woman in writing a legal complaint. Her husband, feeble, pock-marked, barely clothed and invariably silent, sat in the middle of the dark wooden floor on an ikat-patterned straw mat, staring out through the barred windows at the road outside. As I joined him in staring outside that window, I was brought back to my Portland, Oregon private-practice office, bright, spacious and clean, with light streaming in (when there was light in the Portland sky) -- quite a contrast from today's images.
And more strange is the realization that I have somehow had to initiate and lead a team in initiating this community-based legal clinic, in this community where most people cannot write let alone be expected to draft written, cohesive arguments, evidenced by technical data to which they would not normally have access; where most people are afraid to complain in light of numerous stories of coercion and intimidation by authorities; and where I am convinced the existing grievance mechanisms are broken, if not wholly disconnected from the consitutents for which they were created.