Saturday, November 23, 2013

My aunt

That Friday was not as I expected.  I had ideas of a slow day: two meetings tops, a lunch enjoyed outside in Dupont Circle park, and then the quiet commute home.  But as I walked up to the office that morning, I received a string of phone calls --the kind I've grown to dread this year--and a few hours later I was on a plane back to Los Angeles, where I stayed for over a week.

My aunt had a brain aneurysm.  She passed in the early hours of Saturday morning.  She was 66 years old.  All my memories of my aunt involved she and my uncle, a constant pair.  I didn't know too much about her past, before her marriage. She was very private, though every now and then she'd crack an infectious giggle and say something so out of left-field that it made you wonder.  I knew that she immigrated to the US at an early age, initially making a living as a field worker in northern California. She had a deep love for several things -  traveling, gardening, and her family (not necessarily in that order).

The last time I saw her was in Colorado for my wedding.  I noticed that she and my uncle would sneak away from the crowd and wander the area around the mountain house - they always broke away from large crowds.  She spoke of visiting Ethan and me in DC next year. 

My family is reeling from the shock, but we're banding together.  It's incredible to see the web of support around my uncle.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Note to Self: Inspiration


Sometimes, inspiration comes when I least expect it.  And today it came over a simple lunch with three women human rights lawyers, from South Africa, Argentina, and the US.  In my little world, they often sit on the other side of the process, and at one point, when I have a case to bring, we will likely get into heated disagreements.

But today was just lunch: grilled salmon over some kind of puree and a discussion of how we can better support communities in accessing redress mechanisms, how we can shift the development model to be more inclusive, how we deal with security issues when working in difficult countries, and how each of us landed in this weird niche of international human rights  law; a discussion of yoga, boot camp, and twin babies.

On my walk from the restaurant back to my office in Dupont Circle, I looked up and into the shiny office buildings, the red leaves lingering on trees, the cars and people jetting by with purpose, and the white clouds dotting the sky.  On days like this, I feel like I can do this work here.

Little reminders to keep going.  It's been a very challenging week. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Just things

It's important to take note of little pleasures. Here are a few I'm currently enjoying:

1. Old shoes.
2. Piles of red leaves.
3. My weekend walks.
4. My Object & Totem necklace (i.e., part of my uniform these days).

Friday, November 1, 2013

Object & Totem

I am loving Object & Totem right now. Read more about Julie Anh's pieces and process here!

And it's November?!  My oh my, how time flies.
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