Monday, October 8, 2007

March 22, 1978

by Slouching Mom at Slouching Past 40
Posted on October 8, 2007

We'd spent the morning at El Morro, the citadel in Old San Juan. My brother and I chased one another by the ramparts and into the damp and dark tunnels. The wind whipped our shirts into billowy sails. It's a magical place, El Morro. My brother had a new camera, and he took some shots of the fort, and then of me against the sea, my hand brushing back the hair that kept blowing about my face. When after our trip he developed them himself during photography class at school and took them home to my mother, she gasped but wouldn't say why. She framed one of them. One day much later she told me that they showed me exactly as I was, on the cusp of adolescence, one foot in planted in childhood, the other stretched out toward a darker and more troubling time.

As my brother and I waged pretend battles on El Morro that day, Karl Wallenda of The Flying Wallendas, one of a family of high-wire artists, prepared to walk on a wire between the towers of the Condado Plaza, not far from where we stood gazing first at the roiling sea and then at the sweeping view the citadel afforded of the city. Today I wonder if Wallenda felt that this was his last hurrah, because he was 73, or whether the risk-taker in him was ageless. Read more...