From time to time, when meeting with my volunteers, we write flash blogs together: 10 minutes to get down our thoughts on a common prompt. We're practicing expressing ourselves and being less scared of blogging.
Tucson is a small town inhabiting big city sprawl. It's a city of 1,000,000, in the metro area, but feels like much less. I yell in my car when I have to circle the block once for a parking spot in downtown Tucson, and white-knuckle the wheel feeling overwhelmed when I visit my sister in Seattle. I crane my neck in bars and coffee shops, sure that I'll see someone I know. I'm usually right.
Tucson is brown and flat and covered in harsh sunshine. Front yards are gravel, unless you're planning to waste money and precious water on irrigating grass year-round. Front yards are dirt brown. The mountains are rock brown. The buildings are more different adobe-brown, except for where they're blue or purple or green or rose. We live in a valley surrounded by our brown mountains, Catalinas to the north that orient us home.
Tucson is diverse, and siloed. Anarchists and activists, defense contractors at Raytheon, Air Force members and families on base, refugees and volunteers, headquarters of the biggest Border Patrol sector in the United States, artists and engineers at the U. Tucson can be whatever you are, if you stick to your part of town. Tucson can be bigger than you imagine, if you cross the mental borders of the biggest roads and your usual haunts. Everybody has dated everybody, because the everybody you know is carefully matched set.
Tucson is raw and polished. Ferocious fighters who block buses and fill court rooms, boutique hotels and young professionals in urban infill districts.
Tucson is a hunger for water, for recognition, for justice, for independence and every one's right to their own way.
Author, Alison Wood
queer, white, cisgender, U.S. passport-holding, Presbyterian, church-employed, challenged by faith, imagining something better.
I'm Learning From...