By Renato Rosaldo
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Additional info for The Day of Shelly's Death: The Poetry and Ethnography of Grief
I tell Nato the few stories of adultery in Kakidugen. It’s more common, he says, in his land. Oh no, I say, it spread from Kakidugen. Now I tend a small garden, no rice, mustard greens and sweet potatoes to feed the sow I’ve raised since I held her in one hand. My fame reaches from Tamsi to Sigem. My pet fed a hot meal every day. Too fat to walk, too heavy to carry. How, my grandchildren ask, will I take her to market in Kasibu? I say I’ll have three young men guide my pig, a slow pace, six nights in the forest.
Unfortunately, that day some people couldn’t come because of pelting rain and terrible wind—a typhoon was passing through town and drivers feared falling trees. S. Although we’ve been in the Philippines three weeks now (and Baguio two), have an apartment (with guest space, should you visit), a “helper” (Philippine English for “maid”), Sam in kindergarten, and us involved in numerous promises to give lectures here, advice there. . ” Which means not that nothing has happened, but that the shift in pace from the last days in Palo Alto has been so radical that my overwhelming feeling (complemented, of course, by the amount of time it takes indirect and rather status conscious Filipinos to say anything in meetings; then again, by the tentative, awkward, strained partial communications with our non-English speaking “helper”; then again by the fact that it’s fun to lounge on the streets and in markets, making the quest for bananas a bit of “meaning” all by itself) is one of ease.
I cannot but accept their truth. On our visit of 1981 Midalya huddles Shelly and me in a dark corner by the hearth. She weeps, saying farewell, urging us to be careful, her premonition insisting what she divines and I as yet do not know. The Day of Shelly’s Death 33 Shelly Renato * Baguio, l a t e A u g u s t t o e a r ly Oc t o b e r , 1 9 8 1 In Baguio we looked into hiring a maid to give us time to teach and do our research. The first person we tried spoke neither English nor Tagalog. We couldn’t communicate and finally had to fire her.
The Day of Shelly's Death: The Poetry and Ethnography of Grief by Renato Rosaldo