Rachel loved Buenos Aires. She loved its endless movement, its wonderful restaurants and its elegant cafes. She was passionate about dulce de leche and bife de chorizo, the movie houses and theaters of the calle Corrientes, the artisanal feria of Plaza Francia. At sixteen she discovered the excitement of clubs that opened at midnight and closed as the sun rose. She made many friends at high school and among her parents’ Argentine friends.
Rachel’s passion for Argentina was evident in her classes, where she studied the country’s turbulent social and political history as well as its rich cultural and literary traditions, ranging from the 19th century gaucho in Domingo Sarmiento and José Hernández, to the defense of the rights of women in Juana Manuela Gorriti, Alfonsina Storni and Eva Perón, all the way to the cosmopolitan writings of Jorge Luis Borges and Julio Cortázar. Rachel enriched her classes immeasurably with her exceptional ability with Spanish, her keen sensibility for poetic language and her timely sense of humor. She exemplified the idea of learning as a shared endeavor through her enthusiasm for the exchange of ideas and lively debate.
Rachel lived her life by seizing each day. She said it best in her own words.
A poem by Rachel DiPietro-James
On the outskirts of the sea of consciousness
Where cloudy dreams still linger
With my mind still dancing in the lull of sleep
I trace the footsteps of my life in the sand
And taste the tides that pulled me here
To this moment in my life
This deliciously uncertain moment
Where I could turn and walk either way down the shore
And watch endless lights fill my skies
And colors of infinite possibilities paint my way
There is only life, the wind on my skin says,
There is only now.
There is this life, and it is a gift
From the stormy ocean of time.
Seize life in your heart
And fill it with days.