Open Book Test: February (16 years ago), 1999

When: February (16 years ago), 1999
Where: Costa Rica
What: I’ve been married for 2 years, and every day I drive from my home, in Guaitil, to Tamarindo beach.  There, I  sett up a display table outside of a little restaurant, and sell the pottery that my husband makes.  On the weekends, I teach some English classes at the Universidad Latina.
Age:  28

The sky is so wildly blue and the ocean like a precious gem. No hour is too early or too late to be burned by the unspeakable sun. The moon by night es igual. It shines so close, so completely, that you can feel its pulse in the shadows it paints. Today is also a day of wind, so all of God’s children in the tropics are happy. All except the French people who have no customers in their restaurant. I went to the beach today, early, which was a good idea. Maybe my tan it terrible, but my soul feels good. G said he dreamed I left him for another man. See? That’s how I know he loves me. I dream that about him too.

I got SUN BURNT. Wow. God have mercy on my hide! And the nice boy in the restaurant gave me a huge free cup of boiling hot coffee. His employers always charge me for a lukewarm half-cup. I have been feeling this incredible urge to write, again. I think reading poetry for Lit. class is doing it. Praise God! And now my own adversary is myself and the schedule I have made for me. But I can keep being patient. O yes I can, and I will.

I have realized something that I will confess only because I will be dead by the time anyone else figures it out. If I were disgustingly wealthy, do you know what I would do? I am embarrassed to confess it, but I would go get this belly liposuctioned away. I would. I know, I know. What about children who never get vaccinated because their families and countries are too poor? What about cancer and AIDS? But I would do it anyway, because how can you enjoy gorgeous clothes if you have to pull them over a dumpy body? How can you enjoy good food if you’re already fat and don’t want to be? Huh? You can’t. So now I confess to myself that I am no better than the wretched people I complain about.

I am going on four years of living here, now, and you know what? It didn’t turn out at all like I expected. I never expected to have a real “job.” I expected I’d have a little house with a red floor and a kitchen like Silma’s. I expected to marry J. I expected never to cut my hair. I expected to write volumes, write letters, make beautiful pottery, listen to the frogs and owls at night. I expected to make tortillas and learn to murder my own chickens. I expected to have girlfriends, any friends.

And this is still my dream: to wake warm in the morning, to greet the sun brushing back my long brown hair, eat with the songs of birds at my table, ponder the mountains, moments, days of my life. I still dream of dusk, those few yellow moments when the mountains hum the note that calls night, and all is hushed but the whish of wind and the conversation of birds. I still dream of this and will not cease.

 

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On Keeping A Diary: Guest Blog Post for Women Writers, Women’s Books

I received an invitation to write a guest blog post for Women Writers, Women’s Books.  This is the first invitation I have received to write a guest blog post and I am highly flattered.  I don’t know exactly why they invited me–my book isn’t even technically out yet–but it made me feel like a room without a roof to be included among the writers on this site.

Here’s a clip from the piece which essentially demonstrates why it is of critical importance to me as a writer and moreover as a human being to keep a diary:

“The fabulous thing about these diaries is how raw they are, how badly written, how true and unpretentious. Like notes to self, written a long time ago so that I might not forget. That’s exactly what they are. As I read them, I realize how much of my own life I have forgotten. They take what was mine, what I have lost, and bring it back to me.

I open the books and there it is. High school. College. Loves. Devastations. Doubts. Adventures. Rages I’ve forgotten about entirely and suddenly the storm resumes as if it had never ended. Loves I haven’t loved in a decade suddenly burst into the center of my heart.  And you say oh but all of that is behind you. Yes of course. Like the long beautiful tail of a comet, it is behind me.”

Read the rest by clicking this link:  http://booksbywomen.org/talking-to-myself-the-importance-of-keeping-a-diary/