18 April, 2014

Vivir Para Contarla

The first story I ever wrote was about a raindrop who got lost in a river. She cried and cried, and her tears made it even harder to be found. She swam and cried and yelled at her family on the riverbank. Eventually her intuitive mother saw her surrounded by other droplets and the raindrop was saved. I was seven.

My love of words and desire to write (probably more “proper” now, but also more inhibited), is due to three people. The first was my mother- who gave me my first library card, painstakingly waiting every Sunday at the library while I picked out the ten books I planned to read that following week. Even more incredible was her ability to put up with my countless library fines, a habit I still have yet to grow out of. If my mother gave me the tools I needed to read anything and everything, it was my father who demonstrated the power of innovation. As he invented new tales night after night, my brother and I would lay on the floor next to Gustavo’s seemingly immense bed, wide-eyed and exhausted, anticipating a denoument that could terrify or enthrall us. His imagination remained unrivaled… until I read Cien Años de Soledad for the first time.

I can’t recall the exact age I was when I began reading what would become a texted imbedded in my very marrow. It was sometime after I started menstruating, but many years before my first kiss. This book changed my life forever. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for me, was completely and instantaneously divine. As an atheist, I use this word very deliberately. Any lover of words has that one particular writer who can unravel their soul. Marquez was mine- moreover, anyone knowing me intimately knows this as well. His novels, short stories, essays showcase the strange mystifying power he had to describe what rests inside all our hearts. His worldview was deeply whimsical, intoxicatingly romantic, and fatalistically comical. One of the cultural grandparents of Latin America, Gabo shown brightly, lighting our way through love affairs and civil wars and deaths foretold with the buoyancy of tiny little yellow butterflies. He instilled in me the absolute necessity to express through written word, and moreover gave me confidence to believe the things which I felt to be true. His death was timely, this cannot be argued. But once in a while for a choice few of us, even enough years on this planet are not enough. His words will rest in my heart forever.

La vida no es la que uno vivió, sino la que uno recuerda, y cómo la recuerda para contarla. -Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I know now much more about this man than I did. Thank you for sharing, I will investigate his work with an open heart and mind.