Translated by Katrina Hassan
There are days in which I want to write and I can’t. As much as I try, it doesn’t flow, words hide. I light some incense. I smoke my room. I prepare myself some tea. I exercise to stretch my muscles, and take deep slow breaths. Minutes pass and the three lines on the blank page do not progress. That is when I know that today is not a day for writing. The glass is empty. I shouldn’t write when there is hustle and bustle. It does not let me express myself. I need silence.
For that reason, I publish my writing any day at any time. If I write it, I publish it. If I save it, it is more likely that I don’t publish it. I cannot re-read it either. If I read it again after I write, I don’t like what I wrote and I completely lose interest. I don’t even want to touch it. I alone cannot decide what to write. My writing is from the soul, not from the mind. I also cannot write if asked to do so. I get blocked completely. I do not liked being told what to write. I defend my writing’s right to be itself.
My silence times can last a day or three, or weeks, and up until a few years it lasted for months. I stay away from the computer those days. When switch it on again, I can write a story or an opinion article. Poetry, on the other hand, only visits me me whenever she feels like it. Some days at dawn, she wakes me at strange hours so that I can write. Some days she visits at sundown or at night. This is why I carry a little notebook and pen with me, because she comes in one quick step and leaves. She is like a shower burst, a huge gust of wind, like a passing cloud, fog at dawn, like dew on flowers that by wilt by noon. For her to visit, I need to be completely silent. She won’t visit if the glass is full or half full. It needs to be completely empty. She comes to quench my thirst, cloak me, and to fill with flowers a vase.
I cannot write mechanically. I can’t do it a certain day at a certain time about a certain subject. I can’t. My words are like me.
It does not matter if it’s a story, poetry or an article. They all have my personality, my character. Not even in person am I so real as when I write.
There are days I cannot write, words do not dance, there is no harmony. Slowly, I learn to be patient, to wait, to breathe slowly, to give space and not drown them so they don’t get tired of me. I stay a bit far from them, leave them be, free to come back to me when they feel they need my company. Before, when words would leave me, I used to agonize over them. I couldn’t breathe, I felt incarcerated, abandoned, relegated. I suffered a lot for the inability to express myself. I have been there before. With writing though, I have learned to wait. I have learned to live when the words are not there, even though I miss them. I learned that the glass can be empty and that silence is a necessity to live. They help put pause, turn the rhythm down and form a balance between the hustle bustle and serenity.
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Ilka Oliva Corado @ilkaolivacorado
26 de marzo de 2020