I knew it will be difficult to find a new focus for my writing for the Winter 2016-2017. At least a focus strong enough to continue with one part of my writing that is essential to me: creative writing.
I decided instead that I would spend most of my time challenging my inner child and enjoy whatever type of writing would come to me. I was a bit exhausted by the work I did in the two previous years-I moved from one state to another and I finished two collections and one enormous translation-- I would welcome the type of writing that never pays off in any way. That meant that writing would probably sit on my desk for years before I would get around to editing it into something, or shaping it into a form. But we are not writing for the money, right? Right.
After both of my parents died at the end of 2016, it was difficult to find one thing to give all my attention. It was as if, the more I tried to write or continue to write my ongoing projects, the more writing itself felt meaningless. My mother never gave much attention to my writing and my father used to believe that I wrote only because he had some interest in writing himself and because I was so similar to him, both in character and interest. Both of his beliefs were completely wrong of course, but I never had the courage to tell him.
When I wrote my first book of poetry and I sent him and my family a copy of it, my family called me to ask that I not send books to my father. He went into a deep depression and the family needed to take him to a forced vacation in Pucon, an area in the South of Chile, to help him to deal with the sadness. I asked him when I had the opportunity what had happened and he told me: " I never imagined that one of my children had suffered so much!" he told me.
I truly thought long and deeply about whether my writing would ever be a positive thing to anyone but me or to those few that read my work. I inspired a few to write their books because my first book was so confessional, so full of errors, so incredibly shameless that those few I inspired said to me, if you can write a book, I can do it, too. Despite this, something inside always told me that the fact that I had the need to write all my life was NOT a coincidence. I went into an M.F.A program a decade ago. And so far I haven't regret it. There, I polished some old poems that were among my papers for over a decade. I was fine with the results.
When parents are gone, it is rough no matter what. Every time I go through some rough times, something happens to me, the writing changes. This past year was not an exception. I could not write anything else than historical or non-fiction pieces. I was not able to polish or concentrate on one single poem until now. Until I saw the cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms trees that came to my rescue. What would have happened to me if I would have gone into my second year without writing poetry? a second year without peeling day by day the essence of earth and seeing the colors of the sky. I don't remember saying hello to a neighbor for over a year. It was dark out here for a while, I thought that all the words grew wings and traveled far from me to escape so much loss.
Name: Mariela Griffor