When I was in 5th grade I won a prize for a poem I wrote. It was about a horse named “Alazán”, and that’s pretty much all I remember about it. It’s still probably laying around somewhere in my parents house in Ortuella, lost amongst the piles of papers, books, graded tests and finished homework assignments my mom – as opposed to me – never threw away. I feel so bad every time I look at my kids’ artwork or daily assignments, right before I toss them in the trash. In my defense, my mom didn’t get one tenth the stuff my children bring home from school. Sometimes I think Whitney Elementary alone will be the death of the rainforest.
“Alazán” was one of a kind. It was the first and last poem I ever wrote, it was the first and last literary award I ever received, and it was the first and last piece of writing I’ve ever produced which I didn’t base on my own experiences. I’m sure you’ve noticed, but unless I’m reporting Basque news, or laughing/ranting about something, I just can’t, for the life of me, make anything up. Some people can come with up a love story or entertain their readers with some unsolved crime from long time ago. Not me. When I try, all I draw is a big, stark, empty blank.
I wish I could write something that had nothing to do with me, my kids, my opinions, or my feelings, and I often feel a (yet another) sense of failure because I can’t write fiction. However, I like to write and let all the things that make me happy or upset out into cyberspace, because it helps me feel better and it’s cheaper than therapy. Not only that, but it’s available to me right when I need it, as opposed to counselors, whose schedules are sometimes filled up for weeks at a time. I need to talk NOW, ok? Two weeks from now I’ve probably gotten over myself and feel chirpy already, so who needs your sympathetic ear.
I’ve tried keeping a diary before, but I could never last longer than a couple of months before I made the mistake of reading what I’d written, at which point I’d feel so utterly embarrassed at my own thoughts that I would rip the pages to pieces so nobody (especially me) could ever read them again. This blog has turned out to be like my own private diary, but open to the public. It works because even though I don’t limit myself too much on the topics, I know that people read it. I got no idea who most of them are, but some are my friends or know me somehow, and there are things better left unsaid. So the blog allows me to express myself to a certain point – enough to keep me sane – but prevents me from going too much into detail, thus avoiding total embarrassment when I feel like reading over old posts.
I haven’t given up on fiction though. Maybe some day.
- “Feel Sorry For Yourself (But Not Forever)” Basque playlist