This is one of my favorite songs ever. I have something like 13 or 14 or 15 versions of the song. Ever since the “She’s So Unusual” album by Cindy Lauper, I have been hooked. It’s even my go-to karaoke song. After my reading of “The Pistol’s Confession” with an introduction from the song “Go to sleep you little baby” (the last two verses with the devil and the alabaster stones), ire’ne asked me to sing. It was a command, more so than a request, and who am I do say no to that? I was actually overwhelmed that she enjoyed my voice that much to even ask, so at The Local, a bar in Austin, on the outside patio, I sang “Time after Time”, surrounded by friends of CantoMundo. After that, ire’ne let out a grito in exchange that was soulful, gorgeous, powerful, dominating, and mournful. It was so thrilling that I have goosebumps all along my arms just thinking about it again.
More on CantoMundo. I’ve been asked to write a bit on CantoMundo for Letras Latinas, so I won’t repeat. I won’t talk about Ethelbert and how inspired I was by his institution building and the extension of his relationship with other foundational writers, or Roberto’s incredibly rich workshop that challenged me to think of walking and traveling in relation to writing, or Aracelis and her beautiful, welcome into exploring the splitting of light. I want to write, instead, of the circle.
At the beginning and end of CantoMundo, we met within a circle and shared what we wanted to plant or bury, later returning to that notion to see what had come from the workshop. In the circle, I said that I wanted to nurture my own work, that I had become so caught up in preparing to be a godmother and in nurturing my students and my career that I had pushed aside my self. I realize that in the article I wrote last week that actually quantified how I had spent my time over the last academic year. In the circle, I said that I wanted to nurture my writing self, and at the end, when Norma Cantú asked us to think of a word that came to us in relation to thinking about CantoMundo, I thought “child”. I saw very clearly a child on my lap, and she did not look like my sister’s little girl or any other that I knew. She was mine, and this child was my art and my poetry. I had to learn to be patient with her, to nurture her growth into a fullness that I cannot imagine. This year, I want to do as much as I can to nurture my poetic work.
Side note: I also received my chola name, “La Sunshine”, from Leticia, and I have to say that I love it. 🙂 I wish I had a list of everyone’s chola/cholo names. 🙂
Major accomplishment for the day: Getting my ritzy hotel room in London for the first night I arrive. August 3 I will be enjoying a fantastic bubble bath after having seen some of the sites in London and before starting to enjoy the Olympics the next day.
Time after time, I come to this place of writing and love.