Our writing is inspired, in part, by our obsessions—those images, memories and concerns we keep spinning in our heads. Carolyn Wright, poet Yes, certain images, memories, and concerns keep spinning in my head. One of these is Vietnam, the land of my birth, the country that gave America nightmares. Being biracial is not incidental to my identity but essential to it. And it wasn’t me that made it so. My white classmates taught me well the lesson that “one of these things is not like the others”—they were the others and I was the one. And of course there was my mother. Her face, her voice, her tiny body. Other, other, other. As children, one of our most primal sensory experiences is the sound, the cadence, of our mothers’ voice. My mother’s voice spoke with a Vietnamese accent, used Vietnamese syntax. Although I don’t speak Vietnamese, though I can’t understand the meaning of the words, the sound of that language is a sweetness in my ears, a tugging in my heart. Can you imagine? Being
Showing posts from April, 2017
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You have to protect your writing time. The easiest thing to do on earth is not write. —William Goldman Although bright and airy, my Wilmington cottage has been, for the better part of four months, a kind of “cave” for me. Not a safe and quiet place to hibernate, but a safe and quiet place to generate. Ideas, poems, stories, plays. The writing I’ve found so hard to do elsewhere has been possible to do here. It’s not just the place itself, though that certainly helps. The easy weather, the life bursting forth so abundantly and beautifully all around me. But the writing has also come, I think, because of the way I’ve hunkered down. Narrowed my focus. I’ve put blinders on to limit my vision, diminish distractions, and it’s worked.