Enough, Part I: It Ain’t About That

Mulberry Stigmata

I remember packing to attend my first Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference. I was living in Oaxaca at the time, house sitting for another American who lived on a lonely hill in Lachigoló, a village less than ten miles east of Oaxaca city. It was February or March 2006, and Malinche’s Daughter was scheduled for an April release. I had packed the night before, with the help of a detailed list I’d created to be sure everything that needed to go with me to Austin made it into my suitcase. I got a good night’s sleep, ate a hearty breakfast, even managed to write in my journal. The groundskeeper gave me a ride down the hill so I could catch the bus to the Volkswagen dealership at the edge of town, where my friend Luz María would pick me up to drive me to the airport.

Everything was under control. I was excited about seeing my writer friends and promoting my forthcoming book, and yet, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was about to go horribly wrong. The bus would get a flat or Luz María would not show up or, I’d get all the way to the conference, and my publisher would tell me that the whole book thing had been a terrible misunderstanding. Worse, I had the feeling that if and when something did go wrong, it would be my fault, or I would not be able to work around it because I was somehow not organized or prepared enough.

There’s that word again. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means do enough, as a writer and a worker and a member of my community. I’ve been thinking about the IC3 fellowship and the cool translation gig I just finished and the kindness of my neighbors and how I sometimes feel I haven’t earned any of it. And then I hear a stern voice from within that says, “Of course, you’ve earned it. Stop beating yourself up.” And then I hear another voice that sounds like Jesus or Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it says, “It ain’t about that.”

Next Week: Enough, Part II: Speaking Words of Wisdom

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 7:05 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Have you read Rain of Gold where the old abuela talks to the Virgen every day while she’s taking her morning BM? The Virgen talks back in full sentences. It’s awesome.

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