Dear Isabel (Letter/6)

by Mark Chmiel

Thursday 25 June 2015

Dear Isabel

And so I continue….

Page 6, paragraph 1

The needs you mention here (arising from your journalistic writing in a specific place) aren’t peculiar or idiosyncratic—all humans have the need to know and name meaning, be valued and respected.

Hurrah for journalism!  Hurrah that you chose it!  Hurrah that your life has meaning!  Hurrah that you  are lucid about the possibilities and limitations,  the ways of fidelity and betrayal!

Page 6, paragraph 2

Rootedness— you give one example beginning on this page of being at the UCA.  Can you list five other places in El Salvador where you have known rootedness?

Can you list five places in the USA where you have known rootedness?

Try this:  Come up with five synonyms for rootedness, words or phrases.

Page 7, paragraph continuing from page 6

Actually, this whole paragraph is a poem masquerading in prose.  Break it into lines, and see what I mean.

Page 7, paragraph 2

Your question can be slightly altered to read: As a non-Salvadoran, who am I to particular Salvadorans?  See if you can list 10 (30?) Salvadorans to whom you are connected. Each name is a writing prompt, really, multiple writing prompts, which I leave to you to  list, if you are so convinced that this would be valuable.

Why is the love you expend (love here not being a  feeling but a compromismo, a willing the good via action vis-à-vis all these specific Salvadorans) “anxious”?  What does “anxious” look like as far as particular behaviors?

Maybe we should boycott the world “solidarity” for about fifty years.  When you’re tempted to say “solidarity,” catch yourself and see if you can substitute the noun “friendship” and whether or not that seems more accurate.

Namaste forever,