Dear Isabel (Letter/11)
by Mark Chmiel
Wednesday 1 July 2015
End of page 12 and all of page 13
You WERE paralyzed with fear. Fear comes and goes.
You can write anything you want.
You can go outside the mainstream.
You can move in and out of the mainstream, whenever you want.
You can start building your post-grad-school-certified readership one person at a time.
You can watch También la lluvia (Netflix streaming) and that can be your reminder about what really matters.
You can read whatever you want.
You can send me words of your reactions to what you read.
You can remind yourself each day that THIS is your one precious life.
You can do jobs that have nothing to do with journalism.
You can fall in love by Labor Day.
You can get back in touch with the jewels of Roman Catholicism.
You can adopt a hermeneutics of suspicion when the situation demands.
You can adopt a hermeneutics of generosity when the situation demands.
Hell, you could read a certain novel, and then go to Palestine!!!!!!
You could do yoga with Katerina.
You could get drunk with Marguerita.
You could exchange grad school stories with Elena Petrovna (I’ll connect you, if you don’t know her).
You could start your memoir and it’s for nobody to read and enjoy but you! You can put anything in there. Recipes, phone numbers you wished you called, phenomenological analyses of Salvadoran smokers, what you thought THEN about your undergrad education, what you think NOW about it, lists of women you have written love sonnets to in your mind, anything goes. For 1000 pages. Yes, 1000. No judgment, no condemnation, no politically correct mind cramp.
You could look in the mirror and see the coolest, nicest badass in 1000 miles.
I’m excited for you.