It is my mission in life to succeed. Of course, exactly what succeed means is what’s giving me the headaches. Whose value system do I use to measure the success of my life? The church’s? Well, that would probably be a good choice as far as my character is concerned, but since I’m not an active member of any church, that might be a problem. My parents’? There’s another good suggestion, but my parents and I don’t agree on a lot of things and I shudder to think of analyzing myself and my actions from their point of view. My friends’? Well, it’s true that I agree with them on most of my opinions, but my ambitions aren’t in sync with theirs. In fact, ambition is a word widely considered as a joke among them. So, how do I measure the achievements of my life? Which role models, community leaders or other personalities are there to use as a guide? Oh yeah, I just remembered, there aren’t any out there. Oh well, maybe I can wait a few years and accumulate a few more achievements before I try to do this measurement of success thing again.
Lorna Dee Cervantes is an accomplished and award-winning poet, a restless activist and an insightful artist. I was fortunate enough to study with her briefly, and, while my poetry may never reach the potential she envisioned, it is better because of her influence. She writes, teaches and lives as a Chicana and a Feminist; she is a role model in a world were few exist for Latina/Chicana/Mexicana writers. This week’s feature is the suggested reading is of her poems. Enjoy!
I’ll go ahead and admit it: I am awful when it comes to money. It’s not that money intimidates me; I don’t tend to fear inanimate objects. It’s not that I find managing money to be difficult; it simply takes a little patience and some planning. It’s just that — and I know that this is a terrible thing to say — I find handling money to be boring. It’s boring! Not just detail-oriented, not just controlling, not just time-consuming but tedious, unimaginative and drawn-out. Okay, I know that there are people who find personal finances exciting, and there are even people who have made it their life’s work, but I cannot relate to them. Oh well, they probably think that writing for a living is a pipe dream and cannot relate to me. It takes all sorts.
I am a couch potato! That statement is a declaration of independence and/or war, depending on what view of summer, health and fitness you have. I know that the sun is shining for more hours a day. I know that it’s the summer and tradition dictates that I am supposed to go out and do something physical. I know that the masses are going to the beach, to the park and other places of summer delight. I also know that this is the time of year that encourages people all across the nation to become health freaks and to diet, exercise and ruin other people’s day by telling them that they should do the same. And I know that it’s supposed to be some sort of crime against nature to sit indoors while everyone else is going out. But — guess what? — it was never the weather or the time of year that kept me inside. I like the nesting effect. I like being indoors. I like being physically inactive. I like watching television and reading books and listening to music in the air-conditioned comfort of my home. And I really don’t care if you don’t think that’s good for me. And all your voiced worries, nagging, etc. only reinforce my desire to stay away from you and the others outside. So, in the winter, when everyone acts like a couch potato again, we will agree on lifestyles. In the meantime, carry some sun lotion and call me when you get back indoors.
I am a wordsmith. I am a writer. I am a lover of books, thoughts, sayings and other glorious expressions of language. In a world full of audio/visual stimulation, I am a slave to my imagination. My two favorite pass times are reading and writing. Through them I can indulge in activities, emotions and events that are forbidden, foreign, mundane or simply not mine. But through the words, through my interpretation of those words, they become mine. And they become yours. And even though I think that no one else could have any interest in what I write, I still post writing here for you to enjoy.