23. Freedom of Imagination


BLOG 23: August-October, 1997“I was born in the back of a shadowy house, and grew up amidst ancient furniture, books in Latin, and human mummies, but none of these things made me melancholy, because I came into the world with a breath of the jungle in my memory…”

Isabel Allende’s words, her soul’s magical expression from her novel Eva Luna are with me now, years far beyond my father’s country, Argentina, where I had first read her story of the imagination. Now I write my own story, here, on the computer, in my home in the Oakland hills of California. I write with no clear beginning, nor end. Just an urge to give form, to create, to release words that long to find their way to my fingertips.

“I was born inside white-washed walls where ivy crawled, and where flowers sprung along the southern coast of Spain. On that day, the same day Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco died, freedom permeated the air. Yet, the earth waited, and not a branch dared break ….”

“I was born Spanish inside a German family. Somebody had made a mistake…”

“I was born…”           

My encounter with “Archie” on the plane ride home from my family reunion reminds me now that I am a storyteller, and that it is time to write my tale. And this time it’s fiction, and not magazine articles or poems as I’ve always done. My imagination gets to play, page after page, with words that amount to little, yet matter.

My writing becomes the dance I can no longer be. With my hips and legs in such pain, and no job and place to go, my limitations have become my wings. They have offered me a retreat from the pressure to become someone, and now anything is possible. My hands, which once held a pen—and in my ancestor’s hands were quills, the wings of a bird—now grant my inner world the freedom to be as I choose her to be.

I write, I start again, I play.  I am not writing for anyone, not even for myself. I don’t need anyone’s permission to be useful, or correct, or creative. I am like my dreams, free to roam the entire universe, only to come back to myself and discover the joy of being alive inside my body and imagination.



4 thoughts on “23. Freedom of Imagination

  1. Beautiful Michelle, your writing inspires me to continue a new journey of authenticity and not to give in when it is challenged through mainstream well intentioned guidance, love Katrina x (Santa Cruz 2014)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Katrina, thank you so very much for your kind words. It’s wonderful to feel that something I may write can inspire another person. It sure can be such a challenge to hear our own song amidst the buzz of “progress” that barely stops long enough to hear itself. What is your passion, or what do you do that is your heart’s passion?


  3. Reading your entry here about a birth written in imagination reminds me that my own story of my birth is mostly left to the imagination. I lost my early memories sometime back, when I was in my second year of college, and so all memories that occurred before that particular night are now left to imagination and stories from various origins. So I will try my hand at imaginary writing now:

    Borne, was I, amidst a chaotic scenery that can only be found on a military camp – soldiers at-ready drilling, performing various tasks as they walk to-and-fro the camp; patrolling units embarking on a round; and coming back from a round; and in the operating room where I was in, a military doctor makes a unorthodox decision and declared that I must be operated upon at birth in order to see. The room is very organized, and there is a protocol in the air that asks for unquestioning and perpetual adherence. What this doctor decides is unorthodox because it goes against all protocol with the intensity matching the stark demands. He wants this little baby to see. This little baby’s mother already has a reputation on the camp. She is the woman who alone survived a pirate attack on the boat she was in. Her and her companions were escaping the anticipated nightmare offered by the Communists for a better life in the “Land of the Golden Mountain”; and had laden their boat with their only form of valuables – heaps of 24k gold. She says she was spared because she was visibly pregnant with me; and that doctor wanted to gift that child with sight from the get-go.

    Liked by 1 person

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