this inaugural post is dedicated to
Sara Uribe and Kim Schreiber,
both generous and kind
I left my country on the 204th anniversary of its independence. I took a plane. I wasn’t really thinking too much. I wasn’t really paying attention. I just thought it was the best day to leave given the circumstances. As a very dear friend would tell me later, mocking me: “only the unpatriotic and the stateless leave their homeland right on its Independence Day celebrations.” I felt unpatriotic. I was rendered stateless. I sensed I was leaving a lot behind. Also I suddenly realized there were a whole lot of events coming right in front of me. Perhaps more than I could actually foresee. More than I can imagine. I left Mexico on September 15, 2014 in order to start a new adventure in life. I had chosen to keep my academic career going. I’d decided I wanted to recover my writing career as well, after four years in public service. The opportunity was before me when I sent my application so stand for the Master in Fine Arts degree in Writing at the University of California, San Diego. I got accepted. A whole new ground of possibilities was suddenly open before me. But at the moment, as I was crossing the U.S. border, I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t know a thing.
Besides acquiring formal education in writing for the first time, I now have the chance to explore the recent writing techniques and theories, and put them in practice in my own writing. I’m attracted to the experimental approach on writing of the MFA program. One of my main goals is to address current Western Culture societies in conflict based upon evidence found through language. My interest is chiefly aimed at language as a community builder. On exploring how language binds us together as a community. Which could be the principles that make us hold together even though it may seem societies are falling apart? (There are many making that statement nowadays.) Upon the rise of Internet as the almighty machine that has radically affected the concept of writing; I’m particularly interested in working with virtual communities. Language shown in the user comments of sites around the World Wide Web is of a very different kind than any other used in any other support. Nonetheless it works as adhesive when establishing relationships, encouraging dialogue, and building communities. But it is also a language based more frequently upon anonymity/identity, context[s], shared or unshared. What do user comments across the Internet stand for when referring to commonality?
I’m infatuated with Western Culture. How does the West talk about love in the twenty-first century? I’m interested in researching and updating through writing experimentation what Freud theorized about the Eros & Thanatos duality. Is Western Culture closer to death, aggression, and destruction in the twenty-first century? If this is considered true, then: In what ways is Eros defined by Western Culture in the now? How can our present be defined based upon the relationship established between eroticism and destruction, particularly one that is perceived through public language across the Internet and other ‘new’ media? How do these relationships define our global communities therefore? What does all of this say about human condition?
I’m also obsessed with my new location. I have been raised as a bilingual individual. Now, on everyday interactions such as errands, paperwork, and interviews, I’m sometimes referred to as “international”, “foreign”, “bilingual”, and “binational”. I’m deeply seduced by shifts in language across the U.S./Mexico border. Every time I leave my country, as I go through customs and notice how language in airports tends to behave so neutral, so aseptic, so hypoallergenic, and at the same time so free from the news and gossip I’m used to receive when I was at home, I am especially aware about what happens to thinking when one comes to remember what it is being said about thinking globally… Bordercrossing is like a conversation. There are messages being constantly delivered through the border.
I have lived most of my life a few hundred miles south from the border of the United States of America in my home state, Tamaulipas. By now, I’m pretty used to crossing every now and then; to actually see how language shifts (and yet it remains the same) all the way from Tijuana/San Diego to Matamoros/Brownsville. How power is established, how it rises and diminishes. How power goes on and off in order to provide that some goods can make it (either way) across the border. All of this can be seen through language. Politically-speaking, when thinking about a global community: On what grounds do we stand when we’re right on the border? That blurry, mostly abstract, and energetic line populated by convergent communities defined by at least two intertwining languages. My bet is to enable the narrative of these communities through writing.
I celebrate Enclave’s recent launching. I’m thankful and proud to be part of the endeavor. I strongly believe in the power of writing as a basis for social change. I therefore present my contribution to CCM/Entropy as an “international”, “foreign”, “bilingual”, and “binational” blog that will address my own concerns (which is just another way to say anyone’s concerns) on either sides of the border. I want to enable this blog as a sketchbook. You’re invited to make it your own as well. To share it in order to keep the conversations going. To build memories, make them thrive on either countries. As Cristina Rivera Garza once pointed out, “anyone who leaves his or her own country on a morning Aeromexico flight does not feel a thing. Avid reader: only through memory (that is made of pure language) is that we feel.”