I keep thinking back to this idea that rather than readers paying for publications, writers will eventually have to pay readers for their attention. Many – maybe most – of my friends consider themselves writers of some type. They hang onto different labels – novelist, short story writer, journalist, columnist, researcher, poet – but, in fact, what they all have in common is a blog. And despite the fact that they each have a blog, despite the fact that I am subscribed to all of their blogs, I still get at least five emails a day imploring me to read this latest and greatest article/interview/story/poem/op-ed. I feel their pain. I can relate to the anxiety of putting so much effort into a piece of writing and then not knowing if it will ever reach any eyes, minds, hearts. It can feel like speaking up too loudly right when the rest of the room falls quiet. I have never received such an email from Nora Catalina Urquijo, though she has long been one of my favorite bloggers. Amidst all of the success and accolades of HiperBarrio, Nora Catalina has received less attention than most of the other members of the group (because she joined the project later), but she has always been one of the most dedicated and enthusiastic members. Along with Catalina Restrepo, Deneiber, and a few others, Nora Catalina is very much the social glue of the group. What follows is my translation/interpretation of her latest post, “Loneliness is When Nobody Reads Me, Part II.”
Some time ago, I was walking along Barranquilla (in Medellin, between the University of Antioquia and Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital) and I found a series of messages that caught my interest. Among them was one that was especially striking, which read “soledad es que nadie me lea” (loneliness is nobody reading me). Recently I was walking there again and I found myself once again in front of that same message, only now it transmitted more loneliness.
Ever since that day, passing by there has meant something different to me. Why do we write if with time our words are erased, sometimes by the very effect of time itself? Maybe our words do arrive to some, but will they retain their original memory and significance? Maybe our writing does affect the thinking, the sensibility, of others. And what if with the passing time that changes?
Maybe writing is worth it … maybe not.
Maybe it is simply relief …
What do you think? Why do you do it?
The abortion issue has been somewhat controversial these days, especially here in Colombia. On the same street (Barranquilla), I found many messages tagged on the walls in support of the right to abortion.
“I abort, you abort, we all abort,” reads one message. The other demands for the passage of a law to legalize abortion in Colombia.
Personally I support the right to abortion, but I also understand why many people do not support it. Recently, Adriana of Hiperbarrio Ituango published on her blog an entry about abortion. I commented to show my point of view, trying not to offend her, for these issues always lend themselves to disrespect and polemic talk about Chavez or Uribe. In fact, here on my blog, I recently had a comment about an entry that talked about the issue of abortion where I was invited to “read, get cultured, and not write nonsense.” On the other hand, Adriana responded to my comment with complete respect even though we disagree. How great it would be if we all respected one another like that.
I’ve been a bit out of touch from my blog and from commenting on the blogs of others lately, but I’ll take this opportunity to check out and comment on the following links:
The video “Parish of Santa Barbara” by Lina Macias and Leidy Upegui of HiperBarrio Ituango
In the blogs of Hiperbarrio Ituango there are some new entries. Adriana not only shares her views on abortion, also invites us to look at her photos of the beautiful countryside of Ituango in a new entry called “Landscapes.” Lina, who blogs at Angelesituango, shares some beautiful photos and texts about Ituango’s Cultural Week in a post called “Ituango is Culture!”
At ConVerGentes (Hiperbarrio La Loma) we have been very active with pinhole photography workshops on Mondays and Fridays and video workshops on Saturdays. We have new members and renewed enthusiasm (Some recommended articles: “The Hiperbarrio family continues growing,” and “Pinhole photography workshops.” Also, more posts, photos, and video.)
Finally, I leave you with an interesting image taken in Caldas in a visit to someone who makes me happy.
“More oxygen, less politics.”