Odilia Rivera Santos
Writing is the one place where I need nothing and no one.
There is a deep sense of calm and satisfaction when writing that is difficult to describe, even though I’ve spent thousands of hours writing about many subjects.
A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling particularly disengaged and realized I had not written anything substantial — a chapter for a novel or some other ambitious piece of work. In order for me to tune in to what others say or care about, I must spend time in my own thoughts, wandering through the mazes created by experiences both real and imagined.
It is not an easy task to allow people into my world, and I am quite guarded and not interested in situations in which I feel vulnerable. Yet, I always say cynicism is intellectual laziness, so I can’t allow myself to become cynical about anything, not even love.
The thought of vulnerability always leads to thoughts of love, because it is the place where people feel most vulnerable; we all have a ‘work face,’ but there’s no ‘love face,’ because to be too guarded in this arena is to let go of the possibility love can exist.
After having spent most of my adult life in cohabitation in a relationship, I am slow to consider cohabitation with a lover/boyfriend/man-friend or whatever he should be called.
A friend of mine once said it is best to not live with a boyfriend because it keeps the romance in the relationship. Although I think romance could be maintained while couples live together, I have also seen couples become roommates who exchange dry kisses at the beginning and at the end of the day.
At this moment, 9:21, on this day, Tuesday, on this date, November 1, 2011, I think it is important for a couple to live together only in cases where there is no financial or emotional need — otherwise, one person taking care of the other could create a third member in the relationship, namely an unwieldy power dynamic.
Work for me is second only to health as the most important thing in my life.
Even if the work in which I find myself engaged is not my dream job or dream gig, I devote myself to its tasks until the work becomes a form of meditation to lose myself, thoughts from my outside life and concerns about politics or the future.
I strive to see desirable results attributable to my actions. This is not for egotistical reasons, but to know my time was utilized in a correct manner.
Writing, earning a living, falling in love.
In my life, there are periods in which I am really too busy and times in which there is enough leisure to make me restless.
Falling in love must coalesce with work, so the beloved other may be tolerant of those times in which I am so deep in thought editing that I may put a sock in the oven and chicken in the laundry basket. And knowing when to give me a kiss, or hang on or let go or when to listen as I uncoil details to be used in a story because this would be a true sign of love or at least leaning toward the idea of love.
I still hold on to the idea of Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin who were married, partners in their creative work and together for 43 years. http://www.nytimes.com/1999/03/14/nyregion/garson-kanin-a-writer-and-director-of-classic-movies-and-plays-is-dead-at-86.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm