When I Write, I Feel God’s Pleasure: Long Introductions

by joanabagano

Do you remember the days when you were a kid and you had a new toy that you never wanted to part with? Ah, yes, those were the days when you thought to yourself that the world was okay and that the sun need not shine or the moon need not rise because you had everything you needed. You had your little still playmate beside you and you would conquer the world together.

Remember the time when it suddenly went missing and you felt as though the world was on your toy’s shoulders so the world crashed on you, heavy, icy Antarctica first? The icy waters that fell on your head made you sick and froze you stiff. But you knew your toy was just somewhere near. Maybe Mommy returned it to your toy chest because you forgot to fix your bed. Maybe you forgot to take it out of your playhouse in the backyard. But you thought, “I would never forget my toy. It’s mine.”

And then when you saw it or when your mom finally let you play with it (because she sneaked it out of your side when you weren’t looking), when you finally got to touch it, its surface full of your fingerprints, you got that feeling of security. You didn’t care what happened with anybody or with anything because only the two of you mattered.

Writing has given that experience to me time and again. As young as six, I discovered that I loved putting words together. The ease and enjoyment of it encouraged my parents to buy me loads and loads of notebooks for when my afternoon nap didn’t come. My dad would peek through my door curtain and ask me, “What is that you’re scribbling again?” I would give him a hearty smile for sunny days and ignore him when the pages are staring at me, waiting for the pen to land on them.

I would fill pages and pages with dialogues of imagined characters whose names I mixed and matched from telenovelas my grandma frequently watched.  I would read a few books now and then but the medium that was television overpowered the written word. There was a Reyes. There was a Fernando. There was a villain and there was a hero. I didn’t know what else to put, what else but what I saw and what I was exposed to. For a while, I kept up with the pace that I had when I first begun and then as I voraciously ravaged the pages, I found less and less passion. “What else is there?,” my little heart asked. There was no succinct answer. Well, I have never been one to settle for succinct. I, however, came up with a proposition of immense proportion. I thought I wanted to do something else. And do something else I did.

*First of five installments