” It always amuses me that the biggest praise for my work comes for the imagination, while the truth is that there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination”.
Symbols and Themes
Memory and Forgetfulness
The Bible : Recounts the creation of Macondo at its earliest Edenic days of innocense and continues until it’s apocalyptic end with a cleansing flood in between
Gypsies…..little gold fishes…..the railroad….the golden chamber pot….English encyclopedia.
A Family Saga
Everywhere ( Paris, Africa, Orcas Island, Hawaii, Mexico, Bulgaria ) I carry with me a photo of my beloved grandmother, Lily Dekorne Thomasma. I was only 8 when she died. When I came home home from school that day with my two little brothers, my dad was already there. My mom gently told us to go put our pajamas on ( momentary realization while writing this: I often use “pajama” as part of my passwords) .I remember mostly the quiet and the feel of tears and the lost look on my fathers face like a still from a film. I remember her giving me Dutch bobalar candies and pink pepper mints from a jar on the kitchen cupboard. And minute details of the interiors of every room in the English Tudor styled farmhouse where my mom was taught to cook by her mother in law after she married my dad. The horse barn, my secret place in the hay loft, where someone had once hanged themself , the feeling from the horses as if we were one, the scent of my grandmothers forsythia bushes in early spring and the smoke floating like clouds in the sky from the huge piles of burning leaves in the autumn ….all are rich in my memory..Sunday mid day dinners were huge affairs with all my aunts , uncles and cousins(being my best friends) gathered noisily together
after the forced quiet of previous church service.( I recently wrote down each cousins name and occupation, it was a surprising account of how life had unfolded…I laughed and thought how awesome and strange!)
I see my grandmother in dreams and I hear her, her black hair is thick with curls and I smell winter time as she places a kiss upon my forehead…..she left me a prayer when I was 8 and I have taught it to each of my own grandchildren. It is thru her that I have discovered since arriving in Bulgaria that I am part of the DNA Haplogroup J2 ( National Geographic Genographic Project) It arose in the Fertile Crescent around 50,000 years ago ….Thrace, where I now find myself thru synchronicity and profound mystery has become the thread to my returning to my ancestral home in Bulgaria(Thrace).
And so a Family Saga…..We each have one and many novels are inspired by this like One Hundred Years of Solitude. My hope and challenge for you is that your personal golden thread will be woven into your own first novel or poem or drawing or even a screenplay. If you like you could even post here on this blog a first paragraph….I would be so grateful! …..Something for you to leave for your descendants in your secret box…..and remember to tell them just where you have hidden the key to antiquity!