My Mother

 

Before I begin, I need to explain who my mother is as a person. I need to write about Her. I use ‘Her’ with a capital ‘H’ because if God should be written with a capital letter, my mother deserves Her name to be spelt ‘ESTHER’. The concept of having it written with a capital ‘G’ is meant to symbolise respect and admiration. And no one has earned that more than my mother has. My mother and Frida Kahlo are the two women who embody life and act as the epitome of womanhood.

Esther is an individual before any other title; even if She prioritises the role of a mother above all else. She is the purest form of kindness. You see, when most children state their mother’s favourite flowers, they state names such as; roses, tulips or daises. I stay silent when this conversation sparks as my mother is the entire garden that holds their mother’s favourite flowers. Esther is the outskirts of Amsterdam and the landmark tourists and locals find too beautiful to argue over. I simply could not narrow her down further. So I don’t even try. I was young when I began to admire Her for who She was rather than what She was to me.

Esther likes humble environments and is the only person who could turn Fashion Week in Milan a charity event. She can walk around in a Louis Vuitton handbag and you will know, from the way she smiles at everyone around Her, that She deserves it.

She doesn’t like the feel of makeup, which is great for a five-year-old who can’t stop kissing her cheek. She does, however, love wearing red lipstick. When She wears mascara, it smudges on Her lid because She can’t keep her eyes closed or still for too long- She can’t stay still in general for too long. She knows that She’s needed 24 hours on the clock. She holds your hand and it feels like a life jacket being tied around your body in the shallowest pool. And it sometimes hurts because of the simple rings that decorate Her fingers. Her hands are always cold. And She will apologise when you react to them as She reaches to get the thermometer away from your underarm. But I guarantee, you will not care about any of that while She holds yours. That is why I cannot get a blood test or tolerate a plane take-off if I am not holding Her hand.

She is simple. She loves simple things. But when She wears them, they are no longer that: simple. She regrets not having studied. But I don’t think She realises that university is for those who need a direction within their intelligence. And Esther already has it. If my mother would have studied, She probably would have cured cancer. Instead, She cured my loneliness and my homesickness every single day. It might not be as grand as curing cancer. But it cured me. Which probably gave Her enough hope to keep being as nurturing as She has always been. How do I know this? Just hug Her. Whoever invented the saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ didn’t know my mother. It would take my mother to raise a village.

I feel guilty that only a sum of people has met Her. Sometimes I want to make a post about Her go viral, or have someone discover Her and name Her Mother Theresa the second. It simply isn’t fair that I have Her as my mother.

Esther is strong. So fucking strong. For reasons no one in her circle understands. I live to understand how the most nurturing person in the world could lose a child. It’s a question I hope has been answered for Her. My mother is lonely. Not out of choice, of course. She is the liveliest bird forced to be kept in a cage, being told every year that She should appreciate what the cage is filled with. My mother has left Her country and everything within it and it hasn’t paid off yet. Eleven years later- it hasn’t paid off. My mother needs more. My mother deserves more. My mother deserves a plaque in her town and the carnicero to wait for Her every Tuesday morning. She deserves to feel pretty before going to Mercadona due to the numerous smiles she will encounter. Esther needs to talk to strangers. I inherited that the moment I could speak. Esther needs to feel surrounded by kindness.

My mother is the epitome of a Spanish woman. She wears red, floral patterns and loves to dance. She dances like she is translating ‘viva la vida!’ to the deaf. And you will smile back, holding back your response: ’viva!’

She is a friend. And how unfair that people don’t know how to be Her friend. That has to be the greatest tragedy this goddamn world has ever witnessed. And I hope that with every coffee, I can be 5 percent of the friend She deserves. She listens. And acknowledges that I do not. I try to. But I always have so much to say to Her. Being around Her feels like the last five minutes of the hardest exam; I try to cram everything in. She assures me that She is not going anywhere. But my biggest fear is the time that is running out with Her. My mother used to apologise more than She does now. And I like that She doesn’t as much as She did.

My mother learned three languages for Her family. She learned the language She needed to get by in our new home. She learned the language that made Her happy when not being allowed to use Spanish outside of our four walls, and She is learning English for the endless school meetings She always attends to for Her children. On a plain day, you will find Her on Duolingo or speaking with Her English friend in our school coffee shop, practicing Her English. Esther thinks that She isn’t great at it yet, but She has the power to communicate in languages humans haven’t invented yet. Just with Her cheerful greetings and hand gestures, you could keep talking to Her for hours. I hope, I truly hope, that one day I will translate my writing for Her. But this time, to keep Spanish within us. Not out of need. I hope that one day She can read the work I’ve produced. Because She doesn’t know it, but I write so that She can read it.

Esther is the woman anyone that has met Her wants to become. She is the influence behind Her children, behind Her family, and behind the strangers She has talked to. She is what mothers should aspire to be, what teenagers look up to, and what children want to cling onto. My mother is what I hope God was.

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Hypocrite

I say that I love writing.

But I rarely ever do. I say that I love reading, and running, and dancing. But I rarely do. So if I forget to prioritize the things I love, I don’t wonder why I lose so many people. Today, however, I got myself back. Now, this isn’t a Russian-writer sort of avoided loss. I didn’t lose myself. I just found that which I had to reach for: the spark. That’s my favourite aim. It’s the immense blend of accumulated fire that works beyond emotion. It is a body of light that you transform into. It’s a costume that we don’t fit into until the perfect conversation begins with a double espresso in one hand and a hand that won’t stop moving on the other, due to the hesitation in your heart. It will appear while walking home and your chest feels light or when you feel productive by the action you voluntarily initiated. And I found it again.

I say I love newspapers.

But I forget to buy them when I step foot in a country whose tongue I can respond to. I say I love those whose next goodbye has been an aim I have been scoring for years. I do love these things. Wholeheartedly. I suppose I stayed within friendships and relationships for far too long. Long enough for nothing to be left worth reminiscing about. Long enough for it to be exhausted. Long enough for it to be dull. Long enough for it to be a pattern of wasted time.

I suppose I was afraid of the day that the things I loved would become something I would be accustomed to.  I suppose I was scared that I would get bored of them. And I suppose that is why I left before the love I felt became as plain as the words a writer re-writes at the desk  he has been thinking of organising for years.

Self-love

I read somewhere, in an article or study, once about how millenials avoid truly feeling their emotions so long as they are negative. It stated that they attempt to cover up the feeling before understanding it first. The first thought that came to mind was that if Fyodor Dostoevsky were born in 1999, he wouldn’t have written shit. He wouldn’t have been as wise as his writing was when exploring his solitude and would have merely attempted to find a superficial method to disguise it before allowing it to be understood.

The second thought was the fact that Charles Bukowski was right. ‘Don’t be so consumed with self-love’ was as wise as it was when I first argued against it. Self-love is beautiful. Yet anything that has the power to consume you is as worthless as beauty without evoking emotions. To feel beautiful has become a task once heartfelt is felt. ‘Take a shower and make yourself feel beautiful’. I was told that the minute I discussed the heartbreak I felt then. I did that, actually. Yet I wish I would have been told to turn it into something that I can respect.

‘Make a podcast about it. Turn it into poetry and display how your heart bled at a local poetry slam. Fucking paint it until the paint dries and it synchronizes with your tears. Dance until crying looks hilarious and stupid alongside your moves. Make a short film that makes you realise how shit you are at filming and the editing gives you anxiety, smoke until you hate it because by then, you’ll realise how useless it is to cry for too long. Do something that makes you remember that which you could control, instead of the pain, the moment you look back at the day you felt sadness. Understand what makes you feel weak and what makes you feel nostalgic. Diferentiate them when you think about them. Go somewhere and think of how lovely the setting is for someone recovering and developing their sense of emotions, rather than a waste of time due to the lack of company. Cry while walking to the bus and show people that there is no reason to hide it. That sadness is as much of an emotion as the ones they present. Yet more real and more often felt. Ask your teacher about sadness. Own the emotion we have created a temporary embarrassment for. The one that we lock in a room until that ‘self-love’ dissolves it. Feel. Fucking feel.’

 

That is what I wish I would have been told.

Anxiety/ Ansiedad

An attack

This is it. This has to be the worst one I’ll ever get. The only one that will last 6 hours. The last one that will trick me into thinking I’m in the process of a slow death. I asked for help. I let them see me cry. And their ignorance and insignificance made it worse. The first thing on my mind is to get a psychologist. After arguing against the opportunity while I’m on a high, I break down and regret not contacting one earlier. And it’s moments like this when the idea of paying a stranger to help and listen to me doesn’t sound pathetic. Because nothing is pathetic when you’re gasping for air and you’re too busy counting the speed your heart is racing at to breathe.

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Un ataque

Eso es todo. Este tiene que ser el peor que pueda tener. El único que durará 6 horas. El último que me engañará para que piense que estoy en el proceso de una muerte lenta. Pedí ayuda. Dejé que me vieran llorar. Y su ignorancia e insignificancia lo empeoraron. Lo primero en mi mente es conseguir un psicólogo. Después de discutir en contra de la oportunidad mientras estoy feliz, me desanimo y me arrepiento de no haber contactado con uno antes. Y es en momentos como este cuando la idea de pagarle a un extraño para que me ayude y escuche no suena patético. Porque nada es patético cuando estás jadeando en busca de aire y estás demasiado ocupado contando la velocidad a la que tu corazón está acelerando para respirar.

 

Talk to someone.

 

Habla con alguien.

-Angela

Conversation With a Friend: Romance- A Podcast

Viability: A Zine

https://www.flipsnack.com/angelazines/new-flipbook.html?p=1

 

 

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