When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.
Billy – age 4
Wednesday, the day before El Dia del Amor y la Amistad, I went to El Tecolote, the bookstore, and found a few books for the girl who took my hand and her siblings, if she has any. One book is titled El Inglés: it is a picture book with English and Spanish names of things. Another is Doctor por un día. The third is titled Mi libro del mundo and the last is Mi libro de rescates [rescuers]. I don’t know whether she can read, if she has any books, if she has older brothers and sisters who can read to her, if her parents read to her, or if she goes to school. I know nothing about her except that she is brave and sweet and interested in a bigger world. I hope these books let her know that someone in addition to her family thinks she’s important.
The book titled “My book about rescuers” bothered me somewhat as, although written in Spanish, the photos are of U.S. rescue workers (fire, police, Coast Guard, etc.). Could it be that there isn’t a big enough market to print a Mexican (or even Latin American) version? Is it less expensive to take a book already produced for an American audience and reprint with Spanish text substituted for English? I’m trying to reconcile that with the presence of the largest Ibero-American book fair that is held in Guadalajara (30 Noviembre – 4 Diciembre, 2013), about four hours drive from San Miguel.
The night before last the weather shifted again, in the same direction, slightly. I slept with the window open beside the bed all night (normally I close it before turning out the light) and it wasn’t until around 5 a.m. that I pulled the comforter up. I haven’t kept track but I’m guessing that the temperature has climbed into the 80s (mid-20s) by mid-afternoon for about two weeks now.
Last night Luis Urrea gave his keynote talk at the San Miguel Writer’s Conference. He is a wonderful and touching speaker and, as in his novels, there is a great deal of humor. He spoke about his family and the role they played in forming his interest in writing, and that portion of his talk revealed his Mexican heart, which must be very big indeed to contain love for so many people, who themselves were very generous in their emotions.