errors that created huge organizational crack on the revolutionary movement for more than a decade since its founding in 1968.
When I flew to New York City in 1998, I hadn’t an iota of idea what’s in store for me—I just wanted to leave. I felt lost and “spiritually homeless.” The private battle within me that almost cost me my life in 1995 when a near-fatal lung ailment befell me was still crawling in my system like an insistent spider pushing its way out.
Quite naturally, my logical impulse—being a writer and artist—was to write and create work that speaks beyond my personal experiences. I wanted to run and forget—and eventually, regroup somewhere far as a new person. I planned to maybe pen my own “Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” kind of stuff—some diversionary excursion that is beyond my realm of realistic immediacy. Or maybe an Elmore Leonard noirish crime caper set in Brooklyn, or why not tackle a subject that is way off my cultural background and geographical reference—probably an Appalachian-inspired mystery thriller?
So I tried…
While in New York City, I cranked out volumes of words—in between editing a weekly Filipino newspaper in Manhattan—and spent most of my non-working days detained in an Ozone Park, Queens basement studio, writing like an avenging crow, painting like a serpent on fire. It was winter of 1999. I was consciously pushing myself to forget by banging my head on just about any idea that popped in my head—while intermittently attacking canvases like a madman. Spray paints, scrounged latex, found objects etc. As a result, I ruined my lungs and had to subject myself to surgery eight months after when a toxic lump accumulated on my right lung.
ypewriter that pierced through the nights, half-naked kids running around streets, endless Christmas celebrations, festive chaos during fiesta seasons, my beaten-down pair of street sandals, my grandmother chopping up onions and garlic for arroz valenciana, my grandfather gesturing around like the way he was at war in Bataan and in his mind, my mom and dad fighting over silly jealousies and insecurities, my 4 brothers and 4 sisters before fate took me oceans away from them.
I have to let go off these memories before I sit down, write a new book, and find peace and quiet. It’s a journey within. I am still struggling—but I am almost there… I just have to keep on remembering the past than running away from it.
http://www.marijomoore.com/ / 55 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801-2834, (828) 254-6734. PHOTOS by Jimmy Ancheta Domingo]