Thursday, January 18, 2007

Words to the Wise: Sandra Cisneros

I love Sandra Cisneros' work. When I first read her I thought I was going to study her intensely so I could tap into whatever she was working with, but after a powerful experience researching her for a course I took called Woman as Writer, I didn't really come back to pick up what I'd started. Well, I did track down an address for her and write her a letter (this was pre-Internet), but it came back unopened with the words: no longer at this address. By the time it came back I'd decided it was a silly letter and that it would be better just to study more than to embarrass myself in writing. Anyway, Cisneros recently gave Ramola D did an interview at Macondo, an invitation-only summer writing workshop she (Cisneros) runs in Texas. The interview was published last year in The Writer's Chronicle. Reading her words really opened something up for me and I've been dipping into it for inspiration. I'm gearing up to teach some of the lessons I've learned from it this semester, so I thought I'd post a quote here:

"[W]hat I’m looking for is a kind of generosity with the characters and a heart that understands them, beyond holding grudges or getting revenge. I really believe when we write there are moments, a few seconds, when we become the Buddha, when the writing transcends us, when we’re writing in the light. It’s channeled through us so the writing can be wiser, more loving—and then we go back to being ourselves . . . I think you have to get very humble, and fearless, for the writing to be wiser. You have to be in a zone of absolute humility for that light to be channeled through you."


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