Reading and Writing


My four year old is learning to read and write. A few months in Pre-K has made her interested in identifying the letters of her name, her sister’s name, my name. My journals and and notepads and filled with scribbles that look more and more like letters and words. Sometimes in between the letters are stick figures which together, in preschool hieroglyphics, tell a story.

I visited Poroto’s classroom yesterday and was impressed with ho quickly a group of 14 4 year olds adapted to new routines including sharing lunch at a communal table, borrowing books from the library, helping new classmates find their cubbies. There were of course things I didn’t like – like the counting of children by their assumed gender- it’s amazing and scary how quickly children are taught to identify themselves into two neat categories.

In this period of transition I feel like I’m learning how to read and write again as well. I am struggling with finding space and time to write. Despite the fact that my mother’s apartment is bigger than what Casa Mala was, the actual space to be creative- the quiet needed- has been hard to come by. I blame the additional distraction that cable tv offers everyone, myself included. I do have a dedicated desk space, something I didn’t have at Casa Mala. It’s been helpful as new opportunities to write for major publications open up. I’m still trying to organize myself. Many of my books are still in bins and will likely stay there until this transition shifts into another one.

There isn’t anyone to show me the new routines though. No one to hold my hand and no one to celebrate the letters of my name and what they create and will create. I have been creating alot lately – controversy, poems, performances. I’ve reclaimed writer as I try and claim space.

But I’m still learning to read and write and translate the signs the universe is whispering to my soul.

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