The little curly-haired-girl that could (or is definitely still going for it) 😉
-A Dynamic Bio-
Let’s see now… a human being born in Puerto Rico alongside a shy yet stern, talented and wonderful human being but often sad mom who always did everything she could to care for her; an impossibly creative, hyper, and resourceful dad who spoke too loud but was always reliable and filled with inspiration; a sibling who is brilliant and fun and whom she adores; and an Abuelita who left as her gift –through example in actions and words– the meaning of tenderness, unconditional love and empathy toward other human beings.
This weird and quirky little girl grew up in the town of Vega Alta in Barrio Bajura, a place she holds dear in her heart and never forgets; the origin of who she is. No matter where she goes, the beautiful people she met there, the kids with whom she played, the houses she knew by heart, the adventures, the passion fruit, the cars on fire, the pet monkeys, the excursions to the movie theater, the smell of the soil after the rain, the sound of raindrops when they landed on the zinc roof, the giant moon that scared her, they are all with her, filling her up with magic.
This little girl LOVES –ADORES– to learn, to discover and to explore everything around her, as though her brain were physically expanding every time she delves into something new that she did not know before. A sensation of pure bliss.
Literature (Poetry, Short Stories, Essays) and Science (Medicine, Astronomy) —what a terribly weird mix, some would say, but they are so right for each other, in this little girl’s mind. They are the perfect pair: together is how they make beauty. And they have brought her much joy and satisfaction, professionally, intellectually and spiritually.
This little girl feels very proud of, and celebrates, being a Woman. She stands, like all women do, formidably tall in the shoulders of all of those brave, valiant, brilliant women before her who have taken care of their own dreams and never stopped thinking, doing, dreaming until they fulfilled their aspirations — what they know they will become because they can feel it in their bones, in every cell of their bodies. They already ARE. They know it.
She is very smart, yet she understands that she doesn’t know everything (there is always a lot to learn, a lot to explore), so when she doesn’t know something, she asks. She pushes herself until she learns what she has to learn, and learns it well. Always. No matter how long it takes. Though she may, at times, forget, she knows what matters is the Journey itself, all those life experiences gathered along the way. Explorers never fail to question, to interrogate themselves and the world around them, to enjoy the moment. It’s how they move forward.
This little girl knows her value as a human being. She has learned, through experiences and hardship, to be compassionate toward herself, and she respects herself as much as she respects others, and nature.
She is happiest when she is reading a book, writing, composing a poem, studying, hugging a tree, singing, working, drawing, helping a person, explaining science (or something she’s read recently that has been intellectually exciting) to somebody who is interested in listening, walking in nature, interrogating the universe and/or interrogating the universe with someone who is equally curious about the world, reading bedtime stories to her funny tiny human creatures, studying about other cultures, creating something new, smelling the flowers, reading under the canopy of a tree, or all of the above.
Things that she cares deeply about: learning (did I say that already?), and kindness. However small an act of kindness is, it never fails to renew her faith in humanity’s potential.
She believes that human beings, wherever they are from, whatever their religious beliefs might be, and especially whatever the color of their skin, are Equal and deserve equal degree of freedom, equal magnitude of respect, dignity and justice –not only from other fellow human beings but also from our social (educational, health) and political institutions, which always reflect all those unsaid, seldom revised conventions –often blindly brought forward– that directly impact the wellbeing and health of our communities, and thus, unequivocally, say a lot about the underlying values of our society, and perhaps even our future.
This is a photo of her when she was four or five years-old: a curly-haired creature in all its natural splendor.
Nobody needs to go back in time to tell her that everything is going to be just fine because that little girl KNOWS it will be. She knows that, no matter what, it ALWAYS is. One way or another. (Dear Reader, perspective is everything.)
Sometimes, I feel like hugging her, like asking her questions just to hear what she comes up with from her perspective of the world. What with her red-and-white little checkered bib, her nail-bitting inconspicuous sassiness, and her Spider-man “bigüil” (that’s Big Wheel in Puerto Rican), she reminds me of the continuity of magic.
By the way: To all those former little girls and little boys who might find themselves reading this, we’d like to tell you this: No matter where you’re from or how old you are, no matter what has happened in your life, no matter what anybody has done to you, go back, even if just a little bit, or just for a little while, to those bigüil versions of yourselves— interrogate them, listen to them, they never fail to bring some magic back into the world, helping you to put your feet back on the nice, cool skin of the earth, and your brain back to Fantasia. (Oh, yes. You probably guessed it by now, Dear reader: she does have faith in the kindness of humanity, a bit á la Walt Whitman in Song of the Open Road [that level –well, many times, anyway].
Books? Here they are: La última caricia and El libro azul (or here, El libro azul versión impresa). She is currently working on her third poetry book, and a few other, unpublished manuscripts (a book of short stories, a non fiction book and another poetry book) that still do not work at all. (That’s how it is, right? You keep on working. You keep on trying. You re-invent yourself. You never forget to live and create meaningful moments, while you can.)
A formal version of this (and More! That is a promise) can be found here: A Narrative CV.
Puerto Rican writer Iris Mónica Vargas. (2020)
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