Feliz cumple, Gabo!

El Maestro
I always know what today is even if I don’t look at the calendar. 
It’s about a month after my birthday but it’s also Gabriel Garcia Marquez birthday. 
In between work assignments, I’ve been reflecting on the man whose work has influenced me most as a writer. Then I thought about his brain.
In July we heard that El Maestro has dementia, according to his younger brother. It runs in the family. He’s had it for awhile. He’s no longer writing. 

This makes me sad but not in the way you think. Yes, this is a great loss for literature. He is titian of Latin American literature and his words have bettered humanity. However, I feel for him as a writer — he’s been robbed of his stories, his voice.

What else is there if there isn’t that?

I’ve lost my voice before, the stories didn’t come. This was the time in my life when I lived myself into a corner. I’ve slowly dug myself out.of it through the years. I’ve fallen and climbed and fallen again. I’ve won and lost so many times. But I’ve come back from it each time, stronger. The voice more concrete and defined. The stories bountiful.

There’s not coming back from dementia.

I think of El Maestro’s brain and I mourn for his voice because it gave me mine. His dementia is my dementia.

But today is not for mourning. Today is for celebrating. Happy Birthday, Gabo! And thank you for it all.

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