343: Time “Functions Differently” (Gabriela Garcia)

                In reading Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt we feel how time “functions differently.” She writes how it “drips through an IV.” How “It was a matter of biding her time.”
                She writes, “I have only one day off from the store each week, and I have to choose: spend time with [my mother] or with Mario.”
                “He clings to me like I am the piece he’s been missing all this time.”
                “Time trickles.”
                Elsewhere, we chase after “that first time.”
                Elsewhere, elsewhen, time offers “up its bounty like the yuca she dug from the ground.”
                “The arrangement was supposed to be temporary.”
                It’s not temporary. Garcia’s book lives through generations, through different threads of broken hopes and repeated abuses and yearning connections. A grandmother reaches out through her granddaughter, a daughter lives through pieces of her mother. All of them find pieces of each other, not full and clear, but partial and hinted like notes in the margin of a book. Here we see how a stranger’s choices become pieces from which we build ourselves. Here a young woman can ask, “How will I survive, and when will I stop feeling exhausted from all the surviving?” Whatever answers we might find in these pages, I think we’ll find them through a kind of living respect for all these people, and for all the ways we ravel and unravel and find our way to shared moments.

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