A Secret Place

by Francisco Stork on May 30, 2017

When I retired a little over two years I go, I intended to make this site more a reflection of a true journal. I meant to write here more frequently in the open and free and unconscious manner that I write in the private journal where I write every day. But I found it impossible to do so. I could not forget the presence of a reader the way I can in the private journal. Another way of saying this is that I could not be as fully honest here as I needed to be. I had to go and stay in that other “secret place.” For honesty is what I craved the most. That secret place consisting not only of my private journal but also of the need to withdraw from public view, is where I can see and discover the truths of my internal world. The seeing and discovering would not be as clear if these were done in front of others where the need for attention and admiration clouds the starkness required by the vision. I would like to think that the self-enclosure, the hiding from public view, is not totally egocentric for it is there in the secret place where the characters and images and thoughts of my novels are born. I don’t go to the secret place with the utilitarian goal of harvesting the discoveries for my public work. That kind of ulterior motive would no longer make the secret place the kind of honest space it needs to be. The priority of the secret place needs to always be a greater awareness of my soul, the hidden as well as the more obvious parts. What is found there may or may not be shared, but if it is, the content that becomes public, is always a byproduct, a gift even, of the primary intent of self-discovery. These past two years, the secret place has been the foundation for my more public work, the hidden bedrock on which I build the structures that I share with others.  I wrote a novel entitled Disappeared during my two years of retirement. Disappeared is the story of Sara, a young journalist from Juárez, Mexico investigating the disappearance of hundreds of young women in that city. It is also the story of Emiliano, Sara’s younger brother, a soccer star, an ambitious young entrepreneur determined to be financially successful in Mexico. Each of them must face the difficult decision whether to cross without documents into the United States in the face of threats against their lives and their souls. This novel was written even as I felt in that secret place the hatred of many Americans for the Latino immigrant. It was in that secret place where my own anger and sadness were seen and allowed to endure without judgment and it was there that they were allowed to transform, slowly and painfully into the creative force needed to write the novel. A creative force that I have no name for other than love.

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