I came to La Casa Azul Bookstore with one question, ‘who am I?’
Now at the age of 66 I should know the answer to that.
I was looking for a mirror, a Rosetta Stone to the person I am.
So it was not outlandish for me to visit a bookstore specializing in Latino literature for this purpose. There may be other Latinos out there who have had the experience of being the child of a mentally ill parent.
La Casa Azul Bookstore reflects the vision of an unassuming young woman Ms. Aurora Anaya-Cerda. When you step in, you are taken, because you are in the presence of family, people who breathe a love of Latino culture. Ms. Anaya-Cerda shares with you her love of books, paintings and music.
I told Ms. Aurora of my purpose and she listened respectfully letting me roam the bookstore and she made some recommendations. Luckily I followed her advice, and I came home and began reading Kissing the Mango Tree: Puerto Rican Women Rewriting American Literature.
I found my mother in this book, the stories led me to understand her, but La Casa Azul Bookstore has led me to understand that I have been living the life of a cramped self.
The example of Ms. Aurora herself, and the authors on those shelves are testimony to who we are as a people. They normalize our being, capable of big things, of not being outsiders. In some manner, by creating this bookstore, Ms. Aurora Anaya-Cerda responds to our yearning , creating this space, using all the technologies at hand.
La Casa Azul Bookstore is a cultural sancocho - as this is what Latinos are, a people of many people, lovers of things that bring joy, yet are not afraid to feel deeply, nor share their sorrows. A bookstore that is a cultural space though devoted to Latino culture is not limited to the traditional, but embraces everything that touches our lives. So come and part take of this multifaceted space, it is as expansive as the culture it represents.
This bookstore also has a tremendous impact as a healing space. The amphitheater of celebrating our souls, using all the modalities/arts for this purpose. Coming to this space is very meaningful to me, unconsciously I have been looking for this space since my childhood.
La Casa Azul Bookstore means to me a healing space for our soul; people will speak of this bookstore in the future as a salon of Latino culture.
August 3, 2013