A María David, bárbara del desierto, que mantuvo la fe cuando otros la perdían.

I like this dedication. I like the name María David. For a long time and still and in many places (including the US) women’s names are qualified by men’s names to equate possession or belonging. I don’t like that. But I do like the sound of it. I like a name with feminine and masculine components. It sounds strong and balanced.

I like the word bárbara which means woman barbarian because it ends in a. I like that in Spanish you can say woman barbarian with one word. (Also I like that this is my mom’s name.)

I like perdían which is past subjunctive, to lose. I didn’t know English had subjunctive tenses until I learned Spanish. Spanish is much more organized about the whole subjunctive thing. It’s not saying, others lost it. It’s saying, others were losing it. There’s a difference you know.

I read this dedication in a book in the summer of 2010. It was so beautiful I tried to find this woman, in the book, on the internet. But I never did. I don’t know if she is a real person or imagined. I guess it doesn’t really matter. I guess that’s kind of the point of books anyway. Not that it doesn’t matter but maybe that if we can get over the facts of it all we’ll find shards of truth everywhere.

All I know is I never want to not be a woman barbarian in this strange strange desert.

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