I woke up this morning smelling like the perfume of the friend I hugged last night. Thinking: this is humanity, the bleed of one life into another, the carrying of each other’s stories on our bodies, in our hair.
It’s been 10 years since 9/11, and I’ve been working on a piece all week that I’ll be reading this afternoon. I have my tissues packed in my bag. Two, full sets of pocket-size Puffs. Because the attempt to enter a grief so specific, so expansive, and shared by so many has split my skin. I have no idea what it will be like to try to speak, to cast my pebbles into this river that has us all in its rapids.
But then, this is what grief demands of us, and life: to shed skins. To accept there is no protection––only change, and the sweetness of the soft spot that no glass and concrete can solidify, no violence can destroy.
Who are we in the edited skyline, between the lives of who we once were and who we are becoming? What sounds and images will we choose to comfort us, expose us, unify us, destroy us, rebuild us, in words?
From the blond wood of this desk, my computer screen pocked with post-it notes, the small scribbles of an ever-urgent life, the fan swirling stagnant air around my ankles, I send out what I have to give: words. The gratitude that we all have words as transportation from here to there. As witness to our hopes, griefs, losses and triumphs.
What story may not heal, it can hold tenderly. I offer you this small stone today.