It’s still dark when Captain Lori Clark picks me up in her white half-ton truck — just after 4:30 am. The first time I met Lori, it was behind a gorgeous blush and eyeliner job and a glass of white wine. Today, she’s in her rubbers, and she tells me I’d better be in mine, too.
You are where my heart is happy, my next best paragraph, my acceptance letters, and the reason i continue to do what i do.
In the afternoons we heard vivid and poignant lectures by Puerto Rican writers,activists, self-published, well travelled teachers and candles in their small but important circles there, fighting for justice, for identity, for freedom.
Something funny has started happening to me since I’ve begun writing full time. I live completely in my head, extending my week into one long metaphor, my perception jagging in every which direction as I shift the angles for a better view on the page, something more interior, something deepened. I don’t notice where i am in space, that’s too unimportant.
The story is mixed in shades of darkness and stormy seas of confusion and grief, following a path of color and culture as the main character, Mo, finds the freedom to liberate the heavies in a sort of reality check taking stock of what she really has left in this world.
She wants to climb the fences. First, it was the skate park. Could she do it? The throws of adrenaline that she must have felt climbing higher and higher, as i pretended not to look on, my heart pounding, the half pipes and rails seeming miles beneath her.
Every time the world loses one more beautiful baby, I lose Tya again. And this is the third beautiful baby this year I’ve said goodbye to, before i got to say hello.
am tuning in to the rhythm of my own creative process. I am learning character from Hemingway and style from Didion, delving into wildness with cheryl strayed and sitting peacefully on the fences of British churchyards with Bill Bryson. I am asking myself the traveller’s questions of Pico Iyer and am suddenly indebted to Flannery O’Connor and Eudora Welty for their courage and bravery to get up every morning and write.
According to the Stanford School of Medicine, every single cell in our skeleton is replaced every seven years. Does that mean that that I was a different person this time, on that beach in Tofino? A unique person with hopes and dreams, looking back on the shadow self of years behind me?