August 9, 1945

At a particular juncture this year, although I increasingly make my living from words, I became, quite simply, fed up with talking. I wanted action. Action infused with intentionality, with great thought and empathy, but action.

This summer, with my nephews’ extended visit, I determined to alter – in at least one small degree – the course of our lives by action, to swing the pendulum one minor stroke toward happiness. A raw truth of myself is that the outer dark of despair, of pain’s gnashing teeth, the fiercely cold howling winds of evil, hover perpetually just an arm’s length from my own outstretched fingertips, those turkey vultures I keep writing about silently soaring. There’s not a bit of schizophrenia in this worldview, not one jagged bit of insanity, not one curl of my toes over the edge into any abyss; our world is not a two-dimensional plane where grief can merely be rubbed away for the wishing.

The children are tucked into their beds, sleeping the slumber of children who have played and swam and biked together, all day. Bickered and made up and told each other stories, their faces scrubbed clean, their hair scented with lake water and wood fire smoke, at ease.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

— Ecclesiastes 3:2

DSC01125

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s