Burrowing Into the Shell

In the afterword of her late husband’s memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, Lucy Kalanithi writes about retreating into the meat of her marriage after his cancer diagnosis, seeking succor. In different ways, I see my own children gathering strength from friendships, art, running – all creative, growing activities, rather than comfort in destructive habits. Early this morning, I found myself pulling the predawn darkness around me, the familiar patterns of wood stove kindling, coffee grinding, and reading.

I was also thinking of my brother and his insistence that free will and responsibility are central human tenets. Or, I might rephrase, small lights as a way out of the darkness.

“…Have you done anything good? Anything beautiful? Have you created anything? Music? Art? Have you made anything better? Even in a small way? A small light in this dark world? Have you even been happy?”

She throws the lit nub of the cigarette out the window. “You should ask yourself what the hell you think you’re here for.”

Melanie Finn, The Gloaming

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Burlington, Vermont

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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