My our tiny place on the planet is reveling in summeresque weather; I write this, knowing days are not far off when our collective Vermont shoulders will brace against the polar vortex. Meanwhile, the sweet warm air brims with dragonflies and fluttering insect life galore.

If there’s one theme – for what that word may be worth – that might struggle up to the surface of my writing life, it’s likely interconnectedness. So many of the bad decisions I’ve made have stemmed from my own blind ignorance – not understanding how this led to that and why this other thing was a factor, too. Years ago, when I first started college, a professor very simply pointed out that some things we can see with our eyes, and some things we can’t, but that doesn’t make those unseen things any less real.

When my daughters and I talk about the hurricane season roaring in, far from us, or Trump’s public words about Charlottesville, I find myself saying I don’t know, surrounded by the vastness of these things. Begin with questions, I keep reminding my girls and myself. Questions are a real place, too.

Here’s one of the ending paragraphs from this fine book:

I wanted to try to write a book about poverty that didn’t focus exclusively on poor people or poor places. Poverty was a relationship, I thought, involving poor and rich people alike. To understand poverty, I needed to understand that relationship. This sent me searching for a process that bound poor and rich people together in mutual dependence and struggle. Eviction was such a process.

– Matthew Desmond, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Where We Live, Hardwick, VT


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.

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