Fierce Ties.

Like darn near everyone else on the planet, the pandemic pushed me hard to evaluate how the pieces of human world fit together. In my life, the pandemic tumbled in on the heels of a brutal divorce when nearly every friendship I had cracked. It was a loss I had not anticipated. The pandemic made so many of us look at the world through a different and perhaps less clouded lens. What holds us together?

All this is a way back to the Galaxy Bookshop….. Saturday was a day jam-packed in the bookstore. All the writers Sean Prentiss and I had reached out to responded quickly and easily, happy to come. Gifts of donuts and local cheese, of sweets and olives, arrived. People flocked in, cheerful, and bought stacks of books.

The day reminded me of the events I organized when I was librarian: poets and novelists, speakers about bear habitat, moose in Vermont, the return of big cats, and a series about climate change I had just begun when the pandemic shut down that world. Those events were the times when the library was most vibrant, most alive. Community, togetherness, are age-old things, deep hungers, a joy to participate in.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

— Maya Angelou

8 thoughts on “Fierce Ties.

  1. I managed bookstores for twenty some years and I know what you mean about the events. They were such wonderful times, full of curiosity and fellowship.

  2. It has been a challenge. I know what a brutal divorce feels like, but adding a pandemic to the stress must have been extremely difficult. I hope for a vibrant community again.

  3. It sounds as though it was a joyful day at The Galaxy yesterday! I’m so glad they’re back in their home.

    Brett, after reading your piece this morning, and your question “What holds us together?” these words came into my mind: “Love held us. Kindness held us. We were suffering what we were living by…
    …What is the thread that holds it all together? Grief, I thought for awhile. And grief is there, sure enough, just about all the way through. From the time I was a girl I have never been far from it. But grief is not a force and has no power to hold. You only bear it. Love is what carries you, for it is always there, even in the dark, or most in the dark, but shining out at times like gold stitches in a piece of embroidery.” ~from Wendell Berry’s ‘Hannah Coulter’.

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