Tag Archives: Vachss

I (eventually) remember that I’m human

Art makes us human (stencil graffiti)Today I am thinking about how to move forward.  I get up, less nauseous, make my coffee, come into the quiet office, light a candle, write in my notebook for awhile.  The pen moving across the page makes different things happen than fingers moving against keyboard.  my candle’s still lit.  How do I move forward.  One small step: one thing, every day, that reminds me I’m human, while I move amid all this inhuman infrastructure. Water the plants, listen to music made with fingers and breath instead of keystrokes. Rinse the mung beans just sprouting in their small plastic jar. Take one more step. Cover up the bags under my eyes and move out into the world.  Let some of the dark seep through, because it’s thorough: not for pity, but because I am honest.  Right?

What does it mean to be a human? During these intense-triggered times, I sometimes forget: I remember, instead, what it feels like to be outside the human experience, that disconnected, untethered. I talk with my sister and she tells me about energy, about connections among people, about that most unexplainable magic.  When I talk with my sister I (eventually) remember that I’m human.  I remember I have  a heartbeat and blood.  I remember what saved me.

I’ve been reading Andrew Vachss’ last Burke book*, Another Life. Someone asks Burke what saved him, and he says it was his family: not his blood family, of course, since he doesn’t know them, and not the ‘family’ that raised him, as that was the State, as abusive as it wants to be, but his chosen family.

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