The Aftermath

The next memories I can place with any certainty are in the last month of sixth grade. I am with my best friends, Heidi and Christine, girls whose lives hold their own traumas. We have completed our end-of-year projects—my purple rocket with a Lego monkey inside the capsule, books we have written and will presentContinue reading “The Aftermath”

Be of Good Courage

What’s the use of stories? One friend, a writer, argues that entertainment itself has value—to provide escape from our difficult lives and give us pleasure for a few hours. In a recent TED talk, novelist Elif Shafak encourages us to see stories as a way out of insular identities. Stories, she says, can “poke holes”Continue reading “Be of Good Courage”

The Dance of Perfectionism

The pianist rests his fingers on the ivory keys. He locks eyes with my teacher. She mouths the words. One, two, three— They nod on the four. And the studio fills with a high note that rings along the barre and into my fingertips. A Chopin nocturne rolls through the sunlit air. I push aContinue reading “The Dance of Perfectionism”