I’ve always found power in creating story; it’s my way of creating the space I wish to inhabit.
I suppose accepting the importance of internal conflict is difficult for any American boy. After all, I was taught to be strong. To write “reflectively” about “feelings” was, in 1978, a girlie thing to do.
Fortunately, as I have found in most places I’ve visited, people are forgiving. At least they were more forgiving than myself, who could not–for years–believe he had made such a mistake.
I position my fourth finger on the high Eb just as my 3rd grade self learned from Ms. Schnute, my piano teacher from the 1970s. The damp dusts of her cramped basement studio pass through me; I hear her voice calling down from the kitchen where she does dishes: “Septuple! Septuple! Four and three!”
Savita must carefully unpack her single school uniform from her tattered backpack each morning at 5:00 am, one of the only places she may keep the cotton blouse, tie, and gray wool skirt clean after she has scrubbed it and aired it dry each night. She is any student…
Much could be read of this frustration, of how we never know where we will end, of whether our efforts are worthwhile or will be doomed to failure—that we can hope for little more than failed communication.