let us soften

September 22, 2016 § 1 Comment

Fear, anger and uncertainty are escalating, and lately, I find myself caught between extremes of being scared shitless, profoundly sad, and trying to hold onto enough courage to stay present, listen, and take action.

But this I am certain of:

Abusers and misogynists and bigots count on our silence. They count on our fear. In our silence and fear lies their opening for greater intimidation and exploitation.

PLEASE do not allow yourself to be silenced. We have struggled to claim our voices and no one has the right to shame us for having found them. In telling our stories and claiming our voices we’ve had an epic impact in claiming equal rights and will continue to do so until equality holds all our names. Please let us not become divided against ourselves and retaliate with assumptions, combative words and aggressive actions. Please let us go out of our way to help each other and convince each other we are resilient and extraordinary. Please let us stay the course, however uncertain, and raise each other up with gentleness, sensitivity, and love.

PLEASE let us soften, and trust our fundamental goodness.

 

 

 

 

 

thank you

November 24, 2015 § 7 Comments

nancy botta picture of our shop

I’ve been a hot dog vendor, a shoe salesperson, a middle-school teacher, and a catholic school principal, but owning a bookstore has given me moments with the most eclectic tribe of humans of all.

There’s the crime scene cleaner who talked to me about the delicate line between detachment and sensitivity while I rang up her pile of fantasy books,

and the human statue who paints himself silver by day and writes poetry by night,

and the teen girl who builds wells in Uganda every summer and keeps a journal in her back pocket.

There’s the molecular gastronomist who began her career as an ice-cream tester (gah!),

the organic farmer who lives in a school bus and donates her harvest to a food kitchen,

the six-year old botany expert who arrives each month to buy the latest plant book,

and the bingo manager who fights for housing equality.

There’s the Iraq soldier without arms who still believes the world is ‘awesome’ and before he goes to college next year he wants to read one book every week,

and the father who resolved in 2015 to read to his children every night and hasn’t missed a night yet.

There’s the 14-year old playwright who had her script about a transgender teen accepted by a local theater,

and the grandfather who brings his six grandchildren into the bookstore each year and gives each one a book bag to fill with books of their choice,

and the locomotive engineer who doesn’t wear a watch.

There’s the eleven-year old who organized a youth empowerment book club,

the soil conservationist who fell in love with a snail farmer,

and a photographer who films sea creatures I’ve never heard of,

and the twenty-two year old man, who chose to communicate only through writing for 365 days and when we met, he was on day 224 and feeling like his entire mind and body had changed—in a sacred way.

There’s the child who sat by me for an entire hour and told me about the rare birds she’d seen in Puerto Rico and how someday she’ll be an ornithologist,

and the clown who struggled to be taken seriously,

and the firefighter who worked at ground-zero for three months and read Emily Dickinson every night she was there…

so many stories…

and I am beyond grateful for every single one of them, and each of you. Your words matter more than you know. Thank you from the depths of my heart for walking into our tiny bookstore and believing in books and making the world we work and play in a little less chaotic and a little more beautiful.

all the stories breathe inside us

March 13, 2015 § 5 Comments

 

enniscrone 3

Five decades ago,

Enniscrone, Ireland.

I’m in my mother’s arms,

my grandmother, next to her,

my sister in the arms of my grandfather,

my beautiful aunt, next to him,

my father behind the camera.

The thousands

of stories in these arms,

these faces,

these bodies.

intimacies

losses

betrayals

silences

horrors

triumphs

enchantments

seeping into the

child bones

of my sister and me

 

 

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