I am not here to whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Nor is it my desire to be a mindless megaphone, feeding your rage, tickling your ribs or popping out platitudes in an infinite loop. If you ask me, I will tell you I came here to beef up some atrophied writing muscles. But if you press me, I’ll admit that my mission is to feel once more a sense of genuine community. To love and be loved in return, corny as that might sound.
I’m not concerned if you don’t like my stories. I’m just glad to know you’re out there.
You’ve taken me places: a classroom in Beirut, a resort in Mexico, the Black Holes of Arrakis, traffic-snarled streets in Pakistan, the deathbeds of loved ones. You’ve shown me things I might have otherwise overlooked: invisible scars, snow globes, ruined landscapes, the defiant light of a dark night of the soul and what you think when no one’s watching. You’ve taken me out on fishing boats, space ships, overcrowded trains, dirt bikes and horseback. I am no longer the same person I was before you made yourselves known.
You’ve made me scratch my head. You’ve enraged me. You’ve dissolved me in your tears and given me the holy gift of laughter when I needed it. You make it seem possible that some of your grace might rub off on me.
But most of all, in these jaded, benighted times, you’ve given me real reason for hope. For that I bless you, my brothers and sisters.