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  • Clementine,

    This morning I was thinking about split function and seen versus unseen. The way in which you are by far the stronger and more thoughtful monitor of our shared Cowbird account – but the emails, whenever someone we follow writes a new piece, all come to me.

    They hit my life like pebbles on the surface of the ocean, tossed overboard from ships passing far away. I’ve stilled my own travels momentarily, moved back to the place I was born and gone deep inside to a place of incredible stillness. From where I am, I can watch the ripples as one would observe passing patterns of clouds. It always takes a while to realize that the original projectile has, while I wasn’t looking, made its way inexorably down to me.

    I love that these emails have collectively become a strong third narrative in our essay project to each other – how they spawn long (if furtively conducted) workplace discussions about colonialism, koans, love and loss, living on islands (or in your parents’ basement), overthinking things (my specialty!), and above all what it means to be a writer.

    In the shared lexicon that has grown up over the years we’ve written together, it always makes me grin to see the newcomers sneaking in: wild strawberries, a one way ticket to Imatra.

    So much of our personal stories are about the nomadic nature of our idiosyncratic diasporas that it’s probably fitting that those communities have opened to include people we’ve never met from all over the world – who are far more meticulous about sharing their insides, certainly, than I’ve been.

    We often joke about a Leonessa Clementine Cowbird World Tour 2013... but in some ways I think we’re already on it. Peering in windows. Taking warm, and surprisingly nourishing, glances at the sweet peculiarities of other people’s lives.

    -- Leonessa.
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