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  • Though my inbox has begun to fill up faster, sometimes nearing the point of overwhelm, I have been enjoying Cowbird more and more. I love to read, I love stories, I love the connections that happen through the stories. It reinforces this idea of, "We are all one." Or at least we are all unraveled pieces of the same yarn...

    Lives laid bare, opened up to strangers, to virtual audiences, things we might not share with those in our "real" audiences. Somehow, I found an outsiders edge of Cowbird. What I'll call the fringe. At first when I read these stories, raw edges of lives like inflamed skinned knees except hearts, I cringed, moving away as though embarrassed ~ because they touched my own skinned heart. But my heart is not as skinned, as inflamed and pummeled as those of the storywriters. I wanted "feel good." But living authentically and writing that way isn't "feel good." Life isn't fair, isn't always "feel good." It is balanced though if you look hard enough. Knowing the darkness allows for true understanding and deep appreciation of the light.

    I stuck with reading the raw jagged stories that scratched my heart, my optimism and found the light behind them. As I "loved" stories of the battery that so many shared, I began to find more of the painful slices of lives shared and realized this was the fringe, the outer edge of Cowbird. How many of these challenging stories that speak of the human ability to shred young lives, to cause such pain, to be inhumane have been shunned because they are stark, hard, and devastating? How many stories have been shunned or blocked because of the fear of recognition that each one of us is just as capable as the heinously despicable perpetrators and antagonists shared in these stories?

    We all carry our burdens, our shards of shattered dreams and segments of our lives. No one makes it through life unscathed or innocent. No one makes it through without pain and indignity. No one gets to live in light without the dark contrasts that enrich our lives. I marvel at the strength of the human heart, spirit, mind, body, soul. Each day I read another story shared of a soul working to purge itself of hatred and filth, and I gratefully accept it and hold it, believing that one more heart and life has taken a step forward to heal. I find the hope that is sometimes almost invisible hidden in each story ~ even those of human inhumanity to human. I find the glimmer of faith that it will be better, that something good will grow from this raw and jagged spot. I pour my faith and hope, my optimism and strength into those stories, no - into their authors so that their healing can accelerate. I believe in each one. Each story and each author MATTER. The difference made by the sharing of the loads being carried will generate ripples cast by the energy to cleanse those painful oozing sores of damaged children and adults who can't use writing as a way to dab a bit of salve on their gaping open wounds. These stories, told on the fringe are energy that will change lives.

    Are they truly the fringe? Or are we all on the fringe? What weeping moment do we each own that could be cured if shared with honesty? None of us can close our eyes, our hearts and souls to the triumph of life expressed as horror is confronted and that triumph reigns. Fringe? I think not. They/we are all on the fringe. They/we are all one. There is no fringe. None of us escapes it. Thank you for the authentic voice that provides many more than we can fathom the hope and strength to step forward one more time. Life's depth and richness is a mosaic of light and shadow that we all offer to its creation.
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