On Thursday, our new assistant Victoria joined me inside to write with the monthly mentor/mentee group. Later that evening, she sent a thoroughly touching email about her complex initial impressions. I do not want to say we become inured – although slamming doors eventually do feel less jarring. On the other hand, I hope we never become jaded or forget our shared humanity.
Some women remain slack-jawed and vacant-eyed. Perhaps it’s the drugs, or the bottom line of a hard life. But there are others whose eyes spark alive and in whom hope grows, bit by bit. Even some of those who have massively misstepped again and again begin to awaken over time. This is the magic of our work. This is why I continue to write inside.
What follows are Victoria’s own words to me, shared here with her permission:
“I have just taken the elevator down below the cold crusty earth to one of Dante’s rooms for the lost women in Vermont.”
Was it OK to really be myself inside?
I was a little uncomfortable figuring this out. Continue reading