Henry James wrote (or maybe said, I can never remember) that deep experience is never peaceful. A professor during a senior seminar on American ghost stories (Turn of the Screw, Beloved, etc.) shared that quote, and I wrote it down, and rewrote it, and taped it to the front side of my computer (a PC, *shudders*). The paper curled at the edges, and the tape wore away, and during the move from Gainesville, Florida (where Holly and I went to college), and Bremerton, Washington (where we had decided to move after college), the quote fell off the computer and was lost.
Words linger; the writers (or even the speakers) linger less. But words are fingerprints, echoes, stains. And we use these words to make sense of senseless things. A child’s death. The way the world shudders and opens in places where such openings should not exist. The death of a man responsible for a national tragedy.
But words are what remain.
Messages. Conversation. The volleying of details and plans and responsibilities. Questions of availability, of scheduling, or a willingness to love. Or an interest to love. Depending, these conversations come attached to faces, or pictures of faces, avatars (non-blue, most of the time).
Sometimes you easily can erase the words. And sometimes there is nothing easy about erasing.
Or there won’t be.
Until there is.