A fellow writer wants to know more about something I've written, something centering on a child's body at the center of the storm of war. She asks, "Why bring violence and sexuality so close to the body of a child?" Her eyes blur and magnify when she says it. I can hear the flutter of worry in her voice. We are both mothers. We have both lost children.
I take a long time answering.
Let me start over. We are in a bar. Two menopausal women writers. Our middle-age barnacles up around all the newly formed couples swimming in and out between booths and things like colorful fish. The teeming-with-life bar waters slide right through us. We could be somebody's mother.
I don't know what my writer friend is thinking, but I suspect it's something about protecting children. I suspect she's worried I've gone too far this time. It's a fact that her writing is exceptionally loving and giving. It's a fact that her books make people feel good. And we need that. A lot. I am grateful for her writing and giving. I often wish I could write something similar, ...