This has been long due. Long, long due. I just couldn’t. And I still don’t know that I can. I’ve never felt so overwhelmed. So honored. So undeserving.
First, my friend Rachel Fenton calls me her friend in real life. And that, let me tell you right now, it’s so wildly underserved that it frightens me. It frightens me right underneath the bed, where no one can see me and judge what a poor excuse for a caring, loving human being I am to be honored like this. Because what have I done? What? But not respond to texts in time, take six months to write a letter and never reciprocate with gifts as generous as those with shich she’s always showered me and my family. I am not a good friend.
And then, my friend Rachel Fenton, is an insufferable good writer. So good that I don’t even feel jealous anymore, because what’s the use, you know, futile waste of energy to envy someone whose equal you’re not and never will be. Her creative energy is so exuberant, it just attracts you into her magic and you cannot but admire and clap, clap, clap as hard as you can. And now, she decides to make me a someone inside her book and I am not good enough. I cannot be a good character.
Lastly, my friend Rachel Fenton, writes about a delicate, very beautiful and sensitive memory we both share of the time we met for the first time after many years of correspondence from across the world. It was a magical time for me that left such an intense shape on my mind that I, for one, still have not formed into any kind of words. But for her, like for any good writer, this was an experience to memorialize in poetry. Poems! They turn me to mush. I do not have a good relationship with poetry.
Her own experience of that time is much more profound and complex. I was just meeting a friend, she was researching a book on Mary Taylor and Charlotte Bronte, and she was sowing the seeds for a book of poetry. About a different, new day kind of Mary and Charlotte. And, oh no, you guessed it, reader, I a good Charlotte do not do.
How couldn I ever? It is not dark enough under this bed! Where else to hide? Hoe much deeper to go before I emerge on the other side?
Love you, Rachel! I am beyond honored to play any part in anything that you write. I hope to offer help. support and love. As you need it. Always. Always lots of love. That I can, have, and do. Not hide. When it comes to you and your work.