Wednesday, April 29, 2015

That thread that unites (A Vlog)


And just in case you can't hear it/ don't particularly enjoy listening affected readings of things, here is the text below:

I was walking home from work today.  Along Newbury street.

The sun was shining and the trees were blossoming and the Beatles Across the Universe was playing on my Pandora radio station.

I thought of the universe.  I thought of how the atoms in our bodies are the atoms from ancient stars.

I thought of my brother John and I thought about where his atoms are.

I thought of an article I read about how when we are fetuses our cells cross the threshold of the placenta and set up residence inside the blood and marrow and organs of our mothers.  I thought of how my brother John’s cells might still be living in there, alongside my cells and the cells of my siblings: helping to repair and protect. 

There is something so utterly poetic about that.  That our cells are doing for my mother what she does for us in life. And there is something so comforting in thought that at least we can all still be together, even if it’s just on a cellular level.

I thought of the interconnectedness of all things: of the elements before me, of this moment—like so many others that came before it—this walk, this street, this inching along in the arch of my narrative.

It’s a good story.  A sad story.  A funny story. A hopeful story that I tell so hopelessly sometimes.

I thought of other stories too.  I thought of Baltimore, of Nepal, of the harrowing and often unsatisfying denouements of those tales riddled with catastrophe.

But then I thought of the deeper thread that unites these stories.  The one buried beneath the frayed and enmeshed fibers of calamity.  I thought of love.

As archaic or as archetypal as it might be, love is common pulse to the plot, that thing that moves and undergirds everything.

And it is the best part.  The part worth listening to and remembering.

It is the archive I hold in my heart, as I turn the corner, and take the stairs down into the metro, and make my way home.


  1. Very beautiful and profound Wendy. I never new that about the cells crossings the placenta. Isn't our universe truly amazing. John would have loved this post! I'm sure he's smiling right now.

    1. Thanks, Scott! I knew of all people, you would like this! You're a Dumbledore man through and through.