A Letter to Doris Lessing

Dear Ms. Lessing

I have been making things. Things that take your words and play with them before leaving them hanging upon the wall. For a year now, I have interacted with your phrases, it has felt like a conversation. Now I have heard the news, you are gone, and the work feels different.

I am not sure how to write to someone I have never met, will never meet, who has nonetheless influenced my path. Your writings were not news to me but they voiced things that I could never pin down, even with my move to working with those threads and pins and pieces of fabric. The letters you sewed together on the page, released feelings and memories and rituals that I did not know I was participating in.

I am sure you would hate this letter. Perhaps you would respond in pity to tell me to stop wasting my time writing to the dead and get on with speaking to the world. I am not like you. I cannot speak my mind with ease. I cannot translate our experiences to the page. I am sentimental and it gets in the way. You gave me hope that we can be strong and sensitive and connected. I will try to take this with me. I will try to not allow the horizon of my mind to be limited by the mountains before me.

anne.

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