ilarities and differences, and remember how we learned to lean toward
each other in the most natural, intuitive way, even as we sometimes disagreed. I marvel that it took me so long to recognize that healing a rupture requires a willingness to stand alone and to bend toward another,
demands a heaping of selfishness and a healthy ration of empathy and,
of course, implies that the voice of aloneness risks narrating her story to
a willing ear.
Soon darkness will cover the trees and the flowers, will swallow up
the sharp edges of the fence, will blot out even the grass. Soon I will be
inside with a book, stretched out on the couch, turning pages, a cup of
tea within arm’s reach. But not yet. For now, I want to breathe in the
stillness just a little bit longer.
Patricia Foster is the author of All the Lost Girls (PEN/Jerard
Award), Just beneath My Skin (essays), and Girl from Soldier
Creek (SFA Fiction Award) and the editor of the anthologies
Understanding the Essay (with Jeff Porter) and Minding the Body.
Her essay “Eulogy” will be included in the 2020 Pushcart Prize
Awards. She is the recipient of the 2017 Clarence Cason Award
for nonfiction, the Theodore Hoepfner Award for the essay, and
a Dean’s Scholar Award from the University of Iowa. She has
been a professor in the MFA program in nonfiction at the University of Iowa for over
twenty years and has taught in France, Australia, Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain.