the rotating and sure touch of the women who raised me, I was given elaborate maps of stories to guide me, to illustrate where fact meets fiction, shadow becomes light, and where the most tender parts that entice and tangle the human condition are eventually exposed.
The stories of my childhood told me of joy, reassured me of disappointment, and gently explained that love and pain are never far from one another. They left me with a permanent ache of what I have no other word than “homesickness” to describe. And as I listened to these same stories told over and over again, I began to learn that these stories, while unique only to a small part of the world, spoke of experienced lessons. They have become a type of collective experience that allows me to navigate through reality and develop a greater sense of identity.