May/June 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 3 Nonfiction |

Tears, Silence, Song

There are three aspects of mourning: with tears, that is the lowest; with silence, that is higher; with a song, that is the highest.     —Hasidic saying September 11, 2001 What I did today   1. rescued a squirrel   2. made chocolate pudding   3. tried to give blood   4. tried to pray Rereading the journal entry all these years later, what surprises is not the list itself, odd though my actions might seem given the entry's date. The squirrel had dropped through the chimney into our apartment four days before and then escaped out an open window to the Juliet balcony, where I'd finally captured it in the cat carrier on the morning of the attacks. I was releasing the squirrel in Central Park when the sirens began. And I can explain the chocolate pudding, a treat I generally deny myself, but which seemed, on the scale of the morning's horror, hardly an evil act. A generous act, even, something a mother might offer to soothe a distraught child. So yes

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Rebecca McClanahan
Rebecca McClanahan has published ten books of nonfiction, poetry, and writing instruction. Recipient of the Wood Prize from Poetry Magazine, a Pushcart Prize, and the Glasgow Award for nonfiction, McClanahan teaches in the MFA programs of Queens University–Charlotte and Ranier Writing Workshop. She was the 2015 writer in residence at Hollins University. 

Website:
www.RebeccaMcClanahanWriter.com

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There are three aspects of mourning: with tears, that is the lowest; with silence, that is higher; with a song, that is the highest.     —Hasidic saying September 11, 2001 What […]

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