No Stranger to the Strange Lands

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In event of all the recent good news! Here is the goodbye I wrote to Grand Rapids after a most meaningful visit last week:

Such, as not a place of endless narrow. But a place of being, one and many, and discovered the world was of some substance. Indeed, one life was not livable. And thus I found a way to live incredibly. Long days, longer. Some suffering, sharper. Brief moments, made even briefer still. A place where the air was electric, and oozed a sort of subterranean and magnificent ache. A place where, in the absence of me came copies of me. And long enough away did I see that others longed to be someone else, and I could gaze deeply into those who I knew would never gaze deeply into themselves. But there was solace…and the knowledge that there were no things bigger than me. And to Chicago, no stranger to the strange lands. I came upon new lands that were landless, and filled the streets with sound. Where the seasons came early, and the leaves were dragged from the trees. Where the ground sucked the light from the sky, and pressed its fingers into the dirt. There was rebirth, where none there was, and spoke softly to me.

For in the trauma of me. In the wake and the bluster. In the stillness and vulgarity, in and of me. In the rip and the rupture. The set and unset. I am and yet I am. Still, I am. Thank you, Grand Rapids, for being my home, and for staying with me always. Thank you for being there while I became I.

-Diana Nowak, November 2019