QUIET LIGHTNING: really, not a big deal

(Evan Karp)

I contract. I dilate.

“Push! Push!”

I wax. I wane.

“Push! You can do it!”

“Congratulations! It’s a nonprofit organization.”

At some point, I mistook the voices in my heart for yours. Maybe I’m distracted because there’s so much going on in my life. Or is my heart so strangled? I don’t feel to blame. Maybe I listened, really listened while you spoke, thought, ‘we are the same,’ or, ‘we are close enough.’

I write for a living, and what living. Once I dreamt this, and devoted my every waking hour toward it, did everything but cut my eyelids off to stay awake and move toward it, and here it is: happening.


(Not a nonprofit organization.)

We push, we move forward, we bang heads against walls, we wail, we wax, we melt down and cry, we triumph, we gloat. We take pictures and capture moments with words. So often we build and come to disregard our constructions, thinking: ‘what was i thinking?’

Life is a series of tunnels, and along the way we catch glimpses of How It Was before tunnels, and the best of us readjust to how it is and make it better, or try to, pushing forward through darkness. And some of us think we are soo good that adjusting is beneath us, we sit on barricades and disparage everyone else for being blind.

We all see something.

And some things outstrip their classification, however righteous; we can only marvel as they surpass their creators. Some things need to be experienced; they cannot be captured, no matter how many video cameras or reporters in the room.

When it comes to the future, when the people who did or did not attend a specific event are long gone, it is convergence that remains irreversible, impervious to memory and hearsay. Maybe we shook hands. Maybe we didn’t. But we were in the same room at the same time, and we shared an experience. We signed the same sheet of paper. For a moment, we understood something together; formed an agreement—however vague—whether we could talk about it or not.

Whatever it was that I have been striving toward was noble enough to keep me moving, noble enough to live on its own. And here I am, post-birth.

Into another tunnel, friends.

There are moments when we break the rules, scream confessions into daylight, bend tradition into something clean, steal ourselves along the corridors of power but to come back crying: my darlings, my darling dears, we are done for.


We do this and we always return, don’t we, and start dreaming again.

I hope you’ll push with us, show us something noble and real enough to live for, fall over pushing for, pushing for, pushing for…

D. A. Powell

Meg Day

Graham Gremore

Tamim Ansary

Caitlin Myer

William Taylor Jr.

Jack Boulware

Rob Brezsny

Steven Gray