> dear friends,
> I want to thank you for all of your emails and calls. It means a
> great deal to hear from you at this time.
> I can hardly express it.
> I am searching for words to share a bit of this with you.
> It is so sad here.
> As yesterday’s shocking and horrifying events unfolded throughout
> the day, as the number of dead continued to rise, there was the
> most powerful Nor’easter wind blowing through town.
> It was a strong mountain wind that banged against my windows and
> roared like nothing I’ve ever heard. As I talked on the phone,
> staring out my kitchen window, I watched small birds clinging to
> blowing branches, then a huge pine tree, must have been 25 feet
> tall, snapped under the pressure of the wind and fell on its side
> into my neighbor’s backyard.
> Last night, finally venturing out of the house, some friends and I
> headed downtown for a small candlelight vigil. The word got out
> and it attracted media from around the world. Reporters, having
> just arrived in town, searching for the best photos, descended on
> the scene outnumbering students and intruding with their cameras
> and flashes with no regard for the occasion. We packed it in
> early. People on this campus and in town are searching for ways to
> mourn our deep loss. At this time, there is little space with the
> frenzy of satellite dishes and camera crews. That may subside
> soon. Who knows? President Bush is here now.
> Today, in the midst of such mourning, we have the bluest sky, the
> coolest breeze.
> It feels too bright. It is too beautiful.
> Why talk about the weather? There is no poetry to be found. Not
> Last week, I completed my major project for this semester which is
> a new play called [classified]:untold stories of virginia tech.
> It was created in response to some incidents of harassment on campus.
> Through a series of performances, over several weeks, hundreds of
> people engaged in dialogue about how to create a safer, more
> respectful community.
> We had conversations about the importance of listening to each
> other, of speaking up for what we believe in.
> We talked about how everyone deserves to feel safe.
> That was last week.
> All I know is that I love the big open space of Virginia Tech.
> It has a grand scale.
> I love the freedom of it. The freedom of movement, of ideas.
> I treasure living in a community where doors rarely lock
> and I hope we can preserve this open space as we move forward.
> Alongside the play, I started a postcard project and everyone who
> saw the play was invited to write on a postcard a story or thought
> about discrimination and safety that they wanted to share with this
> community but couldn’t say out loud. I now have hundreds of
> postcards full of intimate, revealing, powerful ideas; cards that
> contain big dreams for how we might live together in a better way.
> How do I make these dreams a part of our mending? How can I
> contribute to that? This is what I’m asking myself today.
> I tell you all this so you know where I am. So you may catch a
> glimpse of this place with me.
> As the names begin to emerge, we all know people. This is a huge
> university – so large it is its own town – but we all know someone
> somehow. Through living here and working here, through the
> privilege of making plays here and by getting to know some of the
> people, I have come to love this place.
> I believe in it. I mourn with it. Thank you for keeping me, and
> all of us, in your thoughts.
> lots of love,