For me, language is a freedom. As soon as you have found the words with which to express something, you are no longer incoherent, you are no longer trapped by your own emotions, by your own experiences; you can describe them, you can tell them, you can bring them out of yourself and give them to somebody else. That is an enormously liberating experience, and it worries me that more and more people are learning not to use language; they’re giving in to the banalities of the television media and shrinking their vocabulary, shrinking their own way of using this fabulous tool that human beings have refined over so many centuries into this extremely sensitive instrument. I don’t want to make it crude, I don’t want to make it into shopping-list language, I don’t want to make it into simply an exchange of information: I want to make it into the subtle, emotional, intellectual, freeing thing that it is and that it can be.Jeanette Winterson
When I was 16, I spent a summer in Fivemiletown, Northern Ireland. I slept on a military cot in the parish hall of an Anglican Church. That summer I met Amanda, who was 18 at the time. We cut each other’s hair, played music together (she, violin; I, piano), and ate banoffee pie.
After that summer, she decided not to go to college and moved to Northern Ireland permanently from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. We kept in touch, wrote letters, emails.
On the cusp of her 21st birthday, she asked me to write the word “free” and connect it to a tree, which she ended up tattooing on her wrist.
Five years later, I finally get to see the tattoo, AND her 4-month-old girl Acacia Poppy. A sweet reunion for friends kept apart by oceans for way too long.