To Infinity & Beyond
Sometime in the late 70’s a young lady of 13, was walking down a dark back alley. An older man grabs her and shoves her inside his van. There he rapes her furiously and violently. This was her first time with a man. At the end of it all, he throws her out of his van and speeds off. Thirthy some years later, the young lady, now a middle aged artist, recalls her rape as possibly the best sex she’s ever had.
Jenna is sitting across me, at a picnic table, as I share this true Tracey Emin story. From her expression, I know that she knows that Tracey’s story is not about sex. It’s about an invisible world, perhaps outside of this world; not too far - a place that one can travel to, and then perhaps never come back from. We talk about how reading specific books is like a trade for another world - and then how our faith in them can guide us through challenging moments. We also talk about how sometimes we can not escape this invisible world - and what happens when we’re in it 24/7. Perhaps in our lengthy conversation, we were trying to answer the following question: What does it mean to have to choose when you don’t have a choice?
“It’s burning everywhere, there is fire in the distance - it burns in my neighbourhood, there is fire in the conflict zone, my house is burning, I burn myself, there is no escape - I am the conflict zone.”
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