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Dear E2, and not just the people I know, everyone I don't know, too, who puts words into shapes into people like me, thank-you.

E2 is keeping me sane, these days. I know I've written here with my struggles with writing (and any place that can so easily embrace that kind of meta is home, in some sense), but not so much of my struggles with not writing, which are the darker, nastier ones.

Ego, you rat bastard, is that something that lets me pretend I don't need to write sometimes. Both my parents (if you can call him that) are artists, and I'd seen enough of their succession of day jobs to swear off art by the time I was 12. Only I never managed to stop writing. I'd say it was just for me, just a conceit, whatever little lie I could use to disempower it. Gain distance. So I ran.

I ran far enough that minutes crowded hours and I didn't have time to pick up a pen. I found more ways to cut and dodge than I think I can admit to, always outrunning my own ink. And failing, necessarily. E2, you caught me when I fell. This spring, it was like sliding down my quill right into the bottle, drowning faster than I could get the words out. I had courted silence and was suffocating.

And once again, the aether of this space swept me up, lost me in language until I emerged speaking once again. It is something like sacred to me, each message, story line, juxtaposition of words that catches your breath when it was about to slip away unnoticed. I don't think I've ever felt so free. E2 holds secrets that my real life is too fragile for. E2 has the softness of a kiss on my brow in the morning when I need it most. E2 is big enough to envelop even my words that scare me.

Writing, I have been realizing, is where my optimism, my hope, my faith in people comes from. It's the way that I get to tap into something bigger -- muse, collective unconscious, whatever it is that makes me spin along with the human project -- and that's what makes the daily heartbreaks bearable. I don't know what abyss I might be yelling into if not for this place. I can't imagine how much work has been needed to build, run, sustain this place, but pour my love into that bucket of gratitude, because I'm not sure where I'd be without you.

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