What was it like for you? I think about it a lot; I think about it daily. What was it like to take off the costume of a colder more distant possible you, take off the cruel shoes polished with such care? Surely part of you knew that one joy of your life was taking that expectation off, but then part of the burden was not being able to hide behind it. What was it like to pull on the warmth of your mother's hands, slide into shoes that didn't pinch, wear your heart on the sleeve of your homemade cardigan? Singing so earnestly and effortlessly. Watching the fish as if there was nothing else to do, occupying every moment fully. Putting your hands and your voice into hidden spaces and telling your truths through the metaphors of an arrogant king, a curious owl, a cranky museum curator. But mostly, mainly, keeping your eyes wide, looking at things, filling your whole body with grace and keeping yourself constantly open to every feeling. Because you believed it was okay to feel everything. Feeling was practically your middle name; you let every feeling smash through your heart, and then you looked at it with those wide eyes and thought about it and decided when to stop. At least that's what you said. But what was it like for you? I wonder today, I wondered yesterday, the day before that and a year and more. Did you sometimes wonder if you were doing the right sort of good or any good at all? Did you rest your forehead against the cool piano keys and weep because it doesn't make any difference anyway, a twig in a flood of wrongness? And if you didn't, how did you not? I know that for me it is a constant struggle and I think it must have been a struggle for you sometimes. I remember how to deal with the mad that I feel and the fear because I can see you in my head pounding clay, or how your chin shook when you asked for money, what it meant to put your hand out to power and come back with their tears, how proud you must have been then but how scared before. But did you despair? What was it like for you, really? Because sometimes I feel close to where you wanted me to be, close to being strong enough to have all the feelings, and sometimes I just want to kill the fish, smash the train, lace the shiny shoes too tight and march out the door, go back to not caring at all. I did yesterday; I don't today. Did you also learn to wait until it passes, or did you never feel hopeless? What was it like for you to be you?