I asked Rod Ferguson for advice one day, when we were both at the University of Minnesota. Likely fatigued by such pleas for wisdom, he replied, “just do something useful.” It stuck, and I return to this imperative often.

I write to let go, and to be of use. After that, the words can go be something else for someone else, as feelings. My aim is to transmit certain feelings, always different for you than for me, but no less real. Feelings have a politics and a history. I want things to feel differently, so I try to suggest how that might be.

I have a tattoo on my arm that says un autre monde. I did not realize when I got this tattoo how often I would look at it and be reminded that this is a working goal and a reality. I am interested in not only another world, but multiple worlds. Life as multiple layers of interwoven and fragmentary existences sounds beautiful and rich with potential.

Possibilities inhere in habits of life, and in thoughts and feelings. I am interested in these things, as well as values, and how we define the good and the better than.

There is something to be gained in the process of thinking, researching, and writing that makes life more livable. I have followed a path that allows for this, and for that privilege I am most grateful.