nothing is lost

A writer is someone on
whom nothing is lost.

Henry James

The details that will plunge a reader into another world and help that reader suspend their disbelief even for a little while is what a writer means when they say nothing is lost. Writers notice the rustiness on the screen door when they raise their hand to knock on it, they notice that the door handle use to be fire engine red because they see one last flake of paint remaining on that door handle.

I remember the extra lines in my Grandmothers hands, not rough but deeply grooved within her skin. I wondered if these lines were what wisdom looked like. And so off I went knocking on door after door in my neighborhood. I asked each person who opened their door to me if they would show me the palms of their hands, and without even one shrug each woman or man, each young child or older adult showed me what I’d asked to see. They let me see the smooth or weathered lines etched in their palms.

The doors of each home opened widely each time I knocked, they opened because everyone knew the 10 year old slightly hyperactive boy doing the knocking. The doors opened without hesitation because my parents had cared for them at some point or they had cared about my family at some point in their long-short lives. The doors opened with a welcome swing and a smile and everyone offered a greeting of welcome, a few older men tussled my hair before asking how I was or what they might do for me. The doors opened easily because everyone in the neighborhood was family, it didn’t matter if we were related, we were all family.

Each door I knocked on was different from the one before except perhaps for one detail. Each door in my neighborhood had glass of some shape or form in it. There were no solid unfriendly doors nor doors with little holes where peepholes looked out upon each visitor. No these doors allowed the person at home to clearly see who was knocking, oh maybe a very little child would have a hard time seeing when the glass was only on the top of a door, but then they could look out the window on one side or the other of the door as person announced their presence by knocking.

And when I knocked on each door in my neighborhood there were always another pair of eyes watching me rap rap rap. You see, in my neighborhood everything you did was seen by someone you didn’t see because in my neighborhood everyone was family and everyone cared about you and nothing is lost in my neighborhood not even a rap rap rap of a little slightly hyperactive boy. Nothing is lost.


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