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writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School

This image is the property of The New York Public Library. For each use, you must contact: The New York Public Library, Photographic Services & Permissions, Room 103, 476 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018; 212-930-0091, fax: 212-930-0533, email: permissions@nypl.org. Using an image from The New York Public Library for publication without payment of use fees and official written permission is strictly prohibited. I can’t remember the name of the bar, but I remember I was twenty-two, and I was having the time of my life on Halloween night with my then-girlfriend in Greenwich Village. At twenty-two we could drink like beautiful androgynous unafraid fish. Young badass women in love in the bohemian capital of the world. That’s how it felt to me, anyway. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! She was a student at New York University. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! I wasn’t anything, having flunked out of college. We had plans that spanned continents. Youth foreshortens everything—faces, lives. Partway through a shit-ton of cheap vodka shots she got up on our rickety little wooden bar table and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School danced. When I say “danced” I mean punched the air like a boxer. So I climbed up on my chair and “danced” just underneath her, and she started laughing uncontrollably, pointing, pointing at my midsection, because my skirt was tucked up into writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School my neon-blue tights enough that my neon-blue butt was showing. I guess I’d made a miscalculation the last time I’d used the business article marianapolis preparatory school, bathroom. We laughed that kind of deep-throated about-to-be-women laugh. The laugh of instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school, girls before their voices thin out and tighten from the exhaustion of womanhood. In fact—and it’s only because I’m old and no longer give a crap that I can tell you this—I laughed so hard I made a little unstoppable poop in those neon-blue tights. Like a perfectly round deer turd. It was a night I wanted never to end. Or, I wish with all my heart that the story ended there. But that’s not where the story ended. When I was four years old my Lithuanian grandmother told me a folktale about the water spirit Laume. Steps in writing a persuasive essay College Beau Soleil! I’d accidentally locked myself in my grandparents’ bathroom and how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school gone into hysterics when I couldn’t get out. My father was furious at my ineptitude. Business article Marianapolis Preparatory School! His yelling nearly broke the door down. This is the story she told me once I was liberated. Laume came from instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school, transcendental waters, and her spirit lives in all waters, even in baths and showers, in rivers, streams, oceans, the rain, and in toilets. She is the guardian of how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school, all children, the not yet born, the newly born, the orphaned, the forgotten, even the dead children. If there is writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, a child coming into the world, she can foresee it. If a child is business article marianapolis preparatory school, mistreated, she will sometimes take him and raise him herself. If a child is lost, she protects him, while gathering information about the usefulness of the parents. If parents are mishandling a child, she will transform him into whatever lesson they need to learn. Above all she values sincerity, and next industriousness on the part of mothers, particularly the women’s work of weaving. Laume rewards those who work hard; she also punishes severely those who seek reward without an attention to hard work, and those in pursuit of teacher essays university of central florida, self-aggrandizement. Go look underneath your pillow to see if she has left you treasure. I walked upstairs to the bedroom. My whole body shook. I stood in the bedroom a long minute with my eyes closed, waiting for hands on steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil, my shoulders. I looked around for my father there in the dark, because that’s the life I had, a father there in the dark, but he wasn’t anywhere. I looked underneath my pillow. There was a star woven from straw. Laume takes many forms and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School inhabits many tales. One of the most famous Laumes was a fisherman’s daughter, Egle, queen of the serpents. One day Egle finds a large eel in her clothes after swimming in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School the Baltic Sea. Nursing critical thinking The Fessenden School! The eel takes her clothing and only returns it when she promises to marry him. When she accepts, the eel becomes a handsome young man named Zilvinas. They live underwater together and have three children, two sons and a daughter. Instructions for writing an essay Lakefield College School! After a time, Egle longs to visit her parents and siblings on writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, land. I don’t ever talk about it. It’s a bit like a little malformed myth still lodged between my heart and my rib cage. Zilvinas is terrified that Egle’s former family will reject her. Instructions for writing an essay Lakefield College School! But though he is worried, he agrees to let her go and bring their children. Zilvinas instructs Egle to call to him: “If you are alive and well, come back to me in a milky wave; if you are dead, in a bloody wave.” When she arrives to visit her earthly family, Egle’s brothers, jealous of her freedom, torture her sons to death; her daughter, smitten with one of the nursing critical thinking the fessenden school, earth brothers, betrays the secret call and lures Zilvinas to shore, where he is murdered. When Egle returns to the lip of the water, she sees a bloody wave and business article marianapolis preparatory school learns that her earth brothers have betrayed her. She curses herself and her daughter, turning them into trees forever. Many infant girls in Lithuania have the names of trees. In the ninth year of our eleven-year marriage, my second husband emerged from our kitchen pointing a gun at me. I haven’t written much about this, at least not literally. I don’t ever talk about it. It’s a bit like a little malformed myth still lodged between my heart and my rib cage. In America, it’s tricky to describe violence without it turning into writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School entertainment. A Sig Sauer P229 9mm handgun. Statistically, the most popular handgun in the United States. I’d just entered the house after work. The kitchen light was on, but not the living room light, so he was backlit. The whole house smelled like Jameson. I stood in business article marianapolis preparatory school the dark. My car keys were still in my hand. He crossed the space between us. When he was maybe three feet away, he stopped. The gun was pointed at my chest. The air in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School my lungs concrete. I walked the writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, rest of the distance between us, until the gun was between my breasts. That’s how I know he was crying. I stared at my second husband. Nothing moved in the house except our breathing. “Stop loving me,” he finally said, the gun heavy enough for me to feel my sternum ache. As if love was killing him. “No,” I said, and instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school I closed my eyes and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School put my arms around him and steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil pressed in. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! I waited for the possible death moment between a man and a woman. Walking straight into violence was nothing new to me. I’d learned how to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, walk deliberately and unflinchingly into violence from my father, like so many other children do in this country. In fact, in this country we raise all of our children on one form of violence or another. And so my question is writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, not, “Why did you walk into that violence?” My question is, “Where does my love come from that I walk through male violence to find it?” Laumes are the oldest spirits of Lithuanian mythology. The images of these spirits may have developed during the historical Mesolithic period, just after the Ice Age. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! Laume first appeared in the form of writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, animals, like goats, bears, or mares. Later she took on a half-human appearance, usually bird claws for feet, the lower body of a she-goat, and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School large stone nipples. Later still she was represented as a beautiful and supernatural water woman-creature, with fair hair and skin the color of the moon. Laumes were both benevolent and dangerous. They could tickle men to death and then eat their bodies. They could protect women and children or punish them brutally. Maybe dreams don’t mean a goddamned thing. How to make essay writing easy Sandy Spring Friends School! Or maybe they mean everything. Laumes lived near lakes, abandoned bathhouses, rivers, swamps, or other waterways. Laumes liked to gather near water under the writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, New Moon at steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil, night and dance. They could cause rain and storms and hail by writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School singing and dancing and swimming. Anyone who knows me knows why I am attracted to Laumes. I am a child of the steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil, waters. But then so are all of us, before the breach. I had a recurring dream for twenty years that I would have three sons. I did not have three sons, and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School I’m fifty-two, so it’s not looking likely. What I did have was a daughter, who died, and one son, sun of website that write essays for you vermont academy, my life. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! But I did have three husbands. Maybe dreams don’t mean a goddamned thing. Or maybe they mean everything. They say you marry a man who is how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school, like your father. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! My father, the artist-turned-architect, molested and abused us. He was big. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! Angry. Loud-fisted. Marked us forever—three little women, making for their lives. My first husband was gentle as a swan. A painter with long fingers and eyelashes. You can see what I was shooting for. I almost self-immolated next to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, his passivity. My second husband, another painter, used harsh lashing strokes on the canvas. He was big and nursing critical thinking the fessenden school loud, but made softer by alcohol and art. Except when he wasn’t. The gun of him. Sig Sauer. My third husband, father of my son, is how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school, big and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School loud and a filmmaker. But there is the gentleness of a cellist in teacher essays university of central florida his hands and eyes. So sometimes I wonder if my dream was meant to show me not three sons, but three husbands. Take my second husband, for instance—the one who pressed the gun of nursing critical thinking the fessenden school, him to me—he was a lot like a child. I wonder if Laume came and took my baby daughter, who died right before I met him, and instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school replaced her with a man-child. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! This is kind of writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, how we get through our lives: we tell ourselves stories so that what’s happening becomes something we can live with. Necessary fictions. Maybe I had some hard lessons to learn about the instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school, difference between doing good work and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School trying too hard to be a woman. Woman. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! Like anyone even knows what that is nursing critical thinking the fessenden school, still. Or violence. Maybe this is a story about violence. Or maybe I’m still looking for a way to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, forgive myself for that failure of womanhood. Two marriages gone busto. Jesus, woman. I keep waiting to feel like a failure. I wonder what would happen if I didn’t know what this story was about. I think this might be a children’s story. It is said that Laume was a silken-haired sky goddess who lived in the clouds. One myth claims that she fell in love with a beautiful young man down on earth, and that they had a son. Laume descended to earth from the sky to feed her son with her breasts. But when the highest god found out about the son and the sacrilegious love, he killed the boy and scattered his remains between the stars in the sky, and he cut Laume’s breasts. Stone pieces of them can still be found on earth in the form of sea-creature fossils. You would not believe how many sea-creature fossils I’ve collected over the years. How to make essay writing easy Sandy Spring Friends School! Tons of them. I don’t know why. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! Crustaceans and nursing critical thinking the fessenden school sea spiders. Conglomerate rocks with pieces of hermit crab fossilized in them. Fish from the desert hills. Ammonites. It’s a wonder to see something so clearly meant for movement in steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil water captured swirling in stone. Like a petrified snapshot. Or like history’s motion arrested. I’m going to try it again. When I was twenty-two I spent Halloween night in Greenwich Village. I drank vodka in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School a Russian bar with my girlfriend at the time. A huge middle-aged Russian man and how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school his male friends said drunk fat Russian things to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, us all night, not a word of which we understood, and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School we laughed, they laughed, and we toasted, and things seemed strangely OK, like when you are young. I kept yelling, “I’m Lithuanian!” to the Russian men, like that was something. Nursing critical thinking The Fessenden School! Later in life I’d learn what an idiotic thing that was to be yelling. But at the time it seemed everyone, even the moon, was laughing and drunk. At midnight a giant parade of costumed people passed the bar, and so we joined them, and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School walked for miles together. There were animals: goats, bears, horses, unicorns, centaurs. There were bird claws for feet, the lower bodies of she-goats, large, extended tin foil breasts and exaggerated codpieces, and all sorts of witches, fairies, and mermaids. It was one of the happiest nights of my life. We were two girl-women in love, we were walking with an army of people in Halloween costumes more vivid and outrageous than reality would ever be. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! Fear was not anything about us. I don’t know how to belong to the story in a way that doesn’t betray it. I don’t even want to be in the story. Later on, we found ourselves a few alleys away from writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, her crappy dorm room. We were stumble-walking, arm in arm. We kissed and teetered along and instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school laughed. I put my hand up her shirt. Business article Marianapolis Preparatory School! Then I saw her head lurch forward in a not-right way, and she made a sound—or something did—like someone smashing a pumpkin with a bat. Something hard at teacher essays university of central florida, my back, and then my side imploding. Two men had come up behind us. One hit her in the skull with a baseball bat, another stabbed me in the lower back and side with a knife. How to make essay writing easy Sandy Spring Friends School! My girlfriend dropped to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, her knees, her head hitting the teacher essays university of central florida, pavement. I saw her body perfectly balanced, head and nursing critical thinking the fessenden school knees keeping her perched upright, blood everywhere. I saw the two men laughing and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School yelling. Nursing critical thinking The Fessenden School! I saw their shaved heads. I saw stars before I passed out. The last thought I remember thinking was: Skinheads . There is language enough to describe it, but going there is beyond language, so mostly I don’t. I don’t know how to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, belong to the instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school, story in a way that doesn’t betray it. I don’t even want to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, be in nursing critical thinking the fessenden school the story, the one in which a woman I loved was left partially paralyzed. But mostly I don’t tell the writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, story because I didn’t stay with her happily ever after forever and ever. I’ve noticed the scar at business article marianapolis preparatory school, my back and side has softened over the years. It’s so tiny you can barely see it. Receding with age and fat, I suppose. Or the guilt of nursing critical thinking the fessenden school, wanting more life. A woman was harvesting a flowerbed and had taken her child with her. She was so busy with her work that the child slept through the day. The woman went home in the evening to milk the cows and make dinner. She served her husband, who asked her, “Where’s my son?” With terror she whispered, “I have forgotten him!” She ran as fast as she could to the teacher essays university of central florida, place where she had left her son, and she heard Laume speak: “Hush, forgotten child.” The mother asked Laume for her child back. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! The fairy said, “Come, come, dear woman, take your child, we have done nothing to him. We know that you work very hard, at many jobs, and that you didn’t want to leave your child behind.” The Laumes went on to shower the babe with treasures, enough gifts to raise several children on. The mother went home with her precious baby and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School with her gifts; she was greeted with great joy. Another woman, hearing of this good fortune, was taken over by jealousy. She thought, “I shall do the same as her, and also be showered in gifts.” The next evening, at dusk, she took her child, left him in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School the fields, and business article marianapolis preparatory school went home. When, after dinner, she returned to the how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school, field, she heard the Laumes: “Hush, you left your child in nursing critical thinking the fessenden school greed.” And the child screamed with great pain, for he was being pinched mercilessly. The Laumes continued their torture until the mother approached. Then they tossed the child at her feet. The babe was dead. When my infant daughter died, spilling out with our shared waters, the story breached. Every story I have ever told has a kind of breach to it, I think. You could say that my writing isn’t quite right. That all the beginnings have endings in them. Violence doesn’t only exist in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School men. Think of mother violence, for example. Instructions for writing an essay Lakefield College School! When my son was in grade school I had hysterically violent thoughts. I was afraid he’d be bullied. I actually pictured the moment—I saw myself stride across the school grounds, pick a bully child up by his ankles, hold him upside down, shake the shit out of him, and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School fling him in a dumpster. I thought all the way through “Mamma has to go to jail.” My Lithuanian grandmother cut the tip off my father’s tongue as a boy. After I became a mother and married for the third time, I had a skinhead in my writing class. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! I know he was a skinhead not from the instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school, way he looked, though that’s exactly what he looked like: the writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, ’90s version of a London skinhead. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! I know he was a skinhead because he came to my office and told me. How to make essay writing easy Sandy Spring Friends School! He asked not to have to do group work. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! I’m embarrassed to say that made me laugh. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! I also remember thinking: You are a brutal abomination and Not long ago this guy was just a boy, just his mother’s son—what happened? His writing was impeccable. He completed every assignment. His theses were not Hitleresque. He was oddly polite and courteous. I gave him a C, only teacher essays university of central florida because I could, whether or not I should have. If he’d challenged the grade, he’d have won. In many ways he was the best writer in the class. What is steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil, a teacher? A mother? Another Laume is a goddess of the home and a warm hearth. If you do not tend to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, your family and fire well, she burns your house down. With everyone inside. The word for “fireplace” in teacher essays university of central florida Lithuanian has come to be understood as “family relations.” In my twenty-third year of teaching college, on a day we were discussing violence as a theme, something repressed inside me lurched, and I told my Halloween-night story to the writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, class. Teacher essays University of Central Florida! I mean it shot out of my mouth before I could stop it. I lifted up my shirt and showed them my scar. It was one of the teacher essays university of central florida, more unprofessional teaching moments of writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, my career, though it would certainly not be the steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil, last. So much shame came out of my mouth. The shame of a daughter whose body was written by writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School her father. The shame of writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, leaving a woman I loved. Website that write essays for you Vermont Academy! The shame of failed marriages and motherhoods. At the end of the story I also told them what I’d learned about our attackers. They weren’t skinheads. They’d been Marines. My then-girlfriend would be neurologically damaged and partially paralyzed for the rest of her life. The marines spent three months—ninety whole days—in jail. One was dishonorably discharged. Everyone got quiet. I thought maybe the story was over, and my intention was to get us all writing and nursing critical thinking the fessenden school out of the well of overly personal pathos I’d let us fall into, but then a Latino man in the class, his neck covered in tattoos, stood up. All I knew from his writing was that he’d been a gang member. That he’d made mistakes and gone to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, jail. Instructions for writing an essay Lakefield College School! That he was writing A+ ideas with C+ skills. That his parents were undocumented workers. That he had four sisters. But I learned that day that he’d also been on three tours of duty for our country before he’d turned twenty-two. I also learned that the military had begun relaxing tattoo restrictions in 2004. Instructions for writing an essay Lakefield College School! He stood up and writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School said, “I apologize on behalf of Marines.” His sentence was perfect. The air in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School the room vacuumed. Stories change, just like the lives we’ve lived and selves we’ve inhabited. Nursing critical thinking The Fessenden School! Nobody’s been the same person twice. He walked the teacher essays university of central florida, length of the room, straight at me. I braced myself for the how to make essay writing easy sandy spring friends school, moment—I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep from writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, crying. Briefly it occurred to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, me that I might die if he got any closer, closer than three feet away. Then he did a regular human thing. He hugged me. He said it again. writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School! This time in my ear, and his breath made the hairs on my neck shoot up. Website that write essays for you Vermont Academy! “I apologize on writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, behalf of Marines.” But that’s not what I heard. I heard, “You don’t have to punish yourself for love.” I didn’t die like I thought I might. From his random compassion, I mean. I wasn’t a very good teacher. I don’t know what I was. I gave him an A in the class, in the end. That day we wrote stories about the small violences in our daily lives. In one story, Laume takes all the children away from their parents in a particular village, because they sent their eldest boys to writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, war. The mothers become barren and the fathers can no longer hold any food down, and instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school thus they die. The village fades from history because the parents did not take care of their children. You know, stories change, just like the lives we’ve lived and selves we’ve inhabited. Nobody’s been the teacher essays university of central florida, same person twice. I mean really. It’s the people walking around acting and instructions for writing an essay lakefield college school sounding especially self-assured and whole who worry me the steps in writing a persuasive essay college beau soleil, most. I like hearing the world’s stories about itself. That’s partly why I teach world literature. It helps me feel less incarcerated by the world, or my past, or my mistakes and confusions. It helps me remember I’m not just American. Website that write essays for you Vermont Academy! I’m not just a woman. A mother. A teacher. A wife. I find value in writing an introduction to an essay Leman Manhattan Preparatory School thinking in stories. Aren’t we all woven through with stories? Isn’t that how we think of our lives, how we survive them? Now, when someone hurts me, I remember that they are only living the terms of their own fictions—sometimes desperately—so their selves don’t unravel. I like that idea. Teacher essays University of Central Florida! A woven person. Little misshapen stars made of straw. At Guernica , we’ve spent the last 13 years producing uncompromising journalism. More than 80% of our finances come from readers like you. And we’re constantly working to produce a magazine that deserves you—a magazine that is a platform for ideas fostering justice, equality, and civic action. If you value Guernica ’s role in this era of obfuscation, please donate.