Introductions come in many tones, shapes, and styles. Culture – ethnic culture, national culture, regional culture, local culture, generational culture, and racial culture – is the invisible hand guiding our eloquent bodies, or the imaginary theatre director managing our interactions, hyper-aware of the distance between us and the volume and color of our script. We all have one: a script. A habitual greeting, a signature introducing our presence.
In Japan, for you I’d bow and speak gently, as though inviting you under my arch and onto my bridge. Layers of Confucian, Buddhist, and Shinto creed have resulted in everyday expressions of politeness and reverence. It’s an honor to meet you.
In France, Brazil, and a host of other countries, sharing a cheek with someone else in a similar fashion that we romance another in our country lends intimacy to an introduction. I love to meet you.
Online, lights, pixels, and still life take up the roles of our bodies and voices. The script remains, however, and we are reimmersed into the power of our written words.
When you’ve multigenerationally grown up in Door County, you’re introduced through your forebears with a smile, a joke, and those hearty, long Wisconsin vowels that you suck on in your mouth like Renard’s cheese curds.
“I knew your grandparents, Elsie used to have me in for coffee, and Andy was such a flirt, wasn’t he?”
“You must be Marcy’s daughter. You look just like your mom.”
“You remind me of your Uncle John – I saw him perform many times!”
Legacy lasts in a small town. I bear the signature of hardworking entrepreneurs and talented artists, cherry farmers, inn owners, pilots, sailors, and musicians. To introduce myself through the language of the Peninsula and the waters of Lake Michigan which cuddle it is a local honor.
I tag-teamed my education between homegrown Gibraltar Area Schools and homeschooling in Fish Creek, and from Madison Area Technical College I will now make my way to Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. I’ll have to flip the lake upside down and learn to speak the way of the mountain – I know the bluff and the cliff, so I should pick it up quickly. What a luxury to have a multilingual soul.
Between summer s’more-melting campfires and wandering beach days, and then working the coffee bar, the garden, and the traffic, Write On offers an opportunity for me to stay connected to my literature and all of the ways it fuses with the rest of the county. Writing is reflection, and, as we say, the shortest distance between two people is a story. And an introduction.
Thank you for welcoming me into the Write On community as a summer intern! I hope I’ll see you soon!