The feeling of entrapment was real. So was the sense that I had failed myself, that I was not reliable, that there was no one to connect to—all of these thoughts felt so real.
I had felt so afraid and so out of control that I believed I needed someone to rescue me from the outside. Yet all the while, sitting inside the car, I had, within my reach, the power to free myself.
THE MANUAL LOCK BY JAN BERLFEIN BURNS 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 70
Three days before I left for China, my sister Eliana called and told me that she had cancer. She was getting a biopsy to find out how bad it was. Our eldest sister Davia was flying from Los Angeles to Boulder, Colorado to be with her.
Stunned into silence I listened as she told me that no matter what the doctors found, she didn’t want any treatment. She said she would let the disease take its course.
“Go to China,” she said. “There isn’t anything to be done now. We’ll know more when you get back.”
I’d been in China three days when the manager at the hotel in Xizhou told me that my sister was on the telephone at reception. I knew that this could only be bad news and my heart raced.
“I’m with Eliana,” Davia said. Then, witho…