Art by Agnes

I haven’t always loved dedications. When I was younger, I never paid them much attention. I will also admit to skipping prefaces and prologues. Ah, the impatience of youth! I guess I just wanted to jump into the story.

At some point that changed. I devour books from cover to cover now. I even read the acknowledgments. Specifically, I read the dedications on purpose, to the point where I’m disappointed when there aren’t any.

I think the best dedication I’ve ever read, or at least read and remembered, is the one in the Little Prince:

“TO LEON WERTH


Artwork by Agnes

Sometimes we don’t tell them. We hide it and hope it passes, sometimes it does. But sometimes it’s stronger than us. We bite back the words, but it shows in the way we smile, in how we stand a little closer or let our guards down.

Telling someone we like them, like like them is scary. An exercise in vulnerability if ever there was one. I don’t know why we risk it, why we say it out loud. Maybe it’s hope, or maybe it’s an attempt to gain control of it: as if saying it out loud makes it something…


Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

I have no business writing about writing. I’m an amateur at best, but I love reading and writing and reading about writing and this is a list of the things I’ve learned… so far.

#1 The muse must find you writing

Stephen King and Elizabeth Guilbert have more in common than they know. Yes, I’m comparing the author of Eat, Pray, Love with the author of Scream, Run, Die… and it’s because they have the same vision about writing, (and apparently, the same impulse to share it!)

“…good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two…


(Artwork by Agnes)

There are no photos of us and maybe that’s not so bad. I’m glad we met before Facebook and Instagram and phones with cameras. I indulge in nostalgia enough. But now and then, you’ll sidle into my thoughts and make me wish I could see us: in color, sepia, or black and white, just slightly more defined than the vaguely remembered sketches in my mind.

There are no photos of us. No snapshots of our midnight bike rides. No record of our hallway strolls listening to my iPod, your lean Eastpack, and my overflowing Kipling bouncing on our backs as…


By Agnes

I’m not a patient person, but I try. I don’t like slow motion, but I can slow down, for a moment, sometimes. I thought the pandemic had been a great teacher in patience. A continuous lesson in: wait, learn, breathe, try again.

Entering stores one at a time, everything we do now implies standing in line. So I work on it. I plug into my playlist, I sway and nod my head to the beat, but I don’t sigh and I don’t fidget.

Smile behind the mask, they might not see it, but you’ll start to believe it. I am…


The kindness of strangers is my favorite kind

Artwork by Agnes

I was at The Strand; a safe haven when the city got too city, too chaotic, too crowded. That day I was feeling a little lost, a little lonely. The stacks were easier to navigate than any city map, even New York’s grid. I found comfort in the alphabetical order, the myriad of voices in colorful book jackets, and seducing titles.

Usually, I set an alarm on my phone as soon as I walk in so that I don’t spend the entire day there, reading book blurbs and adding titles to my TBR pile. …


Image by Agnes

My Instagram feed is full of people saying this is the year of no resolutions. Apparently, in 2020 we learned that “be better” should be simply “be”. Like resolutions are a pressure, a burden weighing us down. I’ve never really seen them like that. To me, they are wishes upon fireworks that we dare to say out loud. This year I WANT…

I want to dance more, read more, write more, eat more fruit, more late-night conversations with friends, more holidays, more music! I want long walks exploring my city, I want to learn a new language or a new…


Was she thinking “I’m a mad woman, hear me roar?” Was she pure emotion and not thinking at all?

By Agnes

I count one cop car, two, three. Three too many, neatly boxing in my street. Curiosity sweeps in like a breeze. Alert eyes, furtive glances, little chills. Did something happen? Is it going on still? I locate the closest officer. He’s leaning against the car, eyes forward, hand on gun.

I walk up slowly and ask what’s going on. It’s 6am and it’s not quite dawn, but people are still sleeping. “Street is blocked, we are working,” he says, stating the…


Illustration by Agnes.

You used to walk everywhere when you lived here.

It didn’t matter if it was day or night, hot or cold, Sunday dawn or Thursday afternoon.

So when I miss you, I walk.

I walk a lot now.

I keep finding all these little picture-perfect moments in unexpected places, like the chess club with all of three members. They sit, make a move, move on to the next set. Chess is a game for even numbers, but the odd ones want to play. …


Sometimes you just need to dance

Original Art by Agnes

I wanted to start it on the dance floor. I don’t know why, I just did.

I wanted to start it twirling, and yes, tripping over my own feet trying to find the beat.

I wanted loud music and dim lights; to move in tune with something other than the racket in my mind.

I didn’t care that it fell on a Tuesday. I didn’t care that it might rain. I didn’t care that we were no longer teenagers and had to work the next day.

But the day neared and no-one signed up for it… My invitations didn’t find…

Agnes

Slow runner, fast walker. I have dreamed in different languages. I read a lot. Yes, my curls are real.

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