One thing that was just lovely — one of my favorite readings was sponsored by The California Endowment with a writing group called InsideOUT Writing. And these folks work with juveniles who are incarcerated.
And so I worked beforehand with some of those young people, and then they shared the stage with me. The theme was healing through writing. And so afterwards, a young man came up to me with a beautiful origami paper card. And inside, he said, "I have a message in a bottle. I hope my poems reach you." And inside, a bag filled with paper and confetti and tinsel, I reached inside and found a little teeny, tiny glass bottle that I'm holding right now. And it has a cork, and inside is a sparkly ribbon and a crystal heart. And then when you open up the cork, it's a drive that goes into the computer and shazam — up comes this gorgeous poetry manuscript that is definitely written through fire, written from the soul, written from the heart.
I carry it with me now because it's a beautiful, tiny object. I think it has talismanic powers and because this is someone's — this is a self in small form. This book that I wrote is myself and my family self and all I could put of Ficre, all I could encapsulate in this small book, and someone chose to do that for me.