“Last Class” by Shawn Lacy
Close your eyes, she says; it won’t hurt you, at least not in this form–tactile prompt, giggles around the room, word association, trust, faith, reliance, friendship, back to trust.
Not yet feeling that I have any tips to give to a soul about writing, I decide to go for the “close your eyes and hold out your hands for the object,” a sugar cube. One is often taxed with the reality of going through this existence in a fog–taking all things for granted. Not today, though. The past weeks have initiated a gentle push towards the “what if” fear. What if it all goes wrong? What if all that you know suddenly shifts like a tectonic plate resulting in a tsunami of unfortunate and unexpected occurrences: what if at the last minute there aren’t enough credits for her to graduate and she slept through that part of the lecture in spite of her OCD and anxiety disorder; what if she goes to the Outer Banks for Beach Weekend and there is a maniac in the midst, or she gets careless; what if the Chester County Court system is as merciless as is rumored; what if this fifth bout of bronchitis in as many months is caused by mold in the basement; what if there are spores spreading their moldy tentacles in the lungs? What if you can’t make payroll? What if you don’t have all of the answers? What if you just walk away?
Back to trust, faith, reliance, friendship, trust; what if all of those things make it all ok. What if? The reflection at this last class is the trust that I feel when I pull up outside and know that whatever I bring, as I sit in the chair in the group of those who also strive to express all or nothing, I know that it will be handled with care and sensitivity. I know that whatever I choose to reveal will be carefully poured from palm to palm, examined with a keen eye filled with kindness, and given back as a gift reminding me that no matter what I am not alone with all of the what ifs. So, I close my eyes and feel the sugar cube. How bad can “what if’ be?
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Shawn Lacy Artist Statement:
Shawn began her career in 1978 as an Attorney at the Defender Association of
Philadelphia. She was part of a team managing a staff of social workers and
attorneys legally advocating for children. In 2006 she became Executive
Director of Family Support Services. She is responsible for the management of
the agency providing educational services to children with special needs and
trauma backgrounds and parenting education to families with histories of
abuse and neglect. She is the proud mother of Akela Lacy, a 2015 graduate of
the College of William and Mary.