By Julie Wilder-Sherman
Well, what am I going to do with all these masks?
Blue flowers with yellow backgrounds.
Yellow flowers with blue backgrounds.
A quilt of masks.
A Quilt. Of. Masks.
Imagine millions of masks sewn together like the AIDS quilt, honoring what we have survived and what we have lost. A memorial, a tribute and dedication to what we have endured.
I’m ready to let go of seeing half-faces. Of asking people to repeat themselves. At nodding to those speaking, pretending to understand. At straining to hear the muffled words behind the shield.
I’m ready to let go of images of cops and robbers. Of old movies with lepers, their faces partially covered. Of images of Isis terrorists with covered faces holding rifles over captives kneeling in front of them.
I’m ready to let go of the anger.
He did this to our nation. You know who I mean, and I won’t say his name. He prolonged it due to his stupidity and ignorance and narcissism and . . .
Back to the masks.
I’m ready to let go and make peace with the memory of the masks.
I’ll bundle them up, put them in a bag and wait.
Someone will have the fortitude and talent to weave these cloths together and create something beautiful and meaningful out of something so horrific and ugly.
San Francisco native Julie Wilder- Sherman is a long-time resident of Petaluma, California. She began reading books at an early age, encouraged by her mother, who would allow her to take books to bed when she was as young as two-years- old. Julie would “read” them until she was ready to go to sleep. To this day, Julie reads every night before turning out the lights.