I have been thinking a lot about what holds things together. The tangible and intangible. The screws and plates in my husband's leg. The way the bone will knit itself back together. The connection I feel when I put my palm on his swollen foot. Such a rich weave.
One thing that doesn't stay together: my clothes. Take it from me--if you're going to give a reading or talk, don't wear clothes that tie together. The first time I gave a Fruitflesh reading--my very first event as an author--I wore a lavender colored wrap blouse. It felt elegant, grown up (which, in my wardrobe, and in my mind, is rare.) At some point in my reading, I felt air on my stomach. I looked down and realized that my blouse had untied and had opened up so that the whole front of my body was exposed (I was wearing a bra, but I still showed a lot more of my own fruitflesh than I had intended.) Later, someone told me I should do that at every reading, but I decided against it.
Recently, at the beautiful Performances for Peace event, I wore pants that are held up by a single blue satin ribbon. A long blue satin ribbon. As I was sitting in the audience, somehow the end of the ribbon got under my friend's foot, and when I stood to give my reading, I could feel the ribbon untie. While I tried to be as present as possible with my work and with the audience as I read, part of me spent the entire time worrying that my pants were going to fall down. I think I was probably standing in a sort of I-have-to-go-to-the-bathroom, legs-together, kind of way throughout the performance.
So, my clothes may not stay together, but I'm amazed by the way everything else in life merges. Even after it's been shattered.