In the prologue of Orange’s There There, he writes: “The Indian’s head was just above the bull’s-eye, like all you’d need to do was nod up in agreement to set the sights on the target. This was just a test.” Just words on a page, yet such a force of anxiety imagining the image, then imagining what a target is, then imagining this is how you/we have felt many times, in a myriad of situations cross-pollinated through lifetimes, personal and professional. How would you feel to insert “your group” or identifier into the “Indian’s head” place?

It is true that we are a sum of our experiences; and it is also true that we are an amalgamation of all the experiences that course through our DNA and memories. I believe you can run, hide, confront, dismantle, revise, undo, redo the past–it has been proven, regardless of truth and ignoring the burden of proof, to be a thing that can be done. Some times we choose for ourselves, other times someone or something chooses for us. This is why we read and tell stories. We find ourselves at the core of being simply wanting to connect to Being–this happens through life, through death, through joy, through sorrow. We all want to Be.

Y’all should read Orange’s book. And be.

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