• to love life, to love it evenwhen you have no stomach for itand everything you've held dearcrumbles like burnt paper in your hands,your throat filled with the silt of it.When grief sits with you, its tropical heatthickening the air, heavy as watermore fit for gills than lungs;when grief weights you like your own fleshonly more of it, an obesity of grief,you think, How can a body withstand this?Then you hold life like a facebetween your palms, a plain face,no charming smile, no violet eyes,and you say, yes, I will take youI will love you, again

    Ellen Bass
  • So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent

    Ellen Bass
  • If you’ve managed to do one good thing,the ocean doesn’t care.But when Newton’s applefell toward the earth,the earth, ever so slightly, felltoward the apple as well

    Ellen Bass
  • Gate C22 At gate C22 in the Portland airport a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed a woman arriving from Orange County. They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking, the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island, like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.Neither of them was young. His beard was gray. She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish kisses like the ocean in the early morning, the way it gathers and swells, sucking each rock under, swallowing it again and again. We were all watching–passengers waiting for the delayed flight to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots, the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.But the best part was his face. When he drew back and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost as though he were a mother still open from giving birth, as your mother must have looked at you, no matter what happened after–if she beat you or left you or you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth. The whole wing of the airport hushed, all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body, her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses, little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up

    Ellen Bass
  • I know you're in a world of pain, but that pain will lessen. At the beginning you can't see that. You can only see your pain and you think it will never go away.But the nature of pain is that it changes— it changes like a sunset. At first, it's this intense red-orange in the sky, and then it starts getting softer and soften. The texture of pain changes as you work through it. And then one day, you wake up and realize that life isn't just about working through your incest; it's about living, too.- survivor of child sexual abuse

    Ellen Bass
Post as Image: