Monday, October 21, 2013

Tangled Inspiration: A Volcano

I am friends with a volcano. Not one of the many that line up like giants along the freeway in this part of the country. Those are not my friends. They are beautiful, but they scare me in a very primal way.

This volcano lives across the country from me and I know her only through her words and images that come to me through the endless internet. She has moved from the mighty mountains of Colorado and taken up residence in the rolling lush green whispering hills of North Carolina and made a beautiful, eclectic life there. You might know this volcano, too. She is Vesuvius. Vesuvius at Home, to be exact.

Immediately, I was drawn into the very first post of hers I ever read. She writes with a scalpel and a hug; with a microscopic lens and a magic mirror; she writes with grace and with candor and with a self-deprecating wit that hits me beneath the words. I have been reading her for a few years now and have slowly become more acquainted with this volcano in the ways we do in this strange and fickle online world. I happen to know that she is editing her novel. A novel that has been hard won through so many setbacks and challenges. I have a hunch that it will be a novel that does something, that says something, that changes the parts of the world that it touches. Here's why I have this hunch:

Like her namesake, Vesuvius seems to lie dormant for stretches at a time. For those who are paying attention, a slight giddy tension builds, because you know there are forces roiling and wrangling there beneath the quiet surface. And then. And then she erupts, bursting forth with such beauty and devastation that I find myself like the Pompeiians of yore, frozen with the food still in my mouth, letting it all wash over me, indelibly.

Vesuvius has erupted again and with such magnitude that it must overflow the borders of my small universe. It must be shared. This is a piece that needs to go viral. It needs to be taught in textbooks in future generations, not only for its literary merit, but for its message. It is the secret priceless gem that was deep in the heart of the volcano and she has sent it forth for us to share.

Sing Your Body is the essay many of us have tried to write for decades with little success. It is the ode, the permission, the high command to finally put to rest the manufactured warfare against ourselves. It is both the solace and the goad that many of us have craved, have tried to put to music. She has done it. In my book, it's a definitive work. Read it, share it, live it. It is such important work.

Vesuvius has inspired me for several years. I never get tired of her writing. She always makes me think, makes me see things in a new and unexpected way. It is never overwrought or self-pitying, self-aggrandizing or self-indulgent. But this latest piece has touched something even greater. Share it, please. I seriously want it to go viral. I really, really do. I have a limited sphere of influence, but I really feel like if we can all be subjected to someone's washboard abs and sneering accusations, then we can certainly fill at least as much space with this beauty. Sing Your Body. Sing it. Thank you, V. So much.


  1. Lou... thank you so much for sharing. <3

    1. You're welcome! Thank you so much for reading!

  2. A beautiful testament to a beautiful post. Thanks for passing it along.


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