• Charmaine Wilkerson

Island Lessons


Whenever I'm back in my hometown, people ask me, “Where are you from?” What they hear in my voice is a trace of the childhood move that would be the first of several major changes of address for me and which continues to influence my thinking and writing. I’m honored to have a flash essay about one aspect of that experience published in The Common magazine, based at Amherst College in Massachussetts in the US. The magazine's editors give space to modern, place-based writing that isn’t so much about where we have been as how that where helps us to process the human condition and the times in which we live. As this essay goes online, I am on another island five-thousand miles away. Here, too, there are warm turquoise waters, powdery white sands and outdoor gatherings of people whose voices are nearly drowned out by the mating cries of much smaller creatures hidden in the trees. Here, too, there are challenges which are both peculiar to island life everywhere and, at the same time, universal in the questions which they raise.


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