But the most valuable gift of Antioch, now, ten years later, is the community of writers, of friends, I found there.
Today I spent the day with one of my fellow Antiochers, Susan. She is the author of Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear War (Viking, 2015), which I read early drafts of (the first few chapters) during and shortly after our Antioch days. As I type here, she is rereading the book to make small changes for the upcoming paperback edition. On an afternoon hike today, she told me some of the ins and outs of the experience of getting this book published and publicized. She is meticulous in every way, and I know the book is wonderful, if hard—meaning the hard subject matter: the life story of five hibakusha, or survivors of the second nuclear bomb. (I have yet to read the book, but it's on my list for my 61.)
Susan and I participated briefly with four other Antioch alums in a writing group we called the Red Threads. The name comes from the traditional Chinese notion that the gods tie an invisible red cord around the ankles (or in the Japanese variant, the little finger) of those that are destined to meet and help one another. Here's most of us, at a get-together at Susan's house in Tempe, Arizona, in 2007:
|me, Susan, Khadijah, Anne|
|Kim's current FB photo|