Saint Nesanet, Patron of Gratitude

Saint Nesanet, Patron of Gratitude

Every day, several times a day, I look upon the small porcelain

figurine: me, sitting, leaning forward, a teensy book spread open on

the altar of my tiny, supplicating hands.

I am reading to her class, my son’s class, my class — high school English.

Mixing business and pleasure, reading aloud was hard labor made easy

by their shared appreciation. They were reading too, all of them. All

of us.

Her open, smiling, classroom demeanor, so unlike the cobra she became

on stage, swaying and bowing the dark rapture of her wailing violin.

She was perhaps the most wholly beautiful human being I ever taught.

When I try to imagine her in art class, creating this figurine me, I

see dark, all-encompassing, all-wondering eyes, reading far,

Far beyond reading, apprehending way,

way beyond beyond.

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