I Want To Hold Your Hand

by Laurel Dowswell

Change is an intimate friend. A bosom friend, as one of my favorite young bookish characters, Anne of Green Gables, hoped to “confide my inmost soul.” She takes our hand and squeezes, and hugs us when we bleed. Change doesn’t care if we screw up; she’s persistent as a weed, a wave to the shore, a consistent spin of the earth.

"Goat Farm," courtesy Laurel Dowswell
“Goat Farm,” courtesy Laurel Dowswell

Sometimes, we want to banish change into a cave and cover it with boulders. We’re not ready, we’re resistant, and we’re scared. But it doesn’t work. Life happens, death happens, and those weeds aren’t wearing any watches. Change pops up over and over again, forcing itself upon us as a teacher, preparing us for the next journey. A bosom friend.

I recently attended a reading with a real-life spirit sister, a dear friend with eyes the color of chocolate and a compassionate heart beyond compare. It took place in a historic repurposed factory: a space where creativity is let loose to meander among the bricks and mortar, the cracked glass and weathered wood.

The center represents change in all its rustic glory. What once it was, it is no longer. But without that, there could not be this: mechanical vibration to artistic creation, scarred arms of factory workers to ink-stained hands of award winning authors, the pungent smell of oiled gears to the intoxicating fragrance of oil paints.

It stands in solidity and beauty, with moments of frailty—its own novel life.

This brings us back to stories. These wellsprings of words are barreling over those boulders, racing with our red pens to victory, and into our consciousness.

So, come on change. Anne and I are ready. Boots laced, hands intertwined.


Laurel Dowswell (Photo: Mary Bolton)
Laurel Dowswell (Photo: Mary Bolton)

Laurel Dowswell walks in the woods every chance she gets. She was raised and educated in Florida, but landed in Santa Fe, NM, as a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper. She likes porches, wine, and songs with guitar solos, particularly if they come together and sit for a spell. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia, with her son, and is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality.

Read Laurel Dowswell’s story “I Am the Eggman” in the new issue of Change Seven.

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