I had convinced myself, before we even sat down, that I knew what I was getting into - this was a game and I was the one in control. I listened to the chittering skeptic, the grumbling cynic latched on to the inner lining of my stomach that has been there for so many years, and I said aloud "I'd like to see the other game if we could..." having already started crafting the clever ways I would politely tear this horrifying, and dangerous idea to proverbial shreds. As we began playing, the layers of meaning unfolded, and the indigestion of my doubt began to quiet. With each roll of the dice, with every turned card, with every tiny forward lurch grinding wheels against tracks, my eyes and heart opened, I sank deeper into my chair, and a gaping wound was fingered. Most uncommonly:
I found myself at a loss for words.
Play Brenda Brathwaite's Train and forget what you think you know about "games." Play Brenda Brathwaite's Train and remember why, in the grandest of senses, we are here. Play Brenda Brathwaite's Train and remember because remembering, the very act of first knowing again, is our most important human faculty.
I wanted to tell Brenda, right then and there, why it was important, though I suspect she already knew. I wanted to articulate clearly and eloquently what I felt, to the person who so clearly articulated to me, through the power of her work, what she obviously felt and continues to feel. The academic in me was still able to craft logical arguments stating, this lead to that, and this assumes that, and if this then that therefore this and subsequently ta da. Tidy. But standing there, shaking her hand, or perhaps holding it, the only clear word I could muster, the word that was formed by my thumping, pulsing engine not my ticking jolting nerve center, seemed then, not quite right, but today, the best I could find. The only word that could try to say "thank you" and "how?" and "why?" and "I know" and "It's ok, is it ok?" and "I'm sorry" and perhaps most resoundingly "never again" all together in one massively, all-encompassing, super-powered word; it was the king of all words, the meteoric explosion of meaning in the singularity of one word:
Writing it now on this page it again seems insufficient. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that it is very hard, nay impossible to make real with words what exists in the domain of feelings. How can it possibly compare to experience? These shoddy symbols, these crossed t's and dotted i's, cannot assume the overwhelming responsibility of making manifest my emotions. The unspeakable cannot be spoken, and so I apologize, to you Brenda, to you the reader, to any who have not yet enjoyed the true privilege of experiencing what I experienced a few days ago, for at this point I am again, quite uncommonly, at a loss for words.