Over the last couple of days, I’ve been both captivated and saddened by the work of Marina Keegan, the young writer and recent Yale graduate who died in a car crash over the Memorial Day weekend.
Her work has been making me think a lot - about how fleeting things are, yes, definitely about that. She had so much heart and humor and intelligence in her writing, I just want to know what she would have been and done. And also about that moment, when you are about to leave college, when everything is hopeful and scary all at once. She writes, “What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious… We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”
Some of her pieces include “The Opposite of Loneliness,” quoted above, which was written for the class of 2012’s commencement exercises. In “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” she pleads with her Yale classmates not to give in to the recruitment tactics that convince an overwhelming 25% of them to join the financial sector. And my favorite piece, “Song for the Special,” with this eerie and beautiful wish to be remembered after death: “I read somewhere that radio waves just keep traveling outwards, flying into the universe with eternal vibrations. Sometime before I die I think I’ll find a microphone and climb to the top of a radio tower. I’ll take a deep breath and close my eyes because it will start to rain right when I reach the top. Hello, I’ll say to outer space, this is my card.”
If you haven’t come across her work yet, take a moment to read it. And maybe, like me, just slow down for a minute and think about all the good that is possible in the world and how sad it is that this voice is gone too soon.
Posted by Jamie Daniel