A long time ago, in another time, another place, you taught me the meaning of words. You unlocked for me the hidden essence
held within a sentence, a paragraph. Through your tutelage, I learned how to take literature, mine and others, and turn it
into spoken magic.
I have not forgotten how to interpret a page. To take the sentences and parse them with pauses. Where to bold the words
that express the heart of meaning. To reach out to my audience, transmitting the soul of the piece. To inject voice and emotion,
to guide my listeners on the journey of the spoken word.
You are not here today as I analyze and mark my script. You will not be here tomorrow when I stand before
the darkened audience and interpret my works. You will not be there, at the end of the performance, when I take my bow. For
you have been gone for many years, missing from all the readings that had passed through my life. Only the memory of your
It's not about oral interpretation. It's not about words upon a page. It's about remembering. About carrying
that memory forward. I went into NYC yesterday to attend a rehearsal. I saw the altered skyline, the hole where the Towers
stood. I had lost no one in that tragedy and can't comprehend the immenseness of the loss. A vortex has opened, and the dead
are crying words that none can hear.
A thousand words will be written about Sept 11, 2001. Stories will be told and retold. And the missing
will never be found. We will dedicate our performance to those lost souls. We will read our works knowing that words pale
in the shadow of the sorrow of those that lost loved ones. And I will remember
you. And I will hope that my interpretation will inspire and uplift. For it is in the reading and re reading of a writing
that the deeper meanings slowly bubble to the surface. And I will hope that all the grieving will read and reread all the
letters, and lists, and writings that their loved ones had left behind. For it is in the oral interpretation of literature,
both banal and sublime, that the ultimate meaning becomes clear: I loved you enough to put words to paper. I left a little
part of myself for you to hold in the dark of night.
c 2001 Leona Seufert