My grandfather was Irish. He spun narratives and told tales larger than life and, most importantly, larger than himself. I understood at a young age that my maternal grandfather had a gift for writing and storytelling. There was nothing better in this world for Leo Raymund than when he had a captive audience. It gave him energy and life, which he in turn shared with those around him.

Sometimes I wonder how my mother’s and my life would have been different had Leo, or Blue Twisted Steel as he liked to be called, pursued writing as a profession. To know what gives you energy and have faith in your ability to wield that gift with so much force, so much passion, that you can support your family through it. When your passion is your work and your work your passion, meaningful creation is not hard to come by. Alas, it’s a risky business pursuing dreams.

I am not picking up where he left off. Rather, I hope to overcome my violent silences through exercising the gift he’s passed on to me, as an amateur.

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