It’s tempting to look away from my laptop and stare out the north-east facing window of my studio where the muddy Red River bends on its journey to Lake Winnipeg. The pull to the window is especially strong in spring when the water birds return and the river rises, swollen with water from the south, and the trees bud and leaf out, green.
Duty or deadline draw me back to my desk. From a shelf on the facing wall, my forebears are watching. My maternal great grandmother with her ornate black head covering and stately bearing. My paternal great grandparents: he with a wide forehead, firm chin and stolid expression; she with dark eyes, dark hair, full lips and a sulky expression. They form a formidable audience. What would they think of me, their great granddaughter, sitting in front of a strange contraption, her fingers dancing across the keyboard as a text appears on the lit up screen. What would they make of that text if they could read it?
A quilt covers the small sofa in my studio. It depicts a library with rows of book-lined shelves. Most of the spines are blank and I imagine them to be books I’ve read. Or want to. Some spines bear the titles of books I’ve published. My quilt library, a recent gift, brightens the room where I write, think, read or stare back at my ancestors.
Books by Sarah Klassen: