The mass of seven billion people living together on a relatively confined ball of oceans and continents is ample reason for humans, on occasion, to run into each other. In a world where lives readily cross, one particular interaction resonates loudly. Accompaniment.
Accompaniment has various names and forms. Travel writer William Least Heat-Moon describes a type of accompaniment when he embarked by motorized boat (and padalized canoe) across America from New York Harbor westward to the Pacific Ocean. The journey was described in Heat-Moon’s book River-Horse, where friends, colleagues, and strangers were collectively referred to as “Pilotus”—an amalgam of support on his cross-country venture.
Stories are also a form of accompaniment. Today, information is brief in depth and abundant in content, but we do better when living alongside people, not headlines. Stories describe a collective struggle, and when world structures are designed to stratify people and resources into inequity, they offer an outlet.
As a writer and medical student, unearthing the source of surface details seems as natural as it is necessary. How does one navigate such stories? I've found it usually involves collaboration with others. The roots of suffering or triumph, health or illness, mainstream or marginalization can be recognized—and subsequently addressed—through accompaniment.
The only mission behind this space is what any online collection of considered words hopes to do. Connect something. Or, in the least, it's an organization of things I've written, things other people have written, and a space that recognizes past happenings, critiques the present, and keeps a hopeful eye fixed toward tomorrow.
Many thanks for visiting.