of Creative Writing Toni Mirosevich (M.A., '92; M.F.A., '94) explores
her connections with friends and strangers through paintbrushes, perfume
and other unexpected avenues in "Pink Harvest: Tales of Happenstance."
In the collection of short reflections, Mirosevich proves that there are
no small or insignificant moments in life; even a 30-minute window before
a doctor's appointment can be filled with wonder. The personal narratives
move through time and place as Mirosevich explores memories including
those of her father's work as a fisherman, a pivotal moment on her high
school drill team, the ownership of a table left in her neighborhood,
her roots in Croatia, her girlfriend Shots' observations and an uncomfortable
exchange at an O'Hare Airport security gate.
Mirosevich's collection, now available in bookstores, received the Mid-List
Press First Series Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Following is an excerpt from the book:
late afternoon when I left work that day, around four-thirty or five,
late enough to notice traffic was picking up. The stream of cars racing
past seemed urgent in their rush toward home. Nineteenth and Holloway,
the main crosswalk to San Francisco State University, is known as the
most dangerous crosswalk in the city -- many cars have crashed and burned,
pedestrians have been hit, here, at the gates of academe, this collision
zone of life and higher learning. During the early part of the day,
whenever a class is about to start, there is always a dash across this
crosswalk by the latecomers, who have to hear one last love song in
the car turned up full blast: a mad dash, for each person still hears
a tardy bell ringing; forever it rings inside -- some eternal tinnitus
-- and each person carries the memory of some teacher’s harsh
reproach that quickens the step just a bit.
But here, in the late afternoon, as the car traffic picked up the human
traffic slowed, so much so that when it was time to cross you could
make out the individuals and consider who was crossing, give each person
a story, a slim narrative, could name them or their majors, imagine
who waited at home and what they’d make for dinner, burritos or
borscht or a little microwaveable carton of gruel.
The light was coming in from the west, from the sea that was beyond
the college. The light was angled in such a way that it's possible there
was a luminosity factor at work, perhaps the rods and cones of the eyes
were affected. Maybe there was a scientific explanation for the beauty
of the light. The sunlight seemed to separate into distinct particles
("this little light of mine") as the people became distinct
("I'm gonna let it shine") and each person had the glow of
one candle’s intensity.
Mirosevich, "Pink Harvest: Tales of Happenstance" (Mid-List
Press, November, 2007) excerpt reprinted by permission of the publisher