Cecilia W is a devoted pitbull parent, Virgo, and New Yorker, who has escaped to the forests of the Pacific Northwest to write, work, and try to figure out what they want to be when they grow up.
Cecilia wrote “I Would Love You Back” in issue 3 of Vulture Bones. Below is an interview about their story.
For a piece that is so short, “I Would Love You Back” is a really complex story. The protagonist is so well-drawn is such few brushstrokes, and the situation she finds herself in—stuck, and just waiting for a way out that never seems to come—is familiar for so many of us. Whatever happens to her in the woods feels like just enough to keep her going a little longer. Where is this story coming from for you?
So often we find ourselves yearning for stories about relationships, about connections between humans, that we can neglect the beauty that comes from connecting to ourselves. This story is about what it is like to fall in love with yourself, with all that is imperfect, all that is fallible, all that is wounded. As a young person, nature was often my escape, and as an “adult” living in the Pacific Northwest, nature is where I go to rediscover myself, and feel connection to everything cosmically beyond me, and through that feeling, connect to myself once again. Much of the time this requires an uncomfortable amount of forgiveness and compassion.
I was very drawn to the idea of a literal reconfiguration of the protagonist’s scars, that our past and our traumas can be physically reworked and soothed, and that for her, this is healing and hopeful and something she can hold onto. Can you speak to this?
We can’t go back to who we were before our traumas. I find immense power, agency, and activism in my ability as a human to weave my trauma into the larger tapestry of my ever-evolving identity. I can take the things that broke me, combine them with my broken pieces, and rebuild myself as strong, intelligent, resilient, and stunningly beautiful in entirely new ways.
Where can people find more of your work? What’s coming next?
This is my first piece to ever be published outside of an academic institution! I am leaning into the bravery of sharing more of my work, and currently have plans to make a website. Also, maybe in a future issue of Vulture Bones!