Sealing the Deal
by Mark Chmiel
Long ago, I did a reading and signing of The Book of Mev at Left Bank Books in the Central West End. I asked one of my former students, Magan Wiles, to read the very last chapter of the book entitled, “The Gospel according to Mev.”
That night, Magan did a mesmerizing reading, to be sure, but she was weeping as she read Mev’s words. She told me afterwards she would let me know why she was crying from the reading of the book.
A week later, she sent me this explanation in an email: “I was crying because my heart was broken, and filled up at the same time. I was crying because I knew I could never move to New York and just be a poor bohemian stage actress, which is an old and outdated dream, and it breaks my heart to let it go. I was crying because right then I knew I was going to Palestine, and I knew that after that I will go many places to join the struggle. I was crying because right then I realized that the struggle is my life, and it always will be, it will never be over. I cannot compartmentalize, I cannot just leave it for a little while to go do something else. I have seen, and I cannot look away. I will live my life as Sisyphus, and while this ignites a fire in me, it also makes me ache. My heart is broken and full. I am humbled by your book, and by Mev’s clarity in her life’s mission. It forces me into more focus. Please know that the honor was mine, that speaking those words sealed the deal.”