Author Archives: rayajen

About rayajen

I am a high-strung, fast-talking introvert. I was raised (and live) in the Pacific Northwest, in a loud, Jewish family. I love trees, and tea, and words. My sister, Talia, died in February, 2014, at the age of 23, and now I carry that loss, that identity. I am Talia’s sister. Please feel free to share my work, but link back to my page, or contact me with questions. I can be reached at rjkirtner@gmail.com.

Reflections on a stressful day

I know more about anxiety than the average person, more about neurology, more about the neurology of anxiety, of triggers, of fight and flight and freeze.   My anxiety is a gift that lets me understand, in my very body, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Memories of Saba

My dad’s dad, my Saba, died on Friday.  I wrote the following from the Seattle airport, en route to Vancouver, BC, where my cousins sat compiling thoughts and memories to memorialize Saba in a speech. 1: As a little girl … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

nothing

Social media is a strange landscape, and my desire to share and my ability to open myself ebbs and flows. In anger or other moments of strong feeling, I fling myself into the arena. In moments of dissociation, in the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feb 20, 2016

If you don’t dissociate your sister dies so you checked way out on the 11th and aren’t coming back till it’s safe Feelings don’t exist, but then neither does anything else. Must be why I keep thinking “I am nothing” … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When does the end begin?

When does the end begin? Is it January 15, 2014, when you decided on surgery? Later in the month, when you scheduled surgery? The day you left for surgery? The day of the operation itself?  When you stopped breathing? Sometime … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

When I heard the news about Paris

When I heard the news about Paris, a hollow formed in my gut. My insides started twisting around the opening, alternately rejecting and trying to cushion me against the knowledge of horrific loss. It’s the appropriate response, I think, to … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

First term of graduate school

In which I wake up in the 7’s every morning and feel oppressively tired by 8 in the evening. In which there are a minimum of 3 word documents and 3-7 articles open on my computer screen at any given time. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment