Sharla Dawn Gorder

Writer – Speaker

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© Jem Sullivan

         The sky at dawn—so much lovelier with clouds.

         Likewise, the beach—so much more interesting after storms.

         The metaphors that these observations suggest to me sometimes seem trite, even reductive, on the surface.  Clichés, song lyrics and memes abound: Every cloud has a silver lining; what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger; Read More

It was dawn and the beach was deserted—just me and my heron.  I shambled along the water’s edge, half-asleep, moving east toward the sunrise.  About two blocks into my walk, at about Avenida 14, I noticed another denizen of the dawn start to make his way down from the houses to the water. Our paths intersected, and before I could offer … Read More

Youser Manual, Part Three

I found a letter in an old keepsake box—a love letter actually.  Across the top of the single sheet of notebook paper, in careful cursive, was the salutation:  To Sharla with love.  My heart fluttered a little to read those words.  The letter was dated March 10, 1975.  We were sixteen.

It is not hard … Read More

Youser Manual, Part Two

I got unfriended a couple of weeks ago.  It wasn’t very nice.  Yet it was very necessary.  And I swear I’m not sitting here snacking on sour grapes when I tell you this: I am relieved.  A little sad.  A lot baffled. But nonetheless relieved.

Unfriend.  What a hostile sounding word.  Everybody knows what it … Read More