Mackenzie Rogers | Niagara Falls, NY

Dear Kurt,

    You know, you spoke at my college in 1978. Granted, I wasn’t alive at the time. I wasn’t even a thought in either of my parents’ heads.

    You were so involved with the arts and so invested in them. It’s incredible to me that someone who has had such a profound impact on readers everywhere as stood in the same spot on the stage where I practiced my viola last Friday night. You said that “the arts are a way to make your soul grow.” Well, I let my soul grow on Friday night, standing in that same spot in King Concert Hall in Fredonia.

    I guess I wanted to thank you for your voice and for everything you’ve shared with me through your writings. I’ve always been a reader, but Slaughterhouse-5 was the first book that I started telling people, “You need to read this before you die.” Whether or not your intent was to teach your readers something, I learned a lot from Slaughterhouse-5. I think the main thing I took from Slaughterhouse-5 was appreciating the present moment. “Here we are, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.” “And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.” I try to keep as much as I can of the present. And, if we’re being honest, I’m a worrier. But Slaughterhouse-5 taught me: what’s the point in worrying about the future when, inevitably, what will be will be, and we’re trapped in a blob of amber in time? There’s only so much we can do to change the outcome. Why worry and let the fear and apprehension of the future ruin the present moment and your joy?

     Thank you, Kurt.

     I think I’ve finished this letter. So it goes. May you be resting in a place where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts

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