Stories of Spirit
Incorporating elements of fantasy, mysticism, and lore, The Well of Truth follows a female heroine through poignant moments of her adult life. Through the initiations of marriage, raising children, getting divorced, going through menopause, losing loved ones, and ultimately making an independent life for herself, she gains insight and spiritual wisdom from unexpected places.
These short stories are filled with reflections on feminine resilience, power, and agency.
GRACE SAT ON THE CORNER OF SIXTH AVENUE AND Christopher Street with her eyes fixed on the sky. Though it was well past midnight on a bitter cold night, the city was alive with honking, jostling cabs, and the sidewalks congested with people migrating from bars and restaurants. The man siting in the newspaper kiosk glowered suspiciously at her, but she was not going to let his disapproving looks or the cold weather distract her from her mission.
Shortly after getting married, Grace and Jack relocated to New York City for his work, landing in a small apartment in the West Village. When she went back to school to get her teaching degree, she signed up to take an astronomy class. She had always been intrigued by the subject, even if a disparaging high school teacher had once told her she had no aptitude for science. Though she’d carried that judgement into her adult life, where she consistently avoided anything related to science or mathematics, her desire to learn about the night sky had become stronger than her fear of failure.
Every window in their tiny apartment looked out on an air shaft, making it impossible for Grace to do her skygazing homework from home. On a nightly basis, she prowled like a wolf around the neighborhood, searching for an open piece of sky. Her assignment that cold winter night was to watch a full lunar eclipse from start to finish, so she dressed herself in layers of ski clothes before settling down on the steps of the Jefferson Market Library. She pulled her notebook out of her purse, thinking about that first day of class.
Wearing a Harris tweed jacket, Professor Davidson cut an imposing figure as he stood at the podium, surveying the crowded auditorium. With his first words, uttered in a thick Scottish burr, he posed a question: “What is the moon made of, and why does it shine?”
Not certain of the answer, Grace doodled intently in the margins of her notebook. All around her, throats cleared, and feet shuffled. Professor Davidson stood frozen at the lectern, his ear cocked to one side, waiting. After several moments of awkward silence, he muttered sotto voce, “This…is…a…problem.”
He launched into a dramatic soliloquy that had every student sitting at the edge of their seat.
Excerpted from THE WELL OF TRUTH by Elizabeth A. Gould, published by SparkPress. © Copyright 2022 by Elizabeth A. Gould.
About the Author
Elizabeth Gould is a mother, teacher, and menstrual advocate. She has taught and mentored girls at puberty and is the former director of a nonprofit dedicated to positive menstrual/menopausal education. She holds a BA in Art History from Stanford University and an MA in Education from SUNY.