Dr. Brene Brown says, “Stories are data with a soul.” They normalize, they create opportunities to connect, and they heal. Sharing stories matters, which is why it was such a pleasure to attend the launch party for the latest issue of O-Dark-Thirty in Bethesda. Having work selected for a literary journal was exciting for this health scientist, and I feel like I learned a tremendous amount from the contributors who gathered to read selections.

My job was to make some recommendations for how conditions
might be improved for those women and those sleeping babies. I felt
woefully out of my depth, and knew I would depart leaving little
changed. One infant in particular was sprawled out, sleeping peacefully
with his face pressed against the hard ground. He was sleeping the
way one does when truly spent, oblivious to surroundings. His arm
reached out, just so, to brush the legs of his mother. As our gazes met,
I was struck by her sad eyes.

Read the full essay here

or check out the below excerpt from the evening’s readings: