The following is in response to Colin Rafferty’s essay “Digging In” that I read via Baltimore Review, an online literary journal. After having read it, I kept looking back at the title with a sense of deja vu. As it turns out, one of my fellow classmates did a review of it as well—this goes to show you that Rafferty is really on to something and is a good writer.
In this nonfiction essay, Rafferty correlates the death of his beloved cat Olive to the civil war re-enactments that occur a lot in the town that he lives in—Fredericksburg, home to a National Cemetary that is the resting place of 19,000 fallen soldiers. The essay flows much like pieces of a memoir. The images of when he goes to Auschwitz—”…the last rays of sunlight bouncing off the apartment buildings, kids playing soccer on a nearby field.”—was done very well; I was definitely drawn in with his details.
After burying his cat, it rains and he worries that he didn’t dig the grave deep enough; he writes, “Not deep enough, I thought, over and over. Not deep enough.” These two short sentences of his internal voice speaks volumes to his relationship with his cat and his views on death. What I take from Rafferty is this amazingly smart use of internal voice. What could I say in my next essay in my internal voice that could say so much in such a simple statement?