Kathya Alexander is Reading Tonight in Madison Park; You Should Go Hear Her
I heard Kathya Alexander
tell a story about dying a few months ago, and it froze the room to silence and pin drops. The sound of her voice has been imprinted on my brain ever since. A voice from the gut, riding slowly and austere over the slopes of her words. Alexander was basically dead. True story. In 2006 she experienced Sudden Cardiac Death, and her heart stopped for 37 minutes
. During this 37 minutes, an EMT arrived and helped revive her. The EMT, a woman dressed in white, never left Alexander’s side. Alexander described her as efficient. This woman in white wouldn't give up, even though the other EMTs were urging her to stop, because Alexander's brain had gone without oxygen for so long. The woman was the last EMT to arrive. A year later, Alexander wanted to thank her, so she went to the fire station on 23rd Ave. where she was based. But no EMT or fire department employee matching the woman’s description worked there. They didn’t know who the woman was. No EMT at any of the stations, hospitals, or ambulance companies matched the description. Alexander didn’t have her name. No one had ever seen this person before. Alexander never spoke to or saw her again. Alexander said she goes to the fire station every year on the anniversary and takes them a gift of gratitude. She calls it her Resurrection Day.
Alexander is working on a novel about five generations of women who have been visited by an angel during the most difficult times in their lives. A North Little Rock, Arkansas native, Alexander now lives in Seattle. She has been awarded Freehold Theater’s Diversity Scholarship, a Writer In Residence at Hedgebrook, and last year she received a CityArtist Award from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs.
* Alexander is reading tonight for Auntmama's Story Table at the Madison Park Starbucks. You must see and hear her, she’s a beacon. It's FREE. 7 PM to 8:15. Presented in conjunction with Seattle Storytellers Guild. Katherine Gee Peron, Olubayo, and Auntmama are also reading. 4000 E. Madison St.
An excerpt from "Angel in the Outhouse" in Alexander's upcoming novel:
What happen next my Mama say she never tell a living soul. She say a hand reach out and grab her. And just like that her pain is gone. She say a woman stand before her. Bright and shiny as the sun. She say the angel speak and say, “I come from God. His will be done.” When the angel speaks she says she hears it not in her ear.
I say, “It must be sorta like the night when you hear the thunder roll.”
“Yes,” she says. “Like that.”