Amy Eliza Aster, MA

I learn through listening. All life has rhythm and movement, and through those elements I craft stories and poems that align with the harmonies of nature within and around us. A student of herbal medicine and a graduate of Middlebury College with a degree in Creative Writing, I have been awarded writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and the United Plant Savers’ Goldenseal Sanctuary. I am a performance poet and storyteller and have recently completed a memoir that crosses boundaries of poetry and prose.

As a Story Terrace writer, Amy interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Overalls

In therapy, memories or issues occasionally arise that seem unexpected and unrelated to the matter at hand. For example, in marriage counseling, it came to light that I still harbored jealousy toward a girl in my kindergarten class, because her name was Toni and she wore overalls in our class picture.

On picture day, I was forced to wear a dress my mother made. The dress had a high lace collar, puffed sleeves, tight cuffs and a smocked bodice. Worse, it had to be worn with tights. This was how my mother wanted me memorialized. It was proof of her technical mastery in the realm of textiles.

When our class received the photographs, and for a long time afterward, I stared incredulously at Toni’s image. Her ponytail was slightly askew and her overalls looked so comfortable. Plus, her name was Toni, which I thought was a boy’s name. So cool. Her smile was relaxed and natural and it was obvious nobody had coerced her into her clothes that morning.

Upon recovering this memory, there was only one thing I could do: buy a pair of overalls.

One weekend, my husband took our children to his parents’ house in New York City, and I was free to schedule my own time from Thursday to Sunday. Now I would be able to buy my overalls. This was a year or two before overalls came back in style, so what could I do? I would try The Garage in Harvard Square, but first, I would take a nap.

In my dream, I was pawing through folded jeans at The Garage when I spotted a friend from my herbal medicine class in Vermont.

“Hey!” I said. “I didn’t know you were in town this weekend. I’m looking for overalls.”

“You can’t get them here,” she said. “You have to go to the flea market.”

“Okay,” I said. “Thanks!”

Upon waking, I smiled at my dream and then prepared to drive to Harvard Square. I didn’t know of any flea markets, so I was en route to The Garage when I came to a roadblock that prevented me from turning toward Harvard Square. Instead I drove straight into Central Square. Just ahead of me was a parking lot, and in the parking lot, a large flea market. And miraculously, in the flea market, there was one pair of denim overalls in my size.

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