Dear Sor Juana, How were you consoled? Getting a consolation prize in my world means getting a prize for coming second – “close but no cigar” – but coming second means you didn’t get the prize and coming second is so far away you might as well have come last. Yet to be consoled can be the sweetest of things, to be comforted when there is a disappointment. To have loss and grief honoured with a soothing word, bunch of flowers, loving gaze can and does lift your spirit. Sadness seeks consolation from the soul Soothing sweet sounds Harmonics to hold tears It is an act of solidarity to be with another and console them, to hold the space where the tears can well and anger be accepted without hurrying them along to their final incarnation of acceptance. The first witness to consolation is often to notice the shock, a sharp disruption to homeostasis. There is a tearing, a ripping away of the familiar leaving a gaping hole; often a wound is made. Shock had me lying in state Speechless. Blind. Senses numb. To console oneself is an act of healing and perhaps in the convent Sor Juana you needed to go into your own prayer and deeper self to find that place where you could be embraced and calmed? I will come back to this letter later Sor Juana, as I seek to console although I suspect in that act, I will be consoled.