In the space of an hour the women spanned the events of life–death, marriage, continuity, fertility, love, motherhood, desire, choice, absence. Ironic horn of plenty. I sat, half-lost, half-detached, and became aware of the flutter of anxiety. They had moved beyond the ravages of the past to the anxieties of the future; I, who had cocooned myself in the present, was cracked into the future before I was quite ready. A roomful of women, testifying to life.