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Our secrets are safe here.

The Vault is home to intimate stories by women — our deepest thoughts, our darkest secrets, and our untold experiences worth sharing.


a story about where you come from


Personal Essay by Melina Mehr. Illustrated by Rozalina Burkova.

When Melina Mehr writes of her grandmaman, she allows us into intimate moments of retelling shared between them, and which feel palpably near to us as readers: so easily conjured are the vivid scenes of history, emotion, and even scent.

Melina spares no detail; this story is sprawling and lush with feeling. And here, deeply embedded in family history, you’ll find a pulse of something else entirely running quietly throughout: a seeking of faith and connection. “Through the limitless access to her past, Maman’s nearness to me is the closest I have come to understanding spirituality,” writes Melina. “Za’faran” reminds us that memory and the privilege we have in connecting with its caretakers — our elders — can be the conduit for bringing us closer to what we need. If our lineage can be mined for answers, for understanding, what else can it give us? What else should we be yearning for?


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