A friend sings this song in the car in the morning as she leaves home:
I have something in my pocket
That belongs across my face.
I keep it very close to me
In a most convenient place.
I bet you'll never guess it
If you guessed a long, long while.
So, I'll take it out and put it on;
It's a great big Brownie smile!
“When it's time to die, go ahead and die, and when it's time to live, live. Don't sort-of-maybe live, but live like you're going all out, like you're not afraid.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
'Live like you are not afraid'-- I love that line.
I won't say I'm used to bad news-- but certainly the headlines lately leave little room for optimism-- the president is off the rails, Hollywood too, and fires and floods, mean-ness and murders in Las Vegas, injustice, misogyny, bigotry, racism,the future of the planet, the Cubs last night.
Then there was this on the local radio: "Two young Haines residents are facing felony drug charges after a package containing a significant amount of heroin was allegedly intercepted on its way to the local post office."
It breaks my heart.
I've been whistling "Monday, Monday, la laaa, la la la laaa..." -- Because, as the poet Billy Collins says-- in his poem Monday, " the birds are in their trees, the toast is in the toaster and the poets are at their windows "-- and this writer is at her desk by the window. It's a little messy, there is a puppy chewing on a laptop cord, and an older dog sighing and farting on the dog bed, and yes, as the poet would say, there is some tea involved, and a window. Three actually.
“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel
A quick correction-- I will be at the UAA Bookstore tomorrow evening 5-7, not 7 as I mistakenly typed yesterday ( I have since corrected it! ) It was pretty foggy yesterday, both outside and apparently in my brain--
It's a busy day with two obituaries to write before I leave for Anchorage (UAA Bookstore 5-7 pm Thursday night) and a writing retreat in Homer with Louise Erdrich (!) - I can't quite believe I just typed that. And today it is supposed to be 75 and sunny, which sounds equally amazing after the rain yesterday, and the cool rainy months of summer. (Now it is dark and foggy, I can hear the cruise ship horns out on Lynn Canal.) Over the weekend the bookstore changed hands, with the Heywoods passing the torch to Darcee Marsano.
"You get your confidence and intuition back by trusting yourself, by being militantly on your own side." - Anne Lamott
Is it a coincidence, that just when I needed to hear that, I read it, flipping through Bird by Bird searching for inspiration? I don't think so. That's the faith of writers and the faith of readers. We are not talking to ourselves here, are we? We are not alone in either the writing or the reading. I like knowing that, don't you?