Dear Gentle Readers, Thank you.
And so, dear gentle reader,
You see, by all the rules,
That earth's whole population
Except ourselves are fools. - Abner Cosens
The nicest thing about knowing you, and keeping in touch, and sharing my ideas and thoughts and schedules of life in my family and this small town, is that without you, I'd be talking to myself. You also keep me from thinking I'm crazy, and reminding me that spending time writing stuff down and sharing it, is important, and matters, so thank you very much for that.
Which is a short way of saying I apologize for being absent so much this winter, and I aim to fix it. If I don't write to you, how can you be a gentle reader? We are in this together. Writing is a team sport, and requires at least a pitcher and a catcher.
These thoughts have been prompted by my friend Sue, who is back home after a winter down south. Sue hugged me last night after another meeting that I needed to attend since I am an assembly member. She was picking up her husband there, but had spent two hours at the library instead. Sue knows better than to wade into the ranting and raving that these meetings tend to devolve into. She said she missed me, and I said I sure missed her too-- and then she said she knew it must have been a rough winter because every time she checked in here, I was absent. "Are you okay?"
"Better. It's been hard," I said
That Lucinda Williams song has been rolling around in my head: "You took my joy and I want it back." I think, to be honest, serving on the borough assembly has taken some of my joy. Or I should say, I have allowed the darker forces in Haines, which really are a minority, but can be so vicious, to hurt me more than I should have.
The good news is, that Spring really is here, and the sun is higher in the morning and evening sky, and the rain is about to turn the grass from brown to green, the ducks are bobbing in the shallows, we are back on our bicycles, and I have turned the corner and left winter behind as well, so Gentle Reader, I pledge to write regularly, from now on, of all the joys and a few of the sorrows, from life in this corner of the world.
I have also just called a counselor to make an appointment with her, so I will have some tools to handle the next year and a half on the assembly with less fuss, anxiety, and loss. (I know exactly what Mary Oliver meant when she wrote that sometimes the life you need to save is your own.)
I have an obituary to do now, which is kind of perfect for all of this: it's a happy one, as obits go, for a funny, friendly, generous woman who died peacefully at 95. Of course there is the sorrow as well, for time passing, a mother and grandmother who is gone and won't be coming back this way again, ever, but so it is with all things right? This very moment even. So what shall we do? Put your hands together in prayer and press them into your sternum. Take a deep breath. Pay attention to one good, maybe even slightly messy thing, right now. Give it all your heart. Say thank you.
"This isn't a contest but the doorway into thanks and a silence in which another voice may speak." -Mary Oliver