In God's Novel

I haven't had my coffee yet since there isn't any available here in my dorm room at UAA so please excuse any typos. I've been grabbing a cup on the way to the morning lecture at the Starbucks in the UAA library. I also stayed up late practicing my colloquia, which as far as I can tell is a literary kind of talk that I'll give this afternoon at 4:30 to the students and faculty here in order meet the final degree requirements for my MFA. I am nervous. My colloquia is on what I have learned about writing and life from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (The Yearling). It is 45 minutes which leaves 15 minutes for questions. So here is my world: While I sit here and fret about that, while I get ready for the morning lecture- Nancy Lord speaking on what we write about when we write about a place- like Alaska, say-- I have been receiving a pile of emails to inform me that I have a piece on the CNN website this morning. I should be thrilled, and I am, sort of. The trouble is I don't think my profs will care. I know I can't use that for my colloquia. But here's the thing: while I worry about an embarrassment of riches-- this little bubble of fame, my degree, is anyone watering my garden at home-- another ambulance is pulling into the perfectly named Providence Hospital next door to my dormitory. It is about to be someones worst day over there, or maybe their best. Someone will die over there today, but a baby will also be born. It is a good idea to have universities and hospitals side by side. Sitting here now, with my window open, hearing the siren and Anchorage city noises and thinking about CNN and my colloquia makes me understand what Richard Rodriguez, our keynote speaker, meant in his lecture yesterday, when he said to be grateful for all of it, and never forget that our lives are already in "God's novel." 


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