I have been quiet, it's true. It's not that there aren't things to talk about...that pesky pope surprising his heard, those Scouts waffling on their decision about being exclusionary (move on already!), a little snow out east, and people literally up in arms about guns. Those were just the days headlines.
But I am just sort of floating for now. I am feeling restless and hemmed in at once. Big Man is wrestling with his own work-related issues and I am the Queen chauffeur, nursemaid, tutor, chef, and assistant to all. Frankly, I have found it hard to concentrate on any one thing that might matter just to me.
I met Pam Houston the other night at a lovely author dinner held in our local bookstore. She was profoundly kind, honest, and funny. I saw sadness there, too. Of course no one really mentioned that because that wouldn't be popular to say. But she has lived an extraordinary life that has some deep holes that I feel when I read her words. I certainly felt those holes when listening to her speak and saw them when looking her in the eye. That she eloquently offers up what she has lived through and felt is a gift to anyone who chooses to pick up one of her books. Authors on book tours, if they truly engage with their readers, are so very brave. I don't know how many people see it that way, but to put your heart on the line, day after day, has to be hard. People, I imagine, can say some crazy things. You can't control what a reader brings to the table and perspectives can be wide and varied. In the end, what you are defending are the choices you made as a writer and in some respects, who you are.
Later, she took the time to have a little discussion about memoir and fiction with me. I could have talked her ear off, but I didn't want to hog her. She left me thinking about that book I have in the back of my mind in a new way. And so I am trying hard to look on the bright side. I am hoping that this space I am in, one that is unsettling, disgruntled, unfocused, and seemingly unproductive, might just be some sort of marinating.
Or stewing. I have always been good at that, but I am trying to remain positive....I really am.
Or, maybe I am simply a writer and this is how it is and always will be for me. I found this article from the The New Yorker. There is a bit of a kerfuffle among writers happening right now about how great or not great the writing life is. Within this article I found this gem. "We write because we are constantly discontented with almost everything, and need to use words to rearrange it, all of it, and set the record straight."
Ah....now this makes sense. But it does not make it easier.