I don’t own a Kindle. Not a Nook. Haven’t had a cell phone for two years. And having any of those things doesn’t make you a bad person. Unless you’re sexting in traffic, I won’t hold a single one against you. But I–I have books. Lots of them. An addiction to them. (Now anyway, as a teenager, I had an aversion.) Boxes of books I shipped, two years ago, by boat across The Atlantic. They’re in the living room, and the baby’s room, and in the bedroom and my office. And now, for our visitors’ reading pleasure, upstairs, in the guest room. The paper-page takeover continues…
Pouring champagne into a plastic bathroom cup on the nightstand…this weekend’s writing, at the French Open.
It’s spring, so seek them out.
Find them in your backyard.
Sketch them. Photograph them. Touch them with your fingertips. Squat down and stare.
Think about what they’re doing: what their wind feels like, how their sun shines.
They’re not friends. They won’t advance plot.
They’re details. Micro-environments. Codes.
Beautiful, awkward, leafy, and out of focus. Seemingly unimportant. Let them stand somewhere in your story.
A few lines I found scratched in a notebook from college:
Vows to my Mother
I promise that by the time you get sick of waking up at 5am to put the twenty-five-pound turkey in the oven, I will find it endearing.
I promise to help my brother and sister in your absence, to be there in case of failed marriages or credit card debt.
I promise to retain a minimum of 27% of what you’ve taught me.
I promise to eat well and be kind to strangers, especially old ones.
For the interesting history of Mother’s Day, read this article by National Geographic.
Alright, so I don’t technically have a child. Yet. But, one has been growing in my uterus for the last 30 weeks; I’m going to count it. My presents this very first year include:
1. Two men’s formal-wear vests from my parents
2. Two cans of root beer from my husband
Click here for a story about motherhood before I knew much at all about it: http://www.versewisconsin.org/Issue112/poems/stroikStocke.html.