oh no. here i go again!
remember in school how they taught you not to skip or skim when you read.
WELL it is for good reason. had i not skipped this ONE LINE, "one frickin' line!" -i could have saved myself a lot of heartache
but no. i go hum-diddly-doo to the good parts, and there i am on page 79 or 80 (art of the short story/soft cover), and i'm absolutely doubled over in laughter.
can't believe what i'm reading. postively sublime. and i think to myself, ...well i know
that it would be entirely impossible for me to be in the same room with the author of this story and not take off all my clothes. and it wouldn't really matter if that room were a restaurant, a kitchen or hospital waiting
and so as i could breathe and concentrate again, i'd read some more.. and then i'd get to laughin' again so hard i'd have to stop again
not since.. not since the dilbert principle
not since.. pennies..
not since.. at pasta's w/squidmann's book
not since.. billy collins at amador theatre
not since.. robin williams
not since.. ellen degeneres' here and now
have i laughed so uncontrollably (save the bankhead, but that was a nervous breakdown). -and doesn't it figure that every time i fall in love with an author's writing s/he is already married.
i'm used to it by now. in fact, i have myself programmed to believe all men are loyal and married with six kids unless otherwise specifically proven by legal record and fbi background checks.
and flirt yes, but.. relationships; no.
it just makes me a little dreamy i guess. -and so, dream i did, when i finished reading this story, cathedral, by raymond carver
of what it might be like if we met. and i said to myself, i said, sandra, you know he's married with six kids
and you are not allowed to stand naked in the book signing line at the library, so don't even think about it
but i did have it in my mind that i would do whatever it takes to meet him. -just meet him, that's all. just one good look. just be in the same room for a few mintues; that's all.
and i looked to God in heaven, and i did the cross thing on my head, shoulders, heart, and i said, "promise Lord.. i just want a signed book. i will keep my manners; promise."
and by the time i was to page 86/87, i already knew exactly what i was gonna wear.. which hint of perfume, which necklace, which strappy sandals, which skirt
and then i glanced back to page 76 to get another peek at his picture
and that's when things went from bad to worse, because write next to his picture is his name, and then this:
1938 - 1988.
and you can't imagine how sad that made me.. how quickly i went from this deep, genuine, spontaneous, joyful laughter to total numb/void mode.
then i looked toward heaven one more time, and said, "Thank God!"
because i knew this information saved me from public sin and private glory.
i've never been so glad to read a dead man.
have to say, to add on, what a treasure of a book this is. magical treasure. like a, steering by starlight, type treasure
because, as is true with most books in my mysterious home library, -it was not a book i'd heard about, read about..
might not have grabbed it off the shelf at the local bookstore
BUT.. exactly because it was available at the pleasanton poetry, prose and art festival. e
xactly because the author gave a phenomenal/amazing keynote speech
because i happen to have enough cash on me.. and was excited to add a personally inscribed book to my collection
i made this purchase. -and it turns out this book contains what is an absolute dream for someone like me.
i LOVE biography/it has biographies; i LOVE great writing/short story masterpieces; it has great writing/short story masterpieces; i LOVE reading/learning/thinking about the writing process, the craft of writing/it includes "author's perspectives" on writing, after each short story; i LOVE learning about people/cultures around the world/"it includes bio's/info/writing from 52 different writers from all around the world!" -such an awesome mix! no two talents alike really..
original. real. raw talent.
and most of these remarkable writers i'm meeting for the first time. -something to love, to learn, to gain from each and every one. if not from their biography, their fiction. if not from their fiction, their perspective..
and while our lives, our life experiences, educations, upbringings, etc. may have little in common on the surface -we all have loads in common when it comes to facing obstacles, fighting demons, making our way through life the best we can with the gifts God gave us; and in the absense of the ones left unwrapped
beautiful and awe inspiring to read the variety of ways humor, drama, style, dialogue, structure are employed within the prose of each writer. and fascinating/fun how as writers, we all speak the same language but with different tongues
but with any story, i'm always curious about the life of the author; always. -and i love how this book is organized so that you can read the bio first, and then a master work or two, and then the author's perspective. everything i've ever wanted all in one great big beautiful, personally inscribed, book.
and it feels like i have all these new friends. kate chopin top of the list.. so nice to meet you!
you've said so eloquently what i experience..
you said it better, clearer, more creatively, precisely than my imagination/limited vocabulary would ever allow
and what an unfair price you paid for being you. i'm still upset about it..
i don't mean to have favorites. i love you all! every word. your contributions. admire your gift/talent/style.. your originality, spark, drive, perseverence
(note here, i am only 1/4 way through, and have obviously not yet read critical approaches..)
and to you dana gioia and r.s. gwynn: it reads like God put you up to this; so that you could personally answer an unarticulated prayer of mine by publishing this book and then.. having it make its way to a table in pleasanton, and then into my arms
thank you ~amen.