Tuesday, November 1, 2011

(...from last night when i was without a connection...)


…I have ten new micro fictions (each one is 25 words exactly and the titles are all nail polish color names) up at Nicole Scarpato Monaghan’s fun new site, Nailpolish Stories.
They’re also up here at “Words in Print.”

…Today was a productive day on some fronts.
I ran. I read. I took a bath. I submitted some poems to two different sites.

But most of the day I worked on my mother’s eulogy.

Last night late, my Dad called and asked me to give one.

I sort of new he would. I was actually expecting it.

He said, “Heck, you knew her as well as anyone.”

I thought that was an interesting thing to say.

Did I know her as well as anyone? I doubt it. I really do.

The eulogy is four pages long. It was tricky to write. To capture the essence of someone, to celebrate their life truthfully without denigrating it.

I think it turned out all right. I may put it up here before I leave on Wednesday. We’ll see.

I am reading “The Chronology of Water” by Lidia Y. (I can’t remember how to spell her Czech last name and the book is downstairs. It is phenomenal, this memoir. She’s so, so brave. Many of the chapters read like eulogies. That helped me with mine.

Plus Mona Simpson’s eulogy of her brother, Steve Jobs, is running around all over the internet. Her take on her life and their relationship also helped me create a flavor for being honest in a respectful way.
This week I will see brothers and sisters I have not seen since I was 14 years old. I will see others who do like one another. I will see some who vowed never to speak to my mother, and hadn’t for well over a decade.

I once saw an interview with Winona Judd where she said, “Our family put the ‘fun” in dysfunctional.”

My family puts the “dys” in dysfunctional.

But it’ll be okay. I think it will.

…It is Halloween.

Where I am on the planet it is pitch black out. The lake is a sheet of tar, ending only shore-side where some house lights glow.

We will not get a solitary Trick or Treator. We haven’t in the last four years. It’s not an efficient undertaking as it requires too much work to cover this road and make the long trek down our road.

When I was a kid, Halloween was my favorite holiday. Free candy! As much as you want! We used to take pillow cases with us and run door to door as fast as we could. We’d work well into the evening. Halloween is a poor kid’s lottery winning ticket.

I hope you have a great holiday wherever you are.

I hope you are chewing on something sugary and maybe getting a little bit chubby.

…Here are some things I like on Halloween:

New York City – stingiest city for giving out Halloween candy
Washington, DC – third stingiest
Los Angeles – fifth stingiest
"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." Aldous Huxley

"We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard." Voltaire

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting." e.e.cummings

"Nothing makes you a hypocrite quite like parenthood." Amy Wood

‎"I've always had this sense that the unexamined fact is like a rattlesnake. It's going to come after you. And you can keep it at bay by always keeping it in your eye line." Joan Didion

"Art is a lie that speaks the truth." Picasso

"What ought one to say then as each hardship comes? I was practicing
for this, I was training for this." Epictetus

"I saw myself when I shut my eyes: space, space, where I am and am not." Octavio Paz

"Don't bother about genius. Don't worry about being clever. Trust to hard work, perseverance and determination." Sir Frederick Treves

"The one thing an aspiring writer must understand is it's hard. If you think it's not, you're not doing it right." Gene Weingarten

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