Recently I attended a new Anglican church. The priests had been ordained two weeks previously, most of the congregation had come from evangelical churches. It was the first baptism in the church. They were learning to dance.
Meanwhile, in Roman Churches, a few lines of the mass have been changed and whole congregations that use to smoothly whirl around the floor with their eyes on their dance partner, are suddenly stumbling en-masse over the new steps.
Its all somewhat amusing, and very sweet.
Less amusing is watching my 88 year old mother learning to navigate the new living facility she suddenly finds herself in. Or watching me trying to get my hands, feet, mind around various aspects of her life that are now my responsibility.
Meanwhile, two of my sons are navigating new jobs and the third has a new marriage. A new baby boy has landed in the lap of my second son's family, who have barely settled into their island house.
We are all learning to dance. Twinkling in the future is the thought that we will get this down, learn the steps -- two, three, four -- and someday dance effortlessly to the music of the stars. In the meantime, there are streaks of joy and laughter in the learning, and there is plenty of love to pass around.
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass . . . it's about learning to dance in the rain." --Anonymous
I am in the process of moving this newsletter onto MailChimp, which handles bulk email. The reason for this is that I keep running afoul of spam filters. I've spent so much time with tech support in the last few months, that I start to twitch and shake every time I hear an Indian accent. If you don't want this monthly eNewsletter, now would be a good time to let me know. And if you don't get the September one by, say mid October, send me an email or check out our website, which might even have a subscribe form on it by then.
"Bound by the dance of letters, my expression howls endlessly..." Rod on Writing
August was a very moving month. We went to Seattle to help my son's family move (a two ferry event) and a week later I was in Colorado moving my mother. In between I had a lovely moment on an airplane: Flying home from Washington, feeling like we had done what we could to help the family's new start, I began reading Miracle at St. Anna by James McBride.
I had bumped into this book several months ago when our Literary Party chose Black Authors for a theme. Remembering that I enjoyed The Color of Water years ago (see June 2000 newsletter), I looked it up on amazon, so I could at least wave the cover of the book around on my ipad during the Lit Party. Poking around amazon (a real mistake for me) I discovered Miracle at St. Anna by the same author. Hmm.
I mentioned Miracle at St. Anna at that Black Authors Lit Party and was told the book was also a movie. The story is a fictionalized account of four Buffalo Soldiers in WWII who find themselves separated from their unit and behind enemy lines in a small Tuscan village. I'm not a fan of war stories; I have a limited tolerance for reading about people doing horrible things to each other. However, several Lit Party participants expressed interest and I had so enjoyed McBride's Color of Water. I bought the book.
August's Lit Party theme was 20th Century Historical. A perfect fit. I took Miracle at St. Anna with me to Washington and didn't even open it. Flying home, in a relaxed end-of-job mood, I began reading. By the time I was at cruising altitude with my ginger ale and fortuitously bought nuts and raisins on the tray before me, I knew I was into A Good Book. Oh joy! A good book in hand, nibbles at the ready and an hour plus of uninterrupted time to read. What more could anyone want?
I finished Miracle at St. Anna the next day. "A good book is a great gift," I told my husband. It is indeed.
Next month's Literary Party theme is Religious Writing. "Could we narrow the field?" I asked looking around The Word Shop. After much discussion we narrowed it by nots: Religious writing that is not fiction, not biography.
"We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance." -Japanese Proverb
I think I have the final (repeat FINAL) pdf of This is Terrible: The Writer's Lament on my computer. Current book launch date is October 7. Save the date.