Monday, April 11, 2011
Hi everyone! Thanks for the thoughtful comments about my last post. I'm always fascinated about how much we choose to expose through our writing, the varying comfort or more accurately, discomfort levels, in which we work. I agree with Keith (JCO is pretty awesome) and with Jim about the absence of the Ontario Review, a terrific journal which is sorely missed. I also admire JCO's memoir for the level of truth-telling. A lot of it is unflattering (if my informal survey of friends who have read it are to be believed) which takes guts. I know that whatever I write, I face similar criticism, some warranted, some not. I once wrote on this very blog that I'm not terribly fond of animals which warranted the kind-hearted comment that I was a "narcissistic self-absorbed disgusting cypher." Don't hold back -- ha! But I'm okay with that. Everyone I know is an animal person with loads of pets, and they don't hold my half-hearted pats on their beloved companions' heads against me.
But the subject of the memoir that holds the most interest for me is responses to grief. I believe that most of giving things -- flowers, food, kind words, letters, and gifts is about the giver's need to give. I love giving people presents. It always makes me feel better even when what I part with is something I need or love (sometimes money, time, prized possesions). It's not that I gain any moral high from it or give to make people feel indebted. Quite the contrary -- it's just something I enjoy. No high ground here. But it takes a special talent to receive. I think a lot of people are afraid to give because it the potential responses make them uncomfortable -- that the gift won't meet certain standards, that it's inappropriate, that they'll be perceived as an ass-kisser. I used to worry about that sort of thing, but I don't anymore. I give when and what I can because it makes me happy. I don't care if people thank me, don't care if they need it, don't care if it's awkward. It's no surprise that one of my favorite Bible stories is the about the widow who put two mites in the collection box. It was all she had. It used to make me so very sad when I heard this story, almost to the point of tears. Her last two mites! What was she thinking? She might need those mites! But as I aged, I realized that the need to give was stronger than the need to hold onto her last few pennies in the world. She needed to show her love, to contribute to something she felt was greater than herself. And honesty is a form of giving. Ann Landers once wrote that the best-dressed lie was far worse than the bare truth.
Michelle's Spell of the Day "Why won't you let me talk about sexytime with Lenny?" "Because you call it sexytime." Nurse Jackie, last week's episode.
I have heard a very ugly rumor that Detroit 187 is in danger of being cancelled! Say it ain't so . . . Please help petition to keep this fantastic show on the air.
Benedictions and Maledictions