Friday, March 09, 2007

Coming Home

The last day of our writing group's week in California, the weather turned dark. It had been sunny all week, often warm enough to sit outside in a t-shirt, and my rain gear stayed in my bag. When we played with the animal medicine cards that night, I drew frog and part of what Tami read for that card was "Frog teaches us to honor our tears, for they cleanse the soul."

Whatever you think about animal medicine cards, that was the right one for me as I headed home, just as the lizard, with all its references to dreams, was the right one earlier in the week. I always have the most vivid dreams when I'm with my writing group, and I knew that at some point after I got home, a good cry would have to happen.

Don't get me wrong, it's good to be home. There were fresh sheets on my bed, and as much as I hate to leave the great women in my writing group, I am back with some of my favorite people in the world. This morning I sat in a coffee shop with Mark Doty's poems, an unbelievably good latte, the arts section of the New York Times and a gorgeous good friend. I looked up from my reading to see that a toddler had left the tail of an Alamosaurus in the jaws of a T. Rex and felt happy and grateful in a way that you only can if there's a little sadness underneath it all.

I keep thinking about Pam and the question of why it's so hard to write a story about the beautiful day at the beach when nothing goes wrong, and about Katherine writing that story, and about kites and sharks and loss and mourning and what happens after. I guess you could say I've rejoined my characters (for whom all of these things, and the things a kite and a shark might stand for, are at stake) in a way that I hadn't been able to since returning from the ranch. That is a good thing.

I also keep thinking about living a life where when someone says to you "You are supported," you know for sure it's true.

I do, and I'm glad you've said the same, Allison.

You can check out the photos from our gorgeous week on the California coast by clicking here.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I think my favorite is the landscape with two red spiky flowers and the curly barbed wire. I like how the barbed wire is kind of fucked up, not really doing it's job. Letting the flowers get away with something.

I thought the H was for Heather. And then there's HOPE. I love where this is found. On the way to London there is a long low wall, sort of a mimic of the hedgerows you find all over here, cutting across a hillside just before the Heathrow exit. Someone has graffitted, this, for the commuter traffic, "WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS EVERYDAY?"
Anyway, seems like a nice counterpoint to your HOPE on the old building. But I don't need to spell it out for you.