The last time I posted on this blog was when Harry and I were vacationing in Maine. I can’t really explain why it has been so long between posts. Perhaps it is because I feel my life changing. And it is indeed true, change is hard. And it was during this period that for various reasons, I decided I would longer write, especially this blog. But tonight I changed mind, at least for today.
I was tidying up the kitchen, more specifically, a white wire basket piled high with receipts, magazines, old grocery lists, and one white envelope with my name scrawled on the outside along with the return address of the place where my friend Patty had worked before she died.
I opened the envelope. Inside were three typed pages of prose that Patty had written. She desperately wanted to be a writer. “A writer’s writer,” she would say. And because I occasionally write, Patty thought I was a good person to give her feedback on her work. Or so I thought.
I opened her envelope and started to read. She wrote about her father and how she felt as she watched him die. I read what she wrote first while I was standing at the kitchen table and for the second time, I sat down. When I was done, I went outside, sat in my rocking chair and stared at the partial moon that had changed location from where it was earlier in the evening. I thought about Patty’s piece and I felt the old feeling, the need to write the post. ‘Ah,ha,’ I thought I will write something about memory and the power of words. ‘That will make a good post.’
But something happened in the middle of writing this post. I came to the realization that my assessment about why Patty had wanted me to read what she wrote was wrong. She didn’t want me to tell her what I good writer she was. She had given me a gift, though I didn’t know then that that’s what it was. And what’s worse is, I didn’t even read it when she first gave it to me. At face value, it would appear to be three pages of writing. In fact, it really was something very out of the ordinary, a window into her soul. To be that vulnerable, takes a lot of courage.