Thank You, Patty Griffin

Lately I’ve been listening to Patty Griffin. Her voice is velvet when she sings of leaving and returning home.

Today I opened all the windows in my tiny home and made a mess in my ongoing attempt to refurbish an old dresser. I sat on the floor, set my hands to work and remembered how the smell of paste wax and saw dust takes me home. Always. My strongest memories of that old house we grew up in, on the top of that hill, was under construction, being repaired or getting a new coat of paint. The house was always growing and changing. I guess we all were.

I have this recurring dream that I wake up in the morning and walk down the hall only to find a door that I had never noticed before. I turn the knob to find a completely empty new room. I love this dream. Other dreams, not so much. I’ve been finding that some of my dreams race out past my own life span. This is problematic. It’s really hard to fathom a world that we can never be a part of. I hope I’m not the only one who thinks these sorts of thoughts.  Did Amelia Earhart understand the legacy her passion and drive would leave? How could she have a spare moment to think such a thought, what with all her travel planning…  Wasn’t it Eleanore Roosevelt that said, “Well behaved women rarely make history”? In the movies, these women are portrayed with wild, short hair and a strong jaw. Usually, the focus of the story is how many men are telling her that she can’t, and just before the credits role, she does. To everyone’s astonishment, she does.

I went to see Julie & Julia yesterday. It’s comforting to think that maybe the reason Julia Child took up cooking in the first place is that she loved it and she needed something to do- something to bring meaning to her days.

I have these little meetings with myself. I take minutes and pass motions and vote about the action items. I always seem to get my way. This works out well for me.

For example: What color to paint the dresser?

What bills get paid with this paycheck?

What will my next knitting project be?

What will I be when I grow up?

The truth is, I’ve known the answer to that last one for quite some time. Maybe all my life, at least as long as I’ve been able to hold a crayon. I will tell stories.

The trouble is, I keep bringing back the question just to make sure. This question always leads to clarifying questions: Don’t writers, um, write alone? If I say yes to writing, am I committing myself to a life of solitary confinement? Why would I say yes to that? And, there is something I’ve been noticing: it’s not enough to write ABOUT life… you actually have to GET a life. I have trouble balancing the two. I’ve been noticing, I really only work at 2 different speeds. A full tilt breathless gallup and a restless sleep. I seem to be lacking a cruising altitude.

On the bright side, Patty Griffin is promising to “stay by me when it don’t come easy.”

Thanks Patty.