Monday, May 20, 2019

Again, the beginning

There's so much going on, all the time, I've barely had a moment to come up for air. I've meant to respond to all your wonderful comments, but I've been pushing to meet a raft of deadlines that backed up on each other, trying for all I'm worth to do a good job on everything so I can move on to the year's big book project, which begins with, you guessed it, a proposal. Oooo, my fave (sarcasm). But I love my subject already, she is just simply a badass woman, and even though I have no idea right now how to do her life story justice, I finally know that I always feel this way, and that I will do my wholehearted best. I was in DC last week to interview my subject again, and now it's time to buckle down and start writing. The thing that helps quiet my anxiety at this stage is the idea that in some parallel dimension, this proposal and the book are already written. I just need to listen for the whisper of the muses and channel her story. I know it sounds crazy, but this is what gets me through that terrifying uncertainty of beginnings.

Speaking of beginnings, my niece and goddaughter graduated yesterday, and is coming to live with us starting tomorrow. She landed an internship at a great magazine in the city, and will be working on the very same block in midtown as my daughter! I am so proud of her. She's the only one of my nieces and nephews going into the same field as me, which is kind of exciting to me. She's the real deal, too, a journalist to her core. I predict her internship will lead to a job, because who wouldn't want this bright, joyful spark of a human on their team?

With my niece moving into my son's former room, I will have to tackle all the college paraphernalia that arrived home with our boy when he graduated from the same college as my niece six years ago! My daughter is coming over tomorrow night to help me Marie Kondo the room and toss everything that doesn't "spark joy." I can't wait. (And have you noticed Marie Kondo is a verb now?)

It's also choir concert season. We had the first of our three spring concerts on Saturday just past, and there's another one this Thursday eve. The photo is from the window of the dining room of the bed and breakfast where our choir practices. That's what spring looks like in New York City. Meanwhile my freelance magazine gig is continuing, even though the woman who hired me quit two weeks ago.  I'm just going to keep riding that train as long as I can and letting the weekly paychecks spark lots of joy.

To anyone here who wanted to keep reading when I made my blog private, please send me your preferred email (if you haven't already done so) at 37paddington@gmail.com so I can add you to the list of readers in case I need to close my blog again for work reasons. In the field I'm in, it's sometimes better for me to become a blank canvas onto whom other people can project their stories. That said, I'm enjoying the blog being open again.

In a very different vein, I'm not going to talk about the cruel and immoral abortion bans sweeping the country, because I am so angry about it all, I can quite put the words together. The death penalty for abortion? Really? So a woman in Georgia who aborts a rapist's child gets a harsher sentence than the rapist? Honestly, I can't even.



18 comments:

  1. I wonder if your son is feeling at least a tiny bit of angst about his room becoming someone else's? I think you are the very best aunt and godmother and mentor anyone could have. I wish your niece all the success in the world.
    And you! Yes, you know that your brain is already at full-speed, working on that book. That's how you work and it's awesome.
    I love that you sing in a choir. That must be the best soul-food ever.
    Can't even bring myself to believe the horror happening with abortion rights. Did you see the meme on FB about how, if a woman who was raped is going to be executed for having an abortion she might as well just kill the rapist?
    Sick. And yet...
    This has become a human right's issue as far as I'm concerned.

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    1. Mary, the only silver lining to the Alabama law is that now Republicans will have to defend this insanity, and I hope women everywhere will wake up and vote the whole lot of them out. Even pro life women I know do not support what is happening. This is some Handmaid's Tale crazy.

      As for my son's room getting a new occupant, he says he doesn't care. Knowing him, he really doesn't because if he did, he would have no problem saying it. Life turns again.

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  2. New beginnings always feel good but sometimes it's hard to start. I'm making a wedding quilt for a young woman I love and I've been hemming and hawing, trying to decide on colors and patterns, spending hours looking at patterns. Finally this morning I just started and felt better. I have an idea now of what it will look like but starting was hard.

    I love how close your extended family is. My family wasn't like that and it would have been nice to have that love and support.

    And Alabama lawmakers (I spit) WTF!

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    1. Lily, I was thinking yesterday that it really is a blessing that my cousin and I grew up close, and our children also grew up close, so now that my niece wants to move to NYC from college, it feels easy and lovely. Well, except for having to finally clear our my son's closet and dresser. But apart from that, I really dont feel as if we have to do much adjusting.

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  3. starting on a new piece is always the hardest part for me too. as for these horrible men who abhor women, what can be more cruel than forcing a woman to carry a dead fetus or one that is so malformed that if it makes it to full term will suffer horribly before it dies and you know these same men will insist that it's life be prolonged as long as possible. I do not recognise my country.

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    1. ellen, do you watch the handmaid's tale on Hulu? My husband had to stop watching because it was so clear to him how we could get to that point from where we are now. we are moving backwards at warp speed. its insane. we cannot let it happen. by we, i mean women.

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  4. So much on your plate! I want to help you ! New projects are so stimulating, energizing, fun and then the work settles in around your every waking moment- I hope that the new does wear well for you. You are perfect for the job at hand! Exciting! So glad I am able to read your blog!

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    1. Linda Sue, it is indeed a very busy time. And somehow this year we have had a lot of house guests. I dont mind. They've all been the collegial convivial kind. Thank you for being here!

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  5. I haven't worked on my book in months and feel paralyzed. It's not writers' block -- it's just having no room in my mind or heart for writing. I kind of don't know what to do about it. I'm tempted to just give up.

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    1. Elizabeth, don't give up. It is a master work, i know it. Pause if you must. You may be in a gathering season, gathering thoughts and connections and experiences to bring back to your book. Let is be what it is right now. There is so much going on in the world that siphons off creative energy and attention. it is possible we have to give our creative energy to fighting the patriarchy right now. I know you know what I mean. I love you, woman. The book will be there when you're ready for it again.

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  6. Wow! Could you BE any busier?! Writing was always my favorite part of doing a story, as opposed to the interviewing. But then, I've never written anything as massive as a book.

    I'm glad your blog is public again -- it will help me stay on top of your new posts.

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    1. Steve, busy is great, but doing the work to the level it requires, that is the stress. Am I equal to it, I always wonder. I am remembering what Nelson Mandela is supposed to have said: It's always impossible until it's done.

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  7. I love that your niece is a journalist intern and coming to live with you. What a grand journey she is about to begin. I am trying not to think about the times we are living in and just waiting for the 2020 elections. It's a survival mechanism.

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    1. robin, i feel guilty sometimes when i blank out the news because i cant live in a state of rage all the time. when i turn it back on, it is always more than i can bear. i pray the 2020 elections will be a kind of salvation, although there is so much damage to repair. As for my niece, i'm excited for her! I remember so well this stage of life. I also remember one of my writing professors saying when i was in college "after 25, only the body ages."

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  8. Wow, hugs to you for the work that challenges and the cleaning, clearing and sorting that awaits. I would so love to hear you sing...As for this state of affairs, I could just...myself. When I think of the times I spent outside clinics staring down the so-called pro-lifers, marching in DC or going with a group to my state capitol and what a momentous effort it took to insure the protection of Roe, I am both enraged and heartbroken. We are really showing our ass to the rest of the world once again.

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  9. So brilliant to read about your new project.

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  10. There is love here at 37 Paddington. So much going on. Your loving presence is felt whether you have time to write here or not.

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  11. Good luck with all of the work - bit by bit, you will get it done. How lovely of you and your husband to host your niece!

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