My husband thought I was going to leave him because I learned how to turn on the TV.
Friday night, he was late coming home from work, and the seventh game of the World Series was starting—I was motivated. Two controls is one more than I can handle (I’ve learned not to look for an “on” button) but when he came through the door, there I was, watching TV.
“Hunh,” he said, since I’m the one whose been known to ask the TV repairmen to please turn off the TV before they leave because I don’t know how to do it.
Later in the weekend, the order of our universe was restored when I began reigning down curses on the head of the new printer. My husband walked in, sat cross-legged on the floor, and calmly figured it out.
His place in our marriage is secure . . . as if there were ever any doubt.
My cousin, a psychologist, was visiting me in Memphis. He walked from room to room. Finally, he turned to me and said, “You have all these odd creatures in your house.”
Wonder what he’d think of me now?
But Halloween demands a certain amount of dementedness, don’t you think?
This eyeball walks. That’s Elvis in the box. The man with his head cut off is some wooden 1950s figure I found at a flea market. He seems like a dude you’d find at the back table of a long, narrow, red-lit bar, his eyes darting, guarding the kitchen.
Oh, now that’s nice. Refined composition. Never mind the skulls in the foreground. I bet that celluloid witch cost you a pretty penny. Uh . .. does that pumpkin walk, too? Yes, I have a thing for walking Halloween decorations.
“Those pumpkins look kind of funky,” my husband says. Yes!!!!
Give people a story that echoes with familiarity yet rings brand new.
I had that thought several days ago, which was followed yesterday by this quote from Harding Davis courtesy of A.Word.A.Day (which I love): “The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or a new thing in an old way.”
I love the old echo. I also love the clarity of the newly ringing bell. The combination has created a novel about Mother Mary and Jesus returning to earth to discover bones from the South’s exploitive past rising from the ground in Memphis. A recent reader (I love my volunteer readers) told me the book, at some point, will offend readers of every race, culture, religious belief and political bent . . . except for terrorists, it probably won’t offend Islamic terrorists. He understood I didn’t intend to offend, but questioned who my readership would be if everyone was pissed-off. He also said one of the strongest suits of the novel was its humor. Freaky funny, were his exact words.
So . . . ringing bell or four-alarm warning: danger, danger, you are approaching the outer limits of rational decision-making?
March to a different drummer, you might be marching all alone. But you won’t know until you start marching. The key, I think: don’t look back. You might see yourself gaining on yourself.
Yesterday, I was all pumped up about creativity and possibility. I was infused with enthusiasm, drunk on inspiration and the power of the Spirit.
Today, Michael died.
I am bewildered by what happened: how can a man who wrote about his change of luck, whose last article was about finding a new safe place to live – how can that gentle, kind man be stabbed to death on the street?
More importantly, how can he be gone? Today, next week, from now on, Michael won’t be sitting at the corner table, waiting for me to give him his folder. I won’t see his head nodding in greeting, the toothpick in his mouth removed to say hello.
Yet . . .
In a way, he will always be sitting at the table. Michael will forever write in his strong, simple sentences. Whenever the group shares their writings, I will hear Michael’s voice telling us about his hopes for the future, the new job, the better apartment, the next step in his life. Michael’s focus on the good thing that is about to squeeze around the corner will always be part of the writing group’s truth.
Michael died in chaotic violence. He lived in quiet self-containment, respected and admired by his fellow and sister writers.
I can choose what I believe and I believe Michael is still with us. Michael and Robb and Warren are still part of writing group. When you make a connection, it continues. Through difficult times, through estrangement, even through death. That is the Good News. Those we love are always with us.
Thank you, Michael, for being part of the Door of Hope writing group. We loved you, and we still do.
Reactivating the blog, which has taken me through the maze of remembering my password, changing the email (because they thought they’d sent me an email to an address that I couldn’t remember ever having set up – no chance I’d remember the password to THAT) and re-familiarizing myself with how to add a new post.
Take a deep breath.
This blog will not have a theme, subject matter, category or any defining market goal other than that of Creative Extremist: Dr. King inspired. Creative Synthesizer: Billy Preston inspired. Creative Me: me inspired.
peace in creativity, Ellen Morris Prewitt (gotta fix this format . . .)