Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh, Joy

I've been a little blue lately—a convergence of situations, the alignment of the stars, some physical challenges—which has, of course, made writing hard so I've had no energy left for blogging. The last three days, however, have been a tonic.

Sunday The Total Package and I went with friends to one of my favorite restaurants (Skappo) before going to hear two of my favorite musicians in the world—Cory Chisel and Ade Denae—play in a very  small club in New Haven, followed by the second course with some wonderful wine and incredible, deep, soul-nourishing conversation (at 116 Crown).

Monday I taught then drove to Mystic for dinner with one of my favorite people in the world, Baron Wormser, and a new friend, Thom Bassett. Both Thom and I were lucky enough to have had Baron as our mentor (at different times and at different MFA programs)—now I'm lucky to have found another friend who is deeply engaged with writing who's willing to share work, insights and advice, and who has a wicked good sense of humor. Every time I have a chance to talk with Baron his wisdom, generosity and writing makes me want to try harder to be a better writer and a better person. (Of course there's a link to follow to learn more about Baron's extraordinary work; check it out and you'll see what I mean.) The conversation ranged from Faulkner and Hawthorne through country music and Emerson; more nourishment for the soul, plus a side order of inspiration—all three of us teach and Baron reminded me about what a privilege it is to be able to do so.

Today was all about connections—with The Total Package, with friends, with Nature her own self. I went to teach my class and found the gift of a former student visiting—a reminder that teaching is another form of connection.

The WonderDaughter and the WonderGrandchildren are returning from a week away and I can't wait to see them, so I was excited to be done with class. The drive home along back roads felt like an adventure—the way driving at night felt when I first took my place behind the wheel. "Yes," I thought. "Yes, I am lucky."

When I pulled in the driveway The Total Package came out to greet me.

"I think we have to go to the grocery store," he said. "The dog got skunked."

One vinegar-infused bath and countless sprays of various aerosols later, the dog is in his crate (in the garage, poor lamb). The house stinks beyond description. The "kids" are on their way from the airport. And I am beyond lucky, I am blessed.