Archive | Book Matters

Home of the Heart

Last night I had the anxiety dream about homelessness that I’ve anticipated since losing my jobs last spring.

I rarely talk about my fear of homelessness, especially with married friends. When I do, they say things like, “You won’t be homeless. You can stay with us.”

When I report their assurances to my shrink, a practical woman who knows from rough times, she raises her eyebrows. “People think they’re being supportive,” she says. “But staying on their couch would not be the same thing as having a home. Minimizing your valid fears is not helpful.”

My shrink never sweetens realities. Maybe she does with other people, but she is well-acquainted with my capacity to om-shanthi myself right into destitution. I’ve done it before.

It reminds me of a joke I tell clients. Continue Reading →

The Church of Marathons and Soup

This being rural New England in September, I fetched all the produce for this soup from farm stands within miles of where I’m perched. Now it’s simmering on the stove, hopefully to take the edge off this cold, foggy Sunday as I write through feeding the birds with my Daddy in 1978. As of today I’ve written about a quarter of this book, which feels both daunting and impressive. I’ve never run a marathon but I imagine it’s as exhilarating and impossible as this. Thanks goodness everything I’ve foraged, stewed, baked, broiled and simmered here has produced such immediate pleasures. Cooking and writing are such happily codependent activities.

This Is Not Uncle

This week i’m writing a super-scary section of my book and am plagued with anxious questions and baroque self-doubt. Is this too dark? Too seamy? Too implausible (though it really happened)? And (worst fear of all) will anyone give a fuck? It occurs to me that we all constantly feel this way even when we’re not writing books or undertaking some other scary venture so I send solidarity if the sensation is especially acute. Feel free to send magic carpets and unicorn carrier pigeons if you’re so inclined. Golden parachutes also welcome, though in my heart of hearts I know there ain’t no way out but to write it.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy