Janet Reid has a fantastic blog anyone interested in publishing should read regularly. She recently lost a friend, and posted a beautiful and moving poem I’d like to share. You can read her full blog post here.
There’s just no accounting for happiness, or the way it turns up like a prodigal who comes back to the dust at your feet having squandered a fortune far away. And how can you not forgive?
You make a feast in honor of what was lost, and take from its place the finest garment, which you saved for an occasion you could not imagine, and you weep night and day to know that you were not abandoned, that happiness saved its most extreme form for you alone.
No, happiness is the uncle you never knew about, who flies a single-engine plane onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes into town, and inquires at every door until he finds you asleep midafternoon as you so often are during the unmerciful hours of your despair.
It comes to the monk in his cell. It comes to the woman sweeping the street with a birch broom, to the child whose mother has passed out from drink. It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing a sock, to the pusher, to the basket maker, and to the clerk stacking cans of carrots in the night.
It even comes to the boulder in the perpetual shade of pine barrens, to rain falling on the open sea, to the wineglass, weary of holding wine.
I had a lovely chat with Jodi Picoult at lunch. I’d gone to Barnes & Noble to pick up Jon Merz’s “The Kensei” for a class I’m taking at Grub street, and Jodi had just wrapped up a signing event.
I was checking out the flap of her new book “Sing You Home” when she walked by.
I said hello and we chatted for a few minutes about her book, writing, and music. It’s not every day I run into megabestselling authors, but I can report that Jodi Picoult is charming and genuinely pleased to meet a new reader.
This bit from the opening ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’ made me laugh so hard it moistened my eyes:
"The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time. When you got to the table you couldn’t go right to eating, but you had to wait for the widow to tuck down her head and grumble a little over the victuals, though there warn’t really anything the matter with them"