It’s lovely out, a mere 81 degrees with a sweet breeze in the shade. I sit on my back deck while Shay the dog paces, occasionally shooting down the stairs to chase an errant leaf. Breakfast is iced coffee and cantaloupe (a fruit I never really “got” until spending two months in mostly 100+ degree days), and despite the afternoon’s promise to go three digits yet again, summer is luscious at the moment.
The heaviness and lightness of life braid with my own life. Last night, I facilitated a writing workshop in Kansas City for people living with serious illness: some who are in constant physical pain and yet can write lovingly about sweet corn and friendship; some who had endured great losses of their beloveds, yet come to tell stories of how they want to be remembered. Tonight, a bunch of us go to Jarek’s house to toast his 86th birthday, toast him with shots of vodka, and sing in Polish to him (strangely easy, even if you don’t know the words, when you’re holding a small shot glass in your hand). There will be ample laughter, great stories and of course herring (the perfect the companion to vodka, something millions of Eastern Europeans know). Today I write a little, work on The Divorce Girl tour, aim myself toward cold foods, and prepare for my Goddard residency in Vermont soon.
For now, there’s ease and song: this giant cottonwood in front of me, each branch buoyed by the wind that also washes over me. The four turkeys far off in the field, soaking up the shade between two stands of cedar. A cricket wisp-chirping around the bed. A single cottonwood leaf, yellow with brown edges, landing on my right hand as I type.