It the midst of scrubbing cat yack bombs and trying to extinguish the acrid smell of cat pee from a rain dampened basement, I received a phone call from an editor at the paper. She said that the essay had touched them because the song which inspired it had been so much a part of their lives. She had sung the song to her children when they were much younger and now sings it to her grandchildren. She also said that they would be sending a photographer over to our home to photograph me and any of the children who happened to be around. As I was still holding a spray bottle of bleach in my hand- I panicked at the thought of a stranger coming in and having the tang of urine be their first impression of me. I imagined that under my picture it would read,' The author and her children in their home which smells like animal excreta.'
By the time the photographer arrived, I think we aired out a bit ( but, it was also the eve of garbage day and our tote was quite ripe). Anyway, it was quick and painless. Henry, Princess Commando and The Baby posed with me for some of the shots ( The Baby had just woken up from her nap, so she was bewildered by the presence of the stranger in our living room). And then the photographer took some pictures of me standing alone. I didn't know what to do with my arms, my hands. At best, I must have looked painfully awkward and insane (as I tried to keep from blinking against the flash). The testament to my suspicions is that they opted to print a photo of me with the kids (where I felt most natural). I mean in our daily lives how often do we stand against a wall alone with our arms crossed over our chests in a haughty gangsta rap stance?
|Photo taken by Sharon Cantillon, The Buffalo News|
For me, that is the greatest sense of accomplishment as a writer- to be able to connect with others at the heart of our humanness where the soul or spirit stirs. That is what I seek in the essays that I read of other writers- that sense of perspective which is at once both familiar and new; an offering of solace in not being alone in one's thoughts and views; the sense of alliance in navigating through uncertain territory especially when we feel most vulnerable; and, a sense of humor which brightens and lightens the places inside of me that I tend to let shadows grow. The community of writers I have connected with through blogging (you all know who you are) has inspired me, humbled me, comforted me, enlightened me. The writing I follow has helped at the most unexpected times to make better sense of my puzzle and figure out where the pieces fit in order to see the bigger picture. I am so grateful to all of you who continually put your hearts out there in the open for all of us to behold. And, I am so grateful for all of you who continue to stay on board with me, finding in my own writing something that you connect to.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!