I woke up Friday morning to the sad news that Claudia Emerson had died at age 57. Some writers who are Facebook friends talked eloquently of her championing of students and the next generation of writers. I read Figure Studies years ago and I remember loving it, but I can't remember exactly why.
Still, I was sad at news of her passing, as I always am when good writers leave us. And the knowledge that she was 57--yikes! I'm 49. Again, I hear "time's winged chariot hurrying near," as Marvell would put it.
Does that flapping of wings account for the way I made the most of my day? Or would it have happened anyway? Let me count the ways that yesterday was supremely satisfying:
--I went to spin class, and I pushed myself, especially toward the end. I thought we were on our last sprint, so I pumped my legs faster than I ever have before--only to find out we had another set to do. The first sprint was a bit wobbly, but then I recovered by the second sprint of that unexpected series. It was an excellent reminder that we are stronger than we think.
--As I finished my shower, I got an idea for how to create a poem. I have lately felt abandoned by my poetry muse, so it was good to feel her promptings again.
--But I didn't write that poem. Instead I got started on a short story that I've had in my head for awhile. It was good to remember how fun it is to create a fictional world.
--I met a friend for lunch. I had a big salad and a side of broccoli. I need to get more veggies in my life. I was nourished by both the veggies and the conversation.
--Throughout the day, I corresponded with my online students who are working on papers. One student said I had helped her more than any other teacher she'd ever had. I was both happy that I was helping, but sad that she hadn't ever experienced it before. And it's an online environment, and I always wonder if I'm doing enough--good to be reminded that it does work for some students.
--My work day was the best kind: I helped people solve a variety of problems, none of them excruciating, but not exactly easy issues either.
--I bought wine at Hollywood Vine. A double treat: I'm supporting local business, and I got some yummy wine. I always feel so happy in that store, with its wooden shelves and a wide variety of good wines. And it's less than a mile from my house--a true treasure of downtown Hollywood.
--We had a lovely dinner by the pool--such pleasant weather! We have a new pool toy, a bobbing and blinking light with reflective surfaces. It's a bit like having a disco ball in the water. It was wonderful to watch the different colors and shapes as the light left the sky and the darkness deepened.
--And then the full moon rose. What a breathtaking sight!
Best Essay Collections of 2017 by Women Authors
1 month ago