Monday, November 16, 2015

A Sunday in South Florida: Titles, Teahouses, and Prayers

Yesterday, we went to church, as we do most Sundays.  My pastor wrote on Saturday and asked if I had any red, white, and blue fabric that I could bring.  He wanted to set up a prayer table for France.  I responded that I did, but none were big enough for a table cloth.  I had strips and patches, which I thought made a good symbol too.

I was cleaning up from the middle service, so I missed the best camera shot with all the candles lit.   But the skinny beeswax candles melted and set the tablecloth on fire, so they had to be extinguished.

After church, my spouse took some pictures of me.  I'm thinking that I want a better author photo for my forthcoming chapbook.  Here are my two favorite shots:

I like the slight haziness:

And then, after lunch, we talked about titles for the memoir.  My spouse came up with some good ones, but they had the same problem as the ones I created yesterday--too long and wordy and not compelling except to the 200 readers out there who might say, "Hmm, monastic stuff--sign me up!"  My spouse played with ways to get the word corporate into the title with the thought of the book being shelved in multiple places in a bookstore. 

I brought out the table of contents.  We continued to combine phrases.  I think we may have come up with the title:

Buddhist Teahouses in Wall Street

We had on instead of in.  But the switch is intentional.  We thought about a subtitle--but those make the title so unwieldy.

I'd need to write a concluding essay with that title.  Or would that be explaining too much?  Do I want to let the reader make those connections?

For those of you who want an explanation of Buddhist teahouses but don't want to wait for the memoir's eventual publication, see this blog post

It was a good afternoon, a good day.  I feel lucky to have a spouse who is quietly supportive--it could have been otherwise.  I feel lucky that I have not been cut down before I could finish more of my life's creative work.

I am aware of time's quick passage.  It is time to get moving.

I did have this thought that felt almost heretical, as I watched the candles flicker during church yesterday.  I thought, if I was shot dead as I enjoyed a lovely evening in a Paris café--well, there would be worse ways to die.  It would be quick, as opposed to death by cancer.  I might not even realize what was happening.  My last meal would have been delightful.

But happily, I am not dead yet.  There is time to do all that I hope to do.  Let me light my candles, pray for peace, and then translate my prayers into actions.

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