Hello, dear reader, how are you doing? Do you still come around here, or has the company dwindled to Winnie and my mean-texting little brother?
I had a birthday recently and don't know why it is, but when that occasion rolls around my thoughts invariably turn to aging and death. Not in a bad way, mind you, more in a thoughtful way.
I think about these things throughout the rest of the year, too, so maybe it has nothing to do with marking the passage of time.
Maybe I really am just morbid.
I received the lovely gift of a Kindle on that day and the first book I purchased was Twelve Years a Slave, which came with a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin as part of the deal. So I've been reading (and re-reading, in the case of Uncle Tom) and feeling, as the child Evangeline put it, "these things sink into my heart"...man's inhumanity to man, how deeply it troubles me and how I hope in some way it may be counteracted by greater, redeeming acts of humanity.
Such thoughts weigh upon me and always have, as far back as I can remember.
Add to this some personal, family-related sorrows and it has made for a generally quiet and reflective month.
Continuing with the heavier tone: I haven't been working on my novel lately, a derailment which may be mainly attributed to our newly busier schedule. Beyond that, someone in the publishing industry was kind enough to take a look at it and her reaction was so disheartening I've wondered if the effort is worth seeing through to the end, anyway.
But I realize every creative process, whether it results in some great work of art or not, encounters bumps along the way and I love this story enough to achieve a degree of completion that sits well with my soul.
So regardless of its iffy potential, I'll write on.
I have been running out in that endless, beautiful desert. It clears my mind and soothes my soul, rendering me to a pillar of salt which Winnie is only too happy to cover in kisses upon my return home.
With these more somber thoughts have also come moments of happiness, laughter, and deep, abiding peace. I've been reflecting on my life, on the way I spend my time, on my thoughts and actions at home and beyond, wondering if I'm making the difference I hope to have the ability to make. I'm rarely sure of myself on these matters, or at least I'm always wondering about my capacity to discern and follow through. But I see there is a deep, underlying goodness in life, greater than anything that could cast a shadow or make my heart ache.
I hope I keep moving toward it.