My younger daughter has a tattoo that says “What is past is prologue.” At first, the tattoo’s message bothered me because it seemed fatalistic, a surrender to the life-defining power of one’s hard times. It seemed shorthand for I can’t do that or be that way or achieve that because of what happened to me, I am trapped by the past. But that’s not how I see it now. Everything that has happened in my life has brought me to this moment of acceptance and power. I see that now. I don’t know how she sees it. We’ve never talked about it.
I feel less of a mother and more of a person than I have since I was 24. Another way of saying this is I feel unencumbered. I feel unobligated. Maybe this is the gift of being old – one is let off the hook for so much – working, earning money, worrying about children, the future. It feels like prize money in a contest you didn’t know you entered.
NaNoWriMo starts Monday. This is a thing where people try to write a novel in a month – 50,000 words by November 30th. I signed up to write a mystery called Murder in Wilson Park. But, here’s the deal (as a famous president would say), my husband is going to be the plot master and I’m going to be the writer. He has already sketched out the plot, named the characters, created backgrounds for them, and sorted out their relationships. He’s working on sub-themes and plot twists as we speak. I know not where this is coming from. We’ll probably get to Tuesday and his interest will turn back to the stock market.
The pandemic has become an institutionalized bitch. An emergency has become a way of life. The masks, the Zooms, the not having met people in person that I’ve worked with for over a year, the five day count after being around an unvaccinated person, the mistaking a slight hangover for Covid, the indecipherability of the speech of masked people (bless their hearts), the good holiday china that won’t be used for another year, the constant risk calculation, the curtain drawing closed on outdoor get togethers because of the cold weather, so much to complain about. So I complain but then appreciate. I am healthy, busy, and glad for any day that has a little bit of sun to it.
Along those lines, we are having a Drive-By Book Signing and Donut Festival tomorrow. The idea is to sell my husband’s new book and see some folks we haven’t seen in a while. And eat donuts in our front yard. There are four dozen Krispy Kreme donuts stored in the oven right now (protected from Swirl). We don’t think 48 people will come, we just like to plan for leftovers. We live in a world shaped by fabulous leftovers. It’s yummy on our planet.