November 2, 2011
As usual at the start of a blogfest such as NaBloPoMo or Holidailies, this blog has seen a spike in visitors. But they’re not all coming from NaBlo’s randomizer or my notification efforts. Many are coming from a mention my Margaret of Cortona piece, written by Marsha Tole, a columnist who writes about weight loss from Albuquerque. She called the piece, which I wrote in 2006 in the earliest incarnation of this effort, “interesting” and “entertaining.” (Ms. Tole’s own work is interesting and entertaining as well. You should check it out. She uses the same strategy I do to get rid of leftover Halloween candy.)
I mentioned Margaret of Cortona briefly today at Markings, my other blog. That piece was mostly about my visit to a local church to view the relics of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. I’ve always been drawn to mentions of my name. There were two other Margarets in my grade school class, but the only famous Margaret I knew was Margaret Hamilton, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West. In eighth grade I learned about Margaret Mitchell, who wrote a thick novel because she was confined to her house while a broken leg healed. (“In a weak moment, I have written a book,” she said in 1935.) That was the year I read that book. The next year, ninth grade, I came under the influence of Sr. Margaret Loretta, my English teacher for half the year, and then my math teacher, and I began to like my name a little more.
In 1968 I became a devotee of Richard Brautigan, carrying around volumes of his work as if they were sacred texts. My favorite piece, from In Watermelon Sugar, is “My Name,” which ends with the haunting line, “And I wish Margaret would leave me alone.”
As I mentioned in the Markings post, I am not named for St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, nor for St. Margaret of Cortona, but for my maternal grandmother. She was 69 years old when I was born. Here you see her on my parents’ wedding day. She’s the one on the right, and she is 68 years old there. My paternal grandmother, younger by 15 years, stands with her. To me, they look alike, as if they are the same age, and that age is old. I am today barely three years younger than my grandmother Margaret. At right you see a full body shot of what I look like today. It makes me wince, and I post it with some trepidation, since I don’t think I look like that. Evidently, though, I do look my grandmother’s age, only dumpier.
So, back to work on that weight loss stuff. See you tomorrow.