December 28, 2008
Here comes another post that is a tradition for Markings even though I did it only once before (unless you count 2003, when I devoted a whole post to each month). One by one, a little of the flavor of each month:
January 29, 2008 – Exposure and Concealment: “In recent days I have gotten more personal than ever before in these posts, nearly abandoning concealment and going for more and more exposure. . . . By the act of writing I am calling into existence the hidden and frightened selves who inhabit my personality. I sometimes say that I fail to make progress in my fiction writing because “the fall into fiction,” the process of becoming my characters for a while rather than just thinking about them, scares me. The fall into nonfiction is starting to feel as dangerous.”
February 3, 2008 – Less Than Zero: “I’m still less than zero on the mood watch scale, but the Giants won, I have a clear strategy for working on a manuscript this week, there are at least two new episodes of Friday Night Lights left, and only twenty-six days left in February.”
March 4, 2008 – A Silver Pool of Light: “I lifted my head then and saw my reflection as I approached the door. With the lifting of my head and the squaring of my shoulders I felt, actually felt as a physical event, the [lifting of my depression].”
April 27, 2008 – Changeable Skies: “I’m trying to get into my summer brain. I have four weeks until the Bread Loaf notification letters come and then ten weeks beyond that until my annual August Gallivant begins. . . . I am trying not to let the next two weeks disappear into anxiety over the logistics of Lynn’s graduation and the ways both subtle and dramatic that my life is changing.”
May 9, 2008 – I’m Sailing Right Behind: “Evelyn Rose DeAngelis, my darling, my stringbean, she who is dew, who is gold, who is absolutely perfect, graduates from college tomorrow. People keep congratulating me on this milestone, and I don’t understand why. Lynn has done all the work.”
June 28, 2008 – As Close as the Air: “Something shifted in me today, some quality in the air or the light that told me to pay attention, to look around, to examine the signs. I went into the day’s occupations with a thoughtfulness about what might be significant, what I might be being called to.”
July 3, 2008 – Details and Consequences: “And I know now what I could not have known as a callow twenty-something. Physical love is but one way we structure who we are and how we move in this world. All of our human connections — the physical, the emotional, the spiritual — protect us and sustain us and keep the wolf of loneliness and despair in his light and dreamless sleep.”
August 31, 2008 – Mansion of Gloom: “I’m on my way to the next big things, including the most exciting and important presidential election of my life. I have a plan for finishing my novel and the confidence to follow through.”
September 18, 2008 – Into an Unknown Land: “I’ve let my prayer life get a little ragged in recent weeks. My morning period of Coffee and Contemplation has become mostly Coffee and Moodling in My Novel. I’m making astonishing progress on that, but I need some balance.”
October 14, 2008 – She’s Not There: “Yes indeed, Goldengrove’s unleaving again, and I’m sighing over loss and change again. [Lynn's] not here, but she is where she needs to be, and what’s even better, she is who she needs to be.”
November 1, 2008 – The Other Side: “I pray every day, almost always with colored pencils in my hand, sometimes recalling those already on the other side, but mostly calling up the names and images of the living people whose concerns are important to me. If you’re reading this, know that you’ve been included at least from time to time in one or another of those sessions, by name if I know you but otherwise in a little box labeled “Marking’s readers” and decorated with orange and cobalt blue, my two favorite colors.”
December 5, 2008 – Looking Back, Looking At: [My official biographical statement] says nothing about my personal life, about my empty nest in a neighborhood I have lived in and loved for almost thirty-three years, about the daughter who is feathering her own nest (we’re visiting tomorrow to see her first Christmas tree), about the church I belong to and its Thursday morning women’s group I never miss, about the Friday night Weight Watchers meeting where I am, for the first time in many years of off-again, on-again membership, feeling some community and support, about the friends, online and off, who enrich my life every single day. . . . I guess maybe to find out about those things, you’ll have to keep reading!”
To those who have kept reading, who read so much, so often, thank you yet one more time.
A year ago, I did my first “year in review” piece.
Two years ago, I did not post on this date.
Three years ago, I recalled the visit I’d made in October to an Amish farmhouse.
Four years ago, I wrote about throwing off the dislocations of Christmas and getting back to my fiction work.
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