Last night I had the opportunity to gather with a group of writers for the first time in a long time. I listened to colleagues read their work and read a story of my own. There was delicious food and a crockpot of hot toddies promising their own warm buzz. It seems like a dream now, but it was real-- the amazing Amanda McBroom sang to us, each of her songs its own story. Afterwards I drove home through the rain to my quiet house, sinking into stories true and imagined, pondering how good it feels as a reader or writer when we are drawn quickly into the deep middle. I slept a lot today, turning a new story over in my head, resisting the urge to talk about it. Write it, don't tell it to us, a favorite teacher used to say. It never ceases to amaze me that so much wreckage can be made sense of and turned into something new.
It's been a slow process these months since my mom has left my house for me to realize that I am free to come and go, stay out late, spend a day in bed if I like. I miss her though and wish that I could see her more often. But it's completely obvious what a good choice it was for her to go back to Iowa where there are so many family members to visit her. I'm glad I wrote down the stories she told me while she was living here, or someday they might feel like a dream too.