A bit about My Antonia and Nia, too

Once in a while, not often enough, I clear (or ignore) everything and carve with words.

When the submission call went out for essays, fiction, and poetry inspired by Willa Cather’s My Antonia, where could I even begin? How to honor one of the first novels that struck my heart on multiple levels?  I started by thinking essay, and its impact on me, but then I diverted to a new story instead.

Certain lines and images tantalized me. I drove west. I watched the sunset and thought about the vast land, the way

2019-03-31T09:34:17-05:00Categories: The Innocent Prince|2 Comments

I Don’t Know

My mother’s things are in disarray all around me. Her sunglasses are in the center console of my car. Her signature “Betty Boop” coat is draped over my back seat. Her purse is next to the couch in my family room.  

The clear baggie (fancy hospital luggage, I call it) holding her pictures and coloring books from her bedside is on the floor under my kitchen counter.  It’s next to Christmas gifts we haven’t yet put away. Her health took an emergency turn just before Christmas, really, and my time quickly segmented into caregiving, staging/transporting, waiting, watching,

Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever

The Goodbye Girl movie credits scrolled on the TV in my mom’s hospital room just after she fell asleep on Monday. I sat next to her as the song played:

Goodbye doesn’t mean forever.

Goodbye doesn’t mean we’ll never be together again.

I left for a few hours for an event with Marcus, we came back to the hospital after.

She was asleep. I talked to the night nurse a bit and told her I’d be back the next morning, but we agreed she would call me if I needed to come earlier.

Marcus whispered, “Goodnight Grandma” as we left the room.

After

Where Life Is

Right now I feel both drained of inspiration and full of emotion, which seems contrary because inspiration is borne of the rawest and truest emotions.

Inspiration when you’re empty. 

I don’t know. I feel very empty.

Yet, I realize that all of this…all of this experience, these moments of reflection, hard truths, and harder lived lies. These minutes that alter between cleaning up, caring for, enlisting help, and often just watching…that seep into numb hours, still provide learning moments.