Sechuan called me tonight; she always makes me feel wonderful. She praised my Saturday night activities of reading and listening to the radio, which I was feeling a little sheepish over. Really, they are about the best things in the world, though. Pretty soon, I was talking about mom, and grief, and Sechuan was listening in her serious, encouraging way. It’s impossible not to say something smart when a friend listens like that.
Sechuan and I met working at Barbara’s Bookstore, way, way back when you looked up distributor inventories on micro-fiche. Her nickname comes from Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, whose poetry I think she was reading at the time. But I am never happy calling things what they are, so Sechuan she became. We share a love of words, a knight errant’s attraction to entrepreneurial inspirations, and a belief that people in the city can value nature. And, fortunately, we both like to talk about me. Right now, I really need to keep talking about me.
Writing about what has happened has its own power, but it also shapes my thoughts into a form which serves the written word. Sechuan’s gift to me tonight, her companionable, unhurried listening, allowed me to reconnect to what is driving the expression – my need to be, and know, where I am now that my parents are dead. Writing is one way of locating myself, but it isn’t the territory itself.
The danger of the blog is that it becomes a goal in itself. I told Sechuan I was going to take tonight and let the force fields recharge before diving back in, after a week of too much work to write. But I don’t want force fields. I want you to know that my life is different now than it ever could have been. And that is not a subject. That is a verb.