Monday, January 11, 2010


Mae Sarton wrote 25 letters on the weekend and still had a box on the floor full of unanswered mail. Although people urged her to give it up she insisted that all letters written to her would be honored with a reply. I have only 7 letters to write today but I feel as she did... those who care enough to send a real letter must receive a real letter in return. On 1-11-82 she wrote 4 pages of ms for her novel and a journal entry. The journal consisted of a long note on the biography of Maximillian Kolbe entitled "A Man for Others". Kolbe had survived a Nazi concentration camp. She also wrote of Reagan, "who refuses to imagine the suffering of 12 million unemployed and the degradation of men and women deprived of work and treated in this country like pariahs."
Naomi Shihab Nye wrote a poem about a Palestinian master broom maker in Jerusalem and it said, "Older now, you find holiness in anything that continues, dream after dream." So he continued to weave straw into brooms that swept local courtyards, steps and interiors. "Thumb over thumb... it is a little song." Where did the song begin? Certainly before the straw was gathered. Was it where the seed fell from the old straw? Who can know? Who can hear the little song the broom maker heard? A fellow broom maker, of course.
It has been my good fortune to receive a hand made broom from friend Virgil. Not only does this broom sing it also dances. But it is unable to tell me where the song originated and how the dance began. But I respectfully recognize the holiness of the broom, the song and the dance.
When Louisa was too sick to work on her novel she promised that she would "never be too tired or too old to remember to be grateful (for her blessings)." She also vowed to complete a certain novel as soon as possible and perhaps a series, "if Alcott is not forgotten by that time." She could not know that she would never be among the forgotten and that her stories would rise from the page to be enacted on stage and screen.
I have just returned from posting 7 letters!

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