Monday, January 25, 2010


Happy birthday to Robert Burns!
The Chilean poet and politician Pablo Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. The Swedish Academy had awarded the prize for a lifetime's work. Did you know that Victor Jara was executed because he criticized the government in his songs? Some of his lyrics were from Neruda's poems.
Virginia Woolf wrote, "This insatiable desire to write something before I die, this ravaging sense of the shortness and feverishness of life, makes me cling like a limpet to a rock, to my anchor." Mae Sarton said, "The agonizing self-doubt is always there, of course, and I have to remember that this novel is like all the others, a continual effort to surmount it and spur myself on like a rider through a thicket." Mary O declared, "...we long to be - that happy in the heaven of earth - that wild, that loving."
Will Cather was not considered a political activist but was certainly referring to the political climate of her day when she quoted a plank in the Populist platform. " The fruits and toils of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few..." What would she think of the US class system and government injustices of 2010? That would depend on her own bank account for as one's fortunes are enhanced the more likely one is to negate poverty.
It has taken 30 pages but at last I'm interested enough to read "The Night Journal" by Elizabeth Crooks without dragging myself from page to page.
Several years ago Annie and I were traveling through NM. As I watched the Sandia Mts. rise up out of the horizon I felt my heart stand on tip toe and lean in that direction. Memories came spilling forward and floated me along. Then we were passing and soon we would turn west and leave them behind. To Annie I declared, "It was here in the shadow of Sandia that my salvation was assured." She began asking questions. I tasted the answers with extreme pleasure and found them very sweet. There is no bitterness at Sandia. No, not for me. It was there that I saw other possibilities for my life. I would not follow the course that had been laid before me. I would map my own way to destiny. For me... this was salvation.
Several years later Annie, Justice, Geezis, baby Cedar, Laura and I would visit the Pecos Ruins where Crook takes me in her novel. I see the high red walls. I lay my hand against them and feel ancient grass stubble in my palm.

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