Gratitude When Most Needed


I’m hesitant to write about the year 2020, and its impact upon my psyche. We’ve all had to manage this bizarre and fear producing year. Like most people, there have been periods when I could say I managed “OK.” Other times have been much more difficult. Words I’ve often heard expressed from others have included, “Depressed.” “Bored,” and “Difficulty focusing.” All of which I’ve also experienced.

This past week has been a period of reprieve. Happenstance per chance. (I like how that phrase sounds) Still, it’s been a good week. I had outdoors and socially distant coffee with two dear friends. It was good to BS and prattle on about things we know little about.

Suzanne and I watched a movie I’d never seen. Fly Away Home is a sweet movie staring an adorable younger Anna Paquin and Jeff Daniels. The film is loosely based on a real account of teaching and assisting motherless geese to fly south for the winter. Sappy in parts, yes, but in a time lacking sentimentality, it was just what I needed. A second gift in the week also came from the same movie. 10,000 Miles is a hauntingly beautiful song sung by Mary Chapin Carpenter at both the beginning and end of the film. I love music and coming upon new tunes like this one feels like a special gift. While talking music, do yourself another favor, listen to Mark Knopfler play and sing Piper To The End. Both songs are on YouTube and easy to find.

I was still in the grasp of joy, having recently finished reading The Devil’s Highway. If you’re interested, look at last week’s blog concerning more about this incredible book.

Three more good things occurred at the end of the week. All of which added to my happiness. I ran a one-day promotion of my second novel, The Unusual Man, as a free e-book give away. I used The Fussy Librarian as the promotion platform. For Amazon Select books, authors may do free promotional events that essentially pay no royalties to the author. It is a potential way to get a much wider readership. I had hoped to get 25 downloads, that would have felt like a success. I allowed myself to hope for 50, which would have been great. By the end of the day, there were 978 downloads of my book. When I crowed about this to Suzanne, she smiled and said, “Yes, they were free.” She was right, it was a free book, still 978 people downloaded it and now can read my work.

I’ve long ago moved past my brief stint of dreaming of fame, fortune, and adoration for my writing. I now hope anyone who reads my work can simply enjoy it and finds some merit in my writing. I’m going to maintain that view and hope some of those who received my book yesterday will appreciate it.

Later in the morning, Suzanne and I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens. They were beautiful. Every plant seemed to be in full bloom. Yes, even after 140 days of 100 degree plus days, the gardens were spectacular. The La Calavera Cantina exhibition was on display. Ten-foot-tall figures of Day of the Dead characters towered above visitors. (See the pic at the end of this post) Our visit seemed perfect. We topped off our get away with a lunch stop at Benny’s, my favorite Tucson Mexican Restaurant.  If you live in Tucson, do yourself a favor and eat there. Tell Mercedes, the kindest wait person on earth, that David and Suzanne sent you.

My day ended with watching a MSNBC documentary of the official photographer for President Obama. You don’t have to be a Democrat or fan of Barack Obama to appreciate the humor, grace, kindness, and compassion of the man. If you’re a Republican, allow yourself to open your mind and for an hour and a half, simply appreciate the program.

I rested well Saturday night.

Now a new week has begun. We continue to face the same issues that have existed since this year’s beginning. The pandemic rages and grows larger, the contentious election will occur in less than three weeks. We remain a divided country. We all ask the unanswerable question, when will we get back to “normal?” Perhaps this IS the new normal.

I will try to hold on and take comfort from the events of last week. A wish I hope for all others. May good things and happiness descend on everyone.

WARNING – A Snarky Part – read at your on risk.

Attribution refers to words that let the reader know who has spoken a line of dialogue in a story. So far, so good.

I started reading a book of short stories by a famous writer. The following is taken directly from that book.

“That’s an awfully big shot,” Nick said.

“Not for us, Welmedge,’ Bill said.

          “What’ll we drink to?” Nick asked, holding up his glass.

          “Let’s drink to fishing,” Bill said.

“All right,” Nick said. “Gentlemen, I give you fishing.”

“All fishing,” Bill said. “Everywhere.”

“Fishing,” Nick said. “That’s what we drink to.”

“It’s better than baseball,” Bill said.

“There isn’t any comparison,” said Nick. “How did we ever get talking about baseball?”

They drank all that was in their glasses.

“Now let’s drink to Chesterson.”

“And Walpole,” Nick interposed.

Nick poured out the liquor. Bill poured out the water. They looked at each other. They felt very fine.

“Gentlemen,” Bill said, “I give you Chesterson and Walpole.”

“Exactly gentlemen,” Nick said.

They drank. Bill filled up the glasses. They sat down in the big chairs in front of the fire.

“You were very wise, Welmedge,” Bill said.

“What do you mean?” asked Nick.

“To bust off that Marge business,” Bill said.

“I guess so,” said Nick.

I will never win the Nobel Prize for Literature. I am certainly no literary or writing expert, but to me, this use of attribution does not read like Nobel prize winning writing. Please someone, tell me what I am missing in this?

“End of snarky part,” I said.

Take care and go well, David

“Preach With Your Life, Not With Your Mouth.” Taken from Across The Wire by Luis Alberto Urrea