Before I get myself in trouble, it could be a beer, a cup of tea, a glass of wine or a diet coke. Now that that’s out of the way, who would you pick to spend an hour or a day with? Living or dead, who would excite, scare, intimidate, or thrill you to meet? What questions would you ask them?
I’m going to give my partial list and reasons. Who would you choose, and why? I’d very much enjoy reading your answers.
Since I write, I’m going to start with authors.
First choice–John Steinbeck. He knew people; he knew common experiences and he could and did write of the pain, joy, and struggle of the lives we all live. My question “How did you write so honestly, so vividly?” The Grapes of Wrath and The Long Valley.
Second choice – Cormac McCarthy–A curmudgeon I suspect, who doesn’t suffer fools, but still I’d try. “How does one learn to write with such brutality and with such beauty?” The Road and All the Pretty Horses.
Third choice–Mary Oliver–“Your poetry was so accessible, even a dolt like me can understand and feel it.” I bet she would have just smiled. Dog Songs and A Thousand Mornings.
Honorable mentions: Billy Collins, Alice Munro, John O’Donohue, and Barbara Kingsolver.
First choice – The 14th. Dalai Lama. I saw him in Minneapolis and could feel his compassion when he walked into the huge auditorium. My question – “How have you forgiven and feel such compassion for those who stole your country?”
Second Choice–Abraham Lincoln.–“Help me understand how you became you. Who you were, and what you did, defies understanding.”
Third choice–Bobby Kennedy–Simply because I admired him then, and I admire him now.
Notable Others–Robin Williams, John Prine, Mother Teresa, and my grandmother, Annie Close.
Musicians (because music has been such a part of my life)
First choice–John Prine (again) I just want to tell him I miss his music and his illegal smile.
Second choice–Jim Croce, Jimmy Buffett, and Marvin Gaye, over a beer. So many questions, serious answers, and laughs.
Third choice–Elvis, hell, he was Elvis, reason enough.
So who would you meet, know, talk with, and share a beer or cup of tea with? There are wonderful people out there, some we wish we could know, others we will know only by their writing, their music, or the events they helped shape. It’s up to us to open ourselves to every opportunity that presents itself, and that means knowing others. There are fascinating and funny people in this world. Go meet them.
Go well, David