Monday, August 12, 2019

Hail, kindred spirit!










I had a fine piece of serendipity today. I'd gone for a walk in our local botanical garden, which features native plants and plant communities of the Southwest. There is a particular oak tree that must be more than 300 years old. Its sign proclaims it to be Majestic Oak, and it is, although Walter and I always rebelled against the un-ironic name and called it "the pretty big oak." It is one of the places where I left some of his ashes, discreetly of course, to become part of the tree.

As I continued my walk, I found myself putting words together about it. Ooo, a keeper! But bizarrely, I had set out without anything to write with or on or in, and I couldn't find the Notes app on my phone. Despite rising heat, I hustled over to the gift shop. "Hello!" I said to the young man behind the counter. "Could you give me a scrap of paper and something to write with?" "That's a nice 'hello'," he said, and handed me both. I jotted down what I had, noting as I wrote where it needed some work. "I totally understand," he said; "I'm a writer, and I'm never without," and showed me his moleskine journal and pen. Turns out he writes YA fiction, and was impressed (!!) that I write poetry. Well, I was impressed that he can come up with plots, which I could not do if my life depended on it. We talked Craft for a while, particularly the Surrealists' tricks for jump-starting information. We exchanged our information, recommended readings to each other. I suggested Richard Garcia and Matthea Harvey for prose poems.

Hail, Avery! Long may you bring the right words to paper!