This is part of a DIY education project I’ve undertaken called The 1000-Day MFA that I learned about from writer Shaunta Grimes. You can read more about how I’m engaging with it here. By the way, there might be no rhyme or reason to how I choose the poems, essays, and short stories. Or they might, like today, have a theme. But basically, I just throw my net out to the world, and read whatever I catch.
Remember the Moon Survives by Barbara Kingsolver
Postcards from the Imaginary Mom from High Tide in Tuscon: Essays from Now or Never by Barbara Kingsolver
Unlike the past posts in this 1000-Day MFA project, all three of these entries are by the same author. Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite novelists, has lobbed these treasures into my net and I am so grateful.
Remember the Moon Survives This poem unlocked something in myself that I'd abandoned long ago. I found myself weeping at my dining table. I can count the times I've cried in the last fifteen years on the fingers of one hand. Decades of pain surfaced for recognition and release. An astonishing number of women (probably three out of four), and many men if the truth is known, will understand why. Thank you, Barbara Kingsolver, for freeing the fluid angels of my grief, letting them breathe and turn their faces to the sky.
Postcards from the Imaginary Mom What a delicious ride-along with Ms. Kingsolver, a fly on the wall peek at the realities of being a world famous author having to schlepp for four weeks, every single day from hotel to tv to radio station to interviews with newspapers and magazines to hotel to airport, etc. You feel her aching for her very young daughter, as she bristles at the thousand times she has to answer the question, "What is your book about?" in a 58-second soundbite. It's a story about a writer who is a mother, a mother who is a writer, and what that looks like in today's world. There's a great mini story at the end, too, that's worth buying the whole book.
Another mother/young daughter story. This one rich with detail and rhythm and subtext. Kingsolver writes with compassion as she presents the less than lovely side of life, and how we show up and it's beautiful anyway.
The literary world graced me with this bounty today--a look at children through their mothers, as well as the mirror image: mothers through their children.