Earlier this week, I was honored to recieve an awesome award from the USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and my handsome tuxedo-clad son took this picture of me. There was something about the experience that felt kind of like being at my own funeral. I don’t know how to explain that further, but I think the picture above might go some distance toward explaining it.
The next morning, while the darlings slept fast in the darkened hotel room, I woke up as usual at 5:30 (sweetheart, the to do list and the writing brain do not give an F*** about your award) and I took my bag of books to the lobby and drank coffee in the parallel company of all kinds of lovely strangers. My favorite was a very nicely dressed older gentleman telling his wife, “I think I’m still tipsy.” I was even (I’m pretty sure) in one family portrait. But most of all, most of all, most of all, I finished “Raising Lazarus,” by Blair Justice and J. Pittman McGehee. I am sad that I have read all that they had to say to me. As you know, if you are visiting me here, I’m very interested in how we know what we know, and who exactly gets to decide that our methods of knowing are valid (or not). And why it is that we so often don’t trust what we know. I can experience a story giving me chills, or have a dream that tells me something important, or feel better after dancing around with my dearest, littlest, bestest friend. But I still rely on validation by research and am quoting the articles that report, through blood draws and physicists, and a control group, that stories can affect our emotions, that we have a connection to a universal psyche and wisdom, that dancing and laughter and being with someone you love makes you feel good.
Why do we put so much time and effort (and millions of dollars) into proving what we already know to be true, so we can then beg for the thousands of dollars necessary to convince people to do these things, which they have forgotten they already know. What is this?
And by the way: Ma, I miss you. Nobody else has talked to me in days either, I’m sorry. I return to the world tomorrow.
So your prompt is to read the poem below and then, as in the second stanza below, ask a question and then answer it with complete confidence. For example:
How do I know you will write to this prompt?
Because question marks are invitations.
You all know how to hit a girl’s inbox with poems. Do it.