"A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway." ~ Junot Díaz
Sunday, April 30, 2017
On Meeting Morrison
we put into getting lecture tickets
unbelievable. Had I put that much effort and
into any other aspect of my life, I’d be rich and famous
or even published.
prevented us from meeting another author,
but that’s fine. “It’s not like she’s Toni Morrison.”
was another acclaimed writer. My nervous chatter evoked a smile
and gratitude in her. I could handle that.
What could I say to Toni
meet Morrison, I thought of what she meant to me.
storyteller. Woman of strength and intellect.
themselves at her pen to form
dive into your soul,
make your scars bleed.
They stole my milk.
instinct to kill a child to save her.
beauty you see when you open
your eyes to
like her, we cannot do it. Few mortals possess this skill.
a place in
our lives to write.
We who dream
of one acceptance letter from a publisher cannot
dream of a
Kripa and I
cut the end of the lecture
to secure a
place in line. Stood in the long library hallway,
ceilings echoed footsteps on stone and amplified hushed tones,
drowning out any sounds
of the lecture. We calculated the distance from the table, the number
and the books they held. We would make it.
what we would say: “We love your work.”
a signature on a card for a special patient who“loves your
the faces of those who returned with signed copies
or a mere
glimpse of her majestic Author.
they glowed. They had seen the blessed Writer.
We longed to
be there and feel her Power.
We hoped she
would endow us with her secrets,
words, our gratitude.
We hoped we
would gain a bit of the fairy dust that dances in her aura, that
us write as she does.
Yet, we were
only nameless faces in line. Bodies with back packs and
coats, scarves swaddling our throats as we clutched dog-eared copies
of Beloved or glossy
new ones from the table outside.
approached the table only to perform a silent
a book for a signature.
at me with curiosity
requested a handshake. She complied softly.
stepped ahead, the lights of a cameraman
Author to look away.
we were walking away. Our books suddenly seemed
Kripa’s card was blank. We made our way through the crowd,
a queue of
anticipation and excitement, meandering through the Hall. Should we
As we left
the library with coffee in styrofoam cups, we pulled hoods over our heads, careful not
to let the rain fall on our books or coffee.