Monday, February 11, 2019

My Good and the Good of the Universe

Seven weeks have passed since I last posted. The hiatus wasn’t planned. I was ill for five of those weeks. The text of this posting is what preceded the illness; next week, what came out of it.

In December after several months of writing for publication, I realized I no longer had the energy or the will to write each day. Perhaps the time had come to simply retire from writing. To give up my heartwish of publishing books others might enjoy reading.

The 2018 self-published books—Prayer Wasn’t Enough, The 25th Anniversary Edition of A Cat’s Life, the reformatted A Cat’s Legacy, and The Gift of Nine Lives—were not selling well. I did not know how to use social media to market my books. Moreover, I was feeling too old to want to try to learn new tricks.  In addition, marketing would take time from writing. I simply didn’t have the energy to do both. I wasn’t sure I had the energy to do either.

For twenty-five years I’d tried to find an agent to represent my work; none had been interested. Perhaps my writing wasn’t good enough. I believe in the Universe—the Holy Oneness of All Creation, including all of us who populate our world—past, present, and future. I believe that if what I do or want to do is for my good and the good of the Universe, it will happen.

Yet, those four books hadn’t sold well.

Clearly my writing wasn’t for the good of the Universe. Perhaps writing was simply self-indulgent. Or were these thoughts examples of self-indulgence? Self-pity. “Woe is me.” “O you poor, poor slob, you!”

And why feel self-pity? After all, I had this blog. With its postings, I communicate with others whose on-line friendships I cherish.

As I got ready for 2019—the year in which I turn 83 in April—I thought that perhaps writing a post a week was enough to satisfy my longing to communicate with others the experiences I’d had during a wonderfully long life.

By Christmas, I decided to give up all writing but blogging.

The decision stunned me. I felt as if I’d harvested the wheat of my life and flung it into the stratosphere of oblivion.

To fill the resultant malaise, I made another decision: I’d spend the years I had left doing other things I also enjoyed: I’d blog, visit with friends more often, bake yeast bread, try new vegetarian soup recipes.

I’d learn to watercolor; teach myself to draw; study Old English, Classical Greek, and Latin again; and perhaps learn online Spanish.

Why I’d work jigsaw puzzles, play solitaire to my heart’s content, practice the keyboard, discover new mystery writers, and in general, just go with the flow of the day. I’d let it lead me to wherever contentment awaited me.

Sounded like a plan to me.

Then on New Year’s Day, a sinus infection made itself know. The next five weeks saw the arrival of a head cold, a chest cold, an extended bout of asthma with labored breathing, two 10-day series of anti-biotics, and steroidal tablets to keep my chest from a pneumonia invasion. Much coughing; interrupted sleeping; using up four boxes of Kleenex. A trip to Urgent Care for a breathing treatment and to the internist.

By last Monday, all that was over. Now I felt like wheat grain that had been ground between mill stones. I’d become flour.

What does one do with flour? Bake.

Next week I’ll share with you what I’m baking this year.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Friendly Beasts

“The Friendly Beasts,” an English Christmas carol, has been a favorite of mine since a friend sent me—long ago—a Christmas card with a woodcut featuring the animals who sing in the carol.  

The version I’m sharing with you today has an extra verse featuring a cat. So how could I resist choosing this one from YouTube! I hope you enjoy it and that you, too, will experience the joy of Christmas as do these friendly beasts . . . and the feline. 

Peace as always from me and many purrs from Ellie, Maggie, and Matthew, the three felines with whom I share my life.