I was listening to the radio in my car one afternoon this week and I heard a woman explain that she was old-fashioned and when she goes on dates, she sits in the car waiting for the man to open her door for her and I thought, “To each their own.” I tried to imagine her motivation for wanting to feel loved in that way. I wondered if Amish men held open the buggy doors for their wives and somehow I think not. The woman on the radio admitted that often her dates go three blocks before they realize she is not next to them on the sidewalk (she exaggerates to make a point, I hope). Is she asking the man to be so attentive that he is able to predict her next move before she can act on it or does she know her clothes will hinder her ability to protect herself from a hungry coyote? Forget all you’ve heard about the stupidity of sheep. They do move in a group but there is safety in numbers. There is a certain kind of beauty in herding them too. To bring them to the barnyard I walk slowly behind them with my head down, not even making eye contact, as if I was just there minding my own business. Then they move and I follow behind. Unless I am stuck in a long daydream, it isn’t possible to get around to my side of the car and get that door opened before I have thought of it. It would be lying to sit there pretending I don’t know what happens next. Using my own arm muscle to open my own door is all the love I need and I have already planned my next move in your direction.
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And it is hard to say goodbye to Levon Helm.
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I’ve been reading, a lot. Anne Tyler currently, third novel of hers in a week. She is always good when I’m homesick for Baltimore. I open up the first page and the first line says something about Waverly and I just relax and settle down for a good story and characters that will feel as real as people I’ve always known. Does every city have its own novelist so you can be at home when you aren’t? Also read Olive Kitteridge , loaned to me by my sister-in-law. I’m glad I forced (ha!) my way through because I didn’t love it until almost half way through and then I really did and I think now that was sort of the point. People may not seem like much until you get more of the story.
You reading anything great lately?