"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Wednesday's Child

Yes, I was born on a Wednesday. I've spent my lifetime living it down, turning my back on despair, embracing optimism, in contradiction of the rhyme proclaiming, "Wednesday's Child is full of woe." Yes, there's a more consoling, cheerful version, "Wednesday's Child knows no woe." But Wednesday's Children are all too aware that it's not the original, doleful version.

I've had an uncharacteristic and inconvenient attack of the Glooms today. Gloomy weather--grey and drizzly. Gloomy news--from Baghdad to Blacksburg, and within on a few miles of our Lodge. Gloomy pictures--our local disaster zone is all over the newspapers (which, with the repair to our road, have been delivered) and on the television.

The three towns of my legislative district are strung along a river, and anybody living near its banks was extremely vulnerable to a deluge like the one we've just experienced. This morning's paper is covered with graphic, full-colour photographs of places most people can't access or easily see. Rising water displaced many residents, caused property damage, forced evacuations. Some families were still repairing or rebuilding, or had just completed the process, from last year's Mother's Day Storm--and the damage from this one is even worse.

In one of "my" towns, the one in which I worship every Sunday, 60 people placed 9,000 sandbags around the riverdam--saving a business and residential district.

The state highway that carries us to the Big Lake is broken up in bits and chunks. We'd planned to check on our cottage this weekend, but that may not be possible.

I'm acknowleding these woes but will not wallow in them.

As a diversion for myself, to inform and enlighten others, I shall share a few positive and/or fun and/or hopeful things.

After last month's glowing, starred review of my cousin's debut novel, Publishers Weekly last week published a Q&A interview with the up-and-coming literary giant. It contains a slight inaccuracy: he didn't grow up in "West Virginia," rather "western Virginia".

When the local and national news is so heartbreaking, it's worth visiting Cheddarvision, direct from Shepton Mallet in Somerset. What's more calming--or hiliarious--or weird--than watching a hunk of cheese mature?

Melinda Doolittle was fun and feisty and utterly fantastic on last night's American Idol.

Stepping into my garden a few minutes ago, I confronted a tangible symbol of survival, a true sign of hope and promise and life.

If we get our predicted sunshine and warmth this weekend, my snow-battered, rain-drenched ever-reliable Early White Crocus will open! The pointy green fingers of late crocus are pushing up, my Thalia narcissus is budded to the max, and the tulips are now showing their leaves.

As comforts go, what's happening in my garden is a simple, small one. But I welcome it and am thankful.

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