Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thoughts of the day

June 13, 2009

Hello to you all. It is no longer morning. I’ve been writing, meeting, planning, conversing, thinking, and, well, NOT finishing this note. Sorry.

The week was a good one. Filled with inspiration, both quietly small and quietly large. I met with two different folks to talk about writing. I appeared on the radio to talk, very candidly, about ovarian cancer. I heard Anna Quindlen, a gigantic presence in the world of writing, speak about her life. And I finished the video of my ride.

I’ve been really pondering the whole experience of this ride, as you know. The first question most people ask is, “Now What?” I’ve stuttered something in response, not very clearly at first, but now, increasingly, with a bit more conviction.

First I’ve been trying to just get home. This has been harder than I could have ever imagined. I did the ride. I came home. And all I could do was miss that whole experience. But I AM home and I WANT to be home and I don’t want to be living a life that is all about missing something that is not here. And finally I feel like I AM home.

It helps to be listening to so many people who say that a book would be a nice next step. I’ve been talking to and writing to people and a picture is beginning to emerge. An idea of how to take what I did and turn it into something else.

It helped, even though it was very hard, to talk openly on the radio. We are filled with subjects that people do not talk about. I, truthfully, would rather not be the one who steps out. Because stepping out means taking a big chance. Stepping out on a thin limb. That might break. And then where would I be? But in the days after the broadcast I heard from a number of listeners who thanked me and told me I’d done well. Which made me feel that the stepping out on that thin limb was a good thing.

It helped to hear Anna Quindlen. She’s one of my writing heroes. Her clear, honest, straightforward writing has always caught my attention. I got to meet her, briefly, and share, briefly, my ride story, especially that I did the ride to raise awareness for ovarian cancer. Her mother died of it and that made me feel a special closeness with her, even if she had no idea who I was. Thinking about that connection and about the poignancy of it all completely overcame me as I listened to her. And that powerful emotional response pushes me ahead, pushes me to continue trying to figure out my own “What’s next?”

It helps, finally, to have this video done. I am excited about being the closing speaker at a national conference. It’s a big subject, this ovarian cancer one. I spoke for two minutes at a dinner for these folks in February. Now I get a half hour, give or take. I’ll finish my time with this video. It’s upbeat but it conveys the “don’t give up” feeling that was the big message for me on this ride. I’ve watched it a whole lot and I still like it and that is a fine thing. John Warner is the fellow who took my wishes and turned them into this finished piece. After the showing in Washington I’ll make it possible for you to see it too.

One more thing about being home. I loved the dinner with the farmers the other night. I love being part of the connection with them. I am deeply honored to have anything to do with making this sort of a difference. And no matter what, no matter how tough things are, these folks are caring for our Earth in a big way. And we get to be a part of that thin, Golden Thread of keeping things going.

Which is the most important thing of all.

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