Silent Mai-ow that Roared
It hurts to love this
much because loss is implicit in love. Any fool knows it but,
thank God, forgets it all the time.
I am sitting in my bark-a-lounger watching a movie (surely
something the intelligentsia doesn’t do) recovering from the
last spate of cattie kinetics – or, running of the bulls, as I
Then, quite unexpectedly, Purrsnikitty looks at me from across
the room and with her eyes securely locked onto mine, crosses
the carpet, crawls up my monstrous body, and coils herself into
the crook of my neck. Tabby sees this and does her copycat
thing, and it becomes a stereophonic love fest, with each one
purring into my ears.
I feel the triage of love passing from one heart to the other.
I am sated.
Ever hear, “When you
come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang in there”? It
features a tabby cat doing just that. Well, I’ve been through
more hurdles than a thoroughbred while producing StarWords, and
here’s the latest: I become a ‘fraidy cat after receiving a
correction back in the original blue-line of the book (a
blue-line is a dummy, or copy of exactly how each page of the
book will appear when printed). Maybe I’m the dummy, but I
decide to have it edited all over again to be sure the printer
hasn’t made errors. Now the print time of the book has been
pushed forward a couple more weeks but I am adamant that I want
this to be a nearly flawless book.
Geez! As regards the publication date, it’s “beginning to look a
lot like Christmas.”
Anyway, when a friend brings me the final edited second proof,
she points out something that hadn’t occurred to me. I had
ASS-U-MEd that a local non-profit would be delighted that they
are named in the book, as they will receive a contribution from
book sales. My friend, however, assures me that I need their
Holy cow! I’ve spent months getting signed releases from every
one of the 62 people in the book (these are international
travelers, mind you); I’ve paid big bucks for a lawyer to
copyright the book title (warned by a savvy salesman to do so);
why didn’t I think of that?
Well, at this writing, I have mailed back the second proofs to
the printer, after which they will be faxed to me again to be
sure they were corrected correctly; and the executive director
of the non-profit says the organization will gladly appear in
the book. But I’m still awaiting a signature.
Whew! Another lesson in patience, overcoming catastrophic
predictions and, generally, keeping the faith . . .
Meanwhile, someone does a hit and run and scrapes a considerable
amount of paint off my lovely little sports car. I first notice
it as I walk out of Blockbuster’s, lean down, hold my head and
moan, “Oh, no! My car! My poor car!”
This lovely woman hops out of her car and runs to me. “Are you
“Oh, I guess so.”
“Did you hurt your head?”
“No, I’m just having a day in hell.”
Then I open a chat room with this complete stranger, who turns
out to be an angel in disguise. She knows me by the column I
used to write for The Herald and her first response to my litany
of complaints is, “But you’re not hurt. And it’s just a car,
after all. That can be fixed. All that really matters in this
world is love, right?”
She shares that the journey through losing a relative to
Alzheimer’s taught her that everything comes down to love.
I want to kiss her for reminding me of that. We embrace (as
women are wont to do) and she ends up showing me a fabulous
poetry/book writing lesson she intends to share with her middle
I tell her I cannot afford to change every bit of poor grammar
in my book (as was pointed out by the scholar who just reviewed
it) and she assures me that ordinary people won’t mind. She’s an
English teacher, so that’s good enough for me. Bad grammar, er,
poor grammar, can wait to be corrected in the second edition.
Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
We talk some more of how there always seems to be some good that
comes from tragedy; that light emerges to vanquish the darkness.
And, so, I leave with this inspiration: there are, truly, no big
deals in this life; at least not a dinged up car, fear of
financial ruin and reputation. No big deals . . .