RUTH: Hey, it’s great to know that the U.S. Supreme Court and I are settling down to work on the same day. I’d feel a little better about it, though, if their recent decisions weren’t mostly right-on-red turns. What’s the comment I just read about Clarence Thomas’ recently released autobiography? Something about how the only victim he ever met was himself. Funny how bad experiences help some people develop empathy for the rest of the struggling world, but others harden their outlook and narrow their eyes. How sad not to grow a bigger heart from all that pain.
In my own, much smaller world, I ended the weekend with a walk on the hike and bike trail around Lady Bird Lake in the middle of Austin. I love the trail’s conviviality and mix of people — very serious, grittily determined joggers and bicyclists tossed in with parents pushing enormous strollers, families with kids teetering on training wheels, scattered groups of friends talking a lot faster than they walk. The last describes our group of three. We talked so much I didn’t even notice I was exercising. All this sunshine, fitness and camaraderie — then, driving away, I tried to make a left turn and had to brake hard to avoid one of those families with the teetering training wheels and helmeted kids. I felt terrible — and the father fixed me with a glare that seemed to say that, ordinarily, he was adamantly against the death penalty, but might make an exception in my shameless case. I slunk home.
But no. The weekend drew to a close after talking with both our kids and hearing that everything is good — and exciting and fun — in their worlds. That’s what I call a good weekend.
I’m well-aware that I’m doing all the “talking” at the moment and there are supposed to be two of us Fabulous Geezersisters yammering on about our lives. But Ellen is settling into a new life in Poland, trying to get her computer set up, applying for jobs and teaching a few students who want to learn English. She can certainly speak for herself (beautifully, as a matter of fact), and I don’t presume to speak for her. Just thought I would mention this in case I appear to be a blog hog.
Today, I’m beginning work on a newspaper piece about Austin, trying to hawk essays and articles I’ve written, checking my email too damned frequently, and coming up with some new ideas. All of which reminds me that I used to work for someone who said she looooved creativity and being around creative people. Jeez. All I could think was how deeply unattractive and unappetizing the whole state of trying to create something is. It involves lots of staring and drooling and fidgeting. If you want something more aesthetically pleasing in its process, it would probably be better to hang around a maternity ward and watch somebody give birth.
All of which reminds me. I need to start drooling and staring and fidgeting right now.
(Copyright 2007 by Ruth Pennebaker)