Forgot to tell you about an interesting experience today – as usual, swinging speedily through my second-hand mecca Doubletake, I was meandering by the books when I noticed a familiar cover, and then a bunch of them – my own book, Yours Truly, dumped into a bin. Four copies! It made me laugh. I showed them to the workers there, who are old friends, and they gathered around, exclaiming about knowing the writer of one of their discarded books. They said they wanted to read it.
I bought all 4 copies – at 50 cents each, realizing that they must have come from the shop at Riverdale Farm, which bought a bunch of books and now is closing down. (I also bought a hand-knitted Cowichan sweater of incomparable warmth – $12.50, and a beautiful blouse -$4- for a friend that I later found had a rip down the back. Win some, lose some.)
Every year, one of my Christmas projects is to take a hamper of goodies to Doubletake on the day of their Christmas party, to thank the workers there for what they give us all. So I asked the store manager when their party was this year. We’re not having a party this year, she said. What – is this a budget concern? These women from Bangladesh, so gracious and kind, do not get a bit of a celebration this year? I didn’t ask why, but I am going to bring them their Christmas hamper in any case, cheese and crackers, chocolates and cookies. And – lucky them! – four copies of my blessed book.
I just wrote a note to thank Catherine Porter, whose Star series on the death of two-year old Stella from a rare form of cancer was so sensitive and so beautifully written – just read the ending with tears dripping into my glass of wine. It made me think of a fine poem. So here, in the Christmas spirit, it is, by a man who was once America’s poet laureate: