… and I remember ten days being a milestone of sorts after giving birth. Double-digits a Big Deal for my westernized mindset; tenth birthdays received Special Treatment for both the boys as well, though whether that was due to my influence or the inherent tidiness of the number ten I can’t say.
This year, ending with what some consider to be the unlucky thirteen, has begun its inevitable forward march, and I have found myself trailing behind the column of daily soldiers, picking up the lost boot with the broken laces, the reading glasses with the crushed lens, the muddied confetti and the shiny, neglected pennies. I’ve dawdled behind with my bag of assorted broken treasures, unsure of what to hope for, daunted by my mounting rejections, turned upside down in others’ emotional furor.
And then one of my oldest friends, from way back before I was a mother, sent me the link to this article about Jeffrey Eugenides by Todd Hasak-Lowy, ostensibly about how to write, but also wrestling with the inherent tension of writing as “art” and writing as “product.” It provided me with the energy I needed to sort through my broken-treasure collection and cull out the fix-able paragraphs, the still-inspires-me story ideas, and the hopeful jottings. May it prove equally inspiring for you.