So it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m feeling very smug as I tap away. Here’s what I’m writing:
When I was a student in London, I had a literary aha moment. I was living in Bloomsbury, near Virginia Woolf’s former home, and I had just finished reading A Room of One’s Own. One afternoon, I stumbled upon Fitzroy Square and spotted a blue placard indicating the brownstone in which Virginia Woolf had lived with her husband in the early twentieth century. I sat on an iron bench at the center of the square and stared at the placard until the words grew blurry. In those moments, I thanked Virginia Woolf for dropping me a line that extended nearly the length of the twentieth century. Like the Indigo Girls, I felt this esteemed writer had “sent a letter to my soul.” Sitting on that bench, I thought, what if I could do that? What if I could drop a line to some wandering tourist a century from now? What if I could reach someone who needed reaching?
I stop typing to gaze at my growing stack of poetry books: Emily Dickinson, Philip Levine, Jack Gilbert…I think about finding a poem to read to the kids during dinner, and then I congratulate myself for my august parenting.
Suddenly, I am interrupted by my three-year-old daughter. She picks up a note I’ve written on a piece of scrap paper:
D: What’s this?
Me: It’s a note I wrote.
D: Who you’re going to give it to?
Me: No one. It’s a note to me.
D: Who’s it for?
Me: It’s for me. I’m going to keep it. Sometimes we write things for ourselves – notes, lists, or other stuff… Isn’t that silly? Maybe one day you’ll write notes for yourself too. Wouldn’t that be cool?
D: I have a lollipop on my shirt.
I think this was God or Gaia or Woody Allen sending me a message: You’ve got a lot to learn, lady. Climb down from that pedestal. And don’t go breaking your arm patting yourself on the back either, wunder-mama.