Sunday, December 4, 2011


I have been thinking about writing, and about the people who sit in their rooms alone, putting pen to paper or finger to keyboard. We are a solitary lot, and for every flamboyant Hemingway or Mailer, there are hundreds of quiet and unobtrusive people who spend their hours watching. Observing. No one notices us. Perhaps we were the plainest girl in the room. Perhaps we live to tell stories at the expense of living life itself. We sit in the corner and try to be a person" on whom nothing is lost".

Many years ago I worked in a U.S. Veterans Hospital. I cared for a man who was a low level wiseguy. He liked me, and he told me that if anyone ever bothered me he could make them pay. "I can get you anything short of murder", he said. I worked with a nurse practitioner who served in Vietnam. She told me of caring for soldiers left for dead in a ditch who saw their comrades dragged away by tigers. When we nurses had a meeting one night at her home, we backed over her cannabis patch, trying to park.

Writers pay attention. No detail is missed. Others ask us how we can remember. We know it is because we cannot forget.

No comments: