a peek behind...

Posted: 1/3/2014

This is the time each year when I dislodge all the crap I have stuck inside of last year's Audubon Engagement Calendar and rotate it, or most of it, to the 2014 calender. This is always an interesting task that usually ends up with me, sap that I am, getting all tangled up in a variety of heart strings.

Besides the oil change, dental, breast exam and skin appointment reminder cards that end up in the garbage there's a mess of really cool stuff that I cannot bear to throw away. Here's just a small sampling—and no, I am not sharing everything—even open-book Radish has to save a few things for her obituary and the book that may come after that.

In no particular order here you go: a note from my son's fifth grade teacher that says— "Andrew your overall paper still makes me feel awed and proud of you"; a devoted fan note that makes my heart sing because of things like this - "How you have changed and liberated so many women's lives...you are so real and caring; a haiku written by a former staff writer when I was managing editor called In praise of radish; a word search game a woman from Canada made after reading one of my novels; a glorious letter from a friend who survived breast cancer and wrote me a thank you note for my friendship; famed novelist Janet Frame's obituary; a letter to the editor written about something I wrote in 1987; notes from an accountant reminding me how poor I am; a mess of letters written by my children over the years when I requested no gifts...just words from their heart; a very, very, very special phone number and a poem from my daughter that brings me to my knees every single time I feel like a failure.

There are more treasures tucked into my new calender but what's important here, to me anyway, are two things.  First of all it's okay to go backwards for this kind of stuff—the good things, the way someone cared, the feelings of love that were given to you. It's the one time I like to turn around and retrace my steps and remember who I was and where I was going when these items were given to me.

And all of these treasures are WRITTEN down and took time and thought. Oh joy of joys! I just love that! Someone took a moment, someone stopped, someone took time to give me something so special from their heart(except the damn accountant), and someone risked opening up an emotion to share with me. And all these items gave me something I needed and apparently still do.

There will be more stuff stuck in the book by this time next year—how exciting is that— and in the meantime I think I'll fire off a few notes and cards to some of the people I have tucked inside of my own heart.



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