I went swimsuit shopping this morning. I know, it’s January but, I have my reasons. Let’s just say I’m 40 and not flaunting it, it’s more of a “fake it ‘till you make it” situation. “No really, a tankini is much more forgiving than you might think,” the sales girl tells me handing me a polka dotty halter. As she walks away, I am left wondering just what it is I need to be forgiven for. “Oh,” I sigh to myself at myself in the mirror. “This is going to take fortitude and endurance” I say to myself in my best There Will Be Blood accent. I left the poor sales girl with a dressing room full of fallout, the scattered pieces of off-the-wrack and ruin. I finally exited the store with an all black retro granny number and a pair of “surf” shorts, red. I did the best I could and hope not to have to do it again any time soon.
When I returned home I found that my dear friend, Stacey Lynn Brown, had sent me an autographed copy of her new book of poetry Cradle Song. Oh, have mercy it’s beautiful! Originally from Atlanta, Stacey moved out West some years ago and down along the line we became fast friends. I remember slow red wine evenings in her apartment, listening to music, smoking cigarettes and reading over her latest revisions. This work has taken it’s time and gone down some hard roads to reach fruition - becoming an art labored of heart and hand, so stunning because it’s true.
(I'd love to quote from it but, I don't know if I am allowed to do that.)
I read it cover to cover while walking from room to room, stopping only to get my daughter something to eat, my husband an envelope, to let out the cat. I laughed and I wept. Stacey, I wish you lived closer so I could hug you. Thank you, thank you for my gift and congratulations, you so deserve - and it is wonderful!