Wedding Singer: Previously Old, Dusty, and Wonderful Part III

I started a post a year and a half ago. A year and a half! A year and a half! I finally logged into this infernal blog monster today and discovered I had started this post and never finished it and didn’t even bother to worry about it. Poor, abandoned words — ideas that don’t matter any more and maybe never mattered. It was even a part three. I neglected to finish a trilogy! Gasp!

A year and a half? Oh yes. That’s when my eldest went off to college and tuition payments happened. That’s when I started making a little money writing stuff for people that meant much more to them than it did to me and editing other people’s writing that the arrogant author in me decided was not as good as my own. Be honest, now. All writers have a certain level of arrogance. Otherwise, why would we do it?

Last summer, I dreamed of a week alone, all by myself, no one to distract me, in my father-in-law’s lovely little cabin in Arizona. Didn’t happen. I wanted to spend that time writing for myself, for myself, for me. Now I sound arrogant and self-centered. Yes, that’s me. Little ol selfish me.

Today, in my newspaper, there was an article about a young waitress/writer who just landed a six-figure deal while serving at a cocktail party. She said it was unexpected; she was surprised. But she had put in the work! She had the education, she spent the time, she worked on her craft, and now it was all paying off. I am certain that she is a better writer than I will ever be. I thought I was jealous–just add that vice to the list. Then I decided I’m not! I am so happy for this young writer and her fulfilled dreams! She is a rock star! I am not envious. What a revelation.

I started the post below because my son who is now a sophomore in college was talking about his high school literature class with me and I was inspired to read, inspired to remember high school, college, graduate school, inspired to keep learning and thinking. I like to think he and his sister are as intelligent and engaging as they are partly because of me, because I read to them and talked to them and listened to them their whole lives.

I make a tiny bit of money writing, editing, tutoring, and substitute teaching. All this time I thought it was just about the money, about helping my husband support our family. Sometimes, it still is just about the money, but other times it is about growing young minds, encouraging older minds, and making new acquaintances who appreciate my words. This sounds pretty trite, I know, but I have made some people happier and helped some people learn and grow. And that is good.

The post I started a year and a half ago went like this:

“This is the last high school flashback (for the moment). I promise! In reading a series of short stories for AP English, we were given catch phrases to help us remember the most important aspects of each author’s style or favored themes. I remember almost none of them, but the one for Graham Greene has stuck in my head all this time, maybe because it is so hopeful and uplifting or maybe because of my Christian beliefs. The saying was:

‘Between the stirrup and the ground, he mercy sought and mercy found.’”

That’s it. I remember that I was reading The Honorary Consul, a pretty decent book. Graham Greene tends to stick with me.

Well, maybe something I have said will someday stick in someone’s head or mean something. Maybe that has already happened. If that young writer I read the article about today is a rock star, then I am a wedding singer. And that’s not such a bad thing to be. Rock on!

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