The Writer’s Duty – First Column


Welcome to my column. This is new for me, writing a bimonthly column, and I’m grateful to the good folks at Hupdaditty for giving me a forum. I’m not sure what shape it will take yet, but I am sure I will be speaking from the heart, defying the powerful, and using my voice to expose injustice.

It’s also a new year, with new beginnings. I start out 2017 with an abiding gratefulness for being alive, an appreciation for just being here in a way I’ve never had before. Finding out in December that all the cancer scares I’ve had for the past three years are behind me has had a profound impact on my ability to look forward, something I’ve always done but wasn’t able to do while I was dealing with just getting well. E Abbey Quote

Every New Year’s Eve, my spouse, Libby, and I talk about our goals for the coming year, both individually and as a couple. We love to turn the page every year and have a fresh start and look forward to what we can accomplish. This year was different, though. We’re both still in shock about how the election turned out. Our hearts are broken by the outcome. Instead of feeling like the year is beginning it feels like the ending of decency and democracy.

I just watched the Golden Globes for the first time in about 12 years. The last time I watched the Globes it was a small, almost private, drunken party, without a lot of glitz and polish. This year I was shocked at the slick Oscar-like opening and how all the men had tuxes on instead of sloppy suits. I was going to turn the TV off but kept watching because I wanted to see Meryl Streep. Boy, am I glad I hung in there. Meryl’s speech was incredible and just what I needed to hear. When she quoted her “dear, departed friend, Princess Leia,” the tears started flowing, not because Carrie Fisher is dead but because what she told Meryl was so deep and so true and so necessary for me and for the times right now: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”

Yes, take your broken heart and make it into art. That’s my goal for the coming year–it’s the only way I’ll get through. I can’t wait to see what rises to the surface. end