from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by J Green and D Levithan


“Yeah, well. Some people have lives; some people have music.” P 41

Looking back–if I will someday be blessed with the distance and the opportunity to reexamine this pitiful Fall– I might have to refer to this as my blue period.

I am in a funk, and I can’t seem to snap out of it. There is work, there is home, and not much else. As is the always case at this time of year, daylight is scarce and darkness settles in amazingly early. Reading a piece on recommended fiction I came across the phrase, ‘a damp, drizzly November in my soul’ and I thought I would either tattoo it on my arm or emblazon the phrase on a t-shirt. Either way, it may speak volumes about my mood with out having to say a word.

I do not find much solace in words these days, or at least not speaking them. If someone asks how I am the answer is the perfunctory– “Just fine.” It doesn’t go beyond that because I can’t actually articulate my mood and I ‘m not really sure anyone has the time for me to list all of the things that are truly bothering me. So instead I listen. To podcasts, to records to cds in my car. I’m going to work at a conference this weekend and I am almost overjoyed at the thought of being alone in my car listening to the music of my choosing, without consult or compromise.

I’ve also been reading and rereading. Once evening is upon us, my body lobbies hard for turning in early with a book. For the most part, my selections come from the Young Adult section at my library. Some of them are new books, which will help when I need to make recommendations to teens, but I’m also rereading all of the John Green books. It’s been years since I’ve read them and there’s a comfort in his characters, the intense phrasing greets me like a long lost friend and makes me snicker out loud in spite of myself. It feels good to be back there.

When asked why I read YA I can think of a million reasons,* but I think the biggest has to do with the time of life the characters are experiencing. When you’re in your adolescence there’s a whole life still ahead of you and graduating brings you to a crossroads. Whichever path you choose can help to create a very individual, perhaps very different from the person you would have become if you had chosen another route. I guess in some ways I identify strongly with that thought. I am still amazed at the choices I made that got me here. T will have to make some powerful decisions in the next couple of months, ones that will certainly affect his own trajectory as well as the path of our family. I feel as if we are teetering on some cusp. I don’t really want to fall off the tightrope, even if there’s is a net. I just want to make it to the Otherside.

Each day is a muddle, but I see that I’ve made a little progress from the day before. My Work in Progress (I hesitate to call it a novel) is at 12,000 words and that feels like a tiny victory to me. My camera is back and even though I feel like a cat who snubs the owners for going away on vacation, I’m starting to get back into the rhythm. Picking it up, feeling the weight in my hand. Pointing, shooting, clicking. Discovering little surprises around the yard. Like this pansy. They are my favorite flowers and I plant them each year as a Mother’s Day treat to myself. This little straggler has shown fortitude and perseverance, as demonstrated by any flower or plant who opens itself up to the month of November.

Maybe I do have a drizzly November in my soul, but perhaps I can still try and lift my face to the rare appearance of the sun.

*More about why I read YA:

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