Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I recently received some wonderful news that a publisher is going to put out in May an anthology of my stories. They are very enthusiastic and want more and more so I have been going through and trying to give them everything I have. The story they love the most is "Edith Rose". All of these stories are at least 15 years old and ER is no exception. ER entered the world of visible creation(forgive this transcendental verbiage)as a result of my friendship with the real ER. She was a foster child bouncing from one home to another growing up. She would tell me little scarring vignettes from time to time. One day I impulsively promised that I would write a fictional story based on her childhood. I remember saying that there were no Baha'i stories about what it was like growing up as a foster child. Later I thought, "Oh my God, now I actually have to do the writing!". The writer's brain that call my fingers home came to the rescue. I imagine a contentious conversation about the brain between my ears and the brain between my pinkie and thumb about making promises that someone else had to follow through on. The Baha'i Publishing Trust at one time was very high on the story, but wanted it to be longer. By the time I finished the editor I was working on left and there were budget issues and they lost interest. So now after all these years my promise will see the light of day which will then penetrate the dark night of Edith Rose. The real person this story went on to become my own personal heroine. Heroes and heroines, like all human beings, have flaws and sometimes the flaws make a timid mortal like myself believe that maybe I can overcome my fears. Maybe I can do more than write about heroes.The last time my brother made the trip from my old hometown in New York to Maine (which was a minor miracle) he was in terrible shape. He used the toilet and when I went in later I was shocked to see blood spatters all over the place.I cleaned up so the kids wouldn't see this. He sat later on the sofa and the real ER who had been a nurse when she was younger was rubbing his swollen oozing legs. My loner brother, whose closest friend was a chess computer, looked at her on her knees and told her, "You are my friend". Simple words, common everyday words, but in over fifty years I had never heard him call anyone a friend. I couldn't look at his legs, much less touch them. When he went back to N.Y. he continued to deteriorate. She and another Baha'i friend would help him bathe he was so weak. I don't know all the things she did for him. God the Writer knows. God the Kind and God the Merciful, and God the Blind who one day presents us with a tablet of our own moments when we were able to rise above the muck and mire of fear knows. He will strain to pick up the tablet designated for the real Edith Rose. Sweat will pour down His Face. Tears will pour down His Face that will fall down as rain on my brother's grave and heal his legs, his heart, his soul. And as he heals, I heal.I look forward to giving the first copy to my friend.