An Unrelated Series of Events


img_5904Occasionally a series of seemingly unconnected events come together to have meaning in my life.

Event number one: I had two presentations scheduled, a week apart, but both in the Bay Area. I was completing the Iowa Workshop MOOC (and online writing course with a zillion participants) and NaNoWriMo (50,000 words in November) had tugged at me again this year, so I needed to write. I had made the decision that my idea for a non-fiction book about breast cancer wasn’t going to fly, but a novel on the topic was flooding my thoughts. I reserved a spot at one of my favorite campgrounds, Anthony Chabot Regional Park (favorite for urban camping, anyway).

Event number two: My journey started on November 9. Yeah, that day. The day we were all in shock.

Event number three: Technically, this is event number two, but it spills over. On Monday, November 7, I was sick. Big time sick, virus knocking me completely flat. The whole shebang: fever, vomiting, coughing and more. Because I felt slightly better AND I had already cancelled this particular presentation once, I decided not to cancel.

Event number four: I should have cancelled. Packing for three events (I was going to a party in Napa during my time down there) while sporting a fever isn’t the most efficient way to get ready for something. I forgot LOTS of things, including the right cables and cords to set up my laptop with the projector. Therefore my presentation sucked. That and the fact that part of why I like to speak is engaging the audience and I was so sick I pretty much droned through my notes like a lame horse dragging toward the finish line.

Event number five: I forgot to bring anything to read. Which normally wouldn’t be a problem because I have about a hundred unread books on my Kindle. Except I also forgot to bring my chargers. And I was dry camping for the first portion of the trip. (which means no electricity.)

Event number six: I had thrown some books into the RV before some long ago trip in case I was ever without something to read. Which for me is cause to end the trip and go home. I have been reading since birth or so and cannot do anything without a book. Eat, sleep, relax. I must have a book.

Event number seven: The book I started reading was Possessing the Secret of Joy by Alice Walker. I am somewhat amazed I had not read this book already (of course, there is always the possibility I did, but it doesn’t seem like one of those books I so easily forget). I found out later it was one of my daughter’s books, she had brought it home from college and it had been piled with all those other books for years.

Talk about meaning. In light of all that has happened in the past months and the fears to come, this book pierced my heart. The absolute emotions which fill the pages, the searching, the fear, the love, the helplessness. I used the last bit of battery on my phone to find Alice Walker’s website. I am going to re-read her other books and have started following her blog. If there ever was a soul I could believe in, she possesses it.

One of my favorite lines from the book: “…And his shock at being constantly harassed because he was black. No, no, he used to correct me. They behave this way not because I am black, but because they are white.”

Food for thought.