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Your Mom Might Read This (Mine Did)

September 21, 2012

This morning, I found a comment on an old blog post. It was from my mom. I was not sure that I should have approved it. It was very complementary and seemed a little too self serving… and what does mom know about what I write?

Actually, she knows a lot, more than she will let on. She knows me.

And it reminded me that in the past week, how many times my son has deflected attention I direct at him. Not so much my own attention, but the attention of others that I direct toward him. “You’re not talking about me again,” he will say.

His dad brags about him. He’s not totally comfortable with that. He never has been and now, as a teenager, he hides from the praise like he has from the camera for years. But something that it took a long time to learn is that parents can’t help it. Too many things to write about, like math and French class or the anxiety-riddled trip to two dentists in a week.

So, I am not sure what to write about this week. I could write about watching Sid at the school bus stop with his newspaper while one of the other kids at the stop started to dance and sing–and how that scene was a replay of my sister and I at the bus stop as kids and what it said about our personalities and how we handled being on the stage of the society in which we lived.

I could post something I’ve been writing about mom and a neighbor from my childhood–and how the two of them transcended the society in which they lived.

I could write about the week in the diversity sweepstakes and all of the intersections through which I passed.

I could write about Ethel Merman’s great voice and why there is no Ethel Merman today.

I could write about relationships.

I need to write about and have been writing about all of these things. You can look in coming days to see what I’ve seen, conversations on which I have eavesdropped, and what I am still trying to learn. But to write about them means to tell secrets–other people’s and mine. It means telling of some of the glories of the people and world in which we live (especially about mom: I’ve been rewriting for a week and a half).

In the mean time, if you are in town, here in the Twin Cities, I hope you can come to two events. First, I am reading tomorrow, Saturday at 5:00 p.m. out at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony (2500 County Rd. E St. Anthony, MN 55421) for their Field Trip! series. (Click link for information.) This coming Monday, September 24, I will be reading with several other writers for the Saint Paul Almanac series at Gingko Coffee Shop at 721 Snelling Ave. North, Saint Paul. I will be joined by several other writers including Julia Klatt Singer and J. Otis Powell !? We had a great kick off reading for the Almanac last week. I look for more of the same for some great authors and performers.

Hope to see you there! In the mean time, I have to work on my shyness, both for the reading and that act of writing for which the illusion of solitude is just that: an illusion.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sherry and Don LADIG permalink
    September 21, 2012 5:09 pm

    Hey Clarence, I’d say the “Shy Train” left your station a lonnnnnngg time ago. You write about the private corners of the heart more often, and eloquently, than most quiet people do.


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