Thursday, August 27, 2009
oh this strange day.
I have just come from dinner. Every morsel was delicious, but dessert was my favorite part - honey lavender creme brulee topped off with a piece of honey comb that I sucked clean of honey and molded into a little beeswax circle to tuck away in a journal.
Today, on the 3rd anniversary of my mother's death, I received an acceptance letter for a story I had forgotten that I submitted. It will be printed in a collection entitled, Her Mother's Ashes 3. It is an annual collection of work by women authors of south Asian descent; the book is published by TSAR Books out of Toronto (Toronto South Asian Review).
I have been drifting in and out of happiness, shyness, fear and sadness.
Voice in my head during dinner: Thanks, mom. And Matt Clark (in whose class--my first fiction workshop--I wrote the story so very long ago). That voice was joy.
It isn't a story I thought I would publish. Truthfully, I sent it in almost accidentally - a last minute email submission just a week before I headed to India. A "What the hell" send. I didn't even record it in my log of submissions. I didn't feel like any of my new work was ready to be submitted, and I dug through old stuff. It's the only piece that I thought of as "finished," that also reflected a theme related to ethnicity. I don't hate it, but I don't love it. It's charming at best, touching in moments.
Voice in my head during dinner: But I wrote it in 1997 - it's such an old story. So young and unimpressive. Today, I would never write that story. That voice was embarrassment.
Voice in my head: Other people might come across this story and read it. Shyness.
Recalling the story my sister told me over the telephone before I left for dinner: When mom worked at Burger King (my sister was in high school, and I was maybe 5), a flasher came to the door one night. She called her coworkers over, and they all stood behind the glass laughing at him. Imagine the flasher's surprise. That voice, that passed-down recollection, is happy sadness.
Everything is all jumbled together.