Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wanting More

Throughout Pages in the Wind, Emily longs to have a close relationship with her mother.  Psychologists often say that a cold relationship is more difficult than no relationship at all.  This is how Emily feels, in reflecting on the time she spent with her mother in New York City.

For me, and I can’t speak for Robert – I wanted more.  We discussed the French Revolution, the art of Cezanne and Renoir, and current events - the war in Viet Nam, the environment, and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.  But we never laughed, cried, or shared anything personal.  It was a bit like reading a newspaper every day but craving a love letter.  I longed to talk to her about boys, and makeup, and how to make friends.  So, I’m grateful for the attention and all the experiences she showered on us – but I would have preferred to snuggle on the sofa with her and watch a soap opera with a box of Kleenex and popcorn.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The One Friend

I’m in the final edit of Pages in the Wind.   One of my favorite sections is the high school experience.  Emily is the “new girl” and struggles through the clich├ęs and isolation of starting school mid-year.  This passage depicts her first day, and the dreaded “lunch time.”

The lunch bell rang, a welcome siren to escape the humdrum numerical facts and figures on the blackboard.  As the lunch bell echoed in the hallway, the kids scurried out the door like tiny mice to a big chunk of cheese.   I scoffed knowing that my cheese was positioned in a mousetrap.  I already felt trapped remembering the high school cafeteria in New York with the kids running with their food trays to the long tables in search of their friends.  I’ve been through this drill before, trying to find a place to sit without someone telling me that the seat is “saved” for one of their friends.   I sighed knowing that I haven’t had time to find my “one friend.”  There is always another person like me that needs a one-friend to sit with — one person to make you feel less awkward and divert you from the sad fact that you are in a sea of sharks and you can’t swim.

Emily’s struggles continue, helped along by an unexpected friend – a boy that is bullied by most of his classmates.  I wonder how many people can relate to Emily – I would love to know.