Sometimes a book comes along and you simply need to reach out to the author and tell them what their story meant to you. I did that today.
I’ve been doing a lot of research on transgender issues for a writing project I’m working on. I’ve read dozens of books – memoirs, novels, picture books, non-fiction. All of them have helped me better understand the transgender experience.
And then I read a review of Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky. I was surprised to find a novel for young people on this subject that I hadn’t yet stumbled across. It wasn’t in my library (they need to get a copy!) so I had to request an interlink loan. (The book was shipped to my library from another city.)
I gobbled up the story in one sitting. As I told the author in an email, the best word to describe this story is ‘tender’. And brave, just like the protagonist, who, baby step after baby step blossoms into the person she was meant to be.
In a way, this is the book I was hoping to write, but I couldn’t find my way, so I changed directions. I’m so glad Polonsky pulled it off, and so beautifully.
I’m so excited that I soon get to see these women perform in their new theatre production, Mom’s the Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty. I’ve been following their careers since they staged the first version of Mom’s the Word, a collection of stories that poke fun at the joys and challenges of raising toddlers. Their second show in this series – some years later – dealt with raising teens and it was just as wonderful. Now they’re on their third production where their children are leaving the nest (or not). Their marriages may have evolved as well. Alison Kelly (second from right) and I swapped parenting stories on the side of the soccer pitch for many years so I know first hand where some of her material comes from. Continue reading
I rarely read a book twice ~ there are just too many books to read ~ but I have read Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh three times, over 10 year intervals, and I have loved it more with each reading. It shocks me that it was written in 1955, before I was even born. Lindbergh’s reflections on youth and age, love and marriage, peace, solitude and contentment are as relevant today as they were then. I kept a highlighter pen beside me as I read to note the wisest passages and now my book is filled with bright orange lines. It is a short book, but I have highlighted dozens of passages. A couple that really spoke to me are these:
But I want first of all – in fact, as an end to these other desires – to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact – to borrow from the language of the saints – to live “in grace” as much of the time as possible.
Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude.
How I would love to have known this wise, articulate woman.