Tuesday, August 13, 2013

One True Thing from Kathy Erskine: Do Something Completely Different!

Kathy Erskine is a writer whose energy for peace is remarkable. The author of numerous novels, she is also someone with a gift for encouragement, kindness, generosity of spirit, and determination. Her novel, Mockingbird, won the National Book Award in 2010 and reading that book, for me, was the most authentic experience of poetry one can have--not just words, but seeing how words have the power to trasform life and create action. Kathy is also the author of the novels, Quaking, The Absolute Value of Mike, and the forthcoming Seeing Red (October 2013). Reading Kathy Erskine's novels is a choice to be inspired to see what is possible for humanity--beyond what currently is and into what could be when we choose to listen to our souls rather than our fears and prejudices.

I feel a special debt to Kathy, as well, for her encouragement and kindness in sharing wisdom, warmth, and writerly advice with me. Through much of our time in England, a photo of Kathy, Gary Schmidt and Francisco Stork hung on the wall in our little study--three faces speaking encouragement and determination. Thank you, Kathy, for your belief in the power of the human spirit to transform life. And thank you for rendering that power so fully in your work. Here is One True Thing from the wonderful Kathy Erskine.

Do Something Completely Different
By Kathy Erskine

The way my life has twisted and turned, not at all the way I thought it would, I guess I’d say that one true thing I’ve learned is to expect the unexpected and deal with it. I can do all the planning I want but I can’t control time, weather, other people, life. You just have to learn how to deal with the hand you’re dealt. Sometimes there are a limited number of moves you can make during a given hand. But if you step away from the table for a moment and look at the whole room, there are always options. Like doing something completely different; sometimes, you have to take your hand of cards and make a collage.