You can have the other words – chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace, I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.” -Mary Oliver
- I am reading Amy Tan Where the Past Begins and a writing friend suggests I look into Katrina Kenison’s Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment. “You would be friends,” she said. I can see why, I read her blog and it is like talking to someone I know. And while searching for the book, I find a collection of short stories edited by who else? Amy Tan and Katrina Kenison.
- Elizabeth Gilbert writes in Big Magic if you don’t act on an inspiration or idea, it is yours only for a while. If you let it pass you by, it’s up for grabs in the universe, and no longer yours to keep. Gilbert and her friend Ann Patchett attest to this very thing. When Patchett had an idea to write about a Minnesota biologist who goes to South America to study bio pharmacology, that became the book State of Wonder Gilbert swears she had the same plot idea but never wrote the book. Use it or lose it, pretty much was true for her.
- I look at my phone. There is a recent call from my mother-in-law logged in recent calls. It is 9:30 on a Saturday night, not our normal time to connect. I call her back, wanting to make sure everything is okay. She said she was praying the Rosary, and was thinking of me. Hmmmm. She says she never dialed my number.
- I stay in an Air BnB in Chicago, an artist’s loft in the neighborhood near my daughter. I recognize the space as familiar, the richly upholstered velvet furnishings, and murals on the ceiling a setting I have experienced in a dream. And there propped against a wall is the Empty Frame I describe in my post from April 2018.
- Phil and I drive to Hawk Ridge outside Duluth on our way to the cabin, to mourn the loss of our beloved Lab, Phoebe. We see a sign at the end of the road. For Sale AKC Lab Puppies. An invitation. In this case not taken. But I often wonder what we would have found in that litter of pups.
- I visit Helsingor, Denmark, a scene I knew as a child, from a castle on a postcard passed down from one hand to another. I am filled with tears as I fly over the crazy quilt of fields in gentle folds knowing it belongs to me. This homeland a part of my DNA, now confirmed by a test. It is my history and destiny, the past and present. I feed chickens for the first time because Bende, my Air BnB host asks.
Call it serendipity, karma, destiny, synchronicity, kismit. This is what can happen when I am open to the day, the opportunity, to act on an inkling.
“I have been expecting you, ” says the lake, sending sparkles as an invitation to linger. I buy four handmade plates glazed in my favorite colors-birch, cobalt blue, with what could be a pussy willow, a bursting bud, a rose hip, or a blueberry. A Trader Joe’s employee crosses out the price of a bouquet in my cart. “I am buying your flowers today,” days after Louis was born, right after my Mother’s death. How did he know?
Is this because our brains are perked up at something new, the novelty of a subject, a word we haven’t paid attention to before? Does meaning illuminate for us the fact, the concept, the experience, etching it in to our memory?
These connections are happening over and over. Yes, it must be grace. Writing is like this. Travel is like this. Being alive is like this. Take the chance. Try something new. Be open. Get up close, and look. Grab the idea before it gets away.