While driving home from an orthodontist appointment with Breezy this week, we were discussing how the long wait for orthognathic surgery has often made life feel as though it were somehow on hold. We live 4 weeks between orthodontist visits and several months between visits with the maxillofacial surgeon. For now, we await the arrival of March and from there, who knows. No one has given us any indication of when surgery will take place and so we wait. We wait for teeth to move into proper positions so both jaws can be surgically moved to correct an injury that happened when she was 3 years old.
As we were driving and talking, we decided to change our thought process. Rather than feeling stuck waiting, life on hold, we have decided to create adventures that we can look forward to.
Breezy told me that she’d like to proceed with plans to attend and do volunteer work at Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival at the end of March. She discussed the possibility of doing an internship with Light of New Orleans Publishing in the summer. On the drive home, she went from feeling stuck waiting on circumstances beyond her control to creating new opportunities to fill in the gaps between Dr. visits.
We discussed how much we needed reading material so we stopped at a book store to purchase a couple of books. I also turned in my over-due library book so I could get my borrowing privileges back. 😉
We discussed our mean craving for Egg Rolls and how we’d been wanting them for weeks. That today was the day we go ahead and satisfy the craving.
We stopped at Wal Mart to pick up Donovan’s favorite coffee. And that’s where we saw Robert…one of the best friends I’ve ever had in this life. I wish we’d had time to play the Shopping Cart Game in that moment. (Don’t know what that is? You should! That’s when you drop something random into some random person’s shopping cart while they aren’t looking. It can’t be anything expensive. A package of hair nets or something else under a dollar is best). Instead, I snuck up and pushed his cart away. The three of us walked, shopped and visited for about an hour about the beautiful things that were happening in his life after years and years of personal and physical challenge. We talked about faith and how God is good….and how people like Robert who treat people so well will definitely see the harvest from all of the good seeds sown. It was such a joy to run into him on accident. Robert is one of those people whose path I was meant to cross–one of those rare individuals who somehow makes you a better person. That’s what he has always been to me. We met years ago when our sisters were a couple. When I finally began writing, Robert gave me the greatest piece of advice: Break all the rules.
Once home, Breezy and I ordered the much-needed Egg Rolls. We relished every fat gram and discussed our all-time favorite fortunes from fortune cookies. Breezy’s favorite was “A bold and dashing adventure is soon in your future!” Mine was “Your life will always be surrounded by pleasant little mysteries.”
And that’s exactly what I saw come into play the next morning when the post man knocked on the front door and awakened me from my slumber. (I work through the night and sleep in the morning). The post man was delivering a package I didn’t order. Inside the package were two books, a movie, and a wonderful note. It was from a gentleman who had come across my blog from a google search. He thought I might enjoy them based only on his ability to discern–through reading what I wrote–that I love all things literary. And he was right.
This gentleman is the nephew of the late beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg. He is the son of Allen’s brother, Eugene Ginsberg Brooks. The book offerings I received were “Howl and Other Poems” by Allen Ginsberg and “Rites of Passage” written by Eugene Brooks. Also included was the newly released major motion picture, “Howl”.
I learned about Allen Ginsberg when I sat in on a panel at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival where they discussed the Beat Generation (Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, among others) and the literary legacy they left behind. I went to the festival to do a book signing but I attended every panel I could fit in. This particular panel (titled “And the Beat Goes On”), was one of my favorites.
I never went back to sleep after answering the post man’s knock that morning. Instead, I put on my reading glasses and read “Howl and Other Poems” from beginning to end.
I went through the rest of the day feeling so very grateful…grateful for the gift of the books…grateful that my life truly is surrounded by pleasant little mysteries…but most of all, grateful for the Roberts (long-term friends) and brand new friends of the world…wonderful people whose paths I was meant to cross…people who make you realize that there is so much more good in this world than bad.