“Be Not Inhospitable To Strangers Lest They Be Angels in Disguise” – George Whitman
Today, this blog is dedicated to the man who made this Mecca for writer’s and reader’s all that it could be. George Whitman, an Angel in Disguise, died on Wednesday at the age of 98 years young.
No doubt, his spirit will linger on in every corner of the shop, between book and page now safely in the hands of his daughter and those entrusted with Shakespeare & Company’s care. The highlight of my first trip to Paris was when they accepted my first poetry chapbook and added it to Poet’s Corner. The receipt is safely tucked in the journal I carried around France.
Recently, on my other blog: foundinfrance.wordpress.com, I focused on Shakespeare & Company. It is a place that holds fond memories and I shall return.
If you have not experienced a visit to Shakespeare & Company, it is an unforgettable experience. When you cross George’s threshold, you enter another world. This is a world of books, writers, readers and a remarkable chapter in Literary History. George and Shakespeare & Company are each legendary in their own right.
Sleep well. Your rest is well earned and know you have made a difference in countless lives. To George’s daughter Sylvia and the many others who are dedicated to continuing George’s legacy, I offer my sincere condolences.
“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.” – Dorothy Parker
BREAD & MARRIAGE
years and years
of baking bread
bread I did not eat
did not want
the emptiness remained
the staff of life
can be a beginning
i don’t bake bread
but the emptiness
Be tells me to keep writing
Cait tells me to just write
My past tells me I can’t write
Fear writes for me
Anger writes the loudest, and is most prolific
Joy is silent, nearly invisible
Sadness drones on and on
Pain is sharp, isolated, and intense
Journals are scattered about my home
Tossed into the recesses of the car
They harbor numerous attempts of binge/purge
When moving I will devalue their loyalty
As I shove them through the shredder
The ghosts of childhood critique every effort
They silence me with threats to expose my failure
Deep inside the struggle
To break through the barriers
Quakes with revelatory thunder
“Sometimes when you think you are done, it is just the edge of beginning. Probably that’s why we decide we’re done. It’s getting too scary. We are touching down onto something real. It is beyond the point when you think you are done that often something strong comes out.” – Natalie Goldberg
We embark on the scary journey with each writing effort. For some it is a desire to write, publish, and make money or fame. For others, it is a need to learn about what hides inside us. Most find it combines elements of both and the numerous variables that make us unique yet us in the world of words.
While much of my work in the past came from the angst, I find it is the darkest times where the writing stopped. To write is to sift through the perceptions, wounds and wonders that color and shape our words and our lives. The exquisite sting of creation motivates us onward.