Outside my kitchen door, a fledgling robin sits on the deck railing. Downy, helpless, utterly quiet, the baby bird waits so quietly, so still, I would not have even seen it had not its red-breasted father—a flash of ochre on a gray day in a gray backyard—suddenly appeared. With a worm. No doubt aware of the potentially dangerous human just inches away, the father-child feeding is efficient and soundless. Off Dad flies. The fledging waits.
I, too, wait. “Final Draft 4” (?!) of Welling Up* sent off to my wise and thoughtful writing coach, told to take as much time as she needed, like that patient fledgling, I await her comments and suggestions with complete trust.
Inwardly, however, I am a mess. The focus of so much of my consciousness both awake and asleep, my creative and ever-plotting, ever-sifting brain now set on “Pause,” I am anxious and obsessive.
So I could learn a lot from that tiny, quiet creature.
Simply I am here. Simply snow falls. [Issa]
* For two thousand years, as the role of women shifts in Western culture, so does the story told of Mary Magdalene. Set in Somerville and Cambridge, Massachusetts, Welling Up offers another version of this evolving tale. My novel begins on Easter of 1997, ends at Christmas of that same year, and centers on the emerging love and trust between redhead Jewell McCormick, a formerly-homeless homecare worker, and her favorite client, Rocco Pellegrino, an elderly, wheelchair-bound Red Sox fan.