Recently I had the opportunity to spend a few days with Kate Gale. I wrote about this, of course, and you can read that here. Part of that experience was watching her reading in Lincoln and then participating in another reading and hearing her read the same poems in Omaha.
She’s touring to promote her latest book, The Loneliest Girl. What a life that must be right? Flying all over the map to read your work to interested audiences, selling and signing copies, and getting to engage people in conversation about your life and writing. How grand!
Anyway.. the last poem in her book, Stumbling toward Grace, was what she chose as the last poem of her reading both times.
She talked a little bit about the fact she’s never had any therapy, despite all her trauma. The last poem is what she imagines how a therapy session would go. And the biggest takeaway is answering the question “Who cares?”
That was the subject of my blog post a few days ago (here) and a question I’m stumbling toward answering. That post was written about three weeks after the previous one where I declared I was done with blogging for the foreseeable future.
That’s how long it took for me to come to the conclusion that this space truly does offer me some value, as a therapist might. Despite the fact that there’s really only a few people who read it and only one I know personally, who does, in fact, care.
He reached out to me after that last post to offer condolences about my loss. And I have no doubt he’ll be reading this very essay in short order when it gets posted too. Thanks Vis, for caring.
For Kate, the answer to “who cares” was summed up in her poem quite nicely: Her husband, children, eleven friends, and her dog. She has cats too but they didn’t make the cut in the poem. In all fairness, it is tough to tell if cats care, but I’m positive they do, in their own aloof ways.
“Eleven friends” is what sticks with me though. Knowing poetry, the number eleven might just be the right sounding word in a line and not necessarily the truth. But I’d like to think it’s the truth and also a wonderful number of friends to have.
Not acquaintances. Not family or co-workers or social media friends or people who like what you post, but Actual friends. People who care, in their own ways and who would go out of their way to help if you were in need. If I ask myself this question and let it simmer for a bit in my brain, I think my number is five. Five.. maybe six. That’s pretty good right?
I mean, it’s not 11 but it’s also not zero so that’s something.
Of course I also have my husband and kids, and my four cats. That’s pretty good and a lot more than a lot of people. I’m a pretty lucky girl. 🍀
I suppose part of the reason I have this blog is to make sense of the world and also to try and find answers to all life’s burning questions. And “who cares” has really been on fire lately.
Now that I’ve spent a fair amount of time on it… and come to a conclusion, it must mean I’m satisfied with the answer.
The Caveat is always “for now.” Who knows when an answer might become questionable again.
I suppose this leads nicely to my next question… which is what to do with this blog. If posting every day or every few days is too much and I can’t go three weeks without getting the itch, then that’s the answer?
/lightbulb appears above head (bobbing up and down to the rhythm of the elliptical machine).
One a week!
I’m a creature of habit and commitment. Whatever it is, it can’t be random because there needs to be order in the chaos. Some people go to therapy once a week right? Makes sense I might have some issue to work through or at least something to say once a week. Right?
So that’s it. Damn. Two answers in one blog post. That’s amazing! I’d better quit while I’m ahead, yo. Wouldn’t want to invite the Universe to wreck my chi.
Until next week,