Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Morning Thanks--St. Paul Fat Tuesday

Once in awhile, just once in a while, we all have to splurge. Make it an apple dumpling or a weekend at a water park--I don't care what. Once upon a time an old man told me in deep reverence how, mid-Depression, all he got for Christmas in one of those lean years was one beautiful, blessed orange. I don't think I've eaten one since without remembering the reverence of that man's divine memory.

Once in awhile, you've got to bless yourself.

So my morning thanks this a.m., is for a gathering of writers last weekend in St. Paul, where several hundred faithful were kind enough to listen to me and others read some work and make a few comments. Hemingway used to say that writers shouldn't talk much about their work, and he wasn't wrong. But once in awhile you just have to splurge. There really ought to be, in everyone's life--even a Calvinist's--a Fat Tuesday. Maybe two. Maybe three. No more.

That's what it was, this Saturday--at St. Paul's immensely beautiful House of Hope, a storied Presbyterian church just down the block from Garrison Keillor's place on Summit Avenue, and a dozen other places where F. Scott Fitzgerald used to hang out, and Sinclair Lewis, and August Wilson, the neighborhood where Patricia Hampl has been a resident for her whole life.

Today, Monday, it's back to that other, unkind Phillistine world. But just last Saturday, on the morning of the first snow, for a couple hundred writers who love to talk craft, it was, thank the Lord, Fat Tuesday in St. Paul.

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