Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sisyphus and the Pope

My students ask how you know when a piece is finished. I tell them what I heard Ellen Seligman, Canadian editor extraordinaire, say once: "A piece is never finished. It is finished enough."

But, I tell them, I myself know a piece is finished, at least to the point that I need to push it out and get some feedback, when I realize that if I have to read it one more time, I'll throw up.

Well, this draft is finished. I am at the throwing up stage. Enough. I don't know if the new beginning works. I think now that the thing is way too long. And I'm sure there are a myriad other problems, which I will be happy to tackle after a break. For now, it's being sent to RePrint tomorrow morning for some hard copies, and will go out to other readers by email. Tomorrow. Enough.

Time to emerge from this cloister, see the world, check the garden, move my body - my ass feels about a mile wide - clean the kitchen, and - ah yes, I knew there was something - celebrate my birthday on Thursday. 63. My son is coming over to cook for me and a few friends.

I will toast artists everywhere. Lunatics!

And a toast to my friend Ken, who, in his mid-seventies, is on the food crew for the Ride for AIDS from here to Montreal - he's riding in a truck ahead of the cyclists, making all the food for them and sleeping in a tent for a week. Now there's a brave man. Ken's a Catholic who will be happy to read that his Pope recently said, about gay men, "Who am I to judge?" That's a pretty big step for a Pope.

Speaking of pretty big steps, I have just pushed a boulder up a hill. Eventually, it'll come rolling down again. But in the meantime, I get to sit in the shade and snooze.

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