Wednesday, February 10, 2016

life stories

I snapped this photo last week at the Columbarium. We can tell a lot
about this man, can't we? One day I'll go back and take a few more
pictures and ponder life and death. Maybe...

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

when Robins write

Suzy Parker is doing a fabulous job running the Robin program this time.
She asked me to be a substitute and here is my contribution for today:

INSTANTLY (the prompt)

It's 5:50 am and the breakfast prep is finished, the coffee extra good and
strong. I feel powerful and capable and I have a full work shift today. The
classical music radio station is on here, next to my dictionary, Thesaurus
and recharging iPhone. I'm looking forward to my Round Robin writing
for the first time since last October's class when I was also a substitute.

Now I start crying again. I have cried every morning since Jane died last
Friday. I have always written for Jane. I want to make her smile, I need
her to send a reply. Yes, I want her approval and I always have. Friends
have always liked my writing, but when I met Jane everything changed.
She became the writing teacher put on this earth just to admire my talent.
I became a writer in 2001, when I first met Jane.

Two years or so ago she hosted a gathering of some her students at the
Progressive Cafe on Bryant Street. The topic was Food and she selected 

three of my old robin food-related pieces for me to read.

"Sure," I said. "Let me clean these up, edit and perfect them and I'll be there."

"No," Jane responded. "I like your writing just the way it is. Do not change
one word, your voice is so unique and clear when you do your ten minute

You're the boss, Jane. I'll always write to you and for you. Often with tears.
Always with gratitude.

Monday, February 08, 2016

The Columbarium

This is a San Francisco treasure, owned by the Neptune Society. A
non-religious spot to place our ashes and memories. I had never been
before Friday, when I went to a memorial for a woman I didn't know
very well, but I was close to her husband and son at one time. The
Columbarium is right off Geary between Arguello and Stanyan. It
is a beautiful building with lots of little glass cases, peoples' photos,
names and dates. (An amazing number of the dead keep their dog
and cat photos by their sides.) But anyway, the memorial service was
sweet/sad, crowded and full or joy and sorrow. I was able to weep openly
and publicly for Jane and no one knew the difference.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

you gotta have friends

Thanks to everyone who sent loving messages about loss, friendship and
how come life is so difficult? When I arrived home from a day of "work"
(reading my iPhone, the New Yorker and a book) these beautiful flowers
from our Blogmaid were waiting for me, saying so much and I am so
very grateful to all of you. And I've been writing, Jane would want me to.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Jane died yesterday

Here she is on her 50th birthday, with her beloved Jack, who has been
so devoted to her throughout this difficult battle. I can't write much
about Jane yet, but she changed my life ~ made me a writer. Opened
door after door, introduced me to amazing new people. I met her
in 2001 ~ I remember crying during her Personal Essay class when
she highlighted my work. MY writing. Imagine! I still have her email
here on my bulletin board ~ Feb. 13, 2003. My first Tiapos meeting
in her cottage on Moultrie. What an honor it was and still is. Friend,
poet, leader, teacher, creator ~ RIP, Jane, you will never be forgotten.
Heartfelt thanks from your grateful student and friend, MsMush.

Friday, February 05, 2016

the home of Hedi

Last night our Tiapos writing group met in a delightful new location.
Hedi lives about two blocks away from Jane, so we are all familiar
with the neighborhood. Everything inside was warm and wonderful
and we had a fine meeting with coffee, tea and too many sweets. Some
very fine writing, needless to say.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

I keep trying...

I really want to love this book, The Little Paris Bookshop, but I
don't. It's a little overwrought and flowery and must we speak of
LOVE quite so often? On the other hand, it is about Paris and
bookselling, so I will keep on reading and enjoying some of it.
Maybe it will get better? On my LindaJudyKindle2.