THIS MOTHER'S DAY, Erika gave me what might be the best gift I've ever had.
After Peter died, I gave her his beloved Guild guitar. She brought it to have some repairs made, got the strings from it and had a jeweler friend of hers and mine make earrings from those strings.
They are circles, representing - according to a slip of paper in the box - "notions of wholeness and original perfection, the self, the infinite, eternity, timelessness and all cyclic movement - the infinite nature of energy, and the inclusivity of the universe.
From each circle dangles a garnet, which is Erika's and Peter's birthstone. It is also "known as a spiritual stone of higher thinking and self-empowerment. It is a stone of prosperity, abundance, strength and safety."
She also included in the package her original drawings, and the rest of the strings.
Of course, I wept.
Now I will wear these earrings and they will help me heal, help me get on with life, bringing Peter and Erika with me, the past and the future, as bright and round and eternal as can be. Every time I wear them, they will remind me of the best of life - love and faith and hope and family. And art.
Can you see? Just past the wrinkles and just before the color-growing-out hair...
THE MARK TWAIN HOUSE, in Hartford, CT, is a great place, important, and around the corner from where my brother and his family live. It is hosting a series of online literary events during The Great Confinement, as Rand calls it (Rand is Rand Richards Cooper, my brother).
On Tuesday, May 12, at 7 p.m., Rand - who is a terrific writer and a longtime restaurant reviewer - will be reading a memoir essay about restaurants.
To incentivize people to attend online on Tuesday, Rand is pledging to donate $5 for each person who registers for the event. The money will go to CHEF, the Connecticut Hospitality Employee Relief Fund, which gives grants to out-of-work restaurant employees. Rand will donate up to $1,000.
So - it's for a good cause, you can make my brother pay up, and in addition, you'll hear a thoughtful and engaging essay (I've heard this one - it'd good!)
A girl whose cheeks are covered in paint
Has an advantage with me over one whose ain't.
- Ogden Nash
(OK, I am sure he's talking about makeup, but I prefer to think he's talking about paint.)
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