Archive for April, 2008

Yesterday, driving home from lunch (day one, post-vacation), I encountered a funeral cortege, led by a Hattiesburg Police squad car.  Lights were on, the hearse was stately, the procession of cars slow and ponderous.  I was one of maybe 10 cars I could see who pulled over to the far side of the road, turned on our own lights, and waited for the procession to pass.

It jerked me back to a year ago, when the same thing happened to us as we accompanied Papa’s body from the funeral home to the church, then from there to the graveyard.  I did fine at the wake, but my emotions were really touched by the show of respect and reverence of complete strangers who took the time to pull over, stop, and turn on their lights as we passed, to share our loss just for a minute.  Even now, as I write this, tears are on their way . . . the generosity and kindness of people towards loss stuns me and makes me so proud that I am a southerner, a Mississipian, a person who can take just a minute to acknowledge and honor an unknown neighbor’s sorrow.

And it reminds me that we humans have an untapped capacity for such things.  Witness the 9/11 attacks when people jumped in their trucks piled with tools and went to volunteer for hard duty in digging out victims.  Witness the thousands who came with caravans of supplies and helping hands when Katrina hit the Gulf South.  Accompanying our violent tendencies, our sometimes self-destructive ways, our ability to overlook the forest for the trees, and our incredible self-indulgence, Americans have big hearts that are touched easily, and they spring into action, acting on that passion.  Who can’t be proud of that?


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At 2:30 p.m., it’s feeling like this day will never end. Tomorrow begins our week at Dauphin Island (AL). I am, of course, taking work and have work to do for The Writer, but i am so looking forward to the peace and quiet of the island. It would only be more perfect if we could have our house and animal-children with us….ho-hum, so it’s not perfect….it Is VACATION! No internet, no phone….I think we have cable….I’m not even certain my cell phone will connect on the island. Joy….

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So, I go to work on Monday and have the same conversation with my colleagues there that I’m having at home….How do we turn out more work without sacrificing ALL the quality of what we’re about? How do we streamline our processes from beginning to end without having an end-product that is useless, or worse– embarassing?

I know, it’s rhetorical, but I wonder what the recurrence of this question in all venues of my life means to ME? Is “quality” the real question or is it about “balance”? Balance has always been a quest, a vision for my life, my future, and it’s never been something I’m very good at.

It occurs as I write this that my recent bout of vertigo may be a physical manifestation of this issue, too …..Hmmmmmm…… where am I so OUT of balance? Another thing to think about . . . .and it’s only Tuesday — oops, Wednesday!

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