Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Yesterday when I woke up and looked out the window, there were blossoms on the trees on the Greenwich Village street. My heart soared! Such a strange spring, with snow storms in March and April. But now there are daffodils in Abingdon Square, and blossoms on trees. And warm sunshine.

Readers here know about the hard few years I've had: the decision to get divorced, the decision to move from my beloved little red house, the nomadic summer as I waited for the bank approval to buy this loft Annabelle and I love so much, then the packing up of books and yarn and over two decades of memories, and the moving in--living with so many boxes for so many weeks!--as my book tour for THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST began. Such chaos of the heart and body!

But from all of this disruption and heartbreak and chaos comes so much. For the first time in many years, when I'm away I long for home. For my two kittens purring in my lap. For my big four poster bed covered with the susannah I bought in Uzbekistan. For dinner at the table made with love by my friend Steve of Fabulous Furniture in Woodstock NY, and the counter built by my dear friend Andre with his own hands and delivered in a rainstorm. The nights Annabelle and I spend quietly reading or writing stories side by side.

And as many of you know, in the midst of all of this, love found me too. How good it feels to be loved again. Respected. Found charming and smart and funny. How good it feels to love. The heart fluttering, the giddy joy of being with someone special.

That love and that joy are getting celebrated on April 20 when we get married. Every day we say we wish it were today. And now it almost is! We  have had so much fun planning every detail, choosing every little thing together, celebrating exactly as we want.

April is, for me, the cruelest month. In 1997, my father who I adored and loved more than words can say, died of lung cancer on April 14. In 2002, my beloved, smart, funny daughter Grace died of a virulent form of strep at the age of five on April 18. Yet April is also the birthdays of Sam and Annabelle. Choosing it for our wedding was purposeful. Please bring joy to this difficult yet celebratory month.

One of the poems read at Grace's memorial service was From Blossoms. When I asked my friend, the wonderful poet Dorianne Laux, for wedding poem suggestions, to my surprise she sent me From Blossoms. Re-reading it, I realized how it speaks to grief and joy. it speaks to love. So I wanted to share it with you here:

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the joy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.

From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.

O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.

There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.