Deborah Eisenberg and Antonya Nelson
Last Monday marked two years of writing essays for Reflection and Choice, so I went and celebrated by hearing two writers who are far better than I am do a reading at the Wortham Center in Houston. Two words: Lucky. Me.
Honestly, all day the two words ringing in my ears were “Columbus Day,” since it was Columbus Day, and a certain anxious part of me that really wants readers is always seduced by exploiting bank closures for hits on the site. More people are available, and, weirdly, people want to read stuff about Columbus on Columbus Day. But last year I already wrote about him in an essay on writing for ONE year, and it was starting to feel a little cheap wracking my brain figuring out how to redo that essay. In an irritating addition, I had to hope that no one platonically recollected my first stab at getting people to get on some figurative ship that will change the world forever.
Sometimes, a voyage is just over.
Plus, a lot of things have happened since then: death, love, trips, books, retail therapy at the Chanel counter, love, writing, books, chauffeuring my son Christopher to orchestra practice, nature, religion, poems, love. The super shallow that gets us through, the profound that lifts us up.
You know, the usual.
Plus, if after another year, you are the same kind of writer, with pretty much the same message, the same turn of the phrase, something is wrong. You aren’t moving, you aren’t going anywhere. People will start leaving you behind. You start to parody yourself, wear a costume that maybe you should have put in the back of the closet, and not for Next Year, but for Never Again.