Day 20: Son is Better and I Wrote a Song!

posted January 14, 2018
Amy Cronin diCaprio, plus Hudson

Last day of retreat. I hate when retreats end. I want more time to write, and to listen to these amazing people who somehow find my house and the circle where we share our nascent pieces. I put myself in songwriting jail yesterday afternoon and eked out something that made me and Katryna cry, which is always a good sign. (You know, the good kind of crying, not the kind of crying that comes from despair that Songwriter will ever write anything decent again.) So I have the Bicycle song, plus something on the Hudson song. I need to plunge into this morass every day. It’s not hard work, as Phillip Roth says. Coal mining is hard work. But writing is a nightmare. The trick is to squash the critical voices. They are so so so mean! I wish my judgmental bent could be surgically removed without making me completely non-discerning.

No longer ill, son photobombs writers’ luncheon

My son is well! HE IS WELL!!!! He has gone off to play soccer with his father and sister. Yesterday was puke-free, and his coughing was markedly reduced. He is still on a BRAT diet with not a lot of appetite, though he did beg me for one of writer Megan McDonough’s gluten-free meringue cookies. (I said no.)

The song finally came after reading aloud to the group some encouragement from Toni Morrison and Julia Cameron on doing one’s writing whether one feels like it or not. It’s so frustrating when the writing doesn’t come easily. But it doesn’t mean it’s not coming, and it is absolutely a part of the process. And I always forget that sometimes I think I am writing an irredeemably bad song, but then I play it for someone and they love it. (About a quarter of my songs fit into this category. You may thank Katryna.) We need each other. Writing Groups=good.

Two thoughts: Oprah would not be the worst idea in the world. Like it or not, democracy today is cray-cray, and not really at all what the founding fathers had in mind. Molly Ivins famously said, “The winning candidate for president is always the one who has a little Elvis.” If it’s a media contest, which I believe it is, perhaps the best we can do is get a media star that we pretty much like, who can sway public opinion our way. So I am totally willing to see what O has to say, and her lack of policy experience doesn’t trouble me terribly as long as she surrounds herself with good, experienced people and not Dr. Phil. Or Deepak. She has GREAT eyelashes, too!

(I am obsessed with eyelashes. Roxane Gay has given me permission to be a Bad Feminist, and this is my confession. If I could afford it, time-wise and money-wise, I would get eyelash extensions. But I cannot afford these, plus it may be that I am too old for glam lashes. Plus I now wear glasses, so what’s the point? Still, I ordered some magnetic eyelashes, and if I am not too ashamed, I will take a selfie of me wearing them sometime for this blog. My husband, son, and especially daughter, plus my husband’s nieces, have the best lashes ever. I am so jealous. I try to cheer myself up by focusing on my other qualities, such as willingness to floss, but it doesn’t always work.)

Second thought: when the future apostle Nathanial first heard of Jesus, he joked, “Has anything good ever come out of Nazareth?” Raise your hand if you think calling certain countries  derogatory or expletive-laden names makes you more or less smart? Holy? Kind? Decent? Pragmatic, even? This person holding the highest office in the land exhausts us all. We are in danger of becoming inured to the horror of his utterances. But we cannot let him become like wallpaper. We need to take a deep breath and step up to the mic and explain why he is wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.

That’s all I have to say.

Except just look at this.

Hudson and his sister Greta



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