Sunday, September 8, 2013

Two Feathers, Earth and Sky Mingled: Notes from a Book-Signing Event

Dear Friends,

I'm a bit tired this weekend, and taking a short breather. Friday evening, the University of Arkansas Medical School library generously hosted a book-signing for my book Fiat Flux: The Writings of Wilson R. Bachelor, Nineteenth-Century Country Doctor and Philosopher. The event was well-attended, and I took such pleasure in meeting new family members and seeing quite a few friends who kindly came to the event.

But it involved the hic sunt dracones experience of strutting and fretting my half-hour on the stage, and because I suffer from terrible stage-fright and had been steeling myself for days before Friday evening, I now find myself uncommonly exhausted. And so I took yesterday and plan to take today as days to laze about and recover a bit of strength, at which point, I have quite a few items about which I need to blog next week. 

Lots of magic at work as Friday evening approached, though, and whatever its source, it seemed to carry me through the strutting and fretting without undue terror or mishap, and so I'm grateful for it. At noon on Friday, Steve and I rendezvoused with some of Dr. Bachelor's descendants who had driven into town for the book-signing, and we had lunch with them at a Chinese restaurant. As the fortune cookies circulate, I pick one, crack it open, and read,

You are a lover of words, someday you should write a book.

And the day before, as we take a noontime walk with the dogs in the park, in the high field of the park, which Steve has named "the top of the world" because it overlooks the downtown of the city, I find first a brown feather sticking straight from the sere dull grass of late summer, and then a blue one, a piece of sky fallen to earth.

Reminders to root myself in the ground from which we all spring as I speak on Friday evening, while reaching to the sky to which we all reach in our hopes, aspirations, and dreams--and the dust from which we spring contains stardust, after all, so the reaching is built into our human condition. I took the two feathers along with me on Friday evening, taped into the manila folder that carried the manuscript of my presentation, and let their virtue inform my quaking heart and quaking words as I talked.

And they seemed, blessedly, to do just that . . . . A good Sunday to all of you!

P.S. Crystal Watson asked in a comment here months back if my book would be out in a Kindle edition. I find that it is, indeed, in Kindle. The link to the Kindle page for it at Amazon is here. And I'm grateful for another good notice of the book this past week in the Arkansas Times newspaper.

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