Quotes of the Day (Saturday, Day of Mother of All Barbecues, Part II)

Yesterday, self was in the animal clinic, taking Bella for her annual physical. Bella seemed very happy: her tail never stopped wagging, perhaps because she was not with Gracie this time and was now the center of attention? Had to wait half an hour as doctors were occupied with an emergency: an older dog, whose owner claimed it “couldn’t get up.” (Heard later that dog walked into the clinic, wagging its tail and acting as perky as could be. Attendant opined — with a wink — that the animal was “probably just carsick”) Amused myself by picking out book from magazine rack called Chicken Soup for the Cat & Dog Lover’s Soul and found this :

Every dog is a lion at home.

* * * *

Fell asleep around 11, woke up to the sound of Letterman’s voice, it’s probably just past midnight. Reading Rilke:

If you think you are capable of living without writing, do not write.

Quote prompts self-examination. Realize that, unlike Rilke, self can imagine living without writing. In fact, self thinks she would be much happier if she did not feel such compulsion to record everything, this “everything” ranging from mundane conversations to the contents of her desk drawer.

Further, self can remember long periods of not writing when she was perfectly happy. Writing is somehow connected, in self’s mind, to unhappiness. Which then brings to mind another quote, this from her former writing workshop colleague, Harriet Doerr (This woman was a true inspiration: her first book, Stones for Ibarra, published when Harriet was past 70, became a huge bestseller and she got her picture into Vogue magazine. What happened to the movie rights?). Self was at Harriet’s reading at now-defunct bookstore on California Avenue in Palo Alto, Printer’s Inc. Someone in the audience asked Harriet if she were married. Harriet indicated yes, she’d been married 40 years. “Happily married?” the man repeated. And Harriet replied with a question:

Would anyone who’s been married 40 years write if she were happy?

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