Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Most often I pause before writing, for the safety of thinking something through.
I just need to say: I LOVE John Steinbeck.
I was 12 or so when I first read The Pearl. It imprinted me for life. I didn't consciously tuck its sentiments in my heart, I guess they knew they belonged there and simply found their safe place.
Last October I visited The Steinbeck Museum in Salinas. I saw Rocinante with my own eyes. I touched and breathed in all things Steinbeck. I remembered.
Yesterday in Spokane, we made an impulsive trip to Auntie's Bookstore. This thought came to me. It's time to read Travels With Charley. The clerk helped me locate the store's only copy. In the wee hours I woke up and started reading. I just finished Part One. So yeah, I love John Steinbeck. I want to cry because I recognize all of the things he is feeling at this stage of life as he writes the closest thing to his autobiography.
On life and living with caution he says,
"I have always lived violently, drunk hugely, eaten too much or not at all, slept round the clock or missed two nights of sleeping, worked too hard and too long in glory, or slobbed for a time in utter laziness. I've lifted, pulled, chopped, climbed, made love with joy and taken my hangovers as a consequence, not a punishment. I did not want to surrender fierceness for a small gain in yardage."

Last night I saw Trish. I saw my godson, Baridi "Bun" Jackson. Had I followed caution and appropriate doula behavior 13 years ago, I would never have met my soul sister, never have held him first, never have witnessed the miracles that love is catalyst for.

I'm not sure, but I've got to believe that living, loving and playing hard, being true to the passion inside, going for quality over quantity of days might just lengthen one's stay on this planet after all.

"If the journey should prove to be too much, then it is time to go anyway. I see too many delay their exits with sickly, slow reluctance to leave the stage. It's bad theater as well as bad living."

I have my Rocinante. She's little and red.


Rachel Swan said...

beautiful, Cathy. Steinbeck in my man on the side, you know. I also read Travels With Charley earlier this summer, it's just so perfect + prophetic of what the world has become.

auntgigi said...

This is exactly the inspiration I needed to read. I haven't read "Travels With Charley", and I'm thinking it's now become a MUST. Since we were little girls, you've always been my reading list creator.

Live big, Live with enthusiasm, regret not, consequences = lessons, punishments are rubbish... throw them out, clean up, and move on!

(word - fulnes - oh yes)
Thanks for being a rainbow in my morning. I love you with great happiness!

Mama's Place said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama's Place said...

I didn't know what Rocinante meant so I googled it and this is what it said.
People being born and people giving birth, people dying and people giving deathcare - all need sacred space in which to make these passages. This attention to the beginnings and endings of life are central to the philosophy of Rocinante.

And I thought of you and little Red and I am so grateful for YOU! Your gentle spirit was beautiful. Thank you for being you.

diane said...

First of all, I need to acquaint myself with Steinbeck.
Secondly, you inspire others (especially me) with your ability to live life well and follow your heart. You are passion, you are love, you are light.

Kim said...

Cathy: You are a poet! Steinbeck and Aunties?? What a lucky woman. I love Aunties... right after I've had a dark beer at O'Doherty's. You should let me know when you're in the area again as I've relocated back to the beautiful PNW. See you at Conference. Be Blessed