First, Shaun has a job. He's almost 2 weeks into a full-time night shift position at a local truck stop/gas station, and we're so grateful for the work, and we're busy getting used to a whole new schedule. It's really, really, really a relief, and I thought you'd all want to know. So now, on with the post.
When I taught World Literature in Crookston, we studied a short story by Bessie Head, "The Collector of Treasures." It's a marvelous story with love, romance, friendship, violence, imprisonment, indictment of patriarchal society....everything you want in a good story. The main character collects treasures in her heart, all the kindnesses shown to her in her life. It's a striking image, and one I try to emulate. Especially when the shit seems most dismal, those treasures really help.
And I've been blessed by many treasures lately. So many of you have emailed kind messages of support to me or to $haun, or patiently listened to my sad stories, or even kept us in your thoughts over the last few months. I treasure all of those. Two colleagues at work gave me a fantastic altered journal and two cold Cokes to cheer me up before break (it worked!). And one day, several weeks ago, a package appeared in the mail. It was shortly after this post appeared, but all I could think was "What on earth did I order? We can't afford to spend any money!" But I hadn't: it was a present, from Tom, one of my first bestest friends (and high school sweetheart).
Thank you all for the treasures you've sent, in thought or electronic or paper or carbonated or vinyl form, over these dark months. They've lightened my heart so, so much.
Y'all are the best there's ever been.