20 March 2012

Collector of Treasures

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).  

It was during the hardest time of the last few months, and I can't begin to tell you how much it brightened my world. I'd been so melancholy for that record for so long, it never even occurred to me that I could get another. Aside from reminding V of the importance of not saying "bitch" in polite company, mostly I've been humming "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" whenever it's not playing on the turntable these last few weeks. And that it came from Tom, whom I haven't seen in well over ten years, who knew my dad and probably helped me look for that damn record in our basement more than once, made it even better.

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.


Megan said...

I love this post! And I'm very, very happy things are going well at the Ganyo residence again.

Anonymous said...

I'm happy for you that you have a copy of the album, and that Tom is the one who sent it to you! Your dad really was a stinker about that one. That stubborn old Norwegian! Not exactly pc, but I think it is okay to say that to a family member, isn't it?