Day One

TALKING TO MYSELF - 2 November 2013    November sneaked up on me, and I'm already a day behind in my annual thirty days of thanks ritual. So I guess I would have to say that I am thankful for a life so full of doing - with family, with friends, with my passionate avocations - and the stamina to continue "doing,"  that I lose track of time.  Like my friend "Mattie" in my essay of the same name, I am sometimes over- tired, even stressed, but I don't recall ever being bored. I enjoy talking to all kinds of people, and observing them when they choose not to talk to me. (Perhaps all writers are secret voyeurs but I prefer to think of myself as open to new people.) For those occasions when I find myself alone, I travel with a book or magazine on me at all times to get me through potentially boring waiting rooms and other dull spots. When I am caught once in a while without reading material, I resort to what I grandly call "pre-writing" -- which is a variation of talking to myself, I'm afraid. 

I guess that's why I have so little understanding of the appeal of mood altering drugs to many in our society. Why would you want to escape your mind when there is so much to learn and see and experience? Absent end of life pain, I want to be present even if it's harsh - not floating in a dream somewhere. Once is Not Enough was the title of a best-selling novel by Jacqueline Suzanne back in the 70s. That was my desperately busy diaper changing decade, and I don't recall much of what I did or didn't read in those years, so I'm unsure what the title meant within the context of the plot and its characters. But  I heard Suzanne interviewed on TV not long before she died of cancer, and she repeated the title so wistfully  that I took her meaning, and it has hung in my mind ever since. "Once is Not Enough" to accomplish all I want to do and experience in a lifetime, and certainly 30 days of thanksgiving is not enough time to take inventory of "life abundant." But we begin. (Okay - I'll try to be funny tomorrow.)  


Butter in the Morning, Stamper's latest collection of essays and "brief meditations," is available from Amazon.com and your favorite independent book store. In Lexington - at Morris Book Shop, Joseph-Beth, and House interiors; in Ashland - at Jesse Stuart Foundation Book Store and Highlands Museum Gift Shop; in Owenton at North Park.