Lené Gary

Archive for the ‘Oatmeal for Dinner’ Category

A Day in the Life Manifesto

In Oatmeal for Dinner, Writing Manifestos on 02/02/2011 at 09:32

I write because in the space between two necessary tasks at the kitchen counter, the driveway out the window becomes a sea with a skiff and a captain’s wife, and I break eggs in a cup of coffee. I call my children by names they’ve never heard before, and they answer, accustomed to tenderhearted neglect. When I drive along Route 9, my car, like public transportation, fills with ill-matched characters, imagined, their cloying scents and snazzy belongings sharing an unlikely destination. Scenes begin, and end, and I forget the cream for the dinner quiche. I think about the syntax in conversations at the post office. In class, I embellish the curriculum and insert read alouds every possible chance I get. At the store, I yell out words from packages that rhyme and delight me, like a tic, or Tourette’s. The DSM has names for people like me, and women in history who heard voices have long been sent to lackluster buildings to die tiresome deaths. But, I see the writing on the walls, and in the fields, and the faces looking up at me from the pond. The stories on the cluttered landscape are the ones I must tell. I will keep the pencils sharpened, and the laptop charged, but I will write in everything I do, and when someone asks, I will call myself a writer, without the catch in my throat, and we will have oatmeal for dinner again.

Jodi Paloni