Joy Enough

I loved my mother, and she died. Is that a story?

Story is giving a character a tangible desire, then putting things in her way. A writer I was falling in love with told me that. My desire is for my mother to live. More tangible, he says.

My desire is not to forget. More tangible, he says. Then my desire is for her to meet the next man I love, the one I keep now that I know a thing or two. My desire is for her to see my round silhouette in a summer dress, then to hold my baby in the delivery room. In winter, my desire is to make chili with the mixture of garden tomatoes and hot peppers she calls hell that I’ve kept in the back of my freezer. Our desires are equally impossible: to freeze hell, to thaw it; to reverse time, to stop it. My desire is to have more of what I do not need, seconds of what has been my fair share: a fight, a car ride, a cup of coffee, ignored advice straight from the mouth of a grade A know-it-all.

Or none of this. My desire is preservation, to carry her lodged beneath my breast like a bone.

~ Sarah McColl, opening lines in her new book: “Joy Enough: A Memoir.” (January, 2019)

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. Some amazing writing. Have a wonderful day my friend. Take care, Julian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “My desire is preservation, to carry her lodged beneath my breast like a bone.” Beautiful 👏

    Liked by 3 people

  3. beautiful. and it sounds like she is indeed lodged beneath her breast like a bone.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Aaawh, this is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve read and FELT for someone’s writing in a while! I’m an avid reader but I’ve been touched profoundly by these few lines.
    Thank you David, for sharing the treasures you find. Have a good day & weekend. And yes, we should treasure our beloved ones, as we do indeed, treasure our precious mothers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Kiki. I was touched by these lines too. Here’s a few more from Page 2.

      “She let the screen door bang on her way out to the pasture. The air was manure and hay. It smelled of warm earth, of growing things. How do you round up cows? They are docile but slow moving, recalcitrant, with calves at their sides like small shadows. Maybe she called them by name or had the help of a dog, but somehow she herded those somnolent beasts into the barn where there were quiet stalls lined with stiff straw, and birds sat overhead in the eaves of the aluminum roof. Somehow she convinced them that was where they wanted to be.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • you see; I will HAVE to order this book ASAP…. I have ‘met’ many cows in my life (we, the Swiss, call people we think stupid ‘dumb cow’ 😦 …..) and she describes them so well and appropriately! I mean, they are ‘a sandwich short of a picnic’ in a general way but for giving us milk, cheese and meat that’s not too bad – writing renders them very likeable.

        Liked by 3 people

      • Beautiful. The last line sneaks up you.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh God, now I’m crying…. just look at this part of a review: Written with enough beauty to stop clocks ticking and heart’s beating…. and read the quotes on the Amazon page! This MUST be the most beautiful book of this year – I’m going to order it ASAP (this will be a long while before arriving in France or Switzerland!!!). Such beauty and the heart-wrenching writing….

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Kiki, do u have a kindle?

      Liked by 1 person

      • That would be ideal, I know but as I cannot buy them on the UK site (never understood why) I would have to get the French version which doesn’t permit me to buy the English written books at interesting prices…. I have even been offered books to evaluate until I told them that I don’t live in UK and that was that. I very much regret that and I just might buy one while being in England next year maybe…. But you’re kind of thinking of this David, and I do thank you for it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow. Wow. Wow. To be able to write like this. To be able to wrap each wish into something palpable, making it tangible, breathable. Did I say ‘wow’?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sarah McColl writes as if she were the mother of Katherine who died 11 years ago of cancer. We know this journey. Katie was Kay’s first child. She was 33 when she died. The sting is dulled by time, but the loss does not. It hides in the crevices and behind cabinet doors and under the pillow. But, slowly over time, the tears of loss are turn toward tears of joy. Katie is “lodged beneath [her mother’s breast] like a bone.”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wow. She had me with her first seven words….what a gift this writer has.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Like

  10. Just awesome

    Liked by 1 person

  11. WMS…it is pure bliss to read the words of a gifted writer. When your heart is in your throat just a paragraph in, you know you’re set for a treat… thx for another great share, pal….

    Liked by 1 person

  12. To click a “like” button on this post is to woefully understate the impact of these words. When I grow up I would like to write with that kind of impact.

    Liked by 1 person

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