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Here I stand, on the brink of a week-long writing adventure in Iowa.

Without nerves, without excitement, I pulled out paperwork this morning, filed away last March, to see what it  was I was supposed to have submitted in advance.

Ah, yes.  Two pieces; one for each class.

So no nerves.  No excitement.  But guilt?  Yes, I feel guilt at not spending more time in preparation.  At the same time, as I wonder what this writing retreat will bring, I’m haunted by words written twelve days ago, in response to a good friend’s encouraging word on my writing:

“You are way too kind about my writing.  It is good therapy; nothing much more these days.  I do very little polishing.  What comes out is pretty much what sticks, as if I’m writing on fly paper.  I’ve little energy for much more.”

And there lies the source of my guilt:  My husband has granted me this most wonderful gift — footing the bill with both money and his time, staying home to keep our household going — shouldn’t I at least feel a little energy about going?  Is it too much to expect a little excitement?  And shouldn’t I give my writing a little more thought and consideration, than throwing words at fly paper?

Well, this morning I tried.  This morning I thoughtfully edited an old blog post about Daddy to satisfy that first class requirement — and then before I could edit it to death, I pasted it in an email and fired it off to Iowa by internet.

But here’s the rub — I think I like the unvarnished truth more than the polished, shortened piece I sent.  Maybe my preference for the not-too-polished goes back to who I am — someone comfortable living with unfinished loose ends, someone who prefers to ‘keep it everyday real and simple.’   Or maybe my preference for the unvarnished stems from the same reasons I prefer candid photos over posed shots.

The piece I edited was one of my favorites about Daddy; last year’s “Good Night, Moonshadow” has now become, with shorter and tighter prose,  “Dusty Halos”.

Who knows but maybe there will be room to ‘workshop’ both “Paper Moons?”

Dusty Halos

A lovely crescent moon is doing its best to light our world tonight.  Wearing a halo looking like smudged paint, could this be moon dust, I wonder?

I wish some moonshine would fall into Daddy’s bedroom window.  Too often he bumps into the dark.  Wearing a shiner smudging his left eye, last week it was crescent-shaped.  Purple, blue, yellow — Daddy says it doesn’t hurt.

From new moon to full moon to new moon, we cycle too.  We begin and end life needy.  We are invisible without voice.  But aren’t we most needy when full of ourselves, when our blinding light and blaring sound makes us dim-witted?

Far on the light-dimmer side, Daddy is almost new — man dust and heavenly halos — invisible to the eye, here all the same.  For now, a still lovely Daddy is doing his best to light our world.