June 5th, 2005
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I am deeply immersed in the timeless world of travel, or rather visiting which is what I have been doing for several days now. I have officially lost all sense of how long I have been doing this, four days feeling like twelve. Time is a blur of dinners, and lunches with friends, a series of strange beds and children, new dogs and beer at the pub. A drive through my favorite city, over the golden gate bridge, through Sausolito, Mill Valley, and a picnic at Muir Beach. All of this activity has caused my husband to come down with a nasty kind of flu-like illness, so he is now on the couch in an attempt to sleep off the dreaded bug.
I have been sitting in the yard immersed in Pam Houston’s “Cowboy’s are my Weakness” a recent purchase from a used bookstore. My dear Christian Kiefer, whom we are staying with is friends with Pam, so I have been receiving little glimpses into her interesting and adventurous sounding life, (I am careful not to make assumptions about how an author lives, there is a tendency on the part of readers to idealize people and their situations). Reading her gives me more reason to document the little happenings of my life, and shape them into stories (all too often I question my ability in this realm). I think good writers have the gift of valuing their own unique perspectives on the world, instead of worrying about whether or not a story is interesting. A tin can can be interesting if viewed by attentive and thoughtful eyes.
I received a gift from Mr. Kiefer of a copy of “Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey”, illustrated by the incredible Roger Duvoisin, who I am now researching, (he wrote and illustrated the famous kid’s book “Petunia”.) It begins with an inscription which I wrote on the first page of my favourite new leatherbound journal (an early birthday gift from my husband):
“Every book is, in an intimate sense, a circular letter to the friends of him who writes it. They alone take his meaning, they find private messages, assurances of love, and expressions of gratitude, dropped for them in every corner. The public is but a generous patron who defrays the postage. Yet though the letter is directed to all, we have an old and kindly custom of addressing it on the outside to one. Of what shall a man be proud, if he is not proud of his friends?” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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