Running thinking about the wonderful local launch events for my new writer's journal, FIREFLIES -- so great seeing many fans and friends -- we sold out at Market Block Books in Troy and The Book House at Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany...and how I will enjoy using it during school visits and also for my workshops with adult students at the Arts Center of the Capital Region in Troy and then *spark* I thought of one particular student, Anne, who showed up at my Sunday signing and who will be taking another class from me, The Writer's Circle, starting tomorrow night at the Arts Center and then *spark* I thought of a wonderful title for the book she's working on! Just now at home, I wrote the title and some notes on a slip of paper. Can't wait to share with Anne tomorrow night. Sometimes we get firefly sparks for our own writing and sometimes for others. Either way, it's exciting and inspires me to run on and write on.... who knows what surprise will spark next. :)
Beautiful summer morning.... ran through Frear Park then up Oakwood Ave and into St. Peter's Cemetery. I chose this route today as a dear family friend, Mary Mahoney, mother-in-law of my sister Noreen Mahoney, will be laid to rest here tomorrow morning. A life-long resident of Troy, beloved mother and grandmother, one of the most gracious and generous people I've ever met, Mary was 90. After a bit of searching, I found the stone grave marker, "Mahoney," in the center of the cemetery on a grassy knoll next to a grand old tree. There were the names of Mary's husband, Justin, and daughter, Laurel, who left this world before her. "It's a beautiful spot, Mary," I said.
Birds flitting by, crickets chirping, the smell of freshly mowed grass. Tomorrow there will be heart-wrenching grief here -- children, grandchildren, relatives, and friends mourning the loss of this wonderful woman. Mary's great spark will live on in all of them. In years to come there will be sunshine on this hill, birds flitting by, crickets chirping --signs of life to remind the living to appreciate it all, every moment, and try to be a little kinder and love a little more, like Mary. Exiting the cemetery, I heard Mary's spirit saying not to cry but to "smile for Jack and Ry" -- (Mary's grandsons.; my nephews). Just like you, Mary, to always be thinking about brightening someone else's day.
Hit the RPI track again today.... hot and muggy, hard to keep going --- then someone recognized me from yesterday, smiled and said "back again, huh? good for you!" and I felt my energy level pick up; a few encouraging words, a simple smile even, can spark a person forward; heart-spark pass it on...
Jogged the track at Rensselaer (aka "RPI" - world-class university here in Troy), sweet ankle-knee-hip relief from the hard pavement of city streets (thank you for leaving open to neighbors, Dr. Jackson) -- a summer camp group of kids doing warm-ups on the field, counting out a stretch in both English and Spanish -- two athletes zipping past me timing a sprint -- an elderly couple holding hands as they walk -- different ages, different goals -- round and round we circle -- back to where we started, again and again, each time changed -- lighter in weight, lighter in worries, perhaps brighter with a new idea, spark -- four times around is a mile.
Jogging up Oakwood Avenue spotting tossed soda cans, candy wrappers, beer bottles, junk food bags...and perhaps the saddest trash, discarded instant lottery tickets... "win up to $50,000!"... "Cash for Life!"..."KING'S RANSOM -- Win up to $3,000,000!!! -- 15 Chances to Win! The tickets ranged in price from $1 to $10. If a person put $1 a day in a cookie jar for a year there'd be enough for a course at a local community college... a much safer bet for the future.
A blackberry bush on 16th Street linked me back to Camp Russell in Old Forge, my three sons picking berries for Tama's pancakes, little fingers stained purple all morning.
Saw today while running: Red-circle brim of a sombrero on hot pavement, lost or tossed for a different hat?