So you can read my books

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Ann Best

For Ann Best:
(Who has left her blog for family reasons)

“I loved my friend
She went away from me
There's nothing more to say
The poem ends,
Soft as it began-
I loved my friend.”
- Langston Hughes
Jo Schaffer:
has spotlighted my book DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE.
Brave the cold and visit her!
   Remember junior high and high school?  You thought you knew about your parents, about life, about your friends. 
   Then came college or the job(s) and/or marriage with or without children -- and you went:
"Oh, man, I had it all wrong.  This is what life is all about."
   And you were wrong.
“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life.
It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.”
Joseph Campbell
   Old Joe has a point:
   We bring the meaning to each stage of our journey.  The paths ahead look without number.  When at the end, we look back, we will find only one. 
   That path, good or bad, will be the result of our many life choices.
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books

   You may think you know the meaning of your book.  You are wrong.
   The meaning of your book is the one the reader assigns to it as you assign the meaning to your own life -- but it will change as the reader and you change.
   The you that you are and the reader that the reader is at the start of your book will not be the same person at the end.
“There is not one big cosmic meaning for all; there is only the meaning we each give to our life,
an individual meaning, an individual plot, like an individual novel, a book for each person.”
Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

   You think you know why you started your blog.  But the why of its origin is not the why of its continuing.
   John Steinbeck, in his journey across America in 1960 described in TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY (his giant French poodle) seemed always lost. 
   Yet, where he ended up usually held more truth and meaning than the rare times he actually arrived at his stated destination.
   Gary Sinse, by the way, does a haunting performance of the book in audio.  Do yourself a favor and listen to it:
“However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”
Stanley Kubrick

That light for me, besides the Great Mystery, is the caring others I meet in this life.  Each soul casts a light of its own. 
As Samuel McCord says in DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE:

Each of us is a walking shadow.  The people in our lives are lights, varying in brightness and color. 

As they pass by us, our shadows move and change with each light, becoming something different with each one. 

We become a living dance of light and shadow with the people entering our lives … and leaving them.

I guess maybe we all become different people in response to different times and places, different duties. 

Maybe in a lifetime we become a small number of different people, when, in fact, we could become many, many more –

 if only life moved us around more.

   And so I end as I began: with the light that is Ann Best --
   I am enriched because of our exchanges, her warmth, her special spirit.
Take note of the people here in the blogverse,
Each of us has a limited shelf life and our expiration date is written in invisible ink.


  1. I read her post this afternoon. Will miss her, but can email her anytime.
    People are the meaning of life, all of us, every part. What we bring and what we give.
    And I've known for a long time that the reason I began blogging and the reason I continue are vastly different. I began for me, I continue for others. And that brings more joy.

  2. Alex:
    So true. Most of us begin for ourselves -- then, we meet special people like Ann, and we continue to bask in their warmth. Thanks for being one of those special people! :-)

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  4. I didn't know Ann, or know of her until I read this post, and followed the link to her farewell. She sounds like an amazing person, and I wish her well in whatever she turns to next.
    I am in awe at the people I have met here. My world has been enriched immeasurably by them, and I am so very, very grateful.

  5. Elephant's Child:
    Ann is, indeed, an amazing person. I will miss her wise words and kind spirit here in blogdom. But her email is ready for her friends who want to drop in and say HI. :-)

  6. I went and read Ann's post - it's very sad to see her disappearing from the blogiverse. But as mentioned, she is still contactable, so all is not lost. It's still sad when our bloggy friends vanish from the outward-facing interwebs.

  7. Trisha F:
    Yes, it is. I am so sorry that in an earlier form of this post that I gave the impression that Ann was no longer with us at all! I feel so terrible about that!!

    Ann can give me a cyber kick for that, and I will deserve it!!

  8. Sometimes blogging has served its purpose in someone's life and it is time to move on.

    I felt like that once and deleted my blog. And then I started a new one. (Is there a twelve-step program for that?)

  9. Ann has always been a source of light and support here in the blogosphere, and she will be missed. Thank you for mentioning her final post, Roland. It gave me a chance to say goodbye and wish her well.

    VR Barkowski

  10. Nissa:
    We must go where we feel led and live a life of worth no matter where our path takes us. :-)

    I am glad to point to her so others can say GOOD FORTUNE. :-)

  11. Oh, I really like the imagery of the lights passing by and impacting our shadows. That's just lovely!

    Also thanks for the reminder to add Travels with Charley to my reading list.

  12. While each of us may have an invisible expiration date, the shadows and light of our existence linger on in the hearts of those we touch and those who touch us.

    What a beautiful and inspirations IWSG post. Thank you Roland.

  13. Blogging is tough.
    I myself have less and less time for blogging. So I can understand those like Ann Best, who decide to leave it.

    Happy New Year, Roland!


  14. I love the quote from Stanley Kubrick. I'm struggling with reigniting my own light at the moment, but with my current circumstances, I'm being gentle with myself. I know the light in me will return to its fiery glow again.

    I don't know Ann all that well, but I'm headed over to read her post now. I have a feeling I'll resonate with her decision though.

    Roland, I thank you for your kind words on my IWSG post yesterday. Hugs. :)

  15. I miss Ann too and I will also worry about her, as she has a lot on her plate. We are the same age, one month apart, and both love the writings of Wallace Stegner.

  16. Ayjay:
    TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY is like going into a time machine to 1960 and driving the country with a great author and his insights.

    Sam tips his Stetson to you for liking his imagery. :-)

    Your very kind words made my morning. Thank you.

    Happy New Year, too. :-)

    Yes, blogging is tough. I consider leaving it from time to time myself. So you and I can understand Ann's decision. May the new year bring you success and easier times.

    Your embers are burning low right now I know. Take it easy. If you try to force embers to burn faster than their nature, they go out. Be kind to your wounds. Let them heal at their own rate which may be slower than you would wish.

    I'm glad my words on your post yesterday was of some small value. You are in my thoughts and on my heart. :-)

    I will worry about Ann as well, for, as you wrote, she has so much on her plate. We'll just have to check in on her by email from time to time, right? :-)

  17. Hi, Roland,

    You are so right about the light. We all cast a beam. Many are brilliant, but even the dull light casts a warm glow.

    Yes, Ann will be missed. She has another journey to travel.

    Hopefully it will lead back to us...

  18. Michael:
    We can check in on her from time to time so she won't feel so isolated. Ann is a friend I want to keep -- as are you! :-)

  19. This post was moving. Great quotes and images. All my best to Ann as her journey changes.

    I think I enjoyed the Joseph Campbell quote best.

    I definitely started blogging for a different reason than I continue. But Alex already said that best above.

    The Warrior Muse

  20. Shannon:
    I remind myself to check in on her from time to time. I liked Joseph Campbell's quote, too: we must be our own answer to life's questions and challenges. I want a stunt double!

    No reason you can't agree with Alex -- it makes him feel good. :-)

    Thank you for the kind words. Have a great new week!

  21. Your post was so heart felt. Thank you for sharing all these wonderful words. I wish the best to your friend Ann.

    Leanne ( )

  22. Leanne:
    Thanks for visiting my cyber home and then staying to chat. It means a lot. :-)