Sunday, June 13, 2010

Zona Rosa

Sat 10/09/09

On Saturday, attended Zona Rosa, a writers' workshop in Savannah led by Rosemary Daniell for many years, and of which I have been a member - off and on as Clint's health allowed - since 1996. It was the only really good thing that has happened to me since Clint died. Rosemary suffered a huge loss when her son died in August, and we are members of that unfortunate sisterhood of women who have children with severe mental disease. Just seeing her face, drawn and pale though it was, gave me a sense of connection to her. No matter how long I stay away, it's always the same. She is following my blog as a Zona Rosa project for me, and I hope some other members of the group will also. I'm not just looking for readers; I want feedback and criticism because, in the end, this blog will either result in a memoir or a collections of poems. Rosemary has already said she thinks I am a natural poet. I am digging back to the beginning of this series of entries and making skeletal outlines for poems. I published a draft of one on the entries. If you are new to this blog, it started in early August, so if you are interested, you can go back to the beginning. Like I have said before, this is my blog. It won't hurt my feelings one bit if you choose not to take this journey with me. It is not an easy one. If you have suffered loss and want to share it with me or have comments, please do.

It's hard to resist the temptation to make this about my day-to-day life, but I have a journal and Facebook for that. I want this to be about me and my struggles and triumphs as I work my way through the what has turned out to be the hardest job I ever had. Every day isn't totally shitty; some are only a little shitty.

Being in Savannah without Clint was hard. He loved Addie as much as his natural grandchildren. For my readers who have never met me or know anything about me, I'm going, for the sake of clarity, explain about Addie. My son, Parrish, who has bipolar and schizoaffective disorder, dated Polly, Addie's mother, for 4 years during college. The summer they graduated, Polly got pregnant, and when she did, Parrish's disease began to manifest itself. Wisely, they chose not to marry. Parrish was getting sicker by the month and could not care for himself. When Addie was 2, Mike Duck fell in love with Polly and wanted to marry both her and Addie. I advised Parrish to allow Mike to adopt Addie, and he did. Though Parrish is not in good enough shape to see Addie or have a relationship with her, she knows the whole story, and everything as worked out as well as it could. I spent the weekend in Savannah with the Ducks. We are a close family and I consider her half siblings my grandchildren also. (There's another whole book). Addie is 14. Parrish is 40.

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