Early in When It Don't Come Easy, Patty Griffin wonders four times if we'll ever get home tonight. If I had to assign words to the past week or so, those would be the ones. It hasn't come easy. Realization that my world is about to change in ways both revolutionary and minute has stunned me into a scrambling stupor to try and find some solace and direction. The thought that this great idea of "home" is the great North Star by which we find our bearings has bore down on me and I have tried to figure out what the next step will be, and where mine is.
The protagonist in Leif Enger's new book So Brave, Young, and Handsome, is an author who has struggled for years to match the success of his debut novel. He said that in his stories if he ever approached running out of material or needed to move them along to the next place, he just through a river in front of the characters and waited to see what they would do with it.
Tonight I had dinner with two of my closest friends and their son at a restaurant on the river. It was a perfect evening that topped off a not-so-perfect few days. During the silences I thought of that Patty Griffin song. I thought of the people who have driven out to find me as I broke down, and have stayed by me when it didn't come easy. I looked out over the Brazos, ducks heading where they needed to be and the water shimmering in the mid-evening early-summer sun. In the silences I wondered if I would ever get home.
I think I probably will.