Today I had a great day thanks to two young ladies I’d never met before. Most of my fares are people I don’t know or recognize, some are regulars and we get to know each other a bit, while some passengers I recognize from having driven them once or twice before. At any rate, these two girls (grade-school-aged) got into my cab and we had a great conversation. They inspired me. What a wonderful gift. Two complete strangers through their own energy and interest in the world inspired me. They were bright and lively and I could not help but feel similarly.
We talked about books! I asked what books they were reading or had recently read that they’d recommend to me: “Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage” and “Matched” by Ally Condie (actually, I saw an advance copy of “Matched” at Wiscon and was about to buy it before I restrained myself by reasoning that I already have so many unread books lining my shelves, and it’s good to support one’s local library by checking out material). And here was a young woman reading that book, recommending it. How cool is that? And Harriet Tubman. She undertook so much and risked so much despite the odds against her and an entire legal system and culture that stood in her way (raged, really). “‘The Moses of her People’ is the name given to this woman of great courage. Rewards of as high as $40,000 were offered for her capture” (Bucknell University)(and hey, that’s still a lot of money, even today). It’s good to hear that kids are still reading (in general) and reading about amazing women.
And both girls talked with me about writing. They encouraged me to keep writing. (!) I was hoping to encourage them to go after their dreams. And perhaps I did that as well. I don’t know. I hope so. I do know that they encouraged me and that is pretty cool.
NaNoWriMo is coming up. I was contemplating where or not I’d participate this year. Part of me wants to and another part wants to focus on short stories (revision in particular). The girls wanted me to include them in a novel and even came up with a title. I’ve decided I can do both, the short story revision will be slower if I write the NaNoWriMo novel, true, but I’ll get that jump on the sci-fi story I feel I should have written (reading Octavia E. Butler I’m wondering why I haven’t already, I see so much of what I want to write shimmering through her work).
Inspiration comes from many places, many of them unanticipated.
I came up with the following phrase while biking to work this morning – perhaps I knew?
You are richer than you imagine – you with your life in your heart and your hands.