The other week, at a reading of his new book, Broadway Baby, the poet Alan Shapiro said something about writing that I had to repeat to my students: “Writing is a way of being happy. Even if you’re writing about something sad.” I’ve said similar things to them, but never as well as that.
“The Art of Waiting” is an essay I wrote for Orion magazine, one of my favorite publications. I’m so honored that Orion published my essay, which is probably the most personal and difficult piece I’ve ever written. But writing it–when things were very hard, and very sad for me–was a gift. It was a way of reminding myself not only that I’m not alone, but that the natural world is interesting, mysterious, and wonderful, and provides purpose and healing that we did not expect. Click here to read about Jamani the lowland gorilla, marmoset reproductive suppression, Virginia Woolf’s diaries, the sound of 13-year cicadas, and my efforts to come to terms with my own infertility.
(Pictured above: sunset in Siesta Key, Florida)