Monday, November 14, 2016
The Other Significant Other!
Harry Thurston, the award-winning author who lives in Tidnish Bridge and who has mentored me for the past few years, introduced me at the book launch of Field Notes yesterday.
I didn't even recognize the writer he was talking about.
A while ago, I wrote a Facebook post that stated, "The world sees you as much cooler than you see yourself," and this was brought home again to me at the book launch. Not only by Harry's extraordinary introduction but by the way I know we view writers and painters and rug hookers and sculptors -- anyone who creates, who puts words on a page or paint on a canvas or fabric on a cloth. When people do lovely things we can't do ourselves, we think they are special, and they are.
Yet when you are one -- apparently talented, apparently on your way, apparently one to watch -- you still don't feel like that. You only know that your neck aches from sitting at your desk too long staring at the computer monitor or bending over the rug hooking frame trying to get those oceans waves to flow the way you want them to or firing the clay just right for your new artistic departure from mugs and bowls. You read your book to a crowd and you think, "Did I write that?" and then you think, "I could never do this again."
But Harry seems to think I can.
Here's what makes Harry so significant, why I'm so grateful he agreed to introduce me at the book launch and why I am so humbled by his words: He's the one who put this Field Notes book into play. I credit Deanne Fitzpatrick with kicking my butt through a period of being stuck mid-way through writing the sample essays but Harry is the one who got me thinking about the book itself.
"You could turn the article about the ospreys into a book," he said to me in passing at an event promoting Nova Scotia arts and culture.
Now, Field Notes is not the book he imagined -- he meant a non-fiction narrative woven around the presence of the ospreys on our property -- but Field Notes is that book in essay form, I think.
Harry thinks we first met when I took his six-week writing workshop at the Tidnish Bridge Art Gallery in the summer of 2014 but he's wrong. We met when I used my "In Conversation With..." column in the Oxford Journal as an excuse to meet this fascinating and accomplished author who lives in the same county as I do! And look where we ended up -- celebrating the book that grew out of the seed he planted.
Which reminds me of an idea I discussed with someone just recently: We never know the power of what we say to another person, even in passing, so we need to make sure our words are supportive and encouraging. We plant seeds everywhere, and sometimes we are fortunate to be a part of their taking root and blooming into something lovely.