Thursday, October 22, 2009

Magazine Love

The new Poets & Writers arrived in today's mail. Quarterly issues simply aren't enough.

Also in my mailbox was an issue of Smithsonian, my lapsed subscription to which I recently renewed. I have missed this magazine, and its presence in my home is not unlike the comfort that comes from having one's mom over for a visit.

I took to heart this passage from David Lamb's article about recently deceased Vietnam photographer, Hugh Van Es:

"I've searched for an answer why I stayed all those years," says George Esper, an AP reporter who spent nearly a decade in Vietnam. "What I keep coming back to was a young nurse from upstate New York.... She was tending the badly wounded. Some died in her arms. And I said, 'Wow. What a woman! Why are you here?' and she said, 'Because I've never felt so worthwhile in my life.' That's how I felt, too."

I met a friend for lunch today. She is struggling to enter the job market after earning a graduate degree. Lately, the rejections have been getting to her. Which, as a writer, I understand. But my friend feels that she is meant to be a therapist, and so can only continue her job search. Writing doesn't involve helping the ill--either on a battlefield or in a medical office--but this doesn't lessen my compulsion to do it.

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