Today I'm doing laundry and packing, and catching up on note-taking for my class. Re-reading through Shirley Hazzard's The Great Fire, I came across this sentence (which will be my Two Sentences Read for Two by Two):
"After childhood, we become prepared for coldness. It's generosity that disarms us."
This stopped me short, and I wonder if it's true. Are we, as adults, disarmed by generosity? I think back on some of the most generous moments I've experienced, and they were, in fact, unsettling. In the best of ways. Back when we were newly married with two young babies, and I was stay-at-home mom living on my husband's barely-above-minimum-wage teacher's salary, we struggled just to get by. Charging groceries, living in a house without central heat and air. Selling my old work clothes and CDs (so painful!) to buy diapers.
One winter night just before Christmas, we came home and a card was on our front porch. Unsigned, other than a simple line that read Jesus Loves You. (I know, this teeters dangerously into a very special Lifetime moment, but it's true.) The envelope contained, along with the card, one hundred dollars cash. It's one of my clearest memories of unconditional generosity, probably made sharper because we needed it so desperately. It's humbling to accept a gift like that, with no way to return it.
Speaking of giving (check me out, with the segues!), it's not too late to join my contest for a box of signed books by Texas authors. All I ask is that you check out the Nothing but Nets Website (we're on an honor system here, folks) and read about how a $10 donation can save a life. Whether you give or not is up to you. Come back to this blog and leave a comment, any comment, and I'll put you in the drawing. Contest closes at the end of May.
For my two "sentences" written from a poem I'm working on:
My grandmother died of Alzheimer's
in a special home in Wisconsin
where they clipped her nails
and rolled her hair and bathed
her when she forgot the closet
is not a toilet.
I remember her: tall and lovely,
long limbs draped in linen
the clink of her jewelry and ice
in vodka; how she'd ask the same questions
over and over, then laugh along with us
when we teased her
I know I'm no poet, but it is two sentences. And, if you look close, a semi-colon.
For other two by two participants, check out the Women of Mystery blog, which started the trend.
Ever been disarmed by generosity? Have sentences to share? Wanna win books? Get your post on...