This time last year I was in Eastend, Saskatchewan, living in Stegner House, courtesy of the Stegner Foundation, working on the first draft of the book I am trying to finish the rewriting of now. I was really alone. The townspeople, all 527 of them (including children), gallantly ignored me as they had been instructed to do ("Don't bother the writer."), and I had nowhere to go on T-Day. T is for Turkey and I had trouble finding any in the town's two grocery stores (decreased to one, shortly after I left). I bought a frozen dinner with some turkey in it. I wasn't daunted or lonely. I'd be more lonely if no one invited me out here in Toronto and now, this weekend. Fortunately I am invited, on Sunday, for dinner with family, and on Monday for lunch with neighbours in my building. I am grateful.
But I am dealing with some heavy-duty thoughts that reduce any fuss about T-dinner to its relative insignificance. Or maybe not. One of the recurrent pieces of advice or wisdom or whatever it passes as, is to cherish the moments. No matter what tomorrow brings, you have today. And as some of us are losing memories of yesterday and thoughts of tomorrow, today and its moments are all we have. That makes me think of a line attributed to Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) in her glory days. Someone said to her in awe and maybe envy: "You have everything, don't you?" And Taylor said, "No, I haven't had tomorrow."
I wish I could remember people's names the way I remember good lines.