It's Friday morning and deadline day for this sprawling thing I euphemistically call my column. It's also the second day of spring – March 21st – and all of creation has risen to the occasion. Outside my window, the "we need you, we need you" bird has returned to seduce me from my grim task. (My old pal Jim Tatum tells me that's the cry of the Carolina wren, and I have no reason to doubt him.)
My husband and I were watching a news report from Ukraine the other night, and I said to him, "Having lived here in my American bubble all my life, this stuff seems almost unreal to me. It's like I'm watching a movie."
"If my father were here today, there would be two words running through his head: Good grief." The speaker at the lectern laughed along with her audience. "Seriously, he'd wonder what all this fuss was about!"
Traditionally, mid-February is when I write my annual Movie Column. During this grim, bleak, shabby excuse for a month, it always cheers me to look back at the year in movies and comment on the new batch of Oscar nominees. This year, it has somehow come to pass that I've only seen three of the nine films nominated for Best Picture. And I call myself a film buff? Disgraceful.
Greetings, reader. It's a Tuesday morning, and I'm writing from my kitchen, wearing flannel pajamas, a heavy sweatshirt, a brown cape that my husband loathes, and my daughter's fuzzy pink pig slippers. (They're actually fuzzy pink lamb slippers – I know, I bought them – but she insists they're pigs, and you have to pick your battles with 12-year-olds.)
Every new year, I try to find a word to keep in front of me as something to strive for in the days ahead. It usually comes to me with little effort but this year I struggled, grappling for one word to capture the goal of my annual journey. And like it always does, finally, suddenly, the word arrives. This year, it is simply, love. It is a big, little, word.