Friday, September 04, 2009

Joy in the Morning

I love waking up groggy and slow and stupid, trying to un-gum my eyelids enough to read over Facebook (I don't have an account, but read Jason's cos his friends are so interesting), waiting for the coffee to brew and having something like this served up to me on a plate.

Let's get this straight: I love and adore Jason. He is the best.

But I love me some Rick Bragg writing the way I love me some breathing. I've seen him speak three times and I love listening to some Rick Bragg about as much as I love reading his writing.

All Over But the Shouting made me cry because it was the story of so many poor Southern women. Many, many of us watched our mother's struggles on our behalves.

Ava's Man made me simply weep from the beauty of not only the story, but the writing.

The Prince of Frogtown I had Mr. Bragg sign as a gift for the man-child (given after I'd read it and had my heart hurt in a whole new way). Mr. Bragg's story was of a daddy who went away. The man-child's is of a daddy who didn't go away soon enough. But within the pages was the message that over the years I'd tried to give to the man-child: that our parents are just human and some have far worse faults than others. That you need to find that almost impossible balance between the need to forgive and let go of anger and resentment and the necessity to protect yourself emotionally from a parent who may not have your best interests at heart.

You can find thousands and thousands of Southern women of my generation who tell Mr. Bragg that "you told my story", but it's the hard truths told in his stories that resonate with us. The details differ, but the truths remain the same.

The boyz say: Our daddy runned off too. But we got each other's back.


Sharon said...

Wow, Rick Bragg sounds amazing. If my organizer would let me get more books, I'd put him on my list. As it is, he'll have to be on my "Someday" list. The one I have for, y'know, retirement, assuming that ever happens. Even though I'm no Southern woman, I think the man may just be telling my story, too.

But that link made me think of something someone I know posted the link to recently:

You may like that, too. I know I did. It even made me start blogging again, although that doesn't seem to have lasted very long. I'm glad you keep doing it, though!

JanetLee said...

Sharon - go to the library today and get his books. Read them in order - All Over But the Shouting, Ava's Man and The Prince of Frogtown.

Today. Seriously.

JanetLee said...

Seriously, this man went to work and worked until he had saved enough money to buy his momma the one thing she never had - a home of her own.