Time to Write Now By Julaina Kleist-Corwin

About Writing Plus

Do You Want To Be Notorious? Ask Sue Monk Kidd

Notorious imageWhen I receive books in the mail that I’ve ordered, I scrutinize the cover, front and back, and then randomly open the book. Sue Monk Kidd’s Firstlight arrived today.

I landed on page 41. Kidd describes how a woman said to her, “When I turn fifty, I want to become notorious.” Kidd asked her “Notorious for what?” The woman hadn’t figured that out yet. Kidd didn’t understand the appeal of the idea but thought about it and wondered, “What would I want to be notorious for at fifty?”

Of course, I had to read on to find out her answer.

On page 43, she describes how amazed she was on her birthday as she looked at the guests’ faces. They were “beautiful and shining.” She glanced at the white lily in a vase and it was so gorgeous “the sight nearly wiped me out.” The experience gave her an “amazement at life.”  She remembered a quote by Emily Dickinson, “Life is a spell so exquisite that everything conspires to break it.”

Kidd realized she had been “moving through life on automatic pilot, half-seeing, half-here, abducted by the dreaded small stuff.. . . .We will have a true and blissful marriage to life only to the extent we are aware.” She found the answer to the question “What would I want to be notorious for at fifty?”

“Let it be for nothing more than harboring a wild amazement at life. Let it be for choking up at poetry and the sight of human faces. For falling into easy rapture over lilies and all the other run-of-the-mill marvels that make up life. Let me become notorious for going around with my bridal veil tossed back and my mouth saying I do. Renewing my vows with life. Every day. A hundred times a day.”

Firstlight has stories and essays that are drawn from Kidd’s early years of her journey as a writer and as a spiritual seeker.

What would you want to be notorious for at fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety or a hundred?

 

Comments

  1. Ann Winfred says:

    “Let it be for nothing more than harboring a wild amazement at life. Let it be for choking up at poetry and the sight of human faces. ” Amen, sistah — and thank you, Julaina.

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