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July 12, 2004
The topic of today's eMo was clear: I would reprint an essay from my first book, The Sewing Room -- I would chose the one about the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, an essay called "The Saint of Lost Things." I would do this because so many readers had written me suggesting prayer to St. Anthony to help find my lost datebook, and suddenly there it was, wedged in a dark place between the table leg and the bed.

That book was written before I had a computer, so I had to retype the essay. It is one of the longer ones in the book, so typing it took a little while. And then there was the spell-checking. I was about finished and ready to send it out, though, when the computer froze: the mouse motionless, the keys clueless. Ctrl-Alt-Del accomplished nothing. I took immediate, decisive action: drew myself a nice hot bath with bubbles, hoping, upon my return, to find that it had all been a bad dream. But no: there it sat, exactly as it had been before. No way to save the unsent eMo. I knew that it would disappear into the ether when I pulled the plug. It would be lost. And it is.

No, it isn't. It's in the book, and anybody who wants to can buy the book and read it, or go to the library and read it there. It's a good essay, if I do say so myself.

So I lost an eMo celebrating the return of something lost. Is there something a little frightening about that, or is it just me? Is there a thieving spirit about -- I mean besides the cat What-s-Her-Name -- something in my house that sucks up things I need and hangs onto them? Or is it a beneficent spirit, as some have suggested, God at work in spiriting away the things that nourish the tumor of my overgrown work ethic? You're being told to slow down, people write, and you should listen.

I thought I did slow down. I distinctly remember slowing down. But it creeps back, the weed of work, because to me it doesn't feel like a weed. It feels a flower.

Still, all flowers have a season. They don't bloom all year long. They rest for a time, in order to bloom again. The longer they rest, the bigger and more beautiful their bloom.

Found my datebook. Lost my eMo. Just to be safe, I think I'll take it easy for the rest of the day.


Curious about that essay? You can find The Sewing Room and many other books in the bookstore on the Farm's website,
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