It stinks that Norah Ephron died today. It's a loaded issue for me when someone so creative dies at the beginning of her 70s. After I told my sister, she went off on a riff about how we've all got to eat cruciferous vegetables and Dr. Furman style garlic and spinach shakes. You've heard it all, no doubt, about turning your genes on and off like stop lights because you ate a donut. I hear that theory as the usual "blame the victim" kind of attitude that people take when bad luck befalls someone they know. We'd rather believe they slipped up, neglected their vegetables and tofu instead of understanding that life is a crapshoot.
But, I have the equally illogical view that people who stay creative and love their lives will live longer. Except for hating her dowager's hump and her neck, Norah seemed to be having a pretty nice life, so what happened--how could she get leukemia at 71? Apparently even Norah saw the fickle nature of fate because she spoke, before her illness, of doing all you love NOW, while you can, because people get sick randomly. She said something about knowing what it is that you love and going out to do it generously--that stopped me in my tracks. How about you? Do you know what you love and gather it while ye may? I find my mind interferes with knowing what I love. I might work on my novel, for example, and really enjoy what I wrote, only to return the next day and reread it with disgust, thereby deciding that I will spend the rest of my life doing yoga, meditating, drinking spinach garlic shakes and renouncing all egoic activities.
If you are in the mood, write to me and tell me what you'd really, really love to do with the rest of your life. I'm interested, and maybe you can give me ideas. I don't want to hear goody two-shoes stuff unless you mean it, OK? By that I mean the way I can sometimes decide that I want to spend the rest of my life walking on my knees to a holy site 2000 miles away. These thoughts are holdovers from a past life a psychic told me that I'd led, when I was a nun, staring out the convent door. This nun has helped me make a lot of decisions in my life, and most of them were bad ones. I much prefer that angry adolescent who lurks within, never doing anything except what he wants to do, copping an attitude. I don't usually function in the world this way, but maybe I should.
Anyway, goodbye to our Harry Met Sally girl. Norah hand-picked Meryl Streep for the role as Julia Childs. I love Meryl a lot too. She'd better hang on!