I loved my Grandmother, Helen, for so many reasons, one of them being the funny little adages (well, at least I thought they were “funny little adages”) she used to say. One of her most well-known was about “saving things for best.” As such, you were supposed to reserve the fancy sheets and towels for overnight guests, the brand name sweets for company and the more expensive clothes, jewelry and shoes for special occasions. My mother adopted this behavior and lovingly passed it along to me. I am not ashamed to admit that I, too, have linens “for best,” dinner and glassware “for best” and clothes, jewelry and shoes “for best.” (Note: I don’t save the brand name sweets for anyone. In our house, they are readily available to all who walk through the door. Although, I willingly admit that I do stash some of my personal favorites away since they are more “healthy.”)
My grandmother passed away almost four years ago and not a day goes by that I don’t think of her in some way. It’s hard not to, when I am fortunate enough to own several of her former pieces of furniture, including her beloved grandmother clock and bathroom vanity. This morning, as I was cooling down (i.e. scrolling on my phone) from my barre workout, I came across an email from Gayle Trent (www.gayletrent.com), a favorite author of mine, regarding things we can do to cheer ourselves up during this difficult time. Of course, retail therapy has been among one of my chosen ways to cope, but Gayle also mentioned taking out and using those things that you love, but may have been saving. In her message, Gayle revealed how she had recently used an expensive body wash that she had stored away in her pantry and as she wrote the email, was “sitting here smelling wonderful.”
I immediately thought of my Grandma and decided to heed Gayle’s wise advice. Now, is the perfect time to break out the fancy china, don those expensive earrings and indulge in that bottle of wine that has been collecting dust in the liquor cabinet. And as I sit here all dolled up in my best, while sipping a fine wine from one of our name brand crystal champagne flutes (not really — I’m wearing a sweatshirt and leggings and drinking hot lemon water from a coffee mug — but, you get the idea), I’ll also be sharing some of the writing that’s been hiding out in my brain waiting “for best.” You see, I think part of my reluctance to write anything substantial stems from my fear of giving away all of the “best” too soon. I have so many ideas for books, articles, blog posts and poems, and until now, haven’t felt confident enough to just let all of them flow out through my fingertips. Unconsciously, I’ve been “saving my writing for best.” And now, I don’t feel the need to anymore. I’m ready to let this new, uncertain and unusual world that surrounds me drive my desire to inspire. As such, I’ve taken to writing a few 17-syllable poems about the current state of things and have posted them below. They are just a small sampling of the type of work that I wish to create, the type of work that’s been too afraid to reveal itself until now and the type of work that I think is just the very beginning of my “best.” And, as much as I’d love to fulfill my Grandmother’s fancy of “saving things for best,” I’m sure that she’d be okay with me sharing my “best” sooner than later. Enjoy!