Friday, September 7, 2012

TV Interview with me + Family Reunion + Book # 3

Dear Family and Friends,

Seven years ago Francis and I were interviewed for a TV program on Portland Community Television called “The Second Act.”  It’s a program sponsored by the Maine Senior Guide, to celebrate “the gifts and vitality of people in the second half of their lives.” 

I agreed again to be interviewed for this “Second Act” program, by myself this time, on the subject of my first book:  Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Poems. 

It’s 8 minutes long.  I’m the last of three people being interviewed during this half hour program. 
People from out of town can view it here:  

Local people can view it on their TV’s next week, as well - Thursdays at 11 AM on Channel 5.  It will also air randomly on Channel 2. The upcoming CH 2 airings are: 9/9   11A; 9/10  8A and 11A; 9/11  8A and 8P; 9/13  2P; 9/14 7P; 9/15 11A

The interviewer is Bill Gregory whom I described in the Acknowledgements of my book as “a retired United Church of Christ minister whom Francis chose to help him ‘with the transition’ and who has given me trusted guidance and support since Francis’ death.”  (By the way, Bill wonders if it’s the camera that made me look more frail than he said I am and look in person.  ;o) 

Interestingly, the radio interview, aired in February, 2011, was also 8 minutes long:   

Last month I went to Woodstock, NB Canada for our annual McGillicuddy family gathering on “Shrine Sunday” at Skiff Lake, NB.  It’s Francis’ great great grandfather Daniel, emigrated from Ireland, who donated part of the family’s property to the church for this Shrine to St. Francis of Assisi (Francis’ patron saint) to be built 89 years ago.  This annual pilgrimage to the Shrine has taken place ever since.  You can see a photo of it here:

Since the following poem which came from that weekend experience doesn’t include everything, I want to mention my joy in being reunited with Francis’ family, nieces and nephews and in-laws, and especially Jo, my sister-in-law, newly widowed. 

I was also delighted by the rare appearance there of Paul McGillicuddy, the 98 (or is it 99?) year old relative who gave Francis his first job in the US before he went to college.  I told Paul, sitting next to me the whole time on the grassy incline during the liturgy – that he had made my day.  Thanks to cousins Barbara and Frank Bolton who brought him.

But here’s the poem (probably revised sufficiently for now) that came from that weekend experience:

Family Reunion                            August 11, 2012

As I round the bend at        
at the Woodstock Exit,
arriving alone
for our family reunion         
(it’s the town where my in-laws
went to school)
I’m flooded with my late             !          
husband’s feelings -
never before like this –
his own feelings in me.

Summer after summer
we came to this together.
But for many springs too,
he came alone.
He did it, he said,
“to commune
with the ancestors.”

He’s one of them now.

They were six siblings    
when I met him.
Only three remain,                     
none of them him . . . and
their spouses are gone –          
all but one
and I.                                  

The five of us gather                        
(it's my hotel room)
plus a nephew and a niece. 

When the eldest
tells stories,
his face animates the past.
I see him nudge his sister:
“You and I, Josephine,” he says,
“are the only ones left
who remember these things.”

My in-laws,
being kin of Francis,        
grace me with
their smiles and manners -
a touch of him.                  

By now Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Memoir:  A Love Story is coming along so well I told my editor (another Irishman - Mike O’Connor) that words and ideas are falling like rain, not only in the  chapter 4 I’m working on now, but for future chapters.  And yesterday, even a possible closing sentence for the whole of this book # 2 presented itself.

The writing is giving me such joy I can feel Francis’ pleasure.  In fact, after writing about him at Camp Pesquasawasis, this poem came:

Your Pleasure                            August 18, 2012

If you read
what I wrote
about you,
today -
you would be pleased.

But the feeling’s
so strong, that you
are . . .
how can I say that
“you would . . .”?

Book # 3 is therefore already on its way since the thirty poems that have come and will come, God willing/inshallah, after the publication of the first one, will comprise half of it.  The name of that third book, I like to repeat, is:  Sing to Me and I Will Hear You – The Uncollected Poems and Journals.

Loving Gratitude,
and Prayer for justice and peace for all people
and for our planet,


PS:  I love to hear from outside the glass door near which I’m sitting, my six chickens’ contented clucks.