When I was 12 I faced a dilemma. For years I LOVED—read and reread— the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. And in my twelfth year the book series was going to become a television series! And here’s the problem—the television show conflicted with our Wednesday night church activity. I had to choose, Little House on the Prairie or church.
To be honest, my parents made that decision for me and I went to church. Looking back, it was a silly dilemma, but it was wrenching at the time. How could I know that for many LOOOONNNGGG years later I could watch my fill of Little House on the Prairie reruns? How could I know that in just three years at age 15 I would consider the TV series hokey and trite? How could a television show even compare to the experiences and relationship I shared with the young women at church?
A realization came to me yesterday while I was at church. (Yes, I still go, even though my mom, the driving force behind my choice between Little House and church, is gone.) Someday, maybe 40 years from now, will I look back at all my book-selling angst with same kind of head-shaking wonder as I now have for my Little House on the Prairie vs. church dilemma? Will I wonder why I watched my books’ rankings rise and fall so often and why I cared so very much? Will I remember the poor reviews and wonder why I let them hurt me?
This poem by William Martin is real life.
And this poem by e.e. cummings is real love and death. And in the end, I don’t think anything else really matters. We live, we love and we die. And if we happen to watch a TV show or sell a few books along the way—that’s nice—but it’s not why we live. We live to love and be loved. Period (or if you happen to e.e.—then no periods at all).
anyone lived in a pretty how town (with up so floating many bells down) spring summer autumn winter he sang his didn't he danced his did Women and men(both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain children guessed(but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew autumn winter spring summer) that noone loved him more by more when by now and tree by leaf she laughed his joy she cried his grief bird by snow and stir by still anyone's any was all to her someones married their everyones laughed their cryings and did their dance (sleep wake hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream stars rain sun moon (and only the snow can begin to explain how children are apt to forget to remember with up so floating many bells down) one day anyone died i guess (and noone stooped to kiss his face) busy folk buried them side by side little by little and was by was all by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep noone and anyone earth by april wish by spirit and if by yes. Women and men(both dong and ding) summer autumn winter spring reaped their sowing and went their came sun moon stars rain