Someone I do not know but who is a reader of this column wrote to ask a question the other day. She had just finished reading my last book and was curious to know, "When these people or situations cross your life, do you take notes of what you're learning from them?"
It has taken a while, but I have come to know writers are shaped dramatically by the places from which we come. Those places - the ones we call home - are the underlining, unsung melody to our words. It enlivens the compositions we create.
Only one thing scares me about dying. It is so momentous it rocks my heart with grief whenever I think of it. It is a tumultuous rocking that resembles the Mississippi River in New Orleans when the ocean is signaling that a vicious hurricane is headed that way.