The Company We Keep

by tjbeitelman

throng

So I have occasion to be at a writers’ conference. It’s snowing and frigid. I lost my phone. But then I found it again. And now I am on the bad hotel wi-fi — cost: $12.95 a day — at 12:55 a.m. But what I have to say couldn’t wait until tomorrow today (?).

What I have to say is this:

I was at a reading. I participated in a reading. (Which is to say: I was one of the readers. There. I said it.) I went first and then I was followed by a cavalcade of talented poets from all walks of life. As I was listening to the other poets, it struck me: You’re not the only one doing this, said some voice from somewhere. You’re not the only one doing this well.

It’s magic to be simultaneously humbled and validated. Those two things don’t usually go together. When they do, you’re apt to lose your phone and pay too much for internet access just so you can share the good news with the world:

  • You’re not the only one doing this.
  • You’re not the only one doing this well.