Monday, June 26, 2006

BEGINNING WITH M...


Marilyn Monroe postcard
Originally uploaded by Trevira.



Several weeks ago, Jonathan on CONNAISSANCES, was passing out letters of the alphabet to all takers. If interested, you signed up in the comment section, and he assigned you a letter, which you were to use for free association. I got M, (the Mercedes of letters in my humble opinion).

Anyway, the weeks passed, and I stored up my M like a personal treasure. Every now and then, I took it out and looked at it, considering what use I might make of it, what secrets it might reveal.

I turned it upside down and pretended it was a W. Will, wonder, wanderlust. I turned it on it's side and made a Greek E.

"Not yet," M said, and I put it away in its box for later use, while M words spun in my mind: miracle, Mercury, movies, Marilyn...how could I ever choose?

Then tonight, sitting in my study, I looked over at my bookcase and the M spoke, telling a brief history of my crazy life in the incongruous book titles I've collected over the years:


I MARY MacLANE: I bought this book (published in 1917) in a second hand store in Cambridge, MASSACHUSETTS when I was eighteen. For at least a year, I read from this diary of a young woman living in Butte, MONTANA, on a daily basis. I have no idea if Mary MacLane was heard from again, but her youthful longing and wild loneliness spoke to me like nothing else at that time.

Thomas MERTON: You can open his books anywhere, and find a passage of such complexity and truth that it bears returning to again and again.

Time MANAGEMENT. Never have gotten the hang of it, but I'm a sucker for anyone who promises to teach me.

MESSIES MANUAL: Yes, that's the real title. And I bought it. (Stored on the Good Intention Shelf right next to Time Management.)

Czeslaw MILOSZ: My favorite poet. Profound, earthy, exalted.

MARY Oliver: My OTHER favorite poet, for all the same reasons.

Henry MILLER: Known for his eroticism, but I read him for his exuberant spirit.

Edvard MUNCH. Another book purchased in the turbulence of late adolescence when I thought The Scream represented my changing emotions.

MOMENT magazine with my friend Susan MESSER's award winning story in it.

How to MAKE MONEY in Stocks: A gift by a well-meaning family member, and unfortunately the only unopened book in the library...but that doesn't really surprise you, does it?


Meanwhile, if anyone would like a letter. They're free; they have countless uses; and though Marvelous M is unavailable, I'm sure I have a letter that's just right for you...

32 comments:

paris parfait said...

Fabulous take on the "M!" Love it!

rdl said...

Marvelous!! :D OK I'll take one of them there letters. :D

Patry Francis said...

Paris: glad you enjoyed it. No letter for you?

RDL: I'll be watching for it...

Kerstin said...

Magnificent! Isn't it amazing how a simple letter can carry such Meaning if you only look for it? And then you find it everywhere. I know that I would not be nearly as eloquent at this as you are but this sounds like fun, so I will take one, please.

Marilyn said...

As someone who's intimately familiar with M, I love that you surprised me with your take on the letter. I'll take one! Are you assigning...or are we to pick our own?

Patry Francis said...

Kerstin: You always remind me of my former home so I'll give you N for Noho.

Marilyn: My first thought was C for California, but that's too obvious. How about R? (I'm thinking of a link you recently had on your blog.)

kasturi said...

mesmerizing

i especially liked what you said about Merton

can i get a letter?

Patry Francis said...

kasturi: C as in contemplative.

P.S. Not surprised that you're a Merton reader.

colleen said...

MMMM playing with letters, my favorite thing. You could also say that M is the mother of all letters. I've been studying letter properties for a lot of years now. It's an un-orthodox study, but as far as I can cross reference M is the sound of Mother, Mana, and Manifesting.

samantha said...

Wonderful, wonderful take on all the lovely uses of M. And yes please, give me a letter! So many possibilities!

robin andrea said...

There's that TV show, the one where James Lipton talks to stars at the New School and always ends the interview with the questions by Bernard Pivot. One of those questions is: What is your favorite word? I've always silently answered that question: Mercy. Another beautiful M word.

Patry Francis said...

colleen: what wonderful M words. If I consulted my favorite letter expert weeks ago, I never would have hesitated.

Samantha: P is for pigtails! Thanks so much for dropping by.

Robin: Mercy. Yes, a wonderful word, and something we desperately need more of.

Jonathan said...

MMMMMMMM

Mountains...

tinker said...

I love these M&Ms! I think I need to look for those time Management and Messies Manuals for myself.
I'd be interested in a letter, if there are any still available (has anyone bought a vowel yet? :)

Patry Francis said...

jonathan: Nice mountains...thanks again for the M.

tinker: Since you are the first to request a vowel, let me give you the universal O.

Living Part Deux said...

This was a great exercise, and I love your well-contemplated response. I think this might be the kick I need to get me going. May I please have a letter?

Patry Francis said...

Rebekah: S is for starting over. Hope you enjoy playing "keeper of the alphabet" as much as I have.

2006 holiday calendar said...
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2006 holiday calendar said...
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Marilyn said...

R has spoken...

http://marilyn.typepad.com/california_fever/2006/06/r.html

Patry Francis said...

Marilyn: I knew R was the right letter for you.

Anonymous said...

hey! lovet his blog!

deb said...

oooh, oooh, oooh, me too, me too! can i play? what fun!

(found you through marilyn's R post ...)

Patry Francis said...

deb: any friend of marilyn's is...well, you know the line. I visited (and enjoyed) your blog, and you strike me as a vowel kind of person. How about E?

Patry Francis said...

p.s. thanks to anonymous.

Anonymous said...
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zhoen said...

Mmmmmmmmmah-velous!

YourSimplerLife said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
deb said...

What fun I had with E! (thanks)

michael said...

you might find my website on mary maclane interesting - she most definitely was heard from again :)

http://www.marymaclane.com

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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