Tomorrow finds me at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, one of my favorite campuses to visit. I’ve been there through the years, as faculty or department chair or writer, always in the spring. This time my friend Lyndsey Daniel has invited me to talk about publishing and Underwater Panther with her creative writing class. UACCM is a bright, welcoming place, and I look forward to this with joy and a sense of renewal.
This trip comes on the heels of good news, which I can only vaguely explain. This year has been one of change and realization and hard challenges. Friends and family have given me so much, even when they didn’t know how much I needed. Before walking into UAMS yesterday, I reread the Poem of the Day that had shown up in my inbox, Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats“:
Encouragement is a word I’ve come to realize more fully: to fill someone with courage. Not meaning that the fear is gone, or even the problem itself, but that you empower people with the faith that they can handle challenges, and handle them well. With love, all things are possible. You help them know that everything will be okay.
And it will be.