Thursday, March 4, 2010
One of the pleasures of my life as a writer is speaking to groups about my books. A few years ago I was the featured speaker at a "Festa Italiana" held by the women's club of a small village just north of New York City. Most of the women were of my mother's generation and, like her, were the daughters of Italian immigrants. During the course of the afternoon I had the opportunity to speak with many of them individually and listen to the memories that my book, Dancing on Sunday Afternoons, elicited.
Of all the women I met that day, one in particular has retained a special place in my own memory. Her name was Ida. She was 80 years old, dressed in chinos, a pale blue shirt and a colorful vest, with short white hair in a stylish pixie cut and eyes that danced. She was full of energy and curiosity, always moving and engaging others in conversation. She was both a delight and a role model.
More and more, I find myself drawn to women who have lived long and full lives. They are passionate and generous and funny--traits that seem to me to be a fine way to live.