Stephen Evans

Follow author Add as friend Message author Subscribe to updates from author Subscribe via RSS
Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds and A Transcendental Journey.

I Keep Reminding Myself

"Write as it is given you, and not till it be given you, and never mind a whit.”

 Thomas Carlyle, in a letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
Got a problem. They don't do a hashtag on Twitter #amnotwriting. Perhaps I should start one just for you and Thomas Carlyle (wh... Read More
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 18:06
Stephen Evans
If that's what is given you, why not?
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 19:00
1152 Hits
2 Comments

Heart of Gold

He was the pleasantest man I ever knew. Well, I ever met. I didn’t know him. No one did really.

He smiled at everyone. But I never heard him say a word except to Milly, who was waitressing then down at the diner. But it wasn’t his order – he didn’t have to say that. He got the same thing every time, no matter what time of day he came in: Fried egg sandwich, fries, coke. All he said, all I ever heard him say anyway, was “thank you very much”. I suppose at one point he must have told someone his order, because otherwise how would they know. But I never heard it.

One day while he was eating he just fell down dead. Oh, they took him to the hospital. When they got there, they cut open his chest to do surgery or something. That’s when they found it.

Solid, they said. Shiny. Worth about a million dollars. Which was good, because he didn’t have insurance.

Guess he didn’t expect it to break.

 

Tags:
Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
I find this vignette a little unnerving all round, but very well turned ... Read More
Saturday, 17 January 2015 18:38
Stephen Evans
Oddness abounds. ... Read More
Saturday, 17 January 2015 20:07
Rosy Cole
I've realised what - whom - it reminds me of... Magritte! ... Read More
Sunday, 18 January 2015 17:02
1760 Hits
6 Comments

Dedication

I may have told this story before. But today would be her 95th birthday, so:

My novel The Marriage of True Minds is dedicated to my aunt Margaret. The dedication reads:

Finally, this story would not have been written without the inspiration and encouragement of my aunt Margaret Norris. This book is dedicated to her memory.

The first sentence was an understatement. Let me explain.

My mother’s older sister, Marg had an extraordinary influence on my life. When I was growing up, I spent many summer weeks with her at her place near the Chesapeake in southern Maryland. We shared many things, but mostly a blazing curiosity about pretty much everything. At night, camping on the beach with a driftwood fire, we talked Einstein and aliens, forests and fossils.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Marg-Thanksgiving.png

Later in life, we didn’t spent much time together. I became busy with work, marriage, divorce, life. I would see her on birthdays and holidays. Somehow our connection never waned.

In December 1999, just before Christmas, she went in the hospital. On Christmas Eve, we learned that she had pneumonia. On New Year’s Eve, just a few days before her eightieth birthday, we found out that she also had lung cancer. Family members took turns staying with her at her house in southern Maryland and caring for her, two weeks at a time, getting her back and forth to doctors and chemotherapy. I took the first turn.

I was happy to have this time with her. And she was happy I was there. But she was also very worried that I was taking care of her instead of working (something which didn’t concern me at all). That she could worry about me given her condition tells you much about her.

So to keep her from worrying, I told her I was writing something. I wasn’t really. But I had written a few things before, a play, some stories, so it wasn’t completely unbelievable. I didn’t like to tell her something that wasn’t true. But I didn’t want her to worry.

On my next turn to care for her, she mentioned again that she was worried about me and work. So I told her again: I was writing something. I even broke out my laptop once in a while and tried to look busy.

Still she worried. And she was not ever one to let things go. So, I decided that by the next visit I had to have something to show her.

I can never remember her without a dog in her life, even if she had to borrow the neighbor’s. And the squirrels and birds of the area worshiped her generosity, I’m sure. She often donated to animal welfare groups. I came across a magazine at her house from an organization named Best Friends, an animal sanctuary in Utah. The magazine had printed a letter from actress Rene Russo documenting the millions of animals each year who are euthanized in animal shelters. I had no idea this horrific situation existed, and couldn’t get it out of my mind.

So when my caregiving shift was over and I went home, I began writing a screenplay about a divorced couple, where one of them becomes quixotically dedicated to animal rescue. I wrote the first draft in three weeks.

By my next visit, she was beyond a nephew’s care. But I was able to give her  a copy of the screenplay. I don’t know if she read it (given her condition, I suspect not). But I think she was happy to see it. About a month or so after, she passed away. At the funeral, I began her eulogy with this:

 

Some people are so authentic in our lives that they change us completely just by being who they are. Marg was like that. Many of us probably can’t conceive what our life would have been like without her. I certainly can’t. 

That screenplay became the basis for The Marriage of True Minds, my first novel. I would not have written it without this experience, I believe, and possibly, would not be writing at all without her influence. For a long while, I considered the story her gift to me, the last of so many. But now I think: a gift, yes, a great gift. But not the last. 

 

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
'That she could worry about me given her condition tells you much about her.' This is indeed a wonderful reflection of Marg's ch... Read More
Friday, 09 January 2015 13:42
Stephen Evans
Thank you. I do think she had achieved a peace at that point. I think you have seen to the heart of her - she was many things but... Read More
Friday, 09 January 2015 15:32
Virginia M Macasaet
Wonderful to see a side of you that's full of words!! So beautifully written, I feel the emotion and the depth of affection and ... Read More
Sunday, 11 January 2015 12:13
1637 Hits
4 Comments

Deer Gazing

Out the door as I was gazing,

  on the near grass deer were grazing,

The near deer gazed upon the door

  While I was gazing at the grazing,

so dear to me the near deer door

  And grass graze gazing even more.

Recent comment in this post
Rosy Cole
Amazing graze!
Saturday, 03 January 2015 13:25
1432 Hits
1 Comment

Writing For Life

We are a small, friendly community who value writing as a tool for developing a brighter understanding of the world and humanity. We share our passions and experiences with one another and with a public readership. ‘Guest’ comments are welcome. No login is required. In Social Media we are happy to include interesting articles by other writers on any of the themes below. Enjoy!


Latest Blogs

A friend recently reminded me of the power in kindness when she asked, what makes an urban area kind? My first thought was, how can an object or mass...
The other evening, my wife and I went for a stroll along the Thames Path  not far from London's Chelsea Harbour and stopped to sit awhile in a  deligh...
“I was inspired by the marvelous example of Giacometti, the great sculptor. He always said that his dream was to do a bust so small that it could ente...
Over the years, I’ve written about some of life’s certainties — birth, death, time and change. You can guarantee we will all experience those things. ...

Latest Comments

Nicholas Mackey A life in trees
08 August 2020
Thank you, Rosy for reading and commenting.
Stephen Evans The Lessons of Gurnemanz
06 August 2020
Interesting -thank you! have to see if I can find those books. The Osiris story is in my Emerson p...
Rosy Cole The Lessons of Gurnemanz
06 August 2020
I read this today in Eliot's notes on The Wasteland:Not only the title, but the plan and a good deal...
Monika Schott PhD Expectations
03 August 2020
Rosy, I'm so touched by your beautiful description of my writing, it's never been described in that ...
Rosy Cole A life in trees
02 August 2020
Trees have such awesome vigour and staying power. There's a silver birch, fifty or sixty feet high, ...