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Jenny Munro honors her mother in her poem, “the typist.” I love how Jenny uses sound—the tap, tap, tap of her mother’s typewriter. Jenny draws a word portrait of her—”Concentrating, with her tongue caught between her teeth,” and shares a few things she learned from observing her role model.
My mentor, Sylvia Barclay, whom I knew in the 1970s in Muskegon, Michigan, generously shared writing wisdom. Whenever I asked how I could repay her she would say, “Pass it on.” That’s what I aim to do with my handbook, Moo of Writing. I was in Muskegon’s library on a hot July day when the sky turned dark. Solar eclipse. I discovered, Sylvia had passed away about the time of the eclipse, which her students found appropriate. A day or two later, I took a yoga class and meditated for the first time. Sylvia stood in my mind’s eye, her mouth pursed in a familiar expression under one of her offbeat hats. Oh, an opportunity to learn what was on the other side. “What’s it like there?” I asked. “Love is all you need to know for now, Nan.” I thought she meant I’d learn more about the afterlife in this lifetime. Hasn’t happened yet. What a gift she gave me. Love really is all I need to know.