I’ve had this series of atonements roll in lately.

First, it was this radio story, Midlife Cowboy, that is so completely different from my story, but the ending, the ending was what I needed to hear after the rejection from the prestigious literary agent partly because of my ending, to keep me going and tell me my ending was alright.

Then, on a day when the revising of my manuscript was feeling overwhelmingly neverending, this photo showed up of President Obama’s hands holding his mess of a marked-up speech-in-the-making. I suddenly didn’t feel alone. I mean, if those most accomplished in the world are making massive revisions, imagine all those in between me and him who are doing it at this very minute.

Then there’s this. Many days over the past year we’ve questioned whether adopting our akita from the local animal shelter was a good idea. Don’t get me wrong, we totally love him, but man, is he a lot of work. So we watched Hachi: A Dog’s Tale last week, and the special feature where the show business dog training experts discussed the challenges of working with akitas made me, at least, feel better. I still might design a video game, tentatively titled: Take Hoshi for a Walk. Pure adrenaline pumped unpredictableness.

And the 110 year old rejection letter popped up and I would imagine anyone trying to get something published would appreciate this. What I found interesting is the similarity of modern day literary agents to those of yesteryear. They speak bluntly, but they’re amazingly polite and often encouraging. I’m still holding onto this line from a rejection letter I received: “I absolutely think you should continue pursuing representation.” The agent who wrote that is my favorite, so far.  

Then after a crime happened last weekend on my street that made me question whether this is where my children should be living, this appears, reminding me of why I love my neighborhood and really do want my kids living here. 

This isn’t even all of them. It wasn’t until I started writing this that I realized I was describing life at Petit Byahaut, except on a much more subtle and less interesting scale. And as crazy as it may sound, I miss that ride. So, I’ve decided I’m going to keep looking for these little redeeming things. Maybe they’ve always come.

But this one I haven’t figured out: a few days after receiving this photo in the mail from Mom,

(I’m between my brothers, with the black eye), Simon gave himself a black eye. Easter 1984, I had the black eye. Easter 2010, it’s Simon’s turn. What does that mean?