Connie Converse: the first singer/singwriter and all-around talent babe of mystery. A Good Bud sent me in the direction of Connie Converse some weeks ago at the exact perfect time. Her story quelled waves of hometown nostalgia, soothed my grief and anguish over the death of a beloved friend, and left me with a new wealth of songs to play in the kitchen.
Mary Oliver has been a favorite poet of mine for years. After work sometimes I would go to the library and sit on the floor with a stack of poetry books and another stack of the syndicated strips of Dykes to Watch Out For. When I would float away too much on one I'd switch to the other. For years she has soothed my broken hearts and restless thoughts. My mama recently visited and gifted me Devotions, which I devoured. And then! I found out she was a lesbian! I don't know how to explain the feeling paired with that discovery. Elation? Relief? I cried. I told friends and I think some may have cried. It was all just a google search away, but if I am being honest: so many people loved her and knew her work, I didn't for a second imagine that she wasn't straight. That's a sad thing right there. But she isn't, she wasn't. And it makes her poems that much more dear to me. Especially now, on the brink of marriage. This line about her M. reminds me of Tavi, early days:
"I took one look and fell, hook and tumble. M. took one look at me, and put on her dark glasses, along with an obvious dose of reserve."