"I should write every day. I should write in forms. I should challenge myself," she says, with a head shake and a sigh.
We're admiring her book. Her debut. At 85, Shirley Plummer is now a published poet.
I'm so happy for Shirley my face hurts from smiling. And happy for the power of writing, for the magical, mysterious way creative expression can lift and change.
While she had long dabbled in words, it was only five years ago that she began to take writing seriously. She read and studied and attended a weekly writing group. She forged friendships with writers and exchanged ideas. Her days and journals swirled with words.
A few years ago she fell ill, and then fell down. What followed: surgery, rehab, slow unsteady steps to something that looked like normal. Not so much recovery as readjustment. Her mind, she says, isn't as sharp. Loose change rattling. Cloudy.
When she says, "I can see the end," she's not talking about today. But she's got a lot to do, she says, and ideas to explore.
But first, she has reading events to celebrate the publication of her debut poetry collection, The Task of Falling Rain.
Are you in Oregon? For the love of Shirley and poetry and creative expression, please attend her book release parties:
• Saturday, February 20 at 2pm, Waldport Community Center in Waldport, Oregon
• Saturday, March 5 at 2pm, Yachats Commons in Yachats, Oregon
If you're not nearby, give a nod and a note of thanks to the force of creativity which saves, changes, lifts and connects.
It's Thankful Thursday. Is there anything better than gratitude (which is really just another form of love)? What are you thankful for today?