Hey there!
Let’s talk about our days…
After over three months of not flying, I flew. It was not a decision I made lightly or by myself. A friend had warned me. “It’s weird when you’re first around people again.” And it was. It was hard not to think of everyone out there as “the enemy” if only to train myself in the new ways of being safe in the world. Don’t get any closer, I sometimes had to remind myself. I wrote about my journey back to Provincetown here.
The return yesterday was easier, new habits already forming. The good news is that so many are wearing masks. That’s also the weird news. It’s one thing to stay home where everything seems normal except that you're always at home. It’s another to be out in a masked world. Smiles don’t work. I was raising my hand in greeting for a while before I realized I could still speak.  
Earlier in the month I pulled about five books off my TBR stack and all of them went into the give-away box after a few pages until I got to this one—Michael Cunningham’s A Home at the End of the World published back in 1998. It was his writing that kept me reading, his love of language.
Imagine a snug little house in the suburbs, with a plaster dwarf on the lawn and petunias in the window boxes. Then imagine someone ancient and howlingly sad looking out through an upstairs window. That was Bobby’s face. That’s what it was about him.

Being back at my home at the end of the world after my longest absence since 2012 was heaven—all the windows open and the water crashing underneath. I loved being by myself, snacking instead of eating meals, watching “Bordertown” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” sitting in the dark listening to the tide come in, and seeing, in almost every storefront and so many homes along Commercial Street, signs that black lives matter.
Anna Solomon’s The Book of V. catapults the reader from Lily in Trump-era Brooklyn to Vee in Watergate-era DC to Esther in ancient Persia. In her acknowledgements, Anna credits the structure of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours, one of my all-time favorite books, as inspiration for her own structure in The Book of V. Esther and Vee and Lily each struggle with issues at the heart of women’s rights. As the centuries go by, the women struggle in more and more subtle ways. Life gets easier. Progress is made. But the issues remain the same. As Jennifer Haigh writes, “The Book of V. is a meditation on female power and powerlessness, the stories told about women and the ones we tell about and to ourselves.”
Here’s the end of Anna’s day.

When will I stop thinking in “before”? Maybe only when there’s an after? I don’t know. But I know that the best moments are those when I accept the during. We have a little dance party after dinner, and it’s good. Then I go upstairs, put on a blouse and make-up, and get ready for my event. [read more]
Thanks for all the emails after last month’s letter, and thanks to all who joined me in the happy dance for the Tidal Flats award. It was fun to hear what you’ve been up to.
R wrote, “The pandemic has had many revelations for me, but the one that resonates the most is that everything you are looking for is right in front of you if you only slow down and look with your eyes and heart wide open.”
And M wrote, “I’ve had two wonderful socially-distant meet-ups with one of my book groups and with my coffee hour group. As an extrovert, I need people in my life so we’ve done a fair number of happy hours and dinners online with friends. And I walk, a lot.”
What are you reading? If you’re looking for suggestions, Powell’s Books put together a Black Lives Matter Recommended Reading List
I have long loved the Chicks, formerly the Dixie Chicks, and have watched their new video “March March” a hundred times. Hope it gets you as fired up as it did me.

And with this newsletter, let’s remember we can still speak.
Stay well.
This is an email from me to you so you can write me back. Let me know how you’re spending your days.

Happy last day of June and thanks for reading.
Peace out,

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Issue #13 June 2020
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Copyright © 2020 Cynthia Newberry Martin, All rights reserved.

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