So I’m sitting in a writer’s studio in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, and it’s been an absolutely gorgeous day with deep blue skies and puffs of clouds and temperatures in the mid-60s for God’s sake and I’m supposed to be working on a novel but instead I’m gazing out a window at two brown horses who are totally ignoring the absolutely spectacular view of that mountain range in the distance, which view I’d like to share with someone who’s hundreds of miles away but it feels more like thousands or maybe millions of miles…So I need to remember what’s truly important, remind myself that miles are merely man-made measures, and what’s truly important are the things that can’t be measured by conventional means — such as the depth and breadth of love.
I need a song about love…hmmm…maybe something by the rajah of reggae, the Jesus of Jamaica, the truth-speaker of Trenchtown:
And now that I’ve got that out of my system (for now), here’s another great song by Bob Marley and the Wailers, and as we listen to it let’s lower the flag and bow our heads and ponder that Bob Marley has been gone now nearly thirty years, that when he died of cancer he was only 36 years old, and that his last words, spoken to son Ziggy, were: “Money can’t buy life…” The man who uttered that parting warning also wrote this great, great song, “One Love,” which is Marley’s reggae spin on Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready”:
Yes, I’ve got a personal interest. But I wouldn’t say this if I didn’t really believe it:
The just-published novella “Love’s Compass” by Mary McAvoy is a book you should buy and read.
Mary’s got a knack for story-telling, and her well-crafted novella offers deceptively simple but intriguing themes and elegantly-wrought motifs to explore and enjoy, and the book’s also an engaging, thoughtful and provocative look at our society’s social mores and changing views of love and marriage.
Added bonus: The book title derives from the great poem “The Circus of the Sun” by my friend Robert Lax, the great mystic poet. “Circus” begins with this phrase: “Love had a compass…”
Here’s a synopsis of the plot of “Love’s Compass”:
As her young adult children depart from the nest, Liv finds that her husband is drifting away, too. What is pulling him from her at a time when they should be enjoying their lives together? Feeling abandoned and alone, Liv meets and falls in love with another man. “Love’s Compass” tells the story of love discovered at a time when new love is not often experienced. It explores a husband’s quiet exit from a marriage. It examines a woman’s thoughts and feelings as she tries to find her footing in a place that she never expected to be at this point in her life. Love’s Compass is the story of love lost and love found.
Mary has built a web site about “Love’s Compass.” It includes an author biography, links for purchasing the book online via Amazon or Barnes and Noble, and other features. The Amazon site also includes the “Look Inside” feature with actual sample pages of the book.Book-signings will be scheduled in Boston and in the suburbs north and west of Boston (the book is set in Boston’s colorful, artsy and slightly funky South End) – as well as one being planned in Highland Park, N.J.
In the mean time…you know I wouldn’t steer you wrong or point you in the wrong direction. “Love’s Compass” is well worth reading …I hope you’ll order a copy — and then, if you like it, tell your friends (or maybe even order them their own personal copy). And while you’re waiting for your copy of “Love’s Compass” to arrive in the mail, visit Mary’s new blog site and also check out Mary’s elegant and lovely nature essays and photos.