I realize that I start many sentences with the word “so.” I wanted to start this post with the word “so.” As in: So, lots of things have been happening. Or: So, as you might have noticed, today is Monday and it’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Which, by the way, is a bizarre day in that it always falls on a Monday but commemorates MLK’s birthday, which falls sometime around that Monday (his actual birthday is January 15. Bank holidays befuddle me).
So, I didn’t start the post with that word, but I have started its second paragraph with it. Because it’s a good word. It denotes many things depending on the tone and way it’s used. In this case, it’s a bit sheepish. Because I don’t post here enough. Because I’m sharing three publications today. And because, well, it’s Martin Luther King Jr.’s not-birthday-but-sort-of-around-it-Day, and it feels odd to have had three things published on a day that has nothing to do with art.
According to the National Service (I don’t know what that is, but it’s a dot-gov), “On this Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service, we reflect on the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through a national day of service across the country. Share your story of service throughout the day on social media using #MLKDay and follow the impact on all of our official accounts.”
My service isn’t good enough, but it’s what I have to give, and it’s the part of my life that still feels the most selfish to me, which is my writing. I wish I could believe that writing and art were a service; they have been a service to me, but they’re not a service for everyone. And as much as I believe in the power of art, I also know that it isn’t able to cure the world’s ills.
I suppose, then, that I am doing a service to myself, to the places that published me, and maybe to some of my readers, by sharing the two stories and review below. My therapist tells me I should be better to myself, and so – there it is again – perhaps this service is part of that.
“The Study of Getting Lost” – Fiction in Specter Magazine
“How It’s Done” – Fiction in Monkey Bicycle
“Lost in Translation” – A review of Garth Hallberg’s What Belongs to You, out tomorrow, Jan. 19.