2010-03-31  No Day for Writer’s?

First my husband Mark arrived home with paperweight. The next year, he returned with a crystal bowl for nuts. And this year, he proudly presented not one, but two gifts, a to-go coffee cup and a single serving thermos (Who drinks a single serving of coffee?). They were gifts from the hospital for Doctor’s Day. And they had been graciously accepted by my husband, an anesthesiologist.

So I posed the question, “If they can have Doctor’s Day, why is there no Writer’s Day?” And there’s not. There is National Writing Week. National Novel Writing Month, National Letter Writing Week (mothers may enjoy this). There is National Poetry Month. We have poet laureates. We have National Writing contests, local writing competition. Some have even created a March Madness poetry contest, which is pure genius if you ask me.

There is even a National Day on Writing, October 20, which in 2009, fell between National Boss Week and United Nations Day. On that day, I went to yoga at 9 a.m., came home and wrote some poetry. I recorded a podcast interview with a writer and then returned home to cook dinner. But I know I did NOT celebrate National Day on Writing, only because it sounded like a federal holiday, a national day of mourning when I should fly my flag at half-staff. And, it’s a day on writing, where one can explore topics on writing. The designation does not imply that one should be a writer not implore one to write. The declaration simply recognizes that people write, which can be accomplished by viewing hieroglyphics as well.

Still, there is no Writer’s Day.

In 1994, while enjoying Easter dinner at my in-law’s house, the family had this notion to go around the table and ask for new news and old news. I was still new to this family and would not marry into the family until September of 1994. Anything I had to say would be not only new, but possibly unimportant. My super smart brother-in-law, who would eventually earn his PhD in Mathematics, turned up the heat on the competition and announced, “Well, they discovered a new prime number today.” And certainly, the largest known prime number was discovered on the Cray research supercomputer. I would print the number, but don’t want to waste digital ink. Besides, prime numbers having been getting good press since the number two zero was invented.

I was again reminded of how science supersedes art, when I heard that the large Hadron Collider – the world’s largest science experiment—shattered records in March, 2010, by successfully colliding particle beams at a combined energy of 7 tera electric volts (TeV). This marked a milestone in the collider’s progress, and ushered in the beginning of up to two years of intensive investigations. The headlines of an Irish newspaper read, “Think making two bullets collide is difficult? Then try doing it at the subatomic level.” I wonder if the columnist had ever tried to write a ghazal or a cinquain, or a work of fiction or memoir. Even super colliders get more affection than writers.

Some states and writing groups have attempted to formalize a Writer’s Day within their own organizations. But I don’t want anything formal. No research grants or tera electric volts, though I could use the resulting energy to ramp up my level some mornings. I really just want a day when the phone does not ring, when the Internet is down, so I am not prone to surfing, when my husband is not quoting me from his Kindle, when someone feeds the dog or realizes it is OUR dog that is barking and the noise is grating on MY nerves.

I want a day when I receive a crystal bowl that I can use for my post-it notes full of ideas, or a stainless steel thermos bigger than the one my husband brought home because writers operate best under the influence of more caffeine than a doctor should consume.

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