When I first found out I’d have a regular column in this space, I was elated. Then I blinked and felt my thrill morph to terror as I asked myself the question that should strike fear in any columnist: “Who cares?”
‘No, this will be different,’ I thought. ‘I’ll involve people. I’ll invite feedback. I’ll ... I’ll ... I’ll go to Facebook!’
My humble Facebook page at Cindy Flanagan Lamb is an easy room, so I asked a few local friends for topic ideas.
The suggestions came in so quickly, it blew my hair back.
Off the top were the proliferation of “fro-yo”(frozen yogurt) shops, tattoo parlors and ugly “we buy silver and gold” storefronts. Other topics included The Fifty Shades of Greyhoopla, my mother, midwives, the Monks of the Unvirtuous Abbey, sex, corn dogs, the Highlands coyote invasion, and anything but politics.
I put myself to task and considered some of the ponderings for a rapid-fire response.
As a doula (childbirth coach), to have the option of Certified Nurse Midwives in Louisville hospitals, if not a birth center, is part of my Bucket List.
Thomas Merton is my favorite monk, but these guys at the Unvirtuous Abbey sound frisky and worth a look.
My mother’s talent for gardening and canning is always a favorite topic for conversation, especially when my mouth is not filled with her green beans, tomatoes or beets.
I could wax for hours on corn dogs with bright yaller mustard squiggles, or spin prose on sex as if it were science fiction. And it is.
As for the coyote sightings around the Lakeside area, I’d say that it’s both frightening and more likely than Elvis.
I hope to address issues such as these in good time. But for now, what to call this space? As slang culture notes, being “on the lam” means to leave or flee, especially from the law. Me? I’m going for the double entendre, as pithy writers tend to enjoy.
Two Kentucky gentlemen, both now deceased, offered superlative yet simple insights on writing. Publisher Bill Butler often told me, “Aggregate!” Collect, gather, share. Author and columnist David Dick, who made eloquent observations of people and animals on his Plum Lick farm, said “What you should report and what you should write about is right beneath your feet.”
I’ve never had a problem with aggregating – Louisvillians have stories ready to share and easy to collect. And what is right beneath my feet is usually Andy, my elderly tabby.
The mornings are my sacred, spontaneous time, beginning with coffee, cat and computer, as the velvety tones of NPR ease me into the new day. Truth be known, if I were a reality show, viewers would be slumped unconscious over their sofa in 10 minutes.
My gaze always drifts through the lace curtains out the window and onto my street. I can hear Bardstown Road coming to life, as a few dedicated runners and more than a few happy dogs pad down to the park.
When the coffee is gone, I’m out the door, on the run, and occasionally taking a stand. Thanks to R.E.M. for inspiring the philosophy.
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around