Tuesdays are for slicing about life. Join us at Two Writing Teachers!
Sometimes, maybe things have a reason for happening, and I'm wondering about what happened yesterday. If you're reading this post, you'll wonder with me. Maybe even suggest a reason...
This story starts with a quick description of the Solstice Program, which is were I got my MFA in Creative Writing between 2014 and 2016. I had three mentors. (Not many). Most of the mentors and directors stay for a while, so the fact that the Director sent out an email yesterday announcing that the Assistant Director was stepping down was unusual. Oh, and the program is in Boston. Not New York-- which brings me to my story.
Back in March, I was in New York for the TCRWP Reunion Day (if you ever can make it, do!) and at the end of the day, I got a coffee with friends. Trying to be efficient, I used my Starbucks app, but I used it for the wrong Starbucks. I said goodbye to my friends, retrieved my coffee from a few blocks down, and headed to the parking garage. The street was not crowded, I was not where I meant to be, and I ran smack into my main mentor from Solstice who lives in Vermont and hardly ever comes to New York. It was great to see Laura McCaffrey and meet her daughter who she was visiting, and that chance encounter was a highlight of the day. I wrote about our meeting during March here.
And now the story gets weirder. Yesterday, after a day of learning at Teachers College-- the first time I've been back in the city since seeing Laura-- I walked from the apartment where I'm staying all down the west side. I'd turned down other invitations to spend some time by myself and walk down to Battery Park. Some of my route toward the tip of Manhattan took me through crowds, as I walked along the Highline and then through Chelsea and Soho. But then I cut to the west and walked through the quieter streets just away from the river. I knew right where I was, but I hadn't explored or walked through that part of the city. I was loving the residential feel, enjoying the gardens, and processing my day. And then, right in front of me was a familiar face. Remember-- there were NOT many people on this street!
"Brendan?" I asked. "It's Melanie."
Brendan Kiely is another mentor at Solstice, although he started there after I'd completed the program. However, I've met him and talked to him several times at various conferences.
We talked for a while, sharing what we're working on, and it was fun to hear about Brendan's work both at Solstice and with his writing projects. He had some interesting ideas for my novels, which I definitely need to get back to work on--
Maybe that was the message or meaning of meeting these two mentors in a completely random way in random parts of the city. Feel free to suggest other reasons or tell me to write it off (pun intended) to the randomness of life and big cities. I don't know though...