But on the surface, it didn’t look that way.  On June 16, there was an article in The London Free Press about local authors.  It contained a photo of Jody on the front cover of our book, and a short description of our story.  I had hoped that many people would e-mail me to ask for a copy.

The response so far: 0

Yesterday was my book signing at Chapters.  I brought boxes of boxes and targeted 200 purchasers.

The response: 11, 3 of whom were Chapters employees

Oh, “the best laid plans of mice and men”.  The truth is that I put my energy out into the world with no promise of what will return.  Sometimes the goodness that returns to me is clear as a bell.  And sometimes it’s so subtle that I don’t even feel it.

What impact is our book making?  I think a lot.  I heard from a friend who read about Jodiette and me, and now her mom is starting it, with her daughter waiting in the wings.  And who knows the lives that will be touched through the few books I gave away last night?  I know that there’s more love in the world because of Jodiette: My Lovely Wife.  How much?  Impossible to know.

I’d say that 95% of the people who walked by my table in Chapters didn’t make eye contact.  Some of those faces were etched with pain and exhaustion.  I didn’t intrude in their lives.

I had sent an e-mail to over 300 folks a few weeks ago, mentioning that I’d be signing books on June 26 from 4:00 till 7:00.  By 6:45, none of those people had come to say hi.  I was sad.  But at 6:50, my friend Theresa strolled in to do exactly that.

Let go of numbers, Bruce.  Be in the moment with the human beings that show up in your life.  And that’s what I did last night.  A teenaged girl suffering through the death of a beloved teacher.  A woman in her 60’s whose family has been wracked with cancer.  A young woman struggling emotionally with a series of cruel events in her life.  Just be there, Bruce.  Be with them.

To Be With You

To be with you this evening
Rarest of the evenings all
And listen to the whispering leaves
And to the night bird’s call
The silvery moonlight on your face
To be with you in some still place

To be with you somewhere within
This evening’s mystic shade
To hear your plans and hopes
And tell you mine, all unafraid
That you’d forget to hold them dear
When I’m away and you’re not here

To be somewhere alone with you
And watch the myriad stars
Far golden worlds beyond the noisy
Earth’s unkindly jars
As quietly they sail night’s sea
Above the world and you and me

Max Ehrmann

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