3/18/21: Cross Creek (1983) — New Beginnings #poetry

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3/18/21: Cross Creek (1983) — New Beginnings #poetry

Open on a one lane highway next to ocean

Forward motion and infinite possibilities

The main character is a writer on the road to maturity

(It’s a repeating phenomenon)

She has something that I need — a good editor

Someone who can see what is best in me and my writing

My road to maturity at 65

I think I’m damn good

and I have even better inside me

Writing keeps driving me to be a better man

If there was no such thing as death, I’d be the greatest man who ever lived

The writer has enough money

but wants work

She buys an orange grove

and leaves someone she loves behind

The people I love are coming with me

It’s the toxic ones that I leave behind

The right work, opportunities for my creativity — noble ambitions, and new friends

Between the little town where the orange grove is, and her editor who keeps pushing her to be better

I think she will find all three

The writer’s new town is tiny

Twelve families

I have a feeling this picture will show the difference between solitude and loneliness

I only feel lonely when I think of the toxic ones

When I start writing I’m surrounded by all the people who have ever been kind to me

The humble people

There is a big clue

Humility — mine and theirs

That will be the relationship with the new friends

The writer has a setback

The orange grove is in rougher shape than she thought

She’s too proud to accept any money from the life that she has left

She gets to work

on the oranges

and the writing

Help arrives

The friends start coming


If you want the new you have to be open to the strange

Your destiny is never where or who you think it will be

The writer is not completely like me

She thinks she can do everything


I’m enjoying this movie

I think I see what’s coming and it is comforting

This is a lot more fun to write than The Kindergarten Teacher

That picture was about an art tragedy

This movie is about art’s delights

The writer’s going to get a couple of books out of her move to Cross Creek

“The Yearling” and “Cross Creek”

This writer has done a real smart thing

You have to set up the life before you progress with the writing

She develops both — life and writing

Two sides of the same project

The writer felt stymied by her old life

So she starts out stubbornly independent

But her new friends teach her the difference between co – dependence and inter – dependence

And they have a quality that I am looking for in my new friends

Add it to the list with humble


If someone is meant for you there aren’t a lot of interviews and entrance exams

Both people know

The heart is less complicated than society

The writer has a suitor

A nice gentleman who wants to be her beau and maybe more

I am not in the market for a spouse or lover

But I sure wouldn’t mind someone who sees my qualities and values them

and wants to work with me and/or be friends

I don’t want to explore or initiate anymore

I searched and looked and experimented

And now I want to take all that work

and settle down

Connecting with other people

for any useful, noble or holy purpose

is an act of creation

The writer didn’t go to Cross Creek looking for connection

God gives us connections when we are ready for them

We don’t consciously prepare for them

or plan them

But they don’t just happen

They happen when the heart is open to them

When past frustration and misery has healed

and we are ready to move forward

The writer’s friends are poor

And that is another big clue

Materialistic people won’t make the cut for new friends list

They might have money

(it’s a different decade now and I have a different life)

But if they define themselves by their money or status

I’ll take a pass

I want better people

Love, friendship and art have nothing to with social position or career

They are about something much better


I’m having an epiphany

Art will never be supported at the places where I have been taking it

but people who find value in the art itself will further it

Not the ones who ignore what isn’t wrapped in a wad of dollar bills

The writer falls in love with her new friends

She recognizes their struggles and sorrows

She brings them cake

and they bless her with their stories

Walker Evans and James Agee did a book, “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men”

which loved all of the poor

The writer loves these poor people in particular

There is a difference between volunteering in a soup kitchen

and eating there

It’s good when a writer has to start over

A writer’s biggest assets are fresh eyes

The writer makes a friend who is going mad

escaping her poor world

into fantasy

The writer doesn’t quit on a friend with troubles

A writer should only quit on friends who were never friends at all

And an old writer should be a lot more discerning

and will avoid that painful situation

All of the poor aren’t as noble as the characters in this movie

These people make their way with love

There are cynical poor people too

This movie doesn’t romanticize the poor

Poverty doesn’t give one a pass

The writer found some fine humble hospitable loving poor people

That’s the best way to be

Poor even if you have money

The writer takes a risk

She sees her savings trickle away

But her security is ordained by God

Savings sacrificed to be saved

If a writer doesn’t take the lonely path

and cut off inappropriate means of support

the wrong jobs and people

He or she will never write a decent word

The writer’s poor friends teach her that money doesn’t matter

God provides

I learned that from my father who was poor

and from when I was poor

and knowing of that reality

is the primary reason that my writing and finances have progressed as nicely as they have

and have provided a platform for my New Beginning

The writer’s friends give her an opportunity to have confidence in her own way of seeing things

She sees racism and injustice

She sees harsh punishments that need to be relieved

She does something about it when asked

She sees the courage of love between people who don’t have a thing between them

She owns the decency that she has that transcends society

Writing is a human thing not a career

Life is a human thing not a career

The writer is a feminist

From a time before the word was invented

I read a book about Prophetic Feminism by Gloria Steinem years ago

It made a big impression on me

What does that make me?

The editor reappears

He recognizes the new writer

the new person

the New Beginning

the first story of the time is published

but not from her manuscripts

but from her letters to the patient editor

who saw what was excellent in her

and saw what didn’t matter — the vestigial tail of the ill fitting life

that she now left some time ago

A published story!

to guide all other people on similar journeys

which is everybody

who decides to be worth a damn.

The editor gives good counsel in writing

A poor humble friend gives good counsel in love

The New World is an Open World

Orange grove succeeds

Love blooms with the suitor

Friendships are more love blossoms

along with the writing

It’s all one thing

My writing improves in direct proportion to my life’s progress

which has been considerable

Some of the writing heals only me

and some heals the world

that’s the stuff that should be published

I chronicle every step of the way

as I watch the movies

The world is abundant

Much more so than society, that miser

Every step is guided

every need of life and writing

fulfilled in the nick of time

(sometimes in disguise)

for those who love …

The truth stuns us at first


we slam doors and yell at the neighbors

constant birthing

constant labor pains

of New Beginnings

good kind of pain

then we wake up slowly and steadily

like springtime soothing our dry eyes

after winter’s sleep.

Writing ten to twelve hours a day …

Generosity in all things!

Copyright 2021 Richard Thomas

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