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Eighty Meets Ninety

October 17, 2010

I wrote this after a very important meeting I had several years ago. Today, I am posting it in honor of my dear friend Ina Jones who turned 90 this week. Happy Birthday Ina!

Meeting Ina Jones

I never owned a poetry book. Never bought one for myself or for anyone else, for that matter. Never, until I picked up, Ina Jones’, A Final Wine early last year. The discovery came at a local health food store. I read the first poem – Belevedere Lake — and found myself near tears.

For whatever the reason, I didn’t make a purchase at that time, but nearly a year later while in a local art store looking for a handmade birthday card to send to my mother, my eyes landed on A Final Wine again and this time I picked it up immediately.

Approaching the counter with my card and book, proud of my quick response, I struck up a conversation with the woman behind the counter. Katie was her name. She had worked with Ina Jones in a play – thought she was wonderful, and knew she was going to perform a reading of her poems the following week. We had a great talk, Katie and I. She called up the Tea Shop where the reading was to be held and obtained the exact time and date. I knew I was going to go – we agreed to see each other there. I was happy – it’s always nice to connect with someone and Katie I had connected.

A quick turn out the door and I was on my way to the post office. Everyone was there mailing Valentine packages. I filled out my labels, stuffed the package with the wrapped book and signed card, and got in line. It was a busy Saturday in a small town, and as I waited, I began to look at people around me and glance at their mail (what can I say……). Standing next to me was a small woman. I could hardly believe my eyes when I read the return address on her package: Ina Jones. Stunned, and with goose bumps crawling up and down my arms, I blurted out, “Are you Ina Jones?” She answered affirmatively and I excitedly told her I had her very book in my hand ready to be sent to my Mother! I stood there in disbelief, but she looked a little worried – I was kind of loud.

Since then I have purchased five more copies of A Final Wine for my family, my friends and finally for myself.

Each day I pick it up and read a new poem wondering what place it will lead me to. Silently asking, what joy will I find, worry will I discover, heartache will I feel? I have found them all in A Final Wine.

Someone shared her feelings that reading an Ina Jones’ poem felt comfortable. How perfect a word. Comfortable. Like a good shoe, a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, a perfect shape, aroma, or taste. Yes, comfortable; indeed an apt description.

So here I sit, until recently a person who never owned a poetry book, now finding it comfortable to pick one up. Better late than never, the expression goes. How fortunate I am, thanks to the gifted pen of a diminutive, elegant octogenarian in upstate New York, to have discovered joy in its reading, in letting the tears flow, the smiles grow wide, and the soul, my soul, be filled.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. seth whitney permalink
    January 2, 2011 12:13 am

    What a wonderful site I have stumbled upon! I too have never picked up a book of poems.You have whetted my appetite and I think I will keep an I out for A Final Wine. You’re writing is also very “comfortable”. I look forward to coming back from time to time.

    • lorikk11 permalink
      January 2, 2011 4:36 pm

      Why, thank you! I enjoy writing about people I meet and the things I’ve learned from those encounters. I’ve also been recalling a lot of my past to see what I’ve learned from that as well.

      I’m so glad that I’ve sparked an interest in poetry. I think one of the reasons I was so taken with Ina Jones is that her poems are like a story and she digs deeper into places where I would expect the ending to be. My favorite is “On Belevedere Lake” especially since I know that when she wrote it she and her husband were in their late 50’s and working through a difficult time.

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