What am I thinking? I just wrote a 1300 word post for “Moxie Cosmos Says…” (see the list of pages), and I am told 300 words is the best length to keep someone’s attention. Let’s just say I got into my subject: French names for fabrics. It’s Sunday. I am trying to avoid thinking about getting receipts together for the tax accountant. I started listing the clothes I need to go to Phoenix with my husband-the-professor, who has a conference there annually — on Valentine’s Day.
Medieval scholars are not the most romantic lot. They also are not (usually) interested in keeping up with styles in clothes. At Christmas I splurged on a new wool shawl, a weakness of mine, not entirely due to dotage, but also to the fact our climate demands “layers.” Last week I had to find a new outfit to go with it.
At home, I generally look for clothes in two places, the U.N. shop (where I saw the shawl) and Finale, the sale shop for Limited Additions, a higher end boutique I really can’t afford. To give you an idea of who I am, the slacks and top cost half the amount I paid for the shawl. The temperatures here have been dipping down to freezing at night, with highs of 55-60 during the day. We have had some badly-needed rain. By Thursday, when we leave, it could be 75. A coat might be too heavy. Either way, a shawl is a good thing to have on hand. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
We don’t have much time these days to wonder before we decide. My resolution for 2013 is to change that. I will read the news. paper daily and find something to wonder about (a form of meditation) and then share the topic with my followers and hope they will wonder too — before they make a bad decision.
See my post written New Year’s Day, on the subject of guns. Today I wrote about counterfeit money. My blogs are under the heading MOXIE COSMOS SAYS… (see list at left).
I am inspired by journalists who are risking their lives all over this world, but also those who are working locally to make sense of the chaos around us. Last evening, to celebrate New Year’s Day, my daughter Ann invited my husband and me to join her and four journalist friends at the fireside in the library of the historically famous Arizona Inn. Andrea Kelly and Chris Conover are broadcast journalists on Arizona Public Media. We watch and listen to them every weekday. Will Seeburger is a photojournalist whose current major project is Sudan. That does not keep him from wandering elsewhere, however. He even wandered into my home three years ago to take my book cover photo shown here. The fourth, Mimi Edmunds, lives in Maine now and makes documentary films. She will be bringing us a feature on women reviving traditional arts in Cambodia. This remarkable woman also has raised an adopted daughter who was attacked by a rare virus as a young teenager, and now is blind. She was a budding artist before that happened, and now she is a fabulous artist. Maybe Eliza will allow me to show you one of her paintings. We hope they will be in an exhibition this year.
I was telling Will that I majored in journalism but never had the instinct to follow a fire truck when I heard a siren. One late afternoon I went to interview a retired farmer in Minnesota who was creating a farm museum, collecting 19th century implements and displaying them in a round dairy barn. This was fascinating, but what really turned me on was when we left the building in the dark. He locked the door behind us and pointed up to the starry sky.
“See that bright light? It’s moving. It’s not a star. It’s not a planet. It’s not an airplane. It’s Sputnik.” In that moment we were frozen in the moment. Never had I felt so present.
Never had I felt so conscious of the big questions and my own small part to play in the asking. Therefore I became an essayist, reflecting, and wondering. The name for my new college major was “creative writing.” It is poorly named. We don’t “create.” We look and wonder. And share.
I have spent many hours over the past months reviewing books for www.bookpleasures.com. The one sitting on my desk beside me is called “The Missing Manual.” It’s about using WordPress, which is the program I have been using, thanks to Pepper Station, who provides my clouds. I haven’t had to learn much about WordPress besides making posts, but I also haven’t made the most of it. So now I will. Watch me.
Stick with me, please. I promise I will add material to some of the pages I started, such as “Read It” (select book reviews) and “Oral History.” Then I will spice up this site with some new features, including photos of my garden projects and links to websites that celebrate our beautiful high desert (such as Murray Bolesta’s www.cactushugger.com), which he explains is something like treehugger only it has more point to it. Murray’s mission is conservation and absolutely stunning insights into Nature.
I have two grandchildren taking photos artistically. Max is in college and is a hiker, and therefore gets to see places Gran just can’t get to anymore. His sister Emilie likes to do closeup shots of flowers. I will try to persuade them to share a few on this website, and help us with our wondering.