Monday’s Blog; Station 11

Station 11 not so far fetched

Station Eleven: A novel Emily St. John Mandel 

Being an one of those avid readers I embrace many genres. both fiction and non fiction, poetry, drama, and more. Science fiction has been more of a favorite of my loving spouse and I have read many classic sci fi books but less so now then in the past. As many know we spend days at a time on the road RVing. Audible books are constant companions and we share the task of what to download next. My husband’s pick (we do confer and can say no to a book). However, the book synopsis included a famous fictional Shakespearean Actor at his peak, then his sudden death made a large impact on a young girl (King Lear’s daughter) at this side when the actor collapsed and died. Further characters are members of a symphonic/opera company on the terrifying road toward survival after a very deadly epidemic wiping out most of the world’s population and the story of the Apocalypse era to follow. 

This is not my favorite genre, perhaps it is too frightening, too possible and there is so much else to read. The book is entitled Station Eleven, A Novel by Emily St. John Mandel in case that is of interest to you and it is full of inventive stories of those surviving and seeking survival.

I remember the frightening days of the The Bay of Pigs (Cuba), the days of the Cold War, the days of bomb shelter drills, 9/11 and celebrate the advent of Nuclear bomb bans, treaties, accords and diplomatic decisions. It is not news that North Korea poses a great threat and we fear the administration’s responses, the subject of the news 24/7. I believe we all feel angst, a sense of out of hand diplomacy and such but it is not my task to report on these topics. I leave that to others and try to keep my faith that peace will reign.

An NYT article caught my eye by Lex Williams see;

How did I know that a huge global market for tools and methods of survival exists, and the vast numbers of survivalists, doomers and preppers have created a huge global industry offering products such as Bug Out Bags, (containing survival items), alt currencies, self defense items and classes, foods and the means to produce our own foods, foldable kayaks, parachutes and a dome and bomb proof house called Intershelter. (He notes that in the interim these dome structures make great guest houses, children’s playrooms or cabanas.) 

My reaction is that in light of centuries of natural disasters and the horrors of war apocalyptic episodes have occurred repeatedly; people fleeing with nothing in hand, suffering even within the sight of help. There are these experts among us who plan for bad times. Is there a movement about to enlist their help in the aftermath of these current events. Any of us could be victims at any time, I have seen it reported that Google searches for Prepper sites and Survivalism sites are at an all time high, Being prepared and helping those already affected by disaster is really about all of our survival. 
To finish on a light note, I really like the foldable kayak, maybe it will fit into our motor home. 

Monday’s Blog, Neighbors in the Cemetery

Sitting down in front of the computer, I place my fingers on the keyboard and begin to write a new blog post.  So often I don’t know what will evolve as my fingers tap the keys even when I have a preconceived idea for my entry.  As you, my readers know, the content varies from stories, journal style entries and reportage to recommending a book, film or adventure venue or reacting to something that has caught my attention. Today is the latter case.

On a recent Sunday Morning, I listened to an interview by Krista Tippet (NPR program “on Being.”) The interviewee was Maira Kalman, a revered artist, writer and philosopher, raised in Israel but living and working in the US. Her story includes the difficult death of her husband age 49 and how she has coped (now 18 years later). A dear friend’s wife recently died suddenly at a young age as well, making me think that when he is ready, Maira’s words would help him begin to cope.  Within the content of the interview, Maira alludes to the neighbors occupying a plot within the same cemetery.  

As quoted below, George Gershwin is a neighbor as are members of the Barricini Family as she pictures a beautiful box of Barricini Chocolate. She calls a visit to the cemetery very uplifting. The Quote follows;

Ms. Tippett: There’s a passage where you write and illustrate about — I mean you start with Gershwin, dying at the age of 38 of a brain tumor. You say, “He’s buried in the same cemetery as my husband. My husband died at the age of 49. I could collapse, thinking about that. But I don’t want to talk about that now. I want to say that I love that George is nearby under a leafy tree. And Ira Gershwin too.”
Ms. Kalman: We’re going to visit him next week, and it really — the high point is [laughs] — we can say, “I like visiting Tibor, but the high point is going to the Gershwins.” No, I also — also, the Barricinis are nearby, and I always think of a beautiful box of chocolates and how they should have a chocolate store there in the cemetery, because it’s actually — it’s very uplifting to go to a cemetery, and it’s a beautiful place.

I cherish her sense of humor and share my long time sense of finding the cemetery a journey into more than visiting loved ones seeking solace and peace and adding the additional journey into history.  Allow me please to allude to the similarity of a visit to a cemetery and a search on the computer. Both add to our knowledge of the topic of the moment and a window far beyond our dreams as we tap on the links and loose hours absorbed in the content of those links. (a virtual candy store.) On any visit to a cemetery, near and far, I invariably hike from area to area seeking “neighbors” buried there.  I leave enriched by the history. Some are relatives, friends and acquaintances, others are famous or infamous of diverse and varied backgrounds. It is uplifting as quoted above, alleviating some of the grief in our hearts allowing humor and discovery to be layered upon the loss in our hearts. 

We all have left stones of memory on graves in every corner of the world, touching history, bringing it alive with stories and endless tales that have shaped our world. I believe the consideration of cemetery neighbors opens a sense of continuity to our journey on earth. 

I include the URL

and some photos of cemeteries visited; 

Evita Peron, Argentina

Warsaw, Poland

Atlin Cemetery, Gold rush, Alaska

Babi Yar

Viet Nam

Mondays Blog… firsts in light of Jewish new year coming up

Inspired by reading Ray Bradbury’s book Zen In the Art of Writing, I decided to follow some of his techniques. He made lists of anything and everything and his stories grew out of those words. He listed, nouns, ideas, scenes, people observed or encountered including a list of firsts.  In light of Jewish new year coming up I decided to follow suit in my journal and enter some early firsts here. I’d love your feedback, your techniques to jog memory or create ideas themes or other “tricks” you use in the process of creativity. I am adding this one to my repertoire of tricks.

first memory  old fashioned wicker doll buggy
first memory mom said was impossible-18 months maybe  ice man cometh, yes he put a block of ice in our refrig
first poem recited Silver Bells
first song Country Garden
first public appearance singing on the porch of a dear neighbor and they demanded return engagements
first stage appearance  Kindergarten with pink suit and doll, singing lullaby and goodnight
first fall chin in stitches from a fall up the stairs in my ballet slippers
first bike accident  gravel burns on my arms place grounds of 23 school Rochester
first dance recital in Lawn Street facility–now Garth Fagan’s beloved studio
first books the mystery series Nancy Drew ghost written producing 56 books from 1936 to 48 in classic genre
first obsessions The stars and galaxies via NYC planetarium, became a member for years, newsletter
more 1st obsessions, toe shoe ballet with Mrs. Raphael, singing, piano, symphony concerts, 
first adult book Scapegoat mentioned sanitary napkins hidden in the linen closet. wow
first heard word menstruate uttered mistakenly by friend when playing volley ball. she defined it for me
first big stress dad surgery twice Ulcers and then a surgical instrument left mistakenly in his gut
first scary movie War of the Worlds, couldn’t sleep for nights nightmares
first date  movie War of the Worlds, Gary Kramer 5th grade I think
First real date with future husband and love of my life Paul  I was at his Bar Mitzvah
first newspaper research project Suez canal
first stock trade lesson grade school assignment on paper, I made $10,000 profit

Photos from one of my obsessive and ongoing photo projects–Nature’s still lifes, fungus and ‘shrooms

Monday’s Blog, Here I sit

Here I sit with my left foot bound up in an Ace bandage home from a visit to the ER. Boy does my foot hurt. Returning to the Highland Hospital in Rochester (BTW excellent facility) just four days after Paul occupied the same examining room for a kidney stone and in great pain that comes and goes, I “come down” with a sore foot. It isn’t broken or fractured thank goodness, but it is something I “earned.” Self Inflicted; I can’t learn to say still. We have been back in our cherished apartment for 6 days and I’ve been my usual whirling dervish every waking minute. Not surprising that I injured something. Our fabulous summer tour of Newfoundland and south eastern Canada was also a whirlwind, walking miles and miles every day. I wouldn’t give up the travel for the world and bless our luck that we can seek such adventures. No worries, we are fine.

I look back years and years, It seems that my loving mother was constantly wrapping my foot or ankle or wrist with an Ace Bandage. She had Red Cross training from the world war 2 years and later as a pediatric nurse at Highland for years. She was proud of her skills and I was the benefactory of her wrapping techniques. So, as I wrap and unwrap, ice and wrap again, I savor the memory of her smile and love. My boys benefitted as well because I know I applied many aces and other bandages to their injuries or made many visits to emergency as they grew. Heck, we all do that but I felt helpful and loving from the legacy of my childhood. 

Knowing I won’t stop, slow down or sit down any more than in the past, I remember the wonderful travels of the summer of 2017, the warm and incredible people of Newfoundland and the joys of travel. Just for lightness and humor, I’ve attach a couple of favorite travel photos of the island of newfoundland and the bonus “gift” I have from ER, the no-slip socks.

beautiful silver sock

Not stylish but safe. So tread carefully, sit and smell the roses and I will try to practice what I preach. 

We visited at least 2 dozen Newfoundland lighthouses. There are 56 total