Wandering in the Chiricahuas

I've been thinking about this place, the Chiricahua Mountains, a lot lately.
Maybe someday you will get to read what I have to say about it.

I've been trying to spend writing time out of the house.

Wednesday I made my office in a local coffee house. At the gas station across the street, a woman in an old fashioned cinch-waisted black and white dress and pumps cleaned her windshield. The guy who runs the gas station came over and took over from her, so she stood back by the driver's door and talked to him while he washed the glass with big arching strokes. I could tell he was following the edge of the arc of the wiper blades, getting that line that forms and making sure the whole pane was uniformly clean. Every few passes over the window, he would pause to wipe the squeegee off on his pants in big, loose-limbed motions.

Thursday I sat in the atrium at the art museum. I was amused to see a woman in yoga clothes clutching an ill-rolled yoga mat on her way into the current Yoga: The Art of Transformation exhibit.

Reading: Read a review article called "Ghosts in the Stacks" by Christine Smallwood from a recentish New Yorker. It's all about books that document odd feats of reading (the whole OED, the Harvard Classics, or the case of the book most discussed - The Shelf: from LEQ to LES - one particular shelf of novels in one particular library). I am always attracted to these books, but I don't read them because I have so many other books I want to read that reading about someone reading seems like a poor use of my limited reading time (so instead I read about someone reading about people reading, yeah).

Smallwood identifies the underlying emotion of these kind of reading stunts as Fear of Missing Out - the anxiety that there is some book, some writer, some experience, some access to knowledge that one is missing.

I have not decided if I agree with her, but I share the desire to read in this manner. I fantasize about holing up in a hotel room with a stack of books -- maybe all Nobel Prize winners, maybe all books published in the last year, maybe (as Smallwood suggests might be useful and as one other reading-writer, Susan Hill, did in a book called Howard's End is on the Landing) it would simply be a big stack of books that I own but have never read. For instance, the big historical novel about early 20th Century Russia that I bought at an Atlanta Public Library book sale when I was 17 and have carted around with me ever since. Or the book about the social history of table manners that sits in that weird not-cookbook food books section of my shelves.

Writing: Yes, and I am fighting the sense that every sentence is a road to nowhere, which if you know anything about my project is kind of ironic. I have humor even if I don't have faith. ::sigh::

Dinner: I don't think I ate dinner last night ... wine with M, cheese on the way to baseball, some almonds at the game, then gin with P ... oops.

Soundtrack: I've decided I need to listen to the Black Keys. I don't know why this right now, and I realize this is not a choice of earth shattering originality, but there you have it.

Random thing: How, oh how, and why and whyfor could I have managed to miss the recent Van Gogh exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art?! Van Gogh is my favorite painter. I cry at Van Gogh. I am connected to the divine through Van Gogh. This exhibit was in town for three whole months. What the hell kind of way to treat myself is that? There is something messed up about this. File this under #notshiny.

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