Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Wonderful Muchness

Sometimes I contemplate the enormous variety of things in my life. Today it got started because I xeroxed the liat of books I've read this year -- what a variety! Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, starting with the amazing 18th century traveler, Carolina Bird, the very epitome of intrepid in the truly wild west, to, recently, Louisa Waugh in far westeren Mongolia, then there's Jim Harrison and Anne Rice, Norwegian and Indian writers and many others. And Pico Iyer on the Dalai Lama and Mattieu Richard on Happiness and on and on. All those, of course, were my choices, more than 50 so far this year.

Then there's the stuff I come across in my transcription job, often on subjects I would not choose, like today's job for an Army promo so that I now know much more than I ever cared to know about Apache helicopters and Striker armored vehicles; earlier there were a couple of actors talking about a B'way show [I WOULD chose that] also a lot about a company that rates hospital quality, and a bunch of MD's helping a drug company push a new medication, plus some guys hunting for ghosts. Now is that varied or what? And that's just a couple of weeks and I've forgotten much else and the next couple of weeks will bring more variety.

Then there's the wonderful stuff available here in NYC like the HDTV production of Rossini's BARBER OF SEVILLE from the Venice opera house that I saw at my "neighborhood" theatre, Symphony Space -- what a great production! I spent two hours smiling. The cast was perfect, voices fine, acting broad as befits opera buffo. I almost couldn't fall asleep that night because melodies kept running through my head. And in a completely different vein, yesterday's lecture at the Rubin Museum on the restoration of a monastery in Bhutan by John Sanday [recently named Sir John] an architect/restorer who was working in Lo Monthang when I trekked there and who gave our small group a tour of what he was doing to a big gompa [religious building]there.

There's the newspaper and the death of beautiful, wonderful Paul Newman. All of that and, my friends and letters and phone calls. I do NOT have a television. I do not want or need a television; I never have a bored moment and love having all this stuff stirring around in my thoughts. If keeping the brain cells firing and making connections is a way to ward of Alzheimers, I think I'll be okay on that front.

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