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Yes, it’s the 18th and this is my very first post of the year. Post of the decade, actually. I believe that it is customary to apologize, but I don’t feel very apologetic. No, not snarky either. More of a what now type and time of questioning.

This blog is an amazing time machine for myself. Also, there are the typical surprises: where I was, what I thought. Who I was. I don’t know if you can be properly amazed at your life at the age of 53 — is that too young? Too old? And do I want to do the daily navel-gazing? That last thing can be most unseemly (is there a better word for that?) when done in public, especially for a very long time.

Now I feel the desire to write again. I’d like to give myself at least an idea of where I’m going here and now, but I don’t seem to have one of those.

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Mingus' face
Image by Tom Marcello via Flickr

Two days ago, my friend Donna and I, as well as Other Patti, whom you might know from these pages and who is visiting me here and doing some work on our home (she’s an interior decorator, did I mention that? I think I might have, but am not sure) had lunch together at the Dushanbe Tea House here in Boulder. We got to talking about many things, one of which was the difference between writing in an electronic versus a paper-and-ink journal.

Donna mentioned that that the process of writing by hand makes that which is written deeper. I think that I agreed with her fairly much at the time. Yesterday, I thought that I would give the hypothesis a try. After five pages finished at around eleven last night, I agree with her totally.

I wish I had some explanation for this phenomenon. I have an idea that this deepening of the writing process when done by hand has to do with the body’s need to express the thoughts and feelings going on in the mind. Tapping my fingers repeatedly over a series of keys is not, to some part of me, enough.

Well, there it is until I can think of a better explanation.

And there’s some music to listen to while thinking about the above. Charles Mingus. I particularly like that picture of his face, even though it’s not full on.

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As I may have mentioned a few (dozen) times before, I always go to the kitchen for a snack or a glass of tea late at night, let the dog out for one last time, and glance through a book or two while the tea brews. Last night, my book of choice was Writing for Life, all about journal writing.

One of its recommendations is to write your journal out by hand, pen on paper, instead of electronically. I have independently arrived at the same decision. For one thing, my small paper journal is much easier to stuff into my purse and carry around than is my MacBook.

But there’s something about putting the words on paper by hand that connects me to them more than does typing them out on a keyboard. I’m not sure why this is, yet I’m going through it and going through with it. I’m using up a lot of ink these days.

Has anyone else noticed this?

Journalist, ‘My Cancer’ Blogger Leroy Sievers Dies : NPR
Journalist Leroy Sievers, who covered wars, genocides and natural disasters in more than a dozen countries — and who chronicled life after his cancer diagnosis for NPR on-air and online — died Friday. He was 53.

I just went to check on Leroy Sievers’ blog for the weekday-daily update, to find out that he passed away over the weekend. I never knew the man, but the blog had become a familiar place to me, and I made sure that I kept updated with it always. And now he’s gone.

Cancer is definitely another country.

What sort of a citizen am I? One with a daily reprieve? I suppose so, though medical practice and habits of not getting checked up on several times a day makes it so that I get chunks of days’ worth of reprieve. But I’ll take it. I guess you learn as you go on.

For movie night, we had I’m not There to watch, courtesy of Peter. This is a biography of Bob Dylan done by lots of actors most of whom don’t look like him, except for Cate Blanchett, who not only moves but looks like him. Now that’s spooky. Also excellent acting.

Each version of Bob Dylan was played by a wildly disparate cast that included Heath Ledger and Hayden Christensen. None of those guys approached Cate Blanchett except perhaps for Charlotte Gainsbourg playing the long suffering wife, and Richard Gere at the end. Gere seemed to have to do with the part of his life where they were playing Sheriff Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

It’s the sort of wonderful movie that happens out of sheer chaos. We get bits and bobs and are trying to put them all together, with the rest of the group here for movie night. We seemed to have liked it.

“I’m Not There (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition)” (Todd Haynes)

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