169/365 – Who am I, really?

DSCN2506Nothing like digging through your past and throwing most of it away to help you get a fresh perspective on life and yourself, not to mention your relationships with others.  I found dozens of letters written to a sibling, for instance, who to this day hardly responds at all. (Yes, I’m a writer with access to a copier, so I kept copies of my letters to people in case it took them weeks to reply and I couldn’t remember what I wrote them.)

And oh the written chatter I kept spewing back then — I’m talking the 1980s in Phoenix — keeping the Midwestern contacts alive as I raised a young son mostly by myself, lots of time to write, both at home at the super-priviledged ad agency where I was prince of that little puddle, flying to LA for the day to work with household names from TV — I once had half the cast of character actors from M*A*S*H and Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In (Artie Johnson is a dear) doing a radio spot for hot dogs at a convenience store (they were a lost platoon of German soldiers — you had to be there).

But that’s not me.  None of this stuff I’m tossing as I move is.  It’s all just versions of me because I wasn’t in touch with things then like I am now.  I didn’t have the love of God and Jane, I hadn’t looked at myself with the insight and forgiveness of grace and mercy, I really hadn’t done any work at all in trying to be a good human being who cared about his brothers and sisters. “They don’t care about me so the hell with them” was the prevailing attitude, most likely.  “It’s a tough race and the Devil take the hindmost!”

I don’t need much to practice my profession: a notebook, a shoulder bag, one of these new portable computers, some identification and credit cards, a camera, travel Scrabble, and I could be anywhere, writing about anything, Dearest at my side.  That’s the future, and the Devil is welcome to the dry bones and wrinkled pages of the past.

30/365 – An hour late

Crescent moon and Jupiter

Crescent moon and Jupiter

Note to self: Don’t try to shoot the moon with a small digital camera.  You don’t get much.

I hope you saw the new moon this past week.  It has been sharing the early evening sky with a very bright Jupiter, which is probably also a crescent, but I didn’t have a telescope handy to check. (My attempt to zoom in is below.)

Just about every month, I seem to spot the new moon, which I used to call the fingernail moon when I was much younger.  Okay, I still call it that.  It’s always a surprise to see it again, hovering over the horizon. 

My Egyptian friend told me that in Arab countries, where they use a lunar calendar, the new moon signals that it is time to get paid. “Hey, where’s my pay?  Can’t you see the new moon?”

The new moon and first quarter are also a higher energy time for me, usually.  I sleep less and stay active all day.

Well, I’m an hour late, so it’s really Saturday already, but why can’t I count my personal “day” to be from when I wake up to when I go to sleep?  I can do that — I can do whatever I want: It’s my blog.
I’m doing taxes most of the day tomorrow, hope the people are nice, or at least not too crazy.  Oh, and people, do NOT bring two-year-olds to the tax office!

Okay, here’s my streaky moon/Jupiter shot.  I couldn’t hold the camera still enough once I zoomed in.  But I like the shot anyway.



January 1 – First post of my 365

jan-11Day One of my 365

As I stare out my window on the 14th floor of Capitol Centre Apartments at Lake Mendota and the ramshackle three-story wood-frame houses that students inhabit here in Madison, I see snow on the rooftops and along the streets and sidewalks, and hardly any activity.  It is New Year’s Day, after all, nine in the morning, and hardly anyone has a reason to stir, especially those who have indulged in the baccanalia last night.

For my part in the festivities, I watched the so-called “specials” on cable, where bands I didn’t know played in places I don’t really want to go, and celebrities exchanged banter until the ball dropped.  Whoo-hoo!  I’d rather see the carp drop in Prairie du Chien.  Earlier in the evening, I shared a delightful cheese tray with my fiancee, Dearest, but as she was worn out from work and I had a worsening cold, we agreed to cut the evening short.

Today, I finished the final round of copyediting on a book project — I’m not the author, just the copyeditor, but it has given me a lot of insight into the book-publishing process.  Tomorrow, a day at the office, I will show off my week’s worth of vacation beard.

I thank God for my conversion to Catholic Christianity, my engagement to Dearest, our health, the health of our children, and my brain and talents, which I hope to use for spreading the good news.

So begins a year of shooting both the breeze and my camera to document each day.    *PZ