1. Favorite magazine: I first discovered The Sun, a literary magazine published out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, years ago. A friend who loved to search for fringe items of interest, especially in the reading or music departments, introduced me, and I’ve been hooked since. I think this was 1996. I don’t think the magazine had been in existence for long at the time. I don’t think the editor has changed this whole time. I’d love to meet him. His name is Sy Safransky, and he would be one very interesting dinner guest.
This is a magazine that I consider “dessert” – something to look forward to at the end of a long day to hunker down with and relish, read cover to cover, and feel completely satisfied at the end of each reading. The feelings and thoughts it can conjure will blow your mind and bring you to a whole nother place.
I just finished reading the October 2015 issue, an issue whose central theme is Grief. This seemed particularly relevant to me, as I feel that this past year has been a year of grieving for many friends and acquaintances. It seems that people die in waves, just as babies seem to enter the world in bunches. Maybe these two phenomena should be researched in a scientific manner. Perhaps this pairing would support a theory of reincarnation, or some system in the universe whereby there is a finite amount of “soul” that exists.
Regardless, I am feeling somewhat melancholy but at peace, and I highly recommend this particular issue of The Sun if you feel inclined to immerse yourself in studying or just intuiting Grief at this moment.
2. Thoughts on my resolutions: I completed a 21-day Yoga Shred. I hate to gush, but my very annoying left elbow, which was irritating me for months with its ever-present “elbow-itis” (really it was epicondylitis, but in real life, it was the pain that woke me numerous times each night and prevented me from being able to use my left arm at times) improved quite a bit during that short stint of daily yoga.
I then stopped for almost 10 days because – well, no excuses. And my elbow immediately started acting up again. So now I’m back to trying to do stint #2 of the 21-day shred. After all, daily yoga with a program I’ve already paid for is a lot cheaper than glucosamine or getting a steroid injection or going to see a chiropractor.
3. Revelation about pets: Before you get a pet, really ask yourself why you want a pet. I now have an alpaca teddy bear (small) that I clutch in bed, and really, it’s as warm and soothing as a cat, and not nearly as allergenic or bothersome, and it doesn’t need to go see the vet or get its litter box cleaned every day.
4. Revelation about tedious tasks: Listen to music. Add music to anything you find bothersome or a real time drain. Back in high school, I washed the dishes by hand after dinner every night, and that was the only time during the day that I was allowed to listen to my music. So I learned to wash dishes very slowly. Lately, I’ve been turning on music while I cook, do housework, bathe the little one, or do other cumbersome tasks. A little Mozart for the bath, some Django for cooking, French cafe Pandora for emptying the dishwasher. What a great way to enrich your day.
5. Something to give thanks for: Interestingly, it’s the sun. No, not the magazine, the actual thing. It’s been melting the record 61 inches we’ve gotten. It’s lifted my mood. It reminds me of why we moved to Central Oregon, and why every day brings new hope and wonders and joy. So, Thanks to the sun. My little one sang it a song this morning on the way to school: “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy, … so please don’t take my sunshine away.” She did this right after she complained it was too bright. But after she sang the song, somehow she had convinced herself that actually she was pretty happy about it.