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It occurred to me yesterday that my life in retirement is actually returning to a sort of “normal.” I’m not sure what I mean by that except as I continue to relax and ponder I seem to be returning to a mindset that I haven’t had for many years. This way of thinking feels right and very different from having to do church music.

I still have lots of respect for the arts and history of Christianity. But I feel like I have returned to a previous orientation towards them that is more informed (since I have learned a lot since I last felt this regular.

It was a beautiful day yesterday. A cool fall day. I sat outside and read for awhile. But it was a little too cool so I finally came in. Eileen made blueberry jam so we had it on fresh bread. It was worth every calorie.

I am continuing to slowly lose weight. This encourages me that it’s real weight loss. I am back to abstaining from real gin and not snacking after a light supper. I’m hoping that will continue to let my body shed unneeded pounds.

I have fixed up the guest bedroom as a sort of study. I set it up this way when Mark and Leigh visited so they could stay in this room. I am finding it very helpful to have a desk and a place to sit and work on my computer. I also want to clear out an upstairs room and make it into a music room. I want to move my harpsichord and marimba there. Right now all my guitars and my banjo are there.

I think the mornings are a very productive time for me. I have spent them in recent years stretching my brain a little bit, learning a smidgeon of Ancient Greek and reading poetry both contemporary and more classical. This is when I read my Shakespeare. But this week, after exercising and making coffee, I have sat in my computer room and thought about stuff. I also have been doing some prose sketches. This morning instead of sketching I made a list of ideas that have been rattling around in my head as possible pieces of prose, fiction or nonfiction.

Being systematic is important to me. I have found that when I do something systematically (like read a portion of book on a daily basis or even practice) the eventual accrual is pretty astonishing to me.

I am slowly figuring out to work my new WordPress software I use to create and edit these blogs. I don’t know, dear reader(s), if you have noticed, but there is a tad less clutter on my initial web page. The excessive amount of links have been making me crazy so one of the first things I changed was limiting the links there.

Speaking of links. I have learned how to insert them. So here’s some for today.

Americans Still Oppose Overturning Roe v. Wade

Most Americans favor legal abortion. The reason we are in the current situation is that the right has chosen to seize power in undemocratic ways like voter suppression and more importantly stacking the Supreme Court with right wing judges.

What a revoltin’ development.

Fragments of medieval Merlin manuscript found in Bristol library

New info on Merlin and King Arthur.

The Wonders That Live at the Very Bottom of the Sea – NYT

I link this article for the first paragraph. I didn’t receive my Sunday NYT for a couple of Sundays. This didn’t bother me too much. I basically subscribe to it for the apps and the “replica edition,” the second of which is not available without subscribing to at least the Sunday paper. Consequently, I missed reading the NYTBR (New York Times Book Review) which comes as a section in the Sunday paper.

In this past Sunday’s NYTBR, Lowell Edmunds wrote in the letters column that the first paragraph of the above linked article it was the “best first paragraph in memory.”

Here it is.

“In the deep sea, it is always night and it is always snowing. A shower of so-called marine snow — made up of pale flecks of dead flesh, plants, sand, soot, dust and excreta — sifts down from the world above. When it strikes the seafloor, or when it is disturbed, it will sometimes light up, a phenomenon known, wonderfully, as “snow shine.” Vampire squids, umbrella-shaped beings with skin the color of persimmons, float around collecting this luminous substance into tiny snowballs, which they calmly eat. They are not alone in this habit. Most deep-sea creatures eat snow, or they eat the snow eaters.”

Not bad.

“The Monkey Who Speaks,” by Han Ong | The New Yorker

Speaking of good writing, this short story in the September in the September 13 issue is exceptional. I listened to the podcast. But instead of falling asleep, as sometimes happen my mind started buzzing as the story unfolds. I recommend it!

I interlibrary loaned Ong’s novel The Disinherited.

The Disinherited: A Novel: Ong, Han: 9780312424619: Books

Ong was born in 1968 in the Philippines of “ethnic Chinese parents.”

Han Ong Archives | KPFA

He and his family came to the US in the 80s. He is another recipient of the MacArthur Genius grant. I look forward to reading his works.

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