Saturday, April 26, 2008

How old are you?

I've been reading page proofs on a collecton of profiles written by a journalist friend. In one, she writes about an older woman who was a dear friend. In her late eighties, the woman asked Mary if she knew the secret to staying young. Mary of course didn't, and the woman said, "Pick the age at which you were happy and choose to stay that age forever." She was, she said, 35, though some days she felt 40. Mary has chosen 43. But I think I choose 33--I had two children, a happy marriage, and a life that seemed to offer endless possibilities. Still, the possibilities my life offered turned out not at all to be the ones I expected, but there were some pretty good ones. And I do still feel about 33. I noticed in Austin that I felt younger and my aches and pains disappeared. Can't figure that one out. Can't believe work makes me feel older--it's supposed to keep you younger.
Today I went to the Carter Museum with a friend to see the exhibit on the Fort Worth Circle of Artists and another on snapshots. The Carter is a building that makes me anxious--steep terrazo stairs, high open balconies, the kinds of things I don't like. And the friend I was with has knee problems and walks with a cane, very slowly, so I got uncertain on my feet just trying to slow down to her pace--I need to build up a head of steam and then I can charge right along. So it all made me more than a bit uncomfortable, but I found the exhibits interesting. After a bit (four rooms), the Fort Worth Circle got repetitive, and the snapshots were interesting, mostly for what they illustrated about the change in cameras over the years. The snapshots themselves were fun for a while, but ultimately they don't mean much if you don't know the people. Apparently though it's a big deal--there's a large and impressive book from Princeton University Press to accompany the exhibit.
Back to Scotland. I've about decided to draft an article on Scots in Texas and run it by the state magazine I sometimes write for. Maybe that's a step toward a book. I'm feeling my way here. Meantime I have a list of chores--with deadheading the iris and planning the garden at the top of the list, followed by laundry and other less interesting chores.
I've ordered a book from Sisters in Crime called Breaking and Entering about breaking into the mystery market. I'm not giving up on that project.

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