Friday, January 27, 2012

Good company

A warm breeze comes through my window. It’s January in southern California, a continuation of the warm, dry fall. Might we have a heat wave, like the record-breaking temps at the end January, 1995? I remember spending days at the beach, evenings preparing Mai-Tais and buffalo wings, and letting myself believe the weather would last until fall. Two weeks later, it was cold, gray, and raining, and I was in bed with a sinus infection. February and March are southern California’s cold, rainy months. But, for now, it’s warm and clear, like a beautiful Provencal evening.

I’ve rediscovered opera. The tragedies, strangely, satisfy some spot that otherwise preoccupies me, having suffered a recent sting at work (as well as the family blowup, which hasn’t changed). Misery perhaps does love company, and I am trying to use time wisely; La Boheme and La Traviata seem to be hitting the spot. (And oh, how I love Nabucco!) So, for the moment, I’m spending time with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. And a whiskey.

- PJ

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Time spent wisely

Last Sunday I spent time wisely; I visited my uncle and Carlin. He’s turned another page, not a chapter, but definitely a page. Carlin wavers between reality and the world of Carlin which tells me she’s just fine because that’s the way my beloved cousin has always been. Many years ago, friends of my uncle deduced: “She speaks a whole different language, called ‘Carlin’.” I adore her, and always have. Both my uncle and Carlin care. They always have and they always will. Anyone who reads Half Italian will know.

- PJ

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dark. Light.

I’ve been putting off writing this post. My year has started mixed.

Defend the offender, not the victim. The fearful perceive power in those who are offensive.

Christmas day was magic: mid-eighties, beautiful skies, late-morning service made even better by having attended candlelight service the evening before, at a friend’s request. Standing in the sunshine after, one woman considered an afternoon hike with her family, in Fryman Canyon.

Two people, opposites in nearly every way, impose hostility. They don’t know each other, never will. Strict adherence to fundamentalist religion is their only relation. I go to church, so I’m “right,” they say. They’d like to take me down, kill a part of me they don’t like. Religion at its worst can unify even these two, from different denominations.

The holidays were warm, but nights cool, so how welcome was that fireplace on New Years’ Eve, spent with new friends. January 1st was a repeat of the summer-like Christmas, just a week earlier. Next day, I walked to a movie, “The Artist,” in shorts and t-shirt.

Search not for truth, just win the game – money is worth more than people.

What a double-edge sword human behavior is; we can both create and corrupt.

Dark days, but don’t lose track of the good. Use time wisely. Spend it with those who care.

- PJ

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Use Time Wisely

This will be the year I make progress with Half Italian, or stop, including this blog. All depends on my Travelers’ Tales submissions and anything that may come up before I learn their outcome.

Last week, one of the principals from Half Italian, my uncle, spent a few days in the hospital. A post-publication whimsy for me is to introduce some of my Italian family from the book to an interested reader or two. For now, my uncle is fine and staying with Carlin but his hospital stay is a reminder that time is always limited.

I think of a beloved Monsignor, the only Catholic priest I ever met with a combination of true class, practical sensibilities, business and people skills. He’s retired, but probably saying Mass as I write this. My only contact with the troubled Roman Catholic church is limited to this fine man, who used to say, “Use time wisely.” He left the rest to us.

Of this I remind myself, as 2012 begins. Use time wisely.

- PJ