Learning to forget

Mme. R used to sit at the same table as M. D, before they moved her to Mme. H’s table.  She and I get along generally, but my heart really went out to her when I learned that she had once been a physics researcher at Sorbonne.  Like so many people at Nazareth, the retirement home where I volunteer a couple of times a week at supper, Mme. R once had a beautiful mind.

It’s a bit like being an athlete who becomes paralyzed.  Only it’s somehow just a little sadder for me – and I mean no disrespect to anyone dealing with debilitations purely physical in nature – but we all know that our bodies have a use-by date.  We hope that our minds only grow more refined with age.  Sure, we become a little forgetful, but we get wise, and that is ample compensation for a little absent-mindedness.

At Nazareth I’m surrounded by former teachers, head mistresses, university professors and researchers.   I don’t consider myself a particularly intelligent person, but I’m sure that the loss of my reason, logic and memory would make me more than a little grumpy.  “Be careful with Mme. R,” Mme. D told me when she saw that we got along well.  “She can be very nasty sometimes.”

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To continue reading, please head over to our new home, whatifandwhynot.net.  We really hope to keep our loyal followers – to continue following What If and Why Not, scroll down to the bottom of our new page for a couple of options.  As ever, thanks for reading us.

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We’re moving…

…no, not to another country (although we’re not ruling it out just yet).
We’re just moving the blog. We won’t bore you with the technical detail behind it. We’ll just give you the new address:

http://whatifandwhynot.net

The design stays the same, all the posts, the comments as well (keep’em coming) and the photos have been moved as well, so it’s pretty much a carbon copy of what you’re used to here.
Some of you who subscribe by email will probably receive a notification email to ask you to follow whatifandwhynot.net. We certainly hope that you’ll continue to follow our blog and if you wish to do so please click on the ‘confirm’ button in that email and you’ll be all set.

For those of you who follow the blog via wordpress, your subscription will be moved to the new address automatically.

Hoping your weekend is going well wherever you are.

Ann and Chris

A shout out to Senator Ted Lieu and Governor Jerry Brown

This week on elephant journal I’ve written about wrongs being righted…some geographically far away, but all near and dear to my heart.  At the center of all of it is Senate Bill 1172, which officially makes treating children to “cure” them of their homosexuality illegal in California, effective January 2013.

Have a read here, and let me know your thoughts!

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Zen and the Art of To-do Lists

In the past week, as my life has gone from one extreme to another, I’ve come to a very clear realization:  the less I have to do, the more I feel like I need a to-do list.  This raises two important considerations – firstly, just how this bizarre fact manifests, and secondly, what that means about the very nature of to-do lists.

On this occasion, the best course of action is to start from the middle.

Around the time my accountability partner and I decided to start working together, I suggested that the best way to measure our outputs would be to use to-do lists.  My thinking was that it would help us to identify specifically what needed doing in the week, picking out the step-by-step process of getting from point A to the sometimes elusive point B of freelance writing, and, hopefully, identifying what specifically wasn’t getting done each week.  Ideally, we would be able to reflect on what was getting in the way, what wasn’t working, where we were spending too much time, what we were consciously avoiding or where less-important aspects of our lives were interrupting more important tasks that were therefore being neglected to our productivity’s detriment.

Does this sound like a good foundation for creativity?  No.  The answer is no.

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While your heart’s still beating…

This week on elephant journal I’m shouting out to an artist I stupidly only just heard about, Candy Chang.

Hop on over and read the article I’ve written about her extraordinary project, Before I Die, that’s somehow made its way around the globe a few times before catching my attention.

(I really can be daft sometimes, can’t I?)

And do let me know your thoughts!

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London Musings Vol. III: On not mixing well.

You know that saying about oil and water?  It’s true.  Put them in a covered jar and shake.  The oil will separate.  It will find itself again.  It will not get lost in the water.  It will not drown.  It will rise up.

Allow me to ramble a bit.

I needed a bathing suit.

Firstly, I realize this is weird – it’s not April, it’s September.  But I’ve decided to give up jogging for the winter and start swimming because Le Puy has this beautiful new public swimming pool and because I have a terrible phobia of running once the ground’s gone icy owing to that injury I wrote about in my last post.  Still with me?  Good.

So I needed a bathing suit.  The problem of course, is that it’s late September in London and finding a bathing suit swimming costume is not an easy endeavor by any stretch of the imagination.  Off to Oxford Circus I went.

For anyone unfamiliar with London Town, let me explain:  Oxford Circus is the shopoholic’s equivalent of a highway underpass.  That is to say, it’s where they go to get high.  There are approximately one million shops along this street, from Bangladeshi sari shops to High Street chain stores to haute couture.  One can buy Swarovski crystals or sweatshop-produced luggage or perfume or a cheap dress or a very expensive one, indeed.  It is also home to a very large Marks & Spencers, from whence I sought to find a suit – which I did.

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