Novelty In What We Know Already, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:58am

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On a scale of love for novelty, 1-5, I’d put myself at a 4, even though I’ve lived in the same house for 35 years. This long stay has been one of circumstance, but in 1982 nobody went to India by themselves for more of the same, and the trip was a choice.

However, when we’re young, novelty requires the actual new. Good thing about our 60s is we can do things we’ve done before and they can feel new.

Sometimes because 15 years have passed.

I spent last week with my daughter skiing in Park City, Utah. To be precise, she skied and I slid down hills telling myself, “Go me! I can do this! I’m having so much fun!” Mostly I meant it. I took my cue from this little snowboarder. A recent article on CNN Traveler suggesting singing.

I was never very good at the sport, even young and oblivious to frailty, but I always loved it and in recent years had begun to wonder if I’d taken my last run 15 years ago, oblivious to my future. I wanted to at least say goodbye to the smell of snow.

My daughter and I had the most amazing time. It was both new, and with any luck, repeatable.

Sometimes the old becomes new again because what we did has insisted on degrading. That might sound sad, but on the other hand, where we repair we find novelty. See where I’m going?

New website! Hurrah! Enough of the old design to feel right, new underpinnings to keep us from technology avalanches.

Same old blog posts to be sure. The only content you might not have have seen before is the amalgamation of my writings that have been published elsewhere around the Internet, and a very brief description of the two novels I’ve drafted. Click on Other Writings in the navigation bar if you’re curious. But comments will work now; the mobile interface will work now; categories will gradually become more sensible. I plan to rededicate myself to posting well. This will mean I may not write the Saturday posts all in one morning anymore. Editing photos takes time!

I might be reaching, imputing the concept of novelty to such not-the-same experiences. But isn’t that the point, also? Reaching for these connections? Situational novelty might deliver us risky situations, but we are less apt to feel foolish in those, if we are me, than when attempting new ideas. Going for the novel (the pun given my attempts at fiction is annoying but inevitable) while sitting on the same sofa , or picking up a sport of youth and trying again, offers more opportunity for embarrassment than using the wrong word for butter in Paris. If we are me. We all know that High WASPs dread being seen to try and and seen to fail more than almost anything.

Take that, cultural shibboleth! I cannot thank you all enough for giving me this venue to deconstruct and redecorate my relationship to WASP mores and aesthetic. I owe you.

Sometimes novelty is plain ol’ rain. Here’s a new look at my fringe bush. Usually quite somber in this season but we’ve had so much precipitation this winter it’s as pink as though I bought it at Target in the girls’ toy section.

Sometimes a pansy escapes a patio pot to find a new place in a bed dedicated to wild plants. You go, girl.

One more possibility for newness. Sometimes we can have forgotten something ever happened. Like my mother, in her Alzheimer’s, who was at first sad to find out I was her daughter, then happy to know that since I wasn’t a baby she didn’t have to change my diapers. Man, it’s the perspective, isn’t it.

As Nina Simone said, “It’s a new dawn, a new day…and I’m feeling good.” Badomp, badomp, the horns concur.

Have a wonderful weekend. And Frances, I hope you got some sleep.

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