My mornings are pretty predictable. Not what time I get up, that varies, any time between 5 am and 9 am, depending on lots of things.
What is predictable is that I always go out to our front lawn to retrieve the newspaper in my pajamas. I love it when it is still dark, and the moon is full. The grass always looks like diamonds have been madly strewn about during some magical party that I just missed. Somehow the street lamp and the moonlight combine to make rain drops and dew drops into an impressive spectacle.
I ALWAYS have to walk across the wet lawn to get the paper. The lawn is wet, because humidity/rain/sprinkler timers assure that this will always be the case. In addition, our news carrier refuses to toss the paper onto driveways. He claims the paper would get wet from condensation created by the paper in plastic resting on concrete.
I have no idea what makes him toss the paper dead center in the lawn. Maybe it is his way to get back at us slug-a-beds. We readers have to pay a price for our news, and will have to get our feet wet if we want to get our paper.
I don't immediately read the paper however. Instead I wake up my computer and check in on the world as told one life at a time.
It is simple splendid to read that Heidi has just felt, for the first time, the movement of her first child in her womb. That Erin is holding the fort at a Wikimania conference, which is defining how encyclopedias are managed as an real time resource. Dawn is joining with others to break negative habits via scrapbooking for 21 days. I read about others who are having visiting family, creating gardens, touring towns. Sometimes I read blogs that are political or reactive in nature, an exposition of a common man or woman.
It is very reassuring to know that lives are being lived, day by day, in peace, or even in war zones, by simple people who love life, home, and family.
From time to time I read in the paper news requests for more "Good News". Yet the urgency of war, crime, catastrophe and clamity clamors for front page attention, and thus sells the papers.
If I didn't read The Houston Chronicle, how would I know precisely how many bombs have fallen in the Middle East? Or how many people where murdered last night in my city? Or that bird flu is, or isn't, approaching. Or what the elected representatives are doing to make a difference this legislative session.
Sometimes I pray as I read. I pray for the mothers of the news makers, the mothers who must watch their children's lives be recorded in print, for the good or for the bad. How painful for those mothers to not be given a voice to share the good that they knew of this person whose failures and disgraces is now recorded, or to say yes, I gave years of my life nurturing this person, it has been recompensed well with this report.
I always read the paper. And I always finish with the comics. The Dinette Set being my favorite, with its sly jests at generations facing new technologies and mores. The comics are like coming back up for air after dunking my consciousness into troubled waters of mankind, as reported in black and white.
Around the world I go, reading of the book club meeting in Switzerland, the caning in Middle East, the rabbis and priest on cruise ships, the three and a half year old that made a dress, the way proposed to restore 401Ks for Enron victims. It is a bit like being God, in this time, this time in which the whole world is simply a finger tap away.
I am so very thankful for a means of balancing my interface with the world. I can read blogs for the micro view, and newspaper for macro view. Like focusing a camera, my world vision can move at will between macro and long range, using the natural light of blogs and the intensely flash lit record of black and white journalism.
In the end, I read the blogs and the paper to understand the reality of the times, and to stay real. I need them both. And the comics too.
(Hat pictured is a wired rimmed mushroom brimmed artificial straw braid, with original organdy hat band, and I added the prairie point leaves and another of my grandmother's buttons. The hat clamps to the sides of the head with velvet covered vee shapings extending from the wire circle underlying the short crown. The hat was acquired at a local estate sale about 4 years ago, and is most likely from the late 1940 or early 1950's. I wear it frequently)