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Archive for the ‘silver linings’ Category

Night sky over the Grand Canyon

Mother Nature’s Silver Lining

 here are places in this world where, when looking up at the night sky, you can clearly see portions of the Milky Way, the galaxy we live in. It’s a magnificent sight. But those places get fewer and fewer every year because we humans are fond of lighting up the dark, creating a light pollution that dulls our view of the stars.

 Some cities, including Tucson where I live, have ordinances that limit artificial-light pollution. Supposedly, Tucson’s location in the heart of the Sonora Desert, has the darkest sky of any city its size in the country. And because of this, astronomers come from all over the world to visit nearby Kitt Peak National Observatory, home to some of the best sky observation telescopes in the world.

 I’ve visited the observatory, but only during the daylight hours. The best sky watching I’ve ever experienced came when I was rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, especially in places where the canyon was tall and at its narrowest. As I lay in a sleeping bag on a sandy beach, I could actually see the stars move across the thin strip of visible sky.

 It was magical, a moment in nature that connected me with the whole of the universe. Thinking about those Grand Canyon nights still leaves me awed.

 Sky watching here in Tucson doesn’t compare. But I’ve never seen more spectacular sunsets than the ones that I see most nights from my third-floor balcony here in the city. They, too, are magical, a silver-lining for surviving the daily news.  

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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A storm’s brewing — but the sun will come out tomorrow. — Watercolor by Pat Bean

Trying to Think Positive

          Sometimes stuff – translate shit — happens that might be a blessing in disguise. At least that’s what I would prefer to think about losing a writing folder on my computer.

About a year ago, I started writing a book about my journalism years. I’ve titled the book Between Wars, because it’s how I see my 37-year newspaper career.  My first significant bylined story was an interview with a mom whose son had been killed in Vietnam – we cried together; and one of my last pieces was an editorial urging the president not to take us back into Iraq a second time – he didn’t listen.

          Anyway, I got about 10,000 words into it when I realized what I had written was garbage. OK, maybe not quite garbage, but I’m a writer, and like most writers, I usually feel that what I write is never good enough. But this time I believed I was right – my narrative bored me. So, how in the heck was it going to keep readers turning pages

I finally just put the project away because I couldn’t figure out a way to go forward.  Lately, I’ve been reconsidering tackling the project again. Perhaps you’ve even noticed that I’ve been using my blogs, writing about journalistic events in my life, to stimulate my thinking. And I started a new computer folder to keep track of research and ideas for the book.

          Yesterday, I decided it was time to go back and read what I wrote a year ago, and salvage anything usable. The folder, however, was missing – which had me saying that four letter S word numerous times.

          Had I accidentally deleted that old Between Wars folders when I had done a cleanup of my computer a couple of weeks ago? Maybe. Then I started asking myself if that was actually a bad thing? Or was it a good thing because it meant I truly had to start over?

          After a bit of wailing and hair-pulling, my silver-lining syndrome kicked in and I began thinking positive. But excuse me while I stamp around and rage, and maybe even cry, for at least another hour.  

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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