Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Scene from my Office: Writing Prompt

I am in my office space/former bedroom that houses and has housed Community Renaissance, Do Happy Today, BuildUp^ Tucson and Beyond, and my (newly let go of) volunteer projects—TENWEST, Tucson Valley of the Moon, and TEDx Tucson.  I am looking out the only window which faces west and from it I can see doves swinging in the bird feeder.  I only have the tan shades up ½ way in the morning and pull them down a bit further when the afternoon sun comes in and makes the space a bit too warm for my liking. The room is white with the window edges painted yellow.

On my desk, besides the laptop and its accoutrements, I have old discs that I don’t use, some trinkets, various colored and sized post-its, pencils, pens, day planner, a photo of Aron, me and Jim Laue’s dog, Spicer, in northern Virgin, circa mid 1980s, Aron’s high school grad photo, circa 2000, and his Hacienda Chef serving brunch photo, probably around 2015. I have an Italian marble tile I “borrowed” from Lowe’s to hold my glass of fruited water. Also on my desk, is a vintage wooden drawer (similar to the old library cards drawers), with a porcelain knob and it holds a collage block plus electronic cords.  I have a stack of work papers on my left and right, three file cabinets with work files (and holding boxes on top with current mail, business cards, a candle that I don’t burn), seven standing files, two of which are for my writing magazines, three for current financial and health program info, and a portable table with art supplies I don’t use often enough.  I have a few hats and an antique wooden tall drawer that holds a few vintage books. I have wooden stool with dried flowers in a glass vase, a photo of our beloved Lia-dog, a framed Cezanne still life print, and red metal basket with lotion, lavender spray and personal business cards.

On my walls are art works: prints of Paris and Italy and one of Norman Rockwell’s famous LIFE magazine covers “Gossip”, watercolors, embroidered hanging, wooden wreath of hearts, NY Times Arts Section art work of Modigliani, Mary Cassatt, Van Gogh and Renoir. On the rug, I have two wicker baskets with notebooks and greeting cards, most of them from Trader Joe’s.  I have a large Ikea table with in/out files (writing works in progress) and two stacks of orange Container Store boxes (plus one flat box) full of office supplies and Do Happy Today materials.

Behind me, above the closet, is a shelf with a 1980s drawing of me, from the Kettering Foundation, a Navajo sand painting, and small bowl of faux flowers from my distant-past UA College of Ed. office. In the closet, on the shelf are UA/doctoral program books, a photo of Aron and me, a photo of me lifting my skirt with no smile on my face as a two-year-old, copies of my two self-published books, and a black and white Madonna and Child newspaper photo of the Della Robbia sculpture.  Underneath the shelf are three boxes of Do Happy Today files and materials.  On the other side of the closet (usually hidden by the sliding doors) are a couple of suit jackets belonging to Mark, a few pillows and blankets. 

By the door, I have a vintage dresser, painted yellow and white.  In the drawers are some mementos of my mom’s, dad’s and Aunt Mollie’s, along with quilted pillowcases and covers, and more blankets we rarely use.  In the corner, I have a maple rocking chair that my folks bought for me when I was about twelve and I have rocked Aron in it through many nights when he was a baby and toddler.  It has a pillow leaning against the back and a cushion on the seat, with yet another fleece blanket (purple) hanging on the back of the chair and a yellow crocheted (by me) square, draped over the blanket.  A similar crocheted square, colored turquoise, is on my black office chair with a small satin pillow (from Aunt Margaret) to ease my back position as I sit and write.  A few more pillows are scattered on the floor and an easel holds my storyboard that is mostly empty.  I have a bulletin board with various creative images and a one brightly colored sock from a favorite trip to San Francisco.  Above the door, from a family trip to San Diego, is Aron’s name painted by an Asian artist in Balboa Park and, over the door is Aron’s kush-ball basketball net and ball.  On the door are two drawings from Izy, our temporary grandchild from Aron’s now-ended relationship with Laura C.   On the door knobs (inside and out) hang several fabric bags holding more writing materials and used to carry magazines etc. back and forth to Starbucks, bookstores, and meetings.

It is mid-to-now late morning.  A day in early September, still “late summer” at 105 degrees projected for the afternoon high.  But the sun rises later, sets earlier, the shadows are lengthening and tonight, September 6, is the night of a full moon—that one source calls “The Corn Moon.” I am hitting beyond my new goal of 250 words with a word count tipping to 900, so it’s a good day in Tucson so far (a load of laundry is drying), an epic hurricane is threatening to hit the Florida Keys (hello to Hemingway’s six toed cats and hope you take cover and are safe; also protect those key lime pies, folks), and, no doubt, another day of drama will emerge from the crazy-like-a-rabid-fox Trump White House. 

But, hey, I won’t let this end of a negative:  let me include two black and white photos (thanks to Patsy W) of Notre Dame and our 2002 Paris trip and two more standing orange files with spiritual suggestions and the “legacy project” of Maverick Institute-Community Renaissance, The Walkabout Talkabout Book, out soon on my Community Renaissance website