Thursday, March 18, 2010

From the Arizona Notebook--Flight, Films, and Rain.... A Tuesday Journal

Before attending to weightier issues, it seems fitting to revisit last week's travels, to keep the spirit of Phoenix alive for a while longer....Especially since the weekend weather report in Chicago calls for (*gulp*) sleet and snow....

--March 6: On the flight to Phoenix I re-read a chapter in a wonderful book by Michael Pollan called "The Botany of Desire", which I received from our good friend in Maine.  The book is an unusual take on the evolution of plants, and how plants may have actually "used" human desire to thrive and multiply: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes, a motley quartet, are analyzed in depth.  The chapter on marijuana and the way it helps one filter out extraneous stimuli, focus on objects and sensations as if for the first time for an intoxicating effect, seemed relevant to my mindset on the anticipation of our trip:

"I will seek to actively 'forget' my stored-up impressions of past visits and take in the Arizona landscape with fresh eyes, and let it inspire me. I can keep work and home responsibilities out of my consciousness, and exist in each moment.  Of course, it is part of the fun to revisit moments and places I enjoyed before.  This time I  will look at them as though for the very first time."

--March 7: Oscar Night, and not a moment too soon because it rained most of the day, so we welcome an exciting indoor activity.  Ironically, on a night ostensibly meant to honor a photograhic medium, Mark and I took no photos today:
"The word for today was rain---rain, and cool air and clouds.  Better than snow and dreary gray: at least here all is green and not so bitter that walking outside is uncomfortable.  In spite of the disappointment of a sunless day, we share optimism and sheer enjoyment of being here and 'living the life' ,  not as tourists, but as we might in a blissful, self-sufficient, life of leisure without a nine-to-five obligation.......Oscar night was entertaining for the most part, and there were some laughs, if few surprises, save for "Precious" and its screenplay, and an "Argentinian film copping the Foreign language statuette..."Hurt Locker" was a surprisingly predictable win, a worthy, "serious" victor....We watched the film the following night, and it improved with the second worked well on the small screen, where the busy camera-work was easier for the eye to follow, and the characters were easier to identify...Jeremy Renner impressed, grabbed my attention.  He has a regular-guy appeal mixed with a mysterious, excitingly dangerous streak...."

Tomorrow:   A few more anecdotes...and a look back.... The fig tree was my Grandfather's prize...and Lucy sat here and greeted the neighbors....


  1. Sounds like an interesting read. Another book to add to my list.

    Jeremy Renner is such a natural, and just as entertaining in interviews and awards shows as he is in the movies. Love him.

  2. What an interesting book! Well too bad the weather was rainy but I'm glad you had a good time anyway! The Oscars was a good show sans the interpretive dancing. LOL! I've yet to see Hurt Locker but will be checking it out this week. Can't wait! Great pics btw.