Sunday, August 7, 2016

Nature and shopping

Yesterday I "spent" most of the day window shopping, online, alone. I'm not going to say that I'm holier than thou because today I walked through a park and noticed motionless turtles on a log. I'm not going to say that window shopping is "bad" because, frankly, browsing books that I could not afford to buy did honor my love of antiquariana, if that's a word.

Thankfully, I don't have to choose between spending time online googling out of print bibliographies and walking through the park, because I'm not sure I could choose between them. I'd like to think that I'd choose nature, but I don't want to dishonor my appreciation of century old ephemera, either.

What I do regret is the fact that I spent almost the whole day online. Okay, I only sort of regret it.

As Jennifer Michael Hecht said in a recent talk, we force ourselves out of the house.
This morning I was tempted to stay home, but I forced myself out.

I'm glad I did today. I'm glad I saw people, I'm glad I walked through the park.
Window shopping was wonderful in one way, but how do you compare the "wow" of an old human made object --however interesting or beautiful--- to the wonder of seeing a turtle decide to sun itself, or decide to go back into the water?

In the park I walked on grass ---not concrete, not indoor carpet or wood, but grass---- and it reminded me of when I was a little girl. How many cryptology bibliographies is THAT worth? Yesterday I discovered that an 1864 Davenport Brothers broadside is available cheaply in reprint. How does that excitement, of yesterday, compare to making an acquaintance laugh, in person, which I did today? A century old trade card to a watching a real live bird, in the park, hopping right nearby?

I'm not saying I won't eat pumpkin pie, I'm saying that vegetables can taste good too. Movies AND books, time with people and solitary time. Even classic black and white movies had gray, too.

And, yes, Nature _and_ Shopping.

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