i bought yesterday’s New York Times. I started with the front page, typical, I suppose, for the newspaper reader. Now generally, when I read the newspaper, ANY newspaper, I scan the headlines, read a line or two, and determine whether or not I will continue to finish the article. Not so with The New York Times! Here we go:
In yesterday’s Times, each article on the front page was genius! I read not only word for word, but then had to choose which article to continue with first. I did read them all, from removing symbols of the Confederacy to the front page obituary of Don Featherstone, creator of Phoenicopterus rubber plasticus (aka the pink flamingo that has decorated lawns across the United States for nearly 6 decades).
Reading the full obituary led me to B10, the rest of the obituaries. The New York Times writers have an incredible way of reporting on the lives of these people, they make me want to read more. Frances Kroll Ring, secretary to F. Scott Fitzgerald died, also Dick Van Patten. And many more, names in smaller memorials, all noteworthy in their world, and now introduced to mine. Reading the obituaries, while it gives me fullness and delight to read of these lives, serves a pill which is almost bittersweet, reminding me that I, too, will die (yes, I have written my own obituary, who know me better than me, after all. Except well, the date of my departure and whether or not I “died peacefully” or “she put up a fight” or “her grandmother came to bring her home” (and that one only I will know). It makes me sad, in a way, yet it also has a bipolar complex in that it stirs excitement towards the future beyond. Depending on my mood is the stance I take, each moment it’s own (Ahh! Another life in the moment moment).
Scurrying, as it were, to enjoy my reading the Times today (yes, one day later), I found a routine appearing. When opening, no matter what section or article I am continuing, I read the page on the right first. Now, go figure that one! Why? Must be some behavioral clue and the psychology major will know that answer, as well as the market researchers. And I start at the middle each and every time.
On behalf of Ruth Stratton, and to her memory I dedicate this blog post today. Thank you for handing me the obituaries that first day at Old Orchard Beach, Maine. I bet you did that on purpose! Love you, woman!
And one more thing, there’s nothing like reading it with your hands, physically opening the paper, scattering it all alongside, proof that there is life in paper and ink. My focus is better than online, too.