Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Lyrebird: The Best Songbird Ever!

Monday was a good day. Her Highness and I walked with our friends under brilliant blue sky and then I came home to work much of the day on a brochure for the clinic. I think it’s all done and ready to go. I have my fellow board members proofing it for me.

We went for our second walk early in the afternoon and I’m glad we did because the clouds rolled in, it got dark and there were mighty gusts of wind. I feared the worst. I put flashlights around the house so that no matter what room I was in, there’d be light. Sure enough, they went off around 7:30, came on, went off again, came on…. And I am writing this post before it goes again. Saving after every sentence.

I don’t like windstorms, not only because of the power failures, but the things falling on the roof and the fear of trees coming down around here. My log home is quiet. There are no creaks or cracks; I hear the wind through the windows. I thought I might be using my 5-hour light bulbs.

Last time I did a wordy theatre piece, I memorized my lines going for walks with a tape-recorded reading of my lines playing in my ear. I can’t do that here, so I guess I’m going to be memorizing here, at my desk. Bor-ing. But I’m confident, and learning it now, and doing it once every day, aloud, until May, will burn it into my brain by May.

And funny thing …  there were emails going around between board members provoking discussion in print. I saw exchanges that made me feel more comfortable as a board member. The things that hurt me, in earlier days with the board, felt like snipes to me, and on email I see that it’s cultural. I’m not the only target and somehow that has made me relax and feel more comfortable.

Plus, I’m feeling very solid with Nancy. It’s really easy and wonderful working for her because she treats me with respect, and she gives me clear directions. We’re a perfect team. By refusing to chair the communications committee, Nancy and I operate autonomously from the board. We have a budget and we’re on our own.

Working with Dyan is much harder because that involves approvals from many board members, and the doctors. Because I’m not the chair, I get direction from Dyan. That’s how it was before she became president. If we get someone to chair the committee, I’ll report to that person. That makes me a board member with no obligation to speak. That’s what I want.

I love rooting around the Internet, and on Sunday I came upon news of a planet-wide collaboration between the global community of astronomical scientists who have released an image of the Milky Way that contains 3.32 billion individually identifiable objects (mostly stars).

“Gathering the data required to cover this much of the night sky was a Herculean task; the DECaPS2 survey identified 3.32 billion objects from over 21,400 individual exposures. Its two-year run, which involved about 260 hours of observations, produced more than 10 terabytes of data.

Most of the stars and dust in the Milky Way are located in its spiral disk — the bright band stretching across this image. While this profusion of stars and dust makes for beautiful images, it also makes the galactic plane challenging to observe. The dark tendrils of dust seen threading through this image absorb starlight and blot out fainter stars entirely, and the light from diffuse nebulae interferes with any attempts to measure the brightness of individual objects. Another challenge arises from the sheer number of stars, which can overlap in the image and make it difficult to disentangle individual stars from their neighbors.”

If this interests you, you will love checking out the largest size of the image published on the web as well as a tiny portion of the full image that shows just how much detail there is. A zoomable interface for the entire image is here.

Today it starts. Today I begin memorizing my speech, and I’m very optimistic about my ability to get it down pat because I already know two parts of it, just from working on the writing. I’ve got 1,650 words to memorize. I may be deluded, but I’m confident. I’m looking forward to memorizing. It’s something practical and ethereal.

Almost every single person who has seen my dresses asks me if I’ve shown them. They stand, looking rather worse for wear, in m unheated studio, in testament to my preference for the process of artmaking. 

In the theatre, when I was to say something, I am on stage where it is, to me, safe. I love the theatre, and I love being onstage as me, not in character. Not because I think I’m great, but for the experience of being the artists I admire most. Once, I even went to a series of auditions. I wanted to know everything about the theatre. Nothing excites me more than a good show. Nothing.

The worst part of doing live shows is afterwards. What I want to do, is stay backstage and read until everyone was gone. And then go home. But friends come, and I have to go into the lobby and being the focus of interest where people are free-range, with alcohol, and chatter, kills me inside. I cannot sustain crowds. That’s why I’m arranging for friends (bodyguards) to be there for me after each show. Showing my dresses would create exactly the kind of event that I could not endure.

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