We had some very good news today -- very hopeful. So I'm feeling a little better than I have in a while. I was going to tell of a near breakdown I think I had between ages 28 and 30 (so 34 years ago!), and kind of coming near cracking up, but holding on, just Instead I'll talk of ten years earlier myself ages 17 to 19 (so nearly 47 to 49 years ago), how I developed a couple of routs that made life more endurable, and began to find myself. The question was, What did I like to do?
Well, one day I betook myself to Manhattan. I lived in Kew Gardens, Queens and loathed it. It was big thing for me to travel even then but I tried it. The museums were my first tries. The Frick was lovely, but too small. I soon exhausted it. So I began to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art - this was before the days of blockbusters, before the days of enormous crowds. I discovered that each Thursday at 11 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art there was a lecture by someone in the museum. It was to whoever showed up at a given place; she took the group round to one or more pictures and discussed them. I went, and enjoyed it.
So I began each Thursday morning (very early gentle reader as it was a more than 2 hour trip) to take a bus to a train, or walk for half an hour to Union Turnpike, and the F -- a long ride in. Then when I got there another walk. I was utterly unself-conscious at the time; didn't think how others would react to me, never thought anyone was aware of me, probably they weren't. Still now I wonder what that woman (it was usually the same one) thought of me. I was anorexic at the time, very thin. I'd ask questions too. But maybe I wasn't noticeable, framed as I was I'd be beneath her radar.
How did I find out about the Thalia. Maybe my father used to go by himself when I was younger, a season ticket. And I discovered I was riveted by these movies. I'd stopped watching TV at age 13, suddenly like that and have not watched any commercial channel or show since. (Well I suppose now that cable is just about all commercial channels I do watch the news, weather, but that's it. PBS I don't watch much either, and have stopped the good movies and arts channels because of the choking with commercials.) So on another day of the week, usually 2 days separated from Thursday, the same long trip to Manhattan and got myself to 96th Street on the West Side. I'd go to the Thalia and watch an art movie. I saw some very great ones that I still vaguely remember.
I did give these up gradually when I began to go to college, Queens College, full-time. Never wholly, but I didn't go every week, just as a treat say in summer or during the winter or spring recesses.
Now at age 64 in the evenings I find peaceful enjoyment by listening to NPR on radio. The people there consistently play the most beautiful music. I can almost rely on them. If I'm well (not too tired) I'll read a book that absorbs me where I can bond with the author or a central character; and if I can manage it, watch a mini-series on DVD from the BBC or good British TV.
My book last night was Southey's Letters from England; the music on NPR romantic era symphonies, concerts, pieces (Chopin was one) and I watched Prime Suspect, Episode 1 (with Helen Mirren). When I've done a few stories, I'll write a blog on PM -- probably on Ellen and Jim have a blog, two; when I've finished this wonderful Southey, I'l write a blog on it -- for Austen Reveries. For now, this: