Saturday, May 12, 2007

a good listen

It is a modern tragedy that despair has so many spokesmen and hope so few.
-Oscar Hammerstein II, writer & musical producer 1895-1960

I love car trips. this is a difficult thing to proclaim, because I try to not only 'talk the talk' but 'walk the walk' when it comes to environmental issues. however, loving car trips and reducing personal car use aren't mutually exclusive and I can admit to both. in fact, I recently celebrated my one year anniversary of being personally car-free. when my much loved volkswagon jetta died last year (just shy of turning over 200,000 miles on the odometer!) I faced a decision. instead of replacing it with another car, I decided that the best thing I could do for the environment was to see if I could get by without one. not having a car doesn't mean I don't have access to cars - my husband has one and my daughter who lives very close by also has a car. so I haven't given up driving and if I really, really need to use a car I have easy access to one. I probably average driving two or three days a month. but I love not having a car, and this is said by me, a person who actually is quite fond of driving and has fantasized about cars since before I actually learned how to drive (after all, I am a product of america and detroit!). riding public transport and walking sometimes takes longer to get from point 'a' to point 'b' - but the benefits, intended and unintended, are numerous (that's another story and maybe one day I will discuss them). all this verbiage about being car-free is actually a tangent - I obviously triggered some personal cognitive dissonance by proclaiming that "I love car trips!"

the whole point of today's post was to say I love car trips because when my husband and I take one it gives us an opportunity to listen and discuss audiobooks together. during our recent car trip to dc, one of the books we listened to was This I Believe. in february I mentioned the npr segments in a post, my friend cindy added a comment where she stated that she was currently listening to the audiobook. after reading cindy's comment I immediately went to the cleveland public library website and placed a hold on the book. finally a couple days before our trip to DC , the book came in (yes, there was quite a wait! but when it did come in the timing was perfect!) the essays in this book include contributions from the original series in the 1950s, when edward r. murrow was the host, and contributions from the current npr broadcasts. there is something incredible and almost transcendent listening to the voices of so many people - and know many of these folks are no longer alive but their words and thoughts live on and we can still hear them share thoughts about 'the meaning of life' in their own voices. the collection is an eclectic mix of both the famous and the unknown - but regardless of the person's station in life all of the essays are stimulating - at times provocative and at times inspiring. by the way, as you might have guessed, the quote which started this post is from the wonderful essay by oscar hammerstein II. if you ever wondered what jackie robinson, helen keller, isabel allende, joy harjo, bill gates, or martha graham believe in or sound like check this audiobook out! best put it on hold today - it might take a while to come in!

1 comment:

dinahmow said...

Hello! I see Jenclair has tagged you, following my hit on her.I shouldn't worry that you think you have a small readership! I thought I did,too, but the ripples do indeed spread wide.
I like the sound of the book of essays;I'll ask my library.
Car-guilt...oh!yes. But I reason that we only have one and I try to keep the use to a reasonable limit.