Today is January 6 of the New Year, 2006. To date, this year, I have:
1. Thrown my first press conference. I am alive to tell the tale. I remember a conversation once with my mother. We were watching Barbara Walters on early morning television. "How horrible it would be to have her job," I said. "To have that pressure every day, of speaking in front of people, moving around so visibly in the world." My mother was shocked. "Why wouldn't you love it!" she said. Mom was an extrovert, as I am an introvert. She flew airplanes in WWII, and could have been Barbara Walters if she had had the chance to go the college. She always thought the six of us, her children, would grow up to be important leaders of our community, because we were so smart and so idealistic, and because we got to go to college like she did not. Towards the end of her life she said to me, "I finally realized why you kids didn't make something of yourselves in the world. You just didn't want to."
Mother, I think I get it now. Nobody intimidated you. You realized the world is just made up of people like me and like you, no matter how rich or famous or powerful they are. We're all in this together. And none of us gets out of here alive.
2. Finished a later Daphne du Maurier novel called The House on the Strand. A time travel novel, a historical novel, a true science fiction novel -- fascinating. I may read more of her. I sold a three-novels-in-one-volume of hers at Philcon, in a delightful sale where the buyer had obviously stumbled over a treasure in an unexpected place. "I never thought I'd see a Daphne du Maurier at a Philcon dealer table," he said as he picked the book up with pleasure. It is for moments like those that one sells books.
3. Played host to Mr. Kye Yung-Su, the delightful Vice-President of a leading biomedical company in South Korea, Histostem. They do marvelous work in umbilical cord blood stem cells, including helping paralyzed Virginian Michelle Farrar move her feet again for the first time since her accident two years ago. Mr. Kye knew his subject and spoke knowledgeably about their success with stem cell therapies, without the arrogance and hype of American stem cell lobbyists I know.
4. Made it halfway through Peggy Noonan's book "John Paul the Great", which is a revelation about a man I already loved for his intellect and holiness. One story I had not heard. St. Faustina Kowalski, a Pole herself, in one of her conversations with Christ was told of the coming of a Slavic pope who would be a "beacon of light preparing the way for my second coming" (from memory, may not be exact.)
5. Drank a ton of water, a ton of tea, and buttery amounts of plum wine and champagne. Oddly enough I have had a total of one soda this year. I stopped drinking it in September for health reasons, to drink more water. Now it kind of repulses me. I drink the water with lemon or lime added in healthy amounts. Makes for a refreshing drink, more sustainable day after day than plain water. Lots of anti-oxidants in the citrus as an added bonus.
6. Met in person someone I've had a fair amount of email communication with. This of course happens all the time at a distance over the Internet, but this gentleman, Alan Muller of Green Delaware, is local. Alan is challenging and reminds me of my brother Mark. A person to whom truth is well, truly important. I have, I believe, met two men of integrity already in 2006. That warms my heart and gives me hope.
It's been a busy year. So far.