Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Overheard at Barnes and Noble

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

The first thing I noticed at my local Barnes and Noble on Friday evening was the large booth advertising the BN digital book. As I made my way around the display–truly it almost blocked the way to the escalators that lead to the fiction section–I had the recurring conversation in my head as the to future of the book. Will there be stores stocked with such an abundance of books of all kinds in ten years or even five years?

Once downstairs and leafing through a table of the current crop of fiction, I heard a young woman, 20-something, remark to her friend, “When I’m old and tired, I’m going to come and buy a book to read, every other day.”

I loved that she loves to read.  And, I heard her joy of the experience of simply being around all these printed books. If the digital book does become the future standard of reading, I hope libraries and bookstores survive for readers to jostle together, simply reveling in books.

A Moment in Time

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

I’m fascinated by the clues found in historical records. Sure, the outcome is often known, but the details can change the modern reader’s perspective. I love to imagine a moment in the past, when in command of some facts and moved by imagination, I recreate a moment to better understand its significance.

A picture on a calendar from 1929 gave me such a moment.  It’s a beautifully mounted photograph of a sunny child with two German Shepards.

The 1920’s were kind to small farm towns in the Midwest. The post-world war years were times of plentiful rains and good crops. Irene, South Dakota had a lively main street and thriving businesses, including Johnson Bros. & Iverson General Merchandise. Down the street, my grandfather operated C.H. Gunderson & Son, the son being my dad who was born in 1923. Grandfather sold tractors and cattle.

We know that in late October of 1929, a different era began. Within a few years, the rains stopped, the dust blew, and prosperity was a memory.

The current financial crisis has often reminded me of the stories I’ve read and heard from my parents about their childhood years in a lean time. This image from the calendar is both optimistic and bittersweet. It reminds me of the waves and rolls of time: what we keep, what we must relinquish, and what is sometimes gone against our wishes.

Spirals: Design for Living

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

About a year ago, I designed a new logo for my plan to write about aging gracefully.  In the meantime, I found that I had very little to say about that topic, not experiencing much grace with the aging in my life or with those around me. I did love my logo though, a spiral, pink and gold, suggesting a seashell, a snail, a labyrinth.

Sprial Inspiration -- MaryGunderson.com

Over the last year, I’ve come back to this image, mesmerized. The spiral is one of nature’s genius designs. I’ve found there’s a discipline that celebrates the spiral.  It’s called biomimicry and it’s for innovators and problems solvers. We’re all problem solvers even if the label innovator doesn’t seem to fit. The theory is this: systems in nature reveal form and process for solving problems: a challenge presents itself. Trial and error bring about a solution that must be evaluated on its merits.  That may create a whole other set of challenges and the process repeats, without end.

I’m learning more about biomimicry (there’s a terrific reading list here). I want to find out where this spiral can take me.

Hello and Welcome

Friday, December 4th, 2009

This brand new website is born today, December 4, 2009.  I’m Mary Gunderson, writer, editor, and speaker about food, health, and wellness. I’m exploring how we age with grace, which means living each day creatively and fully.  Few people, if any, can expect to live without any limitations or illnesses. How can we best take care of ourselves and others and be well, no matter what.