Blogging Gives Me Sustenance: Sustenance Defined: Busy With Mundane Matters: Mundane Defined; Tax Time Brings Double Trouble; Arrows in a Quiver is Found in Psalms; Dentist Appointment Looms; Ink Cartridge Purchase Planned; Decisive Moment, a Letter to the Editor; Photographs of a Sunset, Alexis and a Beautiful Young Woman 

These are incredibly busy times – so busy that I am not blogging everyday. Blogging was an activity that gave me sustenance over the years, so its absence is giving me pause. 

In usual form, I am going forth to define words and phrases, finding that, seemingly by chance, I have stumbled upon the perfect  word. Sustenance has two meanings: this one is applicable: the maintaining of someone or something in life or existence. But in order to, understand my meaning, synonyms of both definitions must be used: nourishment, daily bread, means of keeping body and soul together. 

However some synonyms are totally inapplicable means of support, livelihood source of income. I make no money from the blog, in fact it costs me money – paying for the website and paying for someone to provide technical assistance. But it has been worth it: as it has literally provided a means of keeping body and soul together. This was true particularly during trying times: the days of lockdown during the pandemic, the Marin County discrimination days, the alienating and awful UAE days, 

During my very recent Canadian days I find my nourishment, my fare my providence from other sources – some of which I will speak about in today’s blog. 

But the are busy days in more mundane ways. Oops here we go again. Mundane the perfect word, best described through the use of its synonyms: dull, boring, tedious, monotonous, tiresome, wearisome, prosaic, unexciting, uninteresting, unvaried, unremarkable, repetitive, repetitious, quotidian, run-of-the-mill, commonplace, pedestrian, customary, reunimaginative, banal, hackneyed, trite, stale, platitudinous. 

Here are some examples of prosaic, repetitious wearisome worries.  It is tax time, lucky me gets to file both USA taxes and Canadian taxes. USA due on April 15,2023 and Canadian taxes due on April 30,2023. I must gather not only one 1099 but several. And believe me, they are almost impossible to obtain from a distance and with the painfully slow Canadian postal system. Progress is being made, however. I am blessed in that I have two amazing CPAs to help me. One USA woman who has been devotedly helping me for years and a Canadian acquisition. I have an appointment with my Canadian acquisition on Monday. 

Not only that, but I received a notice of tax lien from the California Franchise Tax Board for the year 2017, and there seemed no way to respond. Tried the telephone contact but the woman was not helpful. All I got for that protracted call was a second notice of tax lien. Then I noticed a fax number. I wrote a lengthly letter explaining that I did not live in California in 2017 and could prove it, if they would only tell me where to send the documentation. I have received no response whatsoever – even through my powerful letter was both faxed and sent registered mail. I had been forced to go through all of my records to find 2017 apartment leases etc. etc. etc. Subsequently learned that I have nothing to lien upon – no longer own property in California. The State can sic a collection agency on me but a lousy credit rating in the USA is no threat to me, whatsoever.

(Here we go again, definitions raise their ugly heads yet again: (sic someone on) informal set someone to pursue, keep watch on, or accompany (another). A collection agency might pursue me but they are not going to get anywhere with me because they have no arrows in their quiver. 

The meaning of that phrase: An arrow in the quiver is a strategy or option that could be used to achieve your objective. There is an interesting quote using the concept in a powerful way. Children are arrows in a quiver and they are trained as missionaries and shot at the devil. A variation of this quote is attributed to Khalil Gibran. Sometimes spelled Kahlil; (1883-1931) was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, visual artist and Lebanese nationalist; Gibran was born in the town of Bsharri in the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, Ottoman Empire, to Khalil Gibran and Kamila Gibrant. “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127: 4-5. 

But back to the mendacity of my life. I have an appointment with my dentist for teeth cleaning tomorrow. The appointment was rescheduled from two weeks ago. I was suffering, pain from my broken right hand and the fear of potential surgery. I could not bear the thought of more pain, the receptionist was so understanding and helpful. 

Me: I am so sorry to cancel at the last minute but I cannot bear the thought of more pain at the present. 

She: I understand! Call us and reschedule when you have recovered from your surgery. 

Faithful readers will know recall that surgery was not necessary. My colorful splint will effect the necessary healing. My colorful splint with matching purple sparkly nail polish- my unseen toes are bright pink. I take very good care of myself – so called to reschedule. If only this dentist had the means to deliver nitrous oxide I would be looking forward to this appointment. But, alas and alack, she does not. My California dentist did. My Instagram has reels of me breathing in the fumes. The story of my dental misadventures can be found by using the search engine and typing: Mind the Gap. The story was serialized in the blog – and is hilarious, if I do say so myself. 

Then there is this. I am trying to print the draft of my Uncle Dave book. First a paper jam that LOL solved during his visit on Monday but then the black ink cartridge ran out of steam. 

Me: But we just replaced it. What is going wrong??? 

LOL: But Alexis, you printed seventy pages of the book already. 

Me: Okay, okay. Okay. I will go and buy more cartridges at Staples when I have a chance. 

So that shall be done on Friday. First will go to Allin Clinic for my prescription refill and to see if I need to schedule and appointment for my booster shot and second Shingles vaccination. Both will be completed after Ramadan and before my possible return trip to Saudi Arabia. 

Then to nearby Unity Square to the Staples Store for cartridges and other supplies. They have a new magic device that instantly prints photos from your phone. I will definitely try that one out. Then to London Drug for help with my telescope and some other thing that is supposed to help me take pictures. 

As you can see I am busy with mundane matters. So are you, most probably.

I spend many hours reading the Quran, reading books and on line articles and listening to podcasts that increase my knowledge of the Islamic Faith. Occasionally I turn to the New Yorker for information and knowledge as well. A proven source of inspiration is often Letters to the Editor. This letter, written by Lee Klein was moving – she speaks of an eerie coincidence  and the power of photography. My life of late is filled with eerie coincidences which may be why I found this most moving. I  quote Decisive Moment in its entirety. 

“A few weeks ago my mother informed me that there seemed to be a picture of Dad in the New Yorker, among a selection of Henr-Carter-Bresson’s lost New Jersey photographs (“Why New Jersey?, February 13th and 20th). I quickly confirmed that a dark-haired man with his pants jacked u to his navel was indeed my father, Michael Klein, who worked at Squibb (and then Bristol Myers Squibb) for thirty years as a financial analyst. My father is now eighty-one, living in a memory-care facility near Princeton, in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Days before my mother alerted me about the photograph, he fell, hit his head and was moved to hospice care. The timing of the photography’s appearance is not only an eerie coincidence it also makes the image an obituary of sorts, showing my father in his early prime, at the age of thirty-three.

My father, who had no artistic ambitions whatsoever, made no attempt to create anything that would out outlive him: he played tennis, liked to read traveled when he could, and generally lived a quiet and peaceful life. So, right as he begins to make his transition to the spirit world, it’s heartening and enlivening—joyful, even—to discover that he was immortalized by Carier-Bresson long ago. “ 

Shall now look through past editions to see If I can find the photograph and bring it to you. If not, you shall see only my photography. One a sunset with a fascinating cloud formation. The other a photograph of a beautiful young woman and myself. I did not take the photograph, but this is what I said, and what she said when she sent the image. 

Me: Great photo. I love how opposite we look and how we clearly enjoy each other. 

She: Likewise it was a great day.

Me: I talked about it on my blog.