PHYLLIS ODESSEY

Digital Training Wheels

It started yesterday.  I rid myself of all my CD’s and college-age stereo system.  I replaced this antiquated poundage with the siimple and powerful itouch and docking system.  I knew I was on to something.

Encouraged, I went up to the study and looked at an entire bookshelf of notebooks.  Notebooks filled over 15 years.  Notebooks containing school records, articles from magazines and newspapers, announcements of lectures and courses, and published work.  All protected for the ages in plastic sleeves. Before acting, I sat there for a maybe a minute and remembered how lovingly I had cut each article, organized each book:  creating a mini-library of places to go and things to do.

A minute isn’t a very long time and in no time I took the plunge.  I opened the first notebook and removed each article from its sleeve.  Ann Ravers entire canon from the nineties came spilling out.  I wasn’t sorry to be getting rid of it, but I was sorry to realize that the  Thursday section of The New York Times hardly ever contained an article about gardening and certainly not of the caliber of Ann Raver’s prose.  Next, I went onto the announcements of lectures, workshops and classes.  There was so much going on, it took an entire notebook to catalog it.

After this came the articles from Gourmet
My wish list of places to travel: the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy.
Restuarant after restaurant, meals I imagined eating:  Le 404 for North African food in Paris. 
Hotels to be remembered:  Chateau de Fere in Champagne Country. 
Further education needed: Anna Tasca Lanza’s cooking school, ninety minutes outside Palmero.  
Artisanal food: The best buffalo-milk mozzarella in Italy:  Azienda Agrituristica Seliano. 

Business cards and museum brochures saved, records of classses taken and fees paid, fancy menus, hand-drawn maps, even a tidbit from The New York Times about Rumpelmayer’s, a now defunct palatial ice-cream parlor on Central Park South.

The floor was covered with paper, some yellowed with age, some glossy and a few of exceptional heavy stock.  All this paper was a reference, a guide, a hope chest of ideas and intentions.

I threw all this unwanted “debris” into several paper bags with nostalgia, but not longing and added it to the brush fire pile.  Went back into the house, turned on the ipod and began my paperless journey.  I reached for a pencil to write something down and quickly realized that my digital training wheels were still a little wobbly.

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