Monday, December 9, 2013

Evanston: interviewed; the Higgs boson and preparing for a voyage; Gordon Lightfoot and me

        Several days ago Kevin—not my friend in San Diego, but Kevin from across the local lake—emailed, asking if he could interview me for his website, SailFarLiveFree.  I agreed and the result has just been posted.  
        I find it interesting, and sometimes surprising, to see what interviewers choose to emphasize.  Kevin has done a better job than most, if not all, of the professional journalists who have interviewed me over the years, and I thank him for giving me the opportunity to rethink some things.
        While regular readers of this journal can predict many of my responses to Kevin’s questions, they may be expressed in new ways, and some of what I said is new, including the three questions I expect the GANNET voyage to answer. 
        I do, by the way, agree entirely with Kevin’s selection of five budget cruisers linked to one of the questions.

        Yesterday afternoon I prepared for the upcoming voyage by opening a good bottle of red wine earlier than usual, which Carol and I sipped while watching snow flakes cover the city with a thin white veil, and reading.  Later in the afternoon I turned on the television and watched a football game.
        I had planned today to write about this as preparation for the voyage, because it was.  Too little thought is given simply to being quiet, not lying fallow exactly, but not actively trying to do anything in particular or solve problems.  
        Then this morning I came across reference to an interview in which Peter Higgs, who has just won the Nobel Prize for Physics, said of current academic culture, “It’s difficult to imagine how I would ever have enough peace and quiet in the present sort of climate to do what I did in 1964.”


        I saw a feature on the Canadian balladeer, Gordon Lightfoot, who is a few years older than I.
        I like his music.  One of his songs, “If You Could Read My Mind,” which he wrote about the breakup of his first marriage, came out as one of my relationships was ending long ago.  
        Many of his songs are lasting.
        It has been said that he has made the EDMUND FITZGERALD the second most famous shipwreck after the TITANIC.  And his “Canadian Railroad Trilogy” is often called the unofficial Canadian National Anthem.
        He is still performing.  Surely not for the money.  Perhaps because of the enjoyment of being before live audiences.  Perhaps just because he can.
        But as I wrote elsewhere, I wouldn’t want to be an old rock star endlessly singing the hits of his youth.

        GANNET, for me, is something new.