Letter From New York 01 16 15 From the safety of the cottage…

The sun has nearly set here in Claverack. The western sky is tinged with pink, which gives me hope for good weather tomorrow. It has been brutally cold here though not the kind of cold that has gripped the Midwest. I do my best to remember that when I am bitching about the cold. It is not as bad as the winters I spent growing up in Minnesota.

But cold enough that my cold water faucet in the kitchen seized up and refused to flow. All day I have been nursing it back to life with success finally coming around one this afternoon as I was settling down for a conference call. All day today the deer have been crossing in front of the window of my desk where I work. Going one way or another, they have crossed five or six times during the course of the day.

I was supposed to be in the city today but it seemed all my appointments had moved to next week. Except for the one I missed so I had to email a contrite apology because by the time I realized what I had done, no train could get me to the city in time for my appointment. I felt terrible.

While I have been sitting at my desk, the world has gone on its swirling ways. Reading the New York Times this morning with my morning coffee, I found myself falling into the stories of the day while feeling insulated from them by my presence at the cottage, far from the madding crowd.

The devastation caused by the most recent Boko Haram attacks is beginning to be known. Satellite photographs show whole villages wiped out and the enormity of that has been hidden by the attention paid to the Charlie Hebdo massacre. A young Muslim who was working in the kosher supermarket in Paris saved a number of hostages by putting them in the freezer and then making his own escape to tell the police what he knew. He will be rewarded with French citizenship.

There was a fascinating article I read online about the percentage of attacks that are actually made by Muslims against the number of terror acts committed over the course of a year. The author thought that Muslims were getting short shrift in the press, being blamed for more than their fair share of trouble. Perhaps they are getting the headlines while mainstream news ignores other terrorist acts.

During the afternoon, as I was doing emails and some research, the Belgians broke up a terrorist plot in Verviers, a town in the eastern part of Belgium. It is believed they were receiving their instructions from ISIS. Two people were killed in the raid and a third was taken into custody.

This is the drumbeat of our world. We have Islamists and separatists and God alone knows whom else wanting to create terror to achieve political goals. It probably has always been so but we now live in the interconnected age and so hear about everything, everywhere.

Sunnis and Shiites are massacring each other over a dispute that happened a thousand years ago. Can’t we get over it? I guess not. At least not yet.

So dark descends in Claverack. I will watch some of the Amazon Prime pilots that are premiering today. “Point of Honor,” a Civil War story caught my attention earlier today. As a member of the Producer’s Guild, I have been mailed a number of DVDs of current films and may watch “Into the Woods” tonight too.

I am settling down, into the coziness of the cottage, distancing myself from the drumbeat of chaos that is just beyond me, taking comfort in the deer that crisscross my property and in the geese that are inhabiting the creek outside my living room window. There is little I can do to alter the world outside. There is much I can do to make my world comfortable.

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