mad in pursuit journal


Viola Returns

I am trying to turn the heat up on my Ebay store while at the same time flailing around for a new creative project. I want to do a "quickie" radio piece to keep myself alive at :Vocalo. I want to get another video up on YouTube. I go through my index cards... little rushes of enthusiasm... then I lose traction. I fall asleep reading my book on American Metaphysics -- things that go bump in the night.

For whatever reason, I shifted my focus to Viola. A short radio piece? A little video?

Viola is one of the "lost people" whose wisp of a spirit persists among the stacks of old postcards tucked away into notebooks on a shelf in our bedroom.

The facts about Viola are here: Viola Schaefer. She was an unmarried school teacher who, in 1935, at the age of 48, took a trip around the world. She wrote cheerful postcards to her family. Nothing bad happened. She lived till she was 95. Then -- poof -- her stuff was dispersed to the four winds.

I played with Google Maps yesterday to show what we know of Viola's itinerary. (It's cool -- you can zoom around right on my web page -- too bad they can't show the planet exactly as it was in 1935.)

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There is nothing sad about Viola. She was no doubt a Great Dame. But history doesn't get written about ordinary people who simply live their lives. There are no grand melodramas, no ironic twists, no gasps of insights. You're a sensible gal who remembers to pack your umbrella... and then you're gone.


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