This piece of art is small and simple. The nazar is a talisman that is supposed to ward one from the evil eye curse, the recipient of which suffers misfortune or injury. It was a common sight on our 2010 trip to Turkey.
Toby had just completed a research trip to Moscow for his dissertation, and I flew over and met him at the hotel he’d booked. Another souvenir from this trip is the red and gold rug in our dining room.
I’m not actually sure where we purchased it – in Istanbul, or in the Cappadocia region where we saw the fairy chimneys and took a hot air balloon ride, but this little splash of color brings back memories of it all. From staying in a hotel carved in a mountain, to the Hagia Sophia, from the Blue Mosque to the Grand Bazaar.
It was a great trip, and one that we unfortunately cannot repeat any time soon, the state of the world being what it is. Hopefully the nazar we hung by our door will help protect our home, at least a little bit.
So, my depression has found new ways to be insidious. Since my last medication adjustment in December, I’ve found I feel happier, laugh more, and have fewer “down” days. I also have more desire to do things.
This can be as simple as taking a shower or getting food, or it can be larger, like replying to emails or finishing a paper. I have the tools I need for all of these, I usually even have a plan.
But then, so does my depression. I set my mind to do something, and then…I don’t. I know what I want or need to do, I have my first step, and then…
…my mind is a war with itself. I want to do the thing, I really do, but my depression tells me that it is impossible to do the thing, and my body follows the cue from the depression. And the thing, no matter how simple, how necessary, is impossible.
The really sneaky part is that it doesn’t feel like depression. I’m usually still in a good mood, but I simply can’t do the things I want. And then I start in on myself for being lazy, for being immature, for being irresponsible. And I start to feel worse about myself.
And that is how the depression wins the round. Transforming me from a good-mood with a can-do attitude, to berating myself for NOT doing.
And it sucks. The really awful part is that, sometimes, even though I recognize what is happening, even though I know the task is not impossible, I can’t seem to get around the wall that depression has locked me behind. I’m stuck, staring at the stones, feeling hopeless.
I’m trying to make it easier for myself, to break the tasks I’m handling into even smaller chunks, too small to be impossible, but that only goes so far. I’m also trying to start tasks when I think of them, and not give my mind a chance to become my enemy. And, as always, acknowledging that my mind is lying to me is the first step.
Somewhere over our years together, Toby and I became art collectors. We started, like any good college couple, with posters to adorn our walls, we even framed some of them. Next we added weapons to our collection, mostly thanks to the local Renaissance Fair. From there to prints, then souvenirs from our travel in various forms, and on.
Right now our art is only appreciated if you visit our home, our own gallery. I’ve decided to take a look at some of our collection here, and tell the story behind the works.
In 2009, Toby and I traveled to Spain, Ireland and England to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. We had those large backpacks you see on Americans taking long vacations in Europe, carrying around all we needed, except laundry detergent.
One of our stops this trip was Madrid, a city to which we had not been before. We were near the city center, had lunch in one of the restaurants in that plaza, then walked around to see the nearby shops.
It was at one of these local stores that we found the cut-out art of the Bull Fighter, and the Dancer. By this point in our travels, we were seasoned enough to know, if there was something you like, get it. You will regret it if you don’t. After a brief discussion of where the pieces would be placed in our house, we purchased them.
The shop wrapped them in paper, and put them in a large plastic bag. Let me tell you, those suckers are heavy. Fortunately we found a better method of carrying them for the remainder of our 2 week trip; our backpacks were large enough that you could place them near the bottom (i.e. against your back), with a layer of clothes between you and them, and the weight distribution was taken care of by the waist straps our bags sported.
Today this couple hang in the lone hall in our house, casting memories along with their shadows.
Since I didn’t write much last year, I’m taking the opportunity this year to look back and ahead at the same time.
Last year Toby and I traveled three times to see shows. In September we headed to Atlanta to see the Welcome to Night Vale show; A Spy in the Desert, and to Orlando for a joint concert of Epica, Lacuna Coil and Insomnium. November we headed with Orlando with our niece, Tessa, to see a recording of Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me, the NPR news quiz. I enjoyed both shows very much.
Toby went to more concerts last year, but mostly to metal bands, which are not my thing. Fortunately he has a couple of friends that go with him.
In June we are driving to St. Augustine to see Weird Al Yankovic – Strings Attached. In October we are driving down to Tampa to see Anneke van Giersbergen perform, along with Delain, and Amorphis.
Toby has a few metal concerts, Iron Maiden, the Welcome to Rockville festival, etc, but I am excited for the 4 (so far) that we have planned together.
This year we have a few more shows planned. In early March we are headed toward New York, NY to see Within Temptation. Since this band is one of Toby’s favorites, and because he is amazing, he asked if there was anything I wanted to do while there, any show I wanted to see. Which is why we also have tickets to see Wicked on Broadway.
The US signed on with the Berne Convention1 for copyright, and enacted changes to its copyright law in 1978. Under the new laws, copyright no longer required to be registered, nor even denoted in the work itself. A creative work subject to copyright earned those protections upon being recorded to media. The restriction period also lengthened, to meet the international treaty’s minimum of life of the author +50 years. For works where the creator was anonymous or used a pseudonym, and works made for hire the restriction period was 75 years from point of publication.
This would have allowed works published in 1923, or whose authors had passed in 1928, to move out of copyright restriction and into the public domain in 1998. However, in 1998 president Clinton enacted an extension to copyright protections known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. This shifted protection for authored works to life of author +70 years, and works that were anonymous, pseudonymous, or works for hire to 95 years from point of publication.
Since I began my library career in 2006, I have been very aware of the 1923 date. We used this date as a marker for which works were in the public domain, and which still remained under copyright protection.2 For me, this date was key in our Retrospective Dissertation Scanning Project and corresponding outreach efforts, as well as digitization of print collections. Anything domestic work published in 1923 or earlier was good to go without further consideration. Anything 1924 or after, well, we only did the extra research if we really felt a strong need for those works – otherwise we just passed them by until the day they would slip into the public domain.
The start of 2019 saw the completion of that 95 year protection, and as such, we move the public domain date in the US forward by a year. Our workflows will have to be adjusted (slightly), and documentation updated not only now, but every subsequent year. I know it’s kind of a weird thing to geek out about, but I was giddy when I was at a conference in mid-2018 and learned of this new wave of materials that, as of yesterday, are open for reuse, digitization, derivative works and more.
So there it is, a post about work and something in the outside world that is making a positive impact on my day-to-day. And it makes me smile.
Some works may have moved into the public domain earlier, depending on the date of death of a known author, or other factors, but having a single date to pin-point made good sense for library workflows.