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Just Call Me MAM

I wrote MAM's musings weekly for almost 10 years. I began it with the Silver City Sun-News. When the editor who had taken on the column left the paper, I offered it to the Silver City Daily Press, and the editor, Richard Correa, grabbed it. Since early 2001, it appeared every Friday in the Daily Press, with the exception of two times that I recall. I'll update it as new sightings happen, so check regularly.

So MAM's musings has been re-created as Just Call Me MAM with a similar topic and musings about the outdors.

It comprises my observations and my opinion.

We Are All the Lady of Shalott
Guest column by Roberta Brown

For the past few weeks, other than working from home, I have been transfixed by the unfolding story of the pandemic that has changed nearly everything. While not working, I watched or read the news, growing sadder each day. Then, this morning, while teaching a class by means of the videoconferencing software Zoom, something in me shifted.

My students and I were reading Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Lady of the Shalott which tells the story of a maiden trapped in a tower by a curse; if she looks out the window or leaves the tower, "the curse [will] come upon her." In a mirror that she uses to weave tapestries, she at least is able to see reflections of the world, and is so enamored with them, that she weaves these reflected scenes into art. People in all stations of society from the gallant knights of Camelot, to the clergy, schoolchildren, and lovers walking on the road, and farmers working in the fields are reflected in the Lady of Shalott's weaving mirror. The turning point in the poem arrives when The Lady of Shalott realizes that she is "half sick of shadows" and decides to risk the curse. She looks out the window, her mirror cracks, she ventures outside and eventually dies, but not before living on her own terms for at least a brief time.

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