I write this to you as my final Mocha Musings column for the Ashland Tidings. It is a new year which, for me, brings new goals and projects, among them the possibility of returning to work in the performing arts and completing the English version of my late husband’s memoir of his time in the Dutch Resistance.
I have very much enjoyed penning my now 40-plus columns over these past few years, and am proud of my newly-published collection: “Mocha Musings: Reflections on life, love, and chance encounters.”
Writing Mocha Musings has given me the unique opportunity to ruminate and put into words my contemplations on everything from the value of friendship (“With a Little Help From My Friends”) to romance (“On the Importance of Kissing”); from squeezing every moment for all it’s worth (“Rock On While You’re Still Rolling”) and taking chances (“To Open Doors, Step Outside Your Own”); to the natural beauty of this state in which we live (“Oregon — A State Worth Exploring”), the joy our pets bring us (“The Unconditional Love of Dog”), and the value of treasuring the time with our elders while they are still with us (“Syncing to a Slower Clock”), just to name a few.
People have asked me how I come up with the ideas for my column. Often, I simply observe an occurrence or conversation, and then go home and begin writing about it. This leads to a kind of riffing on the subject, which can take twists and turns all its own before the piece is completed.
Writing Mocha Musings has taken me to a deeper place of reflection into the emotions and feelings which accompany such observations and has sharpened and refined my skills as a writer (while staying within the requisite word count).
To me, self-expression is one of the great joys of life. We can all find it in different ways; what form it takes is up to us. Thank you, Bert Etling, editor of our Ashland Tidings, for giving me the opportunity to express myself in Mocha Musings and for suggesting I become a regular Tidings contributor. I would also like to thank those of you who have often expressed to me how much you have enjoyed reading Mocha Musings. It is deeply rewarding to know that my work has brought value to your lives. Thank you for taking the time to let me know.
In closing, I’d like to quote from Chapter 39 (“Live Fully by Embracing Each Moment”): “How can we live more consciously? We can be kind. We can be aware of those who have less. We can give generously of our time through volunteerism in our community. We can be well-mannered. We can stand up in the face of injustice. We can do those things which we have put off and have always wanted to do. We can take care of ourselves and those we love.”
And that, dear friends, should be enough to keep us all pretty busy.
Susanne Severeid’s book, “Mocha Musings: Reflections on life, love, and chance encounters” ($16.95), is available at Bloomsbury Books and at Susanne’s website www.susannesevereid.com. She is also a book creation coach consultant and can be reached at the same website.