New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Let’s Watch

January 03, 2012 By: NCVeditor Category: Christine Baniewicz, Culture, Politics

Telling Stories Through the Healing Medium of Theatre

by Christine Baniewicz

Khaleena enshouf!” Faisal calls. The crowd settles. Let’s watch!

I’m sitting in Jenin refugee camp, surrounded by Palestinians — men, women, children and adults. We are crowded together on blue mats, carried over from The Freedom Theatre down the street. It’s three in the afternoon. I bat a fly from my face and lean forward to watch the enactment.

To my left, a staff member snaps photos. Mustafa lies in the rubble, stretched out across the uneven ground and squinting down the barrel of a video camera. He aims it at the actors, who stand in silence before us. (more…)

Grape Popsicle

April 12, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Family, Mary Sojourner

Savoring the Perfection in Every Moment

by Mary Sojourner

This is Eskimo Nell’s story.  I barely know her.  We met at a gem and mineral show in the Little America hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona at least fifteen years ago.  I have not seen her since then.

I bought a raw opal from her.  She gave me two more for free — a brown opal and a sunfire.  She had dug them from her little claim in Australia.

The brown opal was the size of the nail on my fourth finger.  It was a tiny puddle of glint, green and pale blue against the rough brown of its matrix.

The sun fire opal was a rough blue cylinder no bigger than the first joint of my little finger.  The surface was matte.  She had chipped off a sliver so the gleaming interior was visible.  “Put it in water,” she said, “and set it in a window in natural light. That way you’ll see the fire.”

I can’t remember the nature of the third opal.  I think I gave it to someone — a gift beyond measure. (more…)

Opening Statement

February 24, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Mary Sojourner

I Am What I Am…

by Mary Sojourner

I walk east, away from the last light of the shortest day. The edge of the circling earth covered the sun a little earlier. I walk on Winters Road next to a ribbon of gleaming snow-melt in the High Mojave Desert. The colors of clouds and snow-melt shift: lilac to rose, rose to red-gold, red-gold to pink, pink to turquoise, turquoise to ice blue.

I let the colors fill my mind. There is barely enough room for them. I’m in a new level of my addiction recovery and withdrawal. I’m terrified ninety-five per cent of the time. Thoughts rattle. “What if? What if? What if?” The past and present jam up in the now that we are told so blithely to occupy.

Suddenly, I think not of colors or terror or the way a barbed wire ribbon of past and present has been streaming through my brain. I think of J., the gentle super-market bagger. He is a short middle-aged man, his hair faded rust. He wears thick glasses and he often talks himself through packing the groceries. “Good, that fits right there. Not the apples next to the onions. Too heavy, take out the milk.” (more…)

Obama in Tucson

January 14, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Current Events, Guest Author, Politics

A Firsthand Account of “Healing and Understanding”

by Maggie McQuaid

I left Bisbee (in Southern Arizona) at 9:30am and made it to Tucson about 2 hours later where I met up with Susan, a coworker, and her partner Veira. We hopped a city bus and got to the University of Arizona campus around noon where we joined a rapidly growing throng outside the McKale Basketball Arena. Campus police, Secret Service, the Tucson Police Department, and the US Marshals were very much in evidence. Despite having a huge crowd on hand, they were all decent and courteous.

We were pretty much sequestered in an open area outside the arena, where we could leave if we wished, but could not come back. By 1:00 that afternoon, the announcement was made that the crowd was already at stadium capacity, and that anyone arriving on campus past that point would not be able to get in. We were closely packed in amongst thousands of others, with no room to sit down. I had expected porta-johns and food vendors, but there were none to be had. (more…)

Healing the Wounds

January 10, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Current Events, Politics, Randall Amster

From a Culture of Violence to a Place of Recognition

by Randall Amster

Whatever your political leanings, you’d have to be incredibly hardhearted not to be moved by the shooting in Tucson that claimed the lives of a federal judge and a nine year old girl, among others, and critically wounded Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Some will attempt to politicize this episode as emblematic of the poverty of the “other side,” whereas others will seek to depoliticize it as the work of a deranged “lone gunman.” Meanwhile, moderate voices will be raised aghast at the violence in our midst, both of the rhetorical and spectacular varieties, and many will attempt to draw a direct link between the two. And still, in all likelihood, all of this will soon fade into the collective rear-view mirror and slide down the news queue, as the “normal” state of business as usual adjusts to a new equilibrium that encourages a reestablished complacency. (more…)