I don’t remember when exactly I fell in love with journalism. I don’t think it was a single moment, but rather a series of instances stitched together in my head. One of them was when I was an intern and reading the Sept. 6, 2012, issue of the Weekly, the issue that featured my story on a couple practicing a dying Mesoamerican art form called mosaicos de popote. Practiced by the Aztecs, instead of oil paints or acrylic, it uses thin pieces of straw to create images. The introduction included a passerby pausing to look at the art.
The couple was Rudy and Angie Pedraza, and they were living in Monterey County for a long time and only recently came to have their own stand at the Old Monterey Marketplace farmers market on Alvarado Street.
I was amazed not only because I saw the art being made while I was reporting, but I had been going to this farmers market, without fail, nine months out of the year for years while I was attending Monterey High School – and yet I had never stopped to look at their work. The process of journalism made me stop and look closely at a place and event I thought I knew. That’s what makes journalism magical.
It makes you pause, even momentarily, to look at something familiar and notice something different. That difference could be frustrating and sad, or exciting and rare, but it is always enlightening.
This week’s Hot Picks is inspired by finding what’s new in things that we look at or listen to all the time. Whether that means taking stock of who you follow while you’re mindlessly scrolling through social media, listening to an album two or three times instead of just finding a Pandora station, or gazing at the night sky for a comet that won’t be viewable for another 6,800 years.
Look deeper. It’s in there, whatever it is.
-Marielle Argueza, staff writer, email@example.com