Friday, September 24, 2004

I’m a very jumpy person. A door opens suddenly and I squeal. Someone sneezes unexpectedly, and I jump a foot in the air. I can’t watch scary movies. I end up behind myself with fear.

I read something in the Science Times once - nervous mice, the ones that don’t adventure out on their own in uncertain circumstances, are much more likely to die young than mice that are more nonchalant. Apparently being nervous does them in.

Apparently, there's a French version of the beatitudes that reads (roughly) 'blessed are the nonchalant.' Which actually might be closer to the Aramaic, which I understand translates closer to ‘blessed are the bendable’ than ‘bessed are the meek.’

Which means gymanasts alone will be saved.

Brian and I are watching The Secret Window. Maybe I don't want to be a writer after all.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"Being a writer" sure is fun - if only I could take those quotation marks away.

Wasn't there a time when this was all simpler? Was there ever a time when rent wasn't a worry, when clothes and washing and food just somehow happened? When a girl could stay home and watch the pigeons outside her window?

How can on viva la vie boheme in San Francisco, where the rent on a studio in darkest Sunset is $900?

I need a benefactor. With low expectations.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

think more: "amoral pagan world" v. world of reason

Once upon a time, the gods were closer to the earth; once they walked among us and sat at our dinner tables. Their movements were discernible in the world: an old couple was turned to wood, their limbs eternally intertwined; a handsome boy, catching the fancy of a nymph, changed into a bug that lived forever.

As much as it could, the world made sense. People lived out their lives in the place they were born, or left their homes, more than likely never to return. Poets, called the Sons of Homer, moved from town to town, reciting stories and poems (there wasn’t much difference then) in exchange for food and shelter. It was widely acknowledged that they were blind, as Great Homer had been, though most of them were not. This paradox didn’t disturb anyone. These poets - blind but not blind - brought the world to common hearths and town squares: it was small, it was vast, it was knowable, but unknown.

ανδρα μοι ενεπε, Μουσα, πολυτροπον −
The man, O Muse, sing to me of that man, ever turning .

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I'm (foolishly) hopeing that writing here will somehow make writing easier. I've been running into that old 'N train' problem, where during my morning and afternoon commutes, my head is positively swimming with ideas, but somehow, when I flip open the ol' (new!) computer.... blorp. Nothin'.

Of course, the problem really is that my N Train ideas are just fleeting ideas, and even when they do form themselves into complete sentences, 't ain't enough to actually fill more than a centemeter or two on ze page.

Ok - here are all the ideas I can remember (save these for me, ok?):

Lessing's Lacoon - something to do with words and image. And symbolism. And being a German philosopher in the 189th(?) century. Friedrich II. Anyway - look over the scene in the Aneid.

Invocation of the muse/ Invocation of oral histories & stories passed down in the family (lets call it the "sing in me grandma" idea)

Excercise for self (or for my craft presentation next month?): go through canto one of Dante (or another canto that seems better) and find all the symbolism & brief refrences to other literature. Make a list (She-wolf, leopard, St Lucia, the selva oscura... all that). Write a story using one (or more) of them. Or trying to make my own.

Arma virumque cano - a man and his dog walk in to a bar. Gack. ever get a phrase stuck in yer head? This's been running about in my head all day .

Saturday, September 11, 2004

First day of school was great and invigillating and scarey. Unnfortunately. a financial mishap (which I was alerted to on my lunch break when my debit card wouldn't work) put me on edge and made me feel raw and vulnerable for the rest of the day. Except when I forgot about it, which was surprisingly often. I like my classmates. I like their writing, for the most part. Suprisingly, I like my writing so far. Now if only I didn't have that gap in my bank account to worry about until payday.

Word of advice: when you transfer money online from one account to another, be sure to hit the 'confirm and submit' button. Otherwise things go all screwey.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I start Friday.

Hurrah! Back to school, back to school.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Not what I expoected:

you are Joe Strummer!
Joe Strummer... you've been through the cleansing
fire of punk, only to pick up a few venerial
diseases along the way. You're more of an
optimist when it comes to fucked-up genius.
But you can write wicked-deadly riffs and lycs.

Which fucked-up genius composer are you?
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Times I might have believed in magic:

1. When I was growing up, we would often spend a portion of the summer - anywhere from a week-end to a month - in a friend of the family’s summer house near a town called Tupper Lake. The house stood at the top of a hill. At the bottom of the hill stood a tall forest of pine trees. When the wind blew a certain way, the trees would sway in a disconcerting fashion. The summer I was eight, I developed a horror of this woods. At night I couldn’t bear to look outdoors, for fear of seeing the trees move against the starlit sky. In the morning, I would avoid looking at the trees, for fear that they had advanced during the night.

2. When I was very small, I can remember making a sandcastle (in reality, it was more a mound of sand, dumped out of a pail and patted into a rounded hump). In frustration, I tried to remember how to make rooms on the inside of the castle. I was convinced I’d done it before, and had made a home for a small farmer.

3. Walking in the woods with my dog, I thought I heard a noise. It sounded like a single note, played upon a flute or recorder. I quickly hurried home. Even in the suburbs, the sound was uncanny.

4. If my boyfriend goes to bed before me, I always have to turn on the light before I lie down next to him. Some primitive part of my brain is not convinced that the sleeping hump beneath the blankets is him, and needs reassurance.

5. Despite ample evidence to the contrary, I believe I can 'sense' the future.

Things I wish I haddn’t said:

1. To my mother (age 13): “Up yours.”

2. To an ex-boyfriend (age 19), when told he missed me: “Get a dog.”

3. To a prospective landlord (last week): “This storage space is so large, I could take in a family of refugees”

4. Numerous other things that require a lifetime of context for their true horror to show.

Things I saw this afternoon:

1. A wonderfully ancient woman meditating. Her face was unwrinkled, but she looked as if she’d seen eons pass before her.

2. A moth dying in a pond. Its wings seemed motionless, but a multitude of tiny ripples radiated out from it, evidencing a stuggle just below the surface.

3. Three grouse, hiding beneath a bush.

4. A bride and her bridesmaids, having their photos taken in the park.