Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer!




Fancy!

Lydia!

Blurry Micah! With no eyes!

My boy!

Moving



My best guy friend, Ish, is moving in 5 days. It's a great job opportunity and an excuse to get out of Ohio. :) It is a positive move from him in all regards. Since he decided to take the leap, a few months ago, I have seen a whole different side of him. It's like he blossomed. I am so deeply happy for him and that he is at this wonderful place in his life.


This does not mean I won't miss him like freaking crazy. Ish is a wise man. He has taught me so many things. He has expanded my mind with his own that resembles a library storage room, full of knowledge on everything. He has a spirituality that is remarkable and beautiful, is always patient, and always calm. He can even me out. When the worst happened with Nanaw a few weeks back, he was with me when I got the news we were officially taking her off life support. You can imagine how much of a mess I was. I don't think I've been that emotionally "out of control" in front of anyone-- ever. I can usually keep it relatively together. But that day I couldn't and he didn't miss a beat. He did exactly what I needed him to. I was in such a vulnerable and extreme emotional position, not a whole lot of men would know what to do. He did. 

In years of friendship I think I've seen him actually upset once. He is very peaceful, to say the least. And when he wasn't, I was so unnerved by his lack of complete control that I almost had trouble helping/advising him. ha! We trust each other, and each others opinions on our lives. We know the other truly wants the best for us. Finding a friend like him is hard, believe me, I know. And although now I will have an excuse for a road-trip to Virginia to hang out on the beach all day, my life here in Ohio will have a distinct gap in his wake.

Last night we hung out for possibly the last time-- ate take-out Indian food, talked about everything, read some books, and googled ancient Egyptian conspiracy theories for a few hours. It was the perfect, low-key evening to spend with such a treasured friend. Very fitting for our relationship.


My 23rd. bday party. I think we're about to pass out at this point. It was a long awesome night.

Back when I had purple hair... ah, those were the days.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

See I will carry you, through the hurricane waters.

I am so grateful for my friends. From shoulders to cry on and singing with milkshakes to take my mind off it, daily texts and phones calls to check on me, offers to leave a family vacation to come and just "be with me" as I had to go through all the motions of the funeral, new friends who have unexpectedly been a great comfort, and the most worth waiting for, getting Micah back.

The past few weeks have been so difficult. Agonizing even. But my beautiful friends have been my anchor and a safe place to fall. I always want to help my friends, I love them so very much, be there for them in any way I can-- but I don't rely well on others myself. Something about my personality makes it physically and emotionally hard to ever actually lean on anyone. Thank goodness I learned my way around it. I'd have missed out on the incredible healing that comes in a true friends understanding.

I don't have loads of friends, there are just a few-- but those few are closer to me than family in many ways, and I am enormously thankful.

If It All Went Up in Smoke


that smoke

would remain


the forever

savage country poem's light borrowed


light of the landscape and one's footprints praise


from distance

in the close

crowd all


that is strange the sources


the wells the poem begins


neither in word

nor meaning but the small

selves haunting


us in the stones and is less


always than that help me I am

of that people the grass


blades touch


and touch in their small


distances the poem

begins


-George Oppen



bird wing & a wingless bird.


Only that it should be beautiful,

Only that it should be beautiful,


O, beautiful

Red green blue—the wet lips
Laughing

Or the curl of the white shell

And the beauty of women, the perfect tendons
Under the skin, the perfect life

That can twist in a flood
Of desire

Not truth but each other

The bright, bright skin, her hands wavering
In her incredible need

-George Oppen

Friday, May 28, 2010

— Mahatma Gandhi


"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

Mad Men




I started renting season 1 of Mad Men this week. I haven't had cable for 7 years (I find it makes me life more fulfilling without it), so when I want to watch shows, I have to rent them from Blockbuster. I am on disc 2 so far, and I really do like it. If you can get past the terrible sexism and racism (authentic to the era), it's a wonderfully acted, superbly designed show. The clothes are to die for and I could listen to Jon Hamm talk for days. Something about his voice is so soothing to me.

"Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, 'nostalgia' literally means 'the pain from an old wound'. It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved". -Don Draper

Three

Joanna Klink

In windowless rooms never
dark or light I had spent
my thoughts timeblind the oysters
in pans of seawater opening and closing
their shells a numbness staggered
across minutes and some days it took
every ounce of strength to be there the wind
sifting lightly through trees as stunned and un-
regarding I stepped across grass
the dry air bringing in dusk such
feathered perception a singed
petal a trellis each separate loosened
thread of nightfall shaking
the roses before me in the dark

*
There was no record however
having lived I hung the dress
filled the salt cellars in my
ordinary life each gesture
matters as pools of wind cross
through scattered weeds was there
a message the deer held down to drink
snowbirds in the wind holding
very still something
cyclic deep as if a pattern
spread by you could
change what I can feel

*
Or to feel the voice
of your body crowded with
sleep a dark pressure of blood
through corridors I asked
what else could grow
silent before me shaking
after love these beats
under your skin light
falling where the rain was.

(An Ideal Husband)


“It takes great deal of courage to see the world in all its tainted glory, and still to love it."

Leaves of Grass

“This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A smaller version


Is that a wheel of cheese?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Frightening

There will probably be several posts of this nature. It's helping me process this enormous void my life now seems to revolve around, until I can re-shape myself around it.


I don't know exactly when this little scene played out. I must have been 14 or so, Micah, 10. We were up visiting for Christmas from Texas and I had just gotten home from hanging out with my rad cousins :) Miranda, Melanie, and Mason. It was after 10pm. and on the fantasy channel they were playing "Nightmare on Elm Street" or some sort of Freddy Krueger horror extravaganza. Micah was still up, our parents in bed. Nanaw was awake as well, of course, and couldn't have cared less what we were watching. Eventually she said her goodnights and it was just Micah and I, terrified. Wrapped in this green and yellow blanket my mom still has and lets the dog sleep with, we huddled together in rapt terror. It wasn't even scary, we'd just never seen a scary movie before. No joke. This is not something I resent my parents for.

The movie ended and we made our way to the kitchen, with it's brown and orange and yellow floral colored tile cold on our feet, opened the fridge and looked for treats. Nanaw always had lots of treats. All of sudden, we see a figure moving from the long hallway, half-lined with mirrors. It was swiftly galloping, horse-like, into the living room and headed straight towards us. Some sort of Doom Cloak shrouding it's hunched shoulders. This was the end of us. Our just reward for tarnishing our brains with horror-muck movies, had come quickly. I screamed, "Holy shit!" and Micah ducked down, hands over his head, into the fridge and part of me.

The veiled creature stopped. Dropped the green and yellow blanket from around her merry face, and started laughing so hard she had to bend over because she was afraid she was going to pee. I was shocked. Micah incredulous. It took us a full minute to realize it was just crazy Nanaw being a nut and scaring is stiff because she knew how frightened the movie would make us. Scream-laughing, we both collapsed on the floor, rambling like lunatics about how scared we were and how hilarious that prank had been.

Dad came out, scruffy and irritated from being woken up, but soon joined in the laughing when we told him what Nanaw had done.

She was a hoot.


Jazz Hands

Simone Weil

"Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by any affection. Keep your solitude. The day, if it ever comes, when you are given true affection, there will be no opposition between interior solitude and friendship, quite the reverse. It is even by this infallible sigh that you will recognize it."

Classy mummies

Grace.
Audrey.

Oh, he's so handsome... just like his reward posters.


I saw Ridley Scott's prequel to "Robin Hood" this weekend with my fam. Underwhelmed seemed the best adjective to describe our generally unanimous opinion of the movie. It was an hour and a half of battles, burnings, and annoying I am Maximus and, "What we do in life echoes in eternity!" speeches.

Honestly? I preferred the cartoon version with singing and dancing foxes, squirrels, and Friar Tuck portrayed as a, what is he? A badger? A mole? Reagrdless, he is damn adorable.
I mean, look at him.

The cartoon movie was rented, almost weekly, by Micah and I as children when we lived out in the country (In a log cabin, mind you.) and had virtually no access to electronic entertainment. This was a good thing. Playing in fields and digging in the dirt trumps movie watching. But every Friday night Mom would let us walk to the country store, (This place seriously was a "country store". Everything you'd image-- hardwood floors, glass jars of candy, and a homemade sandwiches.) and pick a movie to watch. To rent one was like $1.50, I think. We always chose Robin Hood. It just never got old. And with song lyrics like, "Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally. Golly, what a day!", how could any child resist? We sure as heck couldn't.

Also working in Ridley's favor but he ruined everything: the fact that I love action movies. Always have. Face/Off was my favorite movie until I was in my teens, and/or realized Nic Cage is a "I only eat animals that have standardized sex" weirdo with atrocious (I cannot state this enough) hair and no acting talents. I can usually ignore the ridiculous plot holes and terrible one-liners in action movies. Here's the ultimate example: I want to see Prince of Persia. Like, really bad. I know it will be cheesy and I'll walk out complaining how my beloved Ben Kinglsey could stoop to such a level of film-making, but secretly I'll love it. Being raised with a dad and two brothers who infiltrated me with Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Arnold, and Jurrasic Park made this affinity for explosions inevitable.

This all goes to say that I do not hold action movies to a very high level of film-expectancy. But Robin Hood was supposed to be historical action, or so I thought. It ended up being just plain boring and not nearly as awesome as it's cartoon predecessor. Independently, I am enthralled by the story of Loxley and all the history and revolution surrounding it. I hoped the movie would fulfill all my secret fantasies for a really good, well acted, educational tale of the notorious thief-savior. Ridley did not give me what I wanted. It was anti-climactic and poorly acted by all but my lover, Cate Blanchett. Who could literally stand in a room holding some batteries and I'd pay to watch it.

Behold her glory.


So take my advice, don't waste your money, and go sing a song with flute accompaniment in some wooded glen instead of seeing this movie.

Oodelally!

Happy Audrey Tuesday

After a 100 year wait...

Above photo was found via google search for: creepiest picture known to man kind involving Mark Twain, a lightbulb, and Rasputin-like figure hunching in background.


Before he died, author Mark Twain made provision in his last will and testament that an autobiography he'd been working on for the last decade of his life was not to be released until he had been dead for a century. Twain passed away in 1910. Now that the hundred years has ellapsed, Twain's manuscript--along with handwritten notes--of five thousand pages is about to be released.

Until now, the University of California, Berkeley has had the manuscript in a vault per Twain's request. They are now planning on to release the first volume of what will ultimately be a trilogy, with a release date in November of this year.

Although, excerpts of the autobiography have appeared in print, showing up in various biographies, this will be the first time that the manuscript in its entirety will be released.

The autobiography is expected to show a different side of Twain than the crusty humorist. There are sections where Twain discusses friends, acquaintences, and others in very cruel terms. Mark Sheldon, author of recently published Man in White, a biography of Twain in the last years of his life, said about the autobiography, "He had doubts about God, and in the autobiography, he questions the imperial mission of the US in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. He's also critical of [Theodore] Roosevelt, and takes the view that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Twain also disliked sending Christian missionaries to Africa. He said they had enough business to be getting on with at home: with lynching going on in the South, he thought they should try to convert the heathens down there."

Dr. Robert Hirst is leading the Berkeley team, editing the text to prepare it for publication. "There are so many biographies of Twain, and many of them have used bits and pieces of the autobiography," Dr Hirst said. "But biographers pick and choose what bits to quote. By publishing Twain's book in full, we hope that people will be able to come to their own complete conclusions about what sort of a man he was."

"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of the mind." -V. Woolf

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bibliophiles Delight


Today I'm working from home. Sitting with my laptop on the porch, eating a plum, listening to "For Once in My Life" and "Why do Fools Fall in Love" drift outside from the stereo playing inside, and working on a long over-due newsletter. Days like this, are what keep me sane. I love that it's summer. I love my work. I love my porch. I love plums. Man, I love plums. I don't love certain circumstances in my life right now-- death will do that to you. Give you a tidy little rain cloud with enough fury and downfall to soak you thoroughly. But going through the motions can help keep you functioning.

I finally finished the Harry Potter series. I guess I shouldn't say finally-- when I bemoaned how long it took me to read the 7 book series (2 months), people reacted with incredulous remarks of how that was not a long time to take. I guess it just felt like it. I loved the books so much, always wanted to read them (I liked them the way you do when a book is just delicious. You think about it when you can't read it and nothing brings you more satisfaction than to finally unlatch your brain and crawl in the story at the end of the day...sigh. Is this just me? It can't be.), and considering how easy the first several books in the series were, it just felt like forever. A measly nothing compared to some friends of mine who, from H.P. onset, had to wait a year between each book. Sometimes more-- one friend took 8 years to complete the series due to the epidemic we Bibliophile's refer to as "release waiting".

I loved this book best of all. It showed Harry's dark and light, with more balance than the previous books. Harry was what you wanted and expected him to be. A friend whose personality you knew well and could predict. That was the other fun part of Deathly Hallows, being able to predict with authority different mysteries along the way, just from your absorption in each character and the different spells and places and names that seemed alive-- you know your magic if you've made it this far. JKR is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Every little detail is important. Everything. In a way that leaves no stone unturned, but not in a irritating fashion. It's concise. It grabs you and it feels real.

The last 100 pages were almost agonizing in their emotional force. The book was immediately on a whole different level than all the editions before. I am talking 2nd. page into the book, it was darker and more intense-- a higher level of writing, a deeper level of what you knew was coming from the beginning. A terrible cost. Even JKR's vocabulary choices. It's elevated and therefor all the more impacting. Voldemort comes into his full stride, completing his ultimate symbolism of the dark side of man and the spirit, and it is terrifying. These characters that you feel you know are in life or death situations for over 700 pages. It's utterly gripping.

I felt like I had said goodbye to an old friend at the end. That's always a good thing for a reader.


Yeah, it's a young adult story. Clearly. But it has a wonderful message and unbelievably inspiring characters and situations that teach lessons that all ages could do well to heed.


I treasure my books. If you've been to my house, you know this. If you went in my room as a kid or teenager, you'd know this. My life has been surrounded with books. Rarely loaned and often cleaned, they fill my home. I have Harry Potter sitting beneath my fireplace, in the center of my living room. Just to make sure I can keep an eye on them.

"Would I?" asked Dumbledore heavily. "I am not so sure. I had proven, as a very young man, that power was my weakness and my temptation. It is a curious thing, Harry, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find their own surprise that they wear it well."

They are hostile nations




BY MARGARET ATWOOD

i


In view of the fading animals

the proliferation of sewers and fears

the sea clogging, the air

nearing extinction


we should be kind, we should

take warning, we should forgive each other


Instead we are opposite, we

touch as though attacking,


the gifts we bring

even in good faith maybe

warp in our hands to

implements, to manoeuvres



ii


Put down the target of me

you guard inside your binoculars,

in turn I will surrender


this aerial photograph

(your vulnerable

sections marked in red)

I have found so useful


See, we are alone in

the dormant field, the snow

that cannot be eaten or captured



iii


Here there are no armies

here there is no money


It is cold and getting colder,


We need each others’

breathing, warmth, surviving

is the only war

we can afford, stay


walking with me, there is almost

time / if we can only

make it as far as


the (possibly) last summer



I have discovered a side of Margaret Atwood

...that is utterly enjoyable and profoundly strong.
Her poems.


"I can change my
self more easily
than I can change you

I could grow bark and
become a shrub

or switch back in time
to the woman image left
in cave rubble, the drowned
stomach, bulbed with fertility
face a tiny bead, a
lum, queen of the termites

or (better) speed myself up,
disguise myself in the knuckles
and purple-veined veils of old ladies,
become arthritic and genteel

or one twist further:
collapse across your
bed clutching my heart
and pull the nostalgic sheet up over
my waxed farewell smile

which would be inconvenient
but final."

Friday, May 21, 2010

Louisa May


"I ask not for any crown

But that which all may win;

Nor try to conquer any world

Except the one within."



— Oscar Wilde


"And with tears of blood he cleansed the hand,

The hand that held the steel:

For only blood can wipe out blood,

And only tears can heal"

E.G.


"We heard a man had gone mad
And we knew the dawn had finally broken you."

Hey Jude

If you're smart, you'll click here:
http://dancemedia.com/v/3874
This incredible dance is preformed by Matt Lock, from Off Broadway Dance Academy where I used to teach/dance.

John Donne

Batter my heart, three person’d God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to’another due,
Labour to’admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely’I love you,’and would be loved faine,
But am betroth’d unto your enemie:
Divorce mee,’untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you’enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish me.

- Batter My Heart, Three Person’d God (Holy Sonnet XIV)

The Silver Chair

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one more thing to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

- C.S. Lewis.

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sisters

The Way to the River


by W. S. Merwin

The way to the river leads past the names of
Ash the sleeves the wreaths of hinges
Through the song of the bandage vendor

I lay your name by my voice
As I go

The way to the river leads past the late
Doors and the games of the children born looking backwards
They play that they are broken glass
The numbers wait in the halls and the clouds
Call
From windows
They play that they are old they are putting the horizon
Into baskets they are escaping they are
Hiding

I step over the sleepers the fires the calendars
My voice turns to you

I go past the juggler’s condemned building the hollow
Windows gallery
Of invisible presidents the same motion in them all
In a parked cab by the sealed wall the hats are playing
Sort of poker with somebody’s

Old snapshots game I don’t understand they lose
The rivers one
After the other I begin to know where I am
I am home

Be here the flies from the house of the mapmaker
Walk on our letters I can tell
And the days hang medals between us
I have lit our room with a glove of yours be
Here I turn
To your name and the hour remembers
Its one word
Now

Be here what can we
Do for the dead the footsteps full of money
I offer you what I have my
Poverty

To the city of wires I have brought home a handful
Of water I walk slowly
In front of me they are building the empty
Ages I see them reflected not for long
Be here I am no longer ashamed of time it is too brief its hands
Have no names
I have passed it I know

Oh Necessity you with the face you with
All the faces

This is written on the back of everything

But we
Will read it together

Oh come on

=You know you fell in love with him in this movie just as hard as I did.

"Bright beads of red are rising through the ink, Hearts-blood bubbles smearing out into the black stream."


"One day, I shall explode like an artillery shell and all my bits will be found on the writing table."
— Gustave Flaubert

Fyodor Dostoevsky


"If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don't bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he's a good man."

So I guess the thing to do is start drinking milk out of goblets.

Rewrite History

"The world is changed because you are made of ivory and gold. The curves of your lips rewrite history."