raybear: (tattoo)
This past weekend we went to South Haven, Michigan for friends' wedding. Despite tons of weekend traffic and construction on the highway, we got there right on time....except for the fact that Michigan is an eastern time zone state. Oops. This meant we got there right on time for the wedding, but an hour late for when [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass needed to be there since she was reading part of the service. The weather was a bit choppy and changeable all morning, but by the mid-afternoon it cleared up perfectly, and we sat in folding chairs on green back lawn overlooking a bluff, with the backdrop of Lake Michigan behind the bride and bride. It was a fairly lesbionic wedding, but in all the good ways, not the painfully awkward ways. And yes, I cried. A lot. But c'mon, someone read Mary Oliver's Wild Geese early on and I knew I was done for after that.

Later that evening, after dinner and checking into the hotel and changing clothes, we went back to the house and watched the sunset over the water. Its funny how driving 100ish miled can completely flip your perspective on the time and space of the world, not just with the time change, but more with the sun setting on the water, rather than rising up on it, as it does here for us in Chicago. My internal compass is usually tuned not to the magnetic fields of the north, but to whatever direction a significant body of water is. I would be screwed if I lived in Kansas.

I watched most of the sunset alone, away from the cheesey dance music and the bugs and the children and chatter of adults, poking along the beach and looking for rocks, as I am wont to do, and the scattered thunderstorms from the west were coming towards us -- not dark ominous clouds, but smaller grey ones that looked like misty fingers touching the surface of water. They moved in front of the sun as it got lower, but I walked fifty yards up the beach to a piece of driftwood and sat down and could see the glowing orange perfectly, just on the other side of the clouds. Occasionally I would see lightning flash a few inches to its left, which was surreal. Especially since it was only the night before that I got home around midnight and was standing in our middle room, looking out the south-facing window at the clear sky and the near-full moon, then I walked a few feet to the east-facing window in the bedroom and saw lightning approaching there. Weather has been strange lately all over. I knew I would end up writing about it here, even though I don't really like reading about weather, if I can't experience it directly, I prefer paintings or photos of it, I suppose.

While in Michigan, before coming home on Sunday morning, we cruised around to check out all the houses for sale, we're not looking to buy right away, but we are plotting, scheming, looking, fantasizing. We found one house that was breathtaking. A 1950s yellow house in immaculate condition, with enclosed porches in the front and back. Between the house and the road was two acres of a maple tree grove. This house, like the one rented for the wedding, was also on a bluff up against its own private beach. It was for sale and it was empty, probably someone's seasonal home, and so we traipsed around, nervously at first, then getting more bold we wandered, the more we talked about all the things we loved about it. We knew it was too soon on our timeline, it would be expensive. We wrote down the info anyway. 'Its probably a million dollar home.' But the market is bad. Maybe its been on sale for awhile and it would have cut the price drastically. Maybe it would be close. Maybe it would be tantalizingly close to our range and we'd just be torturing ourselves. Maybe I could work full-time for a year or two and make it happen. Maybe, maybe. We got home and I looked it up and immediately started laughing. Cackling, really.

"How much do you think it is?"
"$1 million?"
"Try $3.6 million."

Well, so much for that dream.

Coming back home, I keep thinking about Virginia Woolf and her struggle with how the city overwhelmed her and made her anxious with its stimuli, but the country could be equally maddening with its silence and space. Right now, I'm longing for that silence and space, so I don't feel the latter, but I understand the mixed reaction to the city. Everything I love about it is also what can sometimes overwhelm my daily existence.
raybear: (red)
So, six days ago, [livejournal.com profile] dommeyourass packed up the car and drove away to Arizona. Not for forever, just for a two-week road trip/vacation. I had a moment that morning when I realized, whoa, two whole weeks. I'm not sure its ever been that long -- I think our max was 12 days, and that was one of my trips to L.A. for school, several years ago. I wasn't feeling particularly panicky about being alone, but I was excited to have lots of free time to schedule with people and thought as a side benefit it couldn't hurt to plan ahead and not be left to my own devices the whole time. On Thursday I had dinner and a date with [livejournal.com profile] cheerfulchaotic, on Friday I had dinner with [livejournal.com profile] broqued and [livejournal.com profile] mintwaster, on Saturday morning I went to the gym with MW, then that afternoon I ran errands with [livejournal.com profile] keetbabe before going to [livejournal.com profile] vfc's house where I hung out all night. On Sunday I was a little resistant to leave the house, but made it anyway to pick up [livejournal.com profile] keetbabe and [livejournal.com profile] mrmturtle on the side of the road and we went to a graduation party with lots of people how don't have livejournals. Oh wait, it was [livejournal.com profile] sugarsmile's graduation, but I don't think she's really on here anymore. Anyway, by yesterday morning, I was sort of excited and relieved to have a whole empty week stretched out in front of me, to do whatever I want, mostly planning to read and watch movies, in between all my usual requirements (for the record, I have written, meditated, and gone to the gym everyday for the past two weeks (with the exception sundays as my off-day from exercise)).

But this afternoon, on the way to work, I started to feel it. The lack of interfacing with people in the world who are not strangers or co-workers I am mostly co-existing with, not genuine relationships. The copious spinning my brain does when left alone for many many many hours in a row. I was a bit scared about what would happen after work when I got back to the dark house alone. My dog doesn't exactly have the fortitude to calm me down, she is a worryer. There are people I could call and talk on the phone, but in some ways that felt like it would exacerbate the problem -- it would just highlight that I am alone in the house, plus I would feel self-conscious about being vulnerable to someone, i.e. "talking crazy". I'm standing inside the train station, thinking about this while tapping my foot and waiting for the train's headlight to appear at the end of the tunnel and then this came on my ipod.

having a coke with you )

And it was better. This is why its good to have dead gay boyfriends who make some sort of art that can console and inspire you in moments of being alone.
raybear: (scream)
First, what I will be reading tonight at work, assuming it is quiet:

A blog entry with lots of links about a NYT Poet Editor v. New Yorker Poetry Editor SMACKDOWN!TM. Again, my New Yorker subscription runs out and then there's something I want to read! Be warned, there's annoying parts of this blog, including their obsession with the phrase 'kimono-opening', but the links are handy.

I missed that last week Jean Baudrillard died. My very first residency in grad school included a lecture on 'hyperreality' and how it relates to fiction writing and the differences and similarities. But also being a writer in the midst of a period of time defined by the idea of hyperreality. So anyway, RIP Jean. Here's to the authentic fake.

I didn't make it out to the coffee shop. I decided instead to go for a run and then came home and raked up some of the trash in the yard that had been collecting for months and hiding under snow. During this task, I discovered little pokes of green coming up in parts of the flowerbeds, from bulbs planted in the fall. Hope springs eternal, as they say.

I'm pleased to say that no one fat-harassed me this time. Then again, it was 11 am on a Wednesday so there were fewer people out. And I was wearing headphones the whole time. Perhaps I've been constantly fat-harassed in the past but never heard it because of my music. Does that mean it really happened, if the victim never hears the insult? No, I suppose it just means that the person yelling is the only one partaking of the poison.
raybear: (Default)
if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.
unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.
if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.
if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.
if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.
if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.
if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.
if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.

don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-
the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.
unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.
unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

[by Charles Bukowski]

I used to try and argue with this poem even though I loved it, but now I don't, I just accept its flaws.

May 2010

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