Thought Trafficking

From the vaults
June 21, 2009, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:

“Don’t you love higher book learnin’?”
“Is this that?”

-some conversation with Jane, circa 2007


The world, in its cold way
June 20, 2009, 4:36 am
Filed under: living, Reading | Tags:

It was a Saturday night, the sky overhead was clear of any cloud, the stars as clean and bright as if they were no more distant than the next barbed-wire fence post standing up above the barrow ditch running beside the narrow blacktop highway, everything all around him distinct and unhidden. He loved how it all looked, except he would never have said it in that way. He might have said that this was just how it was supposed to look, out on the high plains at the end of winter, on a clear fresh night.

-Kent Haruf, Eventide

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I don’t enjoy this.
June 19, 2009, 4:52 pm
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Predilection for fiction (an addiction, write me a prescription)
June 18, 2009, 2:33 am
Filed under: being selfish, living, Reading | Tags: ,

When it comes to things that I like, I can be obsessive. Junior high (all of it) was a vivid example of this. Generally, however, I like to think that now that I have reached a more mature stage in my life (don’t ask me how I know) I can keep my compulsions under control. There are two jarring exceptions to this perhaps fanciful perception. One is books, the other is knitting. When I am really involved in a project, be it a good yarn or the other kind of good yarn, it is upsetting if it stretches over more than two days. I want to know then ending! I want a finished product! Not everything affects me this way. I can have six books and two knitting projects on the go and not even think about them. But then there are the other times.

I think that what I’m here to confess is that I’ve been doing this recently more than I should: up until three in the morning, bleary-eyed and unsure of what reality really is. Reading over 500 pages in less than 24 hours, like someone who lined up all night to get the new Harry Potter book on the first day. Forgetting to move until my legs fall asleep and I’m forced to adjust. Eating whatever is in the fridge with little consideration for taste because grocery shopping means too much time away. These things aside, it isn’t the reading or the knitting that is the problem. It is the hangover, the recovery period. That is what I am currently mired in. When I resurface back in reality, it is difficult to get my bearings, uncramp my fingers, uncross my eyes. Also, I know that I don’t really want to be back in reality quite yet, so I go looking for another hit. Mercifully, I am relatively broke right now, so I’m not knitting as much as I would. Books, however, are another matter; I have a solid supply stored in my not-bookcase, in my office, on my dresser, and I also have many wonderful, trusting friends, ready to thrust their favourites between my cold little fingers. It hurts so good, but I’m really trying to finish a class and also a degree.

These are the very best and very worst kinds of friends. The other kind of friends I like are the kind with aspirin.

Langue Gangue
June 18, 2009, 2:16 am
Filed under: between times, Uncategorized | Tags:

Lush, concretely.

Rock Wall

on the retaining wall, retaining orange

out of pavement

Indulge me.
June 9, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: music | Tags:

I feel like a fangirl for uploading two videos of The Mountain Goats in a short period of time, but I can’t stop liking this song. John Darnielle does fabulous things with (and for) the English language. I think that what I like most about him, however,  is that though the majority of his songs are not autobiographical, if there were an encyclopedia entry entitled “Sing it Like You Mean it”, you would find his name beside it.

Kait and I are roadtripping to Bellingham for a Gregory Alan Isakov concert this weekend! It will have to be a very quick trip, but go to his MySpace page and listen to That Moon Song. You’ll understand why we’re doing it.

We do our bit.
June 9, 2009, 6:32 am
Filed under: living

I came back to my regular abode last week after over a month away in various cities, sleeping on various beds, and in my absence the garden had exploded. What was tentative became tentacles, green raspberries bunched fetal on the vine. G. brings in handfuls of spinach, kale, radishes; Rapunzel’s parents are due over the hedge any time now in search of satiation. A fence was built between us and the neighbours while I was away to keep the deer from eating the roses, but tonight we found that they can shuffle under on their knees.

(As for my room, my bed was creased and rumpled in exactly the same way. Everything was covered in a fine layer of drywall dust from the renovation of the laundry room, and I excavated with the vacuum cleaner before moving back in.)

The first round of flowers has wilted and fallen – the cherry blossoms, the dogwood, the lilacs, the magnolias. Up come the poppies, the foxglove (digitalis), the intoxicating and deadly. The poppies are bigger than my hands and colours that you find on the inside of your body, big black pearls on the inside, the foxglove blooms in an upward stroke. These aren’t flowers to pause to inhale. These flowers have bits of night inside of them, bits of bone.

Tonight while the sun sent horizontal shadows throught the kitchen window, G. came inside clutching kale and proceeded to deal it out on the kitchen counter (one frilly for you, one frilly for me, one big for you, one big for me) for our respective vegetable needs. The first kale I ever ate was dark and violet veined, but this kale has no hint of purple. I ran tap water over the leaves and they didn’t get wet, the water just pooled and dribbled  away as though it were a moth’s wing. For some reason I thought of some line from T.S. Eliot: some infinitely gentle, infinitely suffering thing. I realise it’s only kale.

I ripped the kale into little bits with my fingers to put in a stirfry. I wanted something that came out dyed and tasting dark, so this stirfry consisted of kale, eggplant, zucchini and portabello mushrooms, among other things. Some days I have the feeling that everything is written on my skin: all of my indiscretions, every sharp thought or careless word. I have the feeling that I dwell in these things, not that they dwell in me. I don’t know how to deal with this, how to incorporate this collection of acts into my life (that is, learn from it) or rid myself of it. I just know how to think about them, while my fingers are busy ripping kale in late-evening sunlight.

When I went to take the compost out, there was a dog that looked like a wolf standing in the middle of the garden, still and lost. She would only sniff my hand from a distance and just watched me with wintery white-blue eyes while I stepped around her and over the peas to chuck a container full of vegetable matter into the bin. It turns out that she was the neighbour’s dog, her own yard was only a few feet away from where we found her, but she was frozen outside of her own environment.

After supper I had a stroopwafel (as long as there are people in my life who bring me stroopwafels, I shall never be lonely) and went for a walk, down to the beach to watch all of the lights come on. Now the sun is away, and the house smells like ginger from my supper and the Mexican hotsauce that G. is making. The cats talk to her and she talks back to them.