Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Heart Broke

Untitled (Gossip), Jim Dine, 1970-71
collage, mixed media, 60" x 40"

Dear Broken Hearted,

This is your day, actually, because although we have promoted this fa├žade of celebrating love between two people, we must acknowledge the shadow side, the obverse, the un-love between two people.  In fact, I'd wager that Valentine's Day, on the individual level, is focused much more on the un-love, the end of love, and the love that never was, than whatever the other kind is.  Consider one of the messages in evidence:  Be mine.  This is really an entreaty, a statement of longing.

Still, you won't find me giving up on telling people that I love them; so this pair of songs for today is dedicated to the ones feeling the un-love, and I send it SWAK.


Sunday, February 10, 2019

Anniversary 6

Hello Again World,

This day marks the anniversary of the (person that I used to be) first post.  It's been six years- what do you think of that?

It's the end of the 6th year, not the fifth, and this has bent my mind for decades- how many years has a baby who is 2 lived?  Two years.  Yes?  Seven days from today will be, what?  The 17th, or the 16th?  Do we count today, or only tomorrow?

I'll tell you what else is new, sometime along about the 4th year of trying to contact you here, coming twice a week to this empty booth, late at night, hoping you'll come in for a cup of coffee, I stopped really worrying about what I'd say to you if you did come in.  I started caring less and less if you read my messages, if you got my meaning, if you were listening at all.  Now, and it doesn't mean that I love you any less, but now, I want to write to you more for the writing than for the reading you may or may not do.  I think this is an improvement in our relationship, because it means that I have no expectations of you, that I give you all of this, and more, freely.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Near and The Far

Dear Readers,

I will now publish (in the blog post sense) the world's shortest novel for you, dear reader! 

You recall my project for this year of writing a novel, which came about from being inspired by the Novel in a Month folks.  I decided February was ideal for a month-long project, because it is short; the shortest, even. 

On February first, I began.  I typed into my computer for a good long time, trying not to judge my work, but unable to keep the promise of never hitting the delete or backspace key.  I just couldn't move on down the sentence with 'herad' there instead of 'heard.'  After a while of never going much of any place, as in following a line this way, then cutting it off, and heading down another path, I thought, yes, this is writing a novel and I can do it.  After more time, I thought I'd stop and review, just to see how many of the 2,000 daily words goal I had set down; surely something like 4,000 by now, I imagined.

522.  Yes.  I was done already, with only a quarter of the quota.  I think I am done in fact, with novel writing, but I give it to you anyway, unedited, but fairly deeply and perhaps too harshly criticized:

The Near and the Far

They came in plaid dresses, six of them. They came to tell of what they’d seen and heard. The first asked if they ought to begin. No one said a word

The far.  It was a long view.  The light was coming in low and slanting under clouds. The hills had taken on a furzy appearance, like a mist was rising up from them. They seemed blurred, warm, and giving. This was to be the place of The Telling.

The near.  As the women approached the hillside, they fidgeted with their cuffs, and straightened their hems. A few of the women were quite young, and wondered how The Telling would go. They asked each other questions and murmured encouragements. What did they have to tell that anyone would want to hear?

The far.  The walk had been long from the shore. They had met the boat, the ship, the birds that carried the messages. They wore plaid, because they’d made their dresses of old draperies that had been scavenged from abandoned seaside hotels. Simple sheaths, without sleeves, and wraps to cover their arms from the cold. Shoes were out of the question.

The near.  One was the daughter of an older one- she would hold her mother’s hand as they walked. The mother and the daughter would talk more than the others. They said: when you see a sad thing, you feel sad, but when you think a sad thing, your feelings pass along ridges in your mind, changing into a story, and then, what does it become? Is it sadness anymore? Are sad stories more true than the happy ones, she would ask her mother. The others would listen, but they said very little in response to this pair and their conversation at first. Later, the other four would come to contribute to their conversations.

The far.  It happened a long time ago, that the people moved away, most of them, to a far place that after a time, stopped sending messages back.  It’s an old story, some of the tribe heads off to find a better land, a better way. Sometimes they return, some of them. But many evaporate into time and space. The distances, really, even between two people standing quite close are astronomical. They can’t be measured at all. Distance isn’t very easy to fool, or shorten, or shrink, despite what you may read.

The near.  Sewing by hand, with dull needles, is slow. The space between where the needle slips under, and then back up again can be large or small, but if it is large, the wind can come through. So, they made the spaces small, and their fingers and hands would cramp and shake.

The far.  When things first began to look lonely, they’d tell each other not to worry, that the others would return. Then, they spoke less and less of it.

The near.  "When they come back, we will clear this debris, we will mend these things, and begin to organize.” They felt less and less like organizing, so they didn’t. They arranged rocks to make pathways, and lined up sticks in patterns. They wondered at their future and they made patterns. As before. The sticks had fallen from the trees for many years and they were of many lengths. Some would sort them by color, or texture. Many would arrange them by size.


Dear Little Darlings,

What you want, I daresay, is a big, poufy skirt!  I wore a black net petticoat the other day to the museum lecture of a photographer.  It was a boughten one, from Sock Dreams.  At the lecture, I wore it with boots, a knit top, a windowpane plaid scarf, and a striped wool skirt.  Last January, in London, I wore it over tights, without a skirt, because in London a girl can dress that way, and that's why I love London.  California loves a bare midriff, but they still don't know what to make of under wear as outer wear; it's sad and conformist really, but there isn't much of a dialog about the politics of exposure in women's wear right now.

Here is a little history of the crinoline as the successor to the petticoat.  The terms are used a bit indiscriminately nowadays.  Because the crinoline was named for the stiff horsehair fabric of the same name, I call my stiffer underskirts crinolines and the softer ones petticoats.

I made a nice petticoat of silk and vintage lace from this fine pattern for a crinoline, from Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing.  Voluminous, 100 yard, square dance petticoats can be found on Ebay, or Petticoat Junction, and another place to buy underskirts of varying pouf, is Unique Vintage.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

About Lidia.

Dear Reader,

It's well after the gift-giving holidays* and I hope you enjoyed the book I gave you, The Chronology of Water, by Lidia Yuknavitch.  She's a badass of the sort I want around, because she doesn't make many excuses.  It's the Year of the Sudden Surge of Confidence and I don't want to offer any more explanation or defense for my ideas, choices, and thoughts.  I don't really even know what made me such a second guesser in life, but I do know that I have wasted tons of the sands of time on analyzing the why and how of my own petty little preferences.  Pfft.  What a silly waste.

* Our fir tree is still up and I might make an excuse or an explanation here, but because I want to walk the walk, I won't.

Friday, January 25, 2019


Dear Beloved Listener,

I have been gritting my teeth over how many tasks there are on my list.  Here, now, today, I am on number 5, and getting a quick message off to you is number six.  Of course, these items are not being handled in the order of their importance.  If they were, this would be number 2.  In any event, here are some more numbers for you; versions of today's song of the day.

Number One.

Number Two.

Number Three.

Number Four.

Number Five, a petite reprise of Two.

The composer, eden ahbez, is an interesting fellow, if you care to know a little more about this song.