Monday, September 17, 2018

Dear Moon.











Dear Moon-Fanciers,

You probably already know all about it, but in case you missed this nice plan for taking artists to the moon, learn about it here.






















Location.













Dear Found and Lost,

Here's another place you can go:  Atlas Obscura.  I warn you, it's very compelling, and you'll surely run out of time to sweep the porch if you keep on searching the internet for interesting items!
















Thursday, September 13, 2018

thinking of words to send you













Dear Readers,

The juice of a small white peach on my fingers rolled down my arm, almost, with patience, to my elbow.  The progressing drop decreased in size, leaving a transparent, shiny trail, a little like the beautiful track of a snail.

Our thoughts, ideas, and words head out from where we are, like an enormous army.  They keep on going and they will find sometimes a place to stay for a while, or even to die.  Or maybe they are more like seeds, many millions are blown from the spent blossom, but only a few find fertile soil.  But when?  Our words can sit fallow for many, many decades, and then, there you are, using some words that someone gave you a long lifetime ago.

I try very hard to keep the words, the thoughts, that people give me, but holding them is so difficult.  They just flow away like liquid, or dry up slowly.  And then, there you are again. 

It is the kind, praising words I want to keep the most- I repeat them, over and over, hoping to fix them very permanently in my mind.  I want to keep them for use on a rainy, diffident day; a day where a little sanative dose is needed.  Other words might stick around too long, and try as I might, I cannot get away from hearing them over and over. 

What shall we do with the latent power of our ideas and words?  Annie Dillard advises us to give the best ones now; don't save them up.  Spend it all, good and fast.














Tuesday, September 11, 2018

100 Days





















Dear Y'all,

In ten years, I've only convinced three people to take up roller skating, and a fourth dabbled for a time.  Still, I keep trying because if you love someone, you take them skating.  If you want to really pour on the affection, you give them a pair of their own.  If you already have half a dozen worshiped pairs, all you can want is a great place to use them.  This year, the people I live with made me the ultimate backyard place to skate:  A mini half pipe.  It's the bees knees!

It's not age-appropriate for me, and so I don't feel comfortable shouting from the rafters about it.  People will tell you that you'll break an arm, or a leg.  Or that it's all fun and games now, but wait until someone gets hurt.  I can tell you that if I didn't try to skate on it, I'd be feeling a painful heap of remorse and regret.  It might seem dull, this back and forth, up and downing on a double ended convex wooden thingummy, but I can tell you it isn't.  All kinds of little shifts in speed or gravity can make one of the descents or accents a crazy near-crash.  The thing, you see, that is fun about roller skating, is the almost falling. 

It was a Chicks in Bowls video that first put the idea of a backyard ramp into my head.  Other great women skaters have helped me to imagine such a thing in my yard; Pigeon and Indy.  This website told us how to go about constructing it.

Today ends a little project of skating every day for a hundred days.  Some days I skated three times, some days 2 hours, some days only 10 minutes.  Some days on my porch, or in the house, or on the beautiful ramp.  It meant I had to take my skates with me if I left overnight- I skated for a few minutes in the parking lot of the Ames Research Center in July.  At a camping site in August, between two cars.  It's a nice appointment to keep every day.  Give it a try, both the ramp and the daily skate- you'll love every bone break-defying minute of it!












Wednesday, September 5, 2018

It takes a train to cry.










Dear travelers,




We were walking uphill, towards the terminal to meet our flight, at dawn. The sunrise, we said, was so beautiful, but isn’t the violet and blue aurora unusual?  It seemed vaguely menacing, and it quickly became so, as my Aunt was pulled screamingly skyward.  We ran to avoid celestial capture, but there were men with guns in the stairwells, and the end seemed very near.
 

Isn’t it always so in dreams of travel?  The tarmac is burning, the plane is descending too rapidly, the subway station is too labyrinthine to navigate, and the train rushed by our station without a glance.  Or, worse, it plummeted into a ravine before our stop.  One time, I remember, we rode it many miles beyond our ticketed station, we were chased the length of the train, and throughout the depot, giving up entirely on claiming our bags, walking for miles in starlit Joshua tree forest.  As I walked, I tried to list the contents of my bag; to recall what I had lost., what I would need to replace.

What could these dream journeys mean?  The futility of arrival, the weariness and sorrow of departure?  Is it the anxiety of the future manifested as a transition from here to there?  A new career in a new town? 


Just one good trip in a dream is all I am looking for- a booking that sends you where you want to go, a country without a border incident, a town you don’t get lost in, a connecting flight that lands without disaster, locals with open hearts.












PS
Wish you were here.