Friday, June 21, 2019

Time of Wonder










Monday, June 17, 2019

Travel blind.

Dear Suzanne,

Here is your song of the day.  It's unbearably good and I am on your wavelength. 

A long time ago, there were a lot of record stores; and they are largely gone, but I still save my money to buy records.  I used to keep the money in a doll's teapot I had on my shelf.  One shop I frequented was Tower Records, and they had a free magazine, with an interesting section called Desert Island Disks.  The idea being that these were the 10 records you'd want if you were stuck on a desert island. 

Here are nine more versions, to make a Desert Island list for this perfect song. 










Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday, June 7, 2019


Dear Questioning, Quitting, and Beginning,

Submitted for your approval: James Benning's film Twenty Cigarettes.

It might be genius, or maybe it is just boring.  It is definitely beautiful, and certainly uncomfortable in the old familiar performance art way, although I love the distance the camera imposes between me and these people.  There's a bit of the *sublime in it, the void, the terrible immensity of us.

I guess what it could be is just a document, or a collection like any other: bottlecaps or Fiestaware or first editions.  I don't think it can be watched in it's entirety, except as a kind of endurance test, like a triathlon.  I love the uncomfortableness of the persons being filmed, and how that reflects onto viewers; like an enchanted mirror.  I also love the way my mind won't stop supplying a narrative in the vacuum of one:  Where is this person?  What are they feeling?  What do they do when they aren't in front of this camera?

* The sublime in art is a delightful concept that we spent many months discussing in graduate school, which is a place made for such pastimes, because no one there has any soil to till or livestock to feed.   I adored it, of course, and you would have too, but for a five second description of what it refers to, see this link.

Monday, June 3, 2019


Dear All,

That is it.  One year.  365 days of roller skating at least once each day. 

So, now what?  It's a bit of an issue isn't it?  This might be the root of fear of failure, because really, if you set out to do a thing and you do it, then what do you do?  There's a lot of drama in the trying, a lot of suspense, but there isn't much in the completion of it.  I would worry, for instance, about an injury or illness that might prevent me from chalking up another day.  I imagined myself in traction, like the cartoons, with my leg in a cast, hanging from a bar over the bed, and I would have to beg the nurse to please just put my skate on over it, just for a few minutes.

I have decided, and I have been considering what it means for the entire time, but I have more actively wrestled with it for the last 5 months or so, as this milestone approached, that what I will do is keep at it, but not because it is a goal now.  Which means you can't complete it, and you can't fail at it either, if you decide, say, not to take your roller skates to Maine and use them for a few minutes in hotel bathrooms or the potholed parking lots of roadside rest areas.  I think this is the part I will miss the most, the absurdity of doing it everyday no matter how small an effort or how ludicrous the surface.  I will miss the counting, which I did by hash marks in pencil on paper at the end of the day.  It's gone by so fast.  In many ways I am not sure I recommend it.  It's a sad sort of an endeavor, except for the few times you tell someone what you are doing and they cannot even imagine doing such a *thing; but that is a very cheap way to get your self-esteem, and I told only a dozen or so people what I was doing.  In that sense, it barely existed as a project at all.

It is best understood perhaps as a performance, or a ritual.  Which has now ended, and I must devise a new way to mark time, or I must extend this one further, indefinitely.

* Like, for example, brushing one's teeth everyday, or feeding a goldfish, or drinking a cup of coffee, or looking into a mirror in the morning.