Thursday, July 27, 2023

a path


Illustration by Gustave Doré.

Dear Reader,

I hope you know that I want the best for you; I hope you know that I care that you see long and far and for ever, because I want to see that way too.

It might be that you find that seeing so far leaves you wondering what you have done.  It's not a problem, that was then, it is always a mulligan, a do-over.  So do-over endlessly; there is no penalty.

Here is an essay saying a lot of things that I think are the best; that I think you should know, the better to see long and far and for ever.

And now, let's go again to Grandmother's house, and see what can be done with the Wolf and The Woodcutter.  We can whistle this tune, while we walk.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

who feels it knows it


Dear Ghosts,

Maybe this is it, anyway:

slips, wisps,



who feels it knows it.

Glints.  These things make up the now, perhaps.

She says:  Relationship.

I think:  Acting on impulse?

I wonder:  Filtering?  Can we even pretend to?

Is this the now, the infinitely small sub-particles that could make the present?


Let's feel it again.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Watching Nothing.


Dear Cleaning Ladies (and Gentlemen),

I was cleaning today.  Y'all know I do not like cleaning, because it is never done, and it is never done well enough, and I do not like the world's gender fueled expectations of me to be a 'cleaner.'  

But, because someone is coming, and I want to sit leisurely paying attention to The Guest, and not to hear the following from my constantly babbling interior monologue voice (which should probably have a name; perhaps Hank?): "they are seeing the muddy paw prints, the myriad spider webs, the velvety dust, and the stains on the carpet and table" while we talk.

Another reason Hank and I fret over mess, is that people are not that comfortable in disarray- they feel like they should 'do' something; I don't like being around people who are antsy like that, even when the person is me (or, especially when the person is me, or Hank).

Conversely, and Hank might just be surprised to hear this, I have used these expectations as self-defense:  "What are you doing?" the world keeps asking, and I know I must answer that I am contributing to well being and my community:  I say, "Oh, you know, cleaning up some stuff- it's never ending!"  This often sounds a bit too cheerful, and I worry people will know I am fibbing.

What am I really doing?  Research, in my lab (I am doing it now).  How do I do it?  It involves a LOT of not-doing; and a lot of circular actions, and gazing.  Also, what you might call thinking, but of course, I do a lot of thinking when I am actually cleaning, too, so I am not sure that the 'thinking' counts.  It looks like me, in bed until noon.  It looks like me, partially dressed, poking through my books and notes.   It looks like me typing on the computer, writing to you here, and also sorting.  Sorting looks like me searching websites, or pages of on-sale shoes; rifling through my collection of hankies and taking some out to be given back to the thrift store.  Recompiling months of to do lists in yet another 'master list.'  

Research looks like sitting on the porch watching nothing/everything.  It looks a lot like living, except it is much more engaging, vital, and important.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Writer, indeed!


Untitled (Never Perfect Enough), Barbara Kruger, 2020.

Dear Writers,

Another little incident around the extended family table, another little day of hashing out what the hell all that could have meant.  

One thing I know, is that I was offended at the notion of not being noticed as a writer.  What, is there a minimum page requirement?  Psh.  Are people using words without a publisher exempt from this action, then, of putting down words on to a screen or page?  These ones are 'not-writers?'  Psh.

I guess what I am saying here, and I invite you to rise up with me and claim your place as a writer, is that I WRITE, therefore, I AM (A) WRITER.


I know, it's pretty forceful, but, I am pretty sure that I have already pleaded with, permitted you, to claim your place as artist, and I believe that the saying it is what makes it true, not anything else really.  Let me try to give you an example...  How many words in a language constitute knowing how to speak it?  How many times do you need to pedal around your block before you are a bicycle rider?  How many hours do you need to play guitar to be a musician?  Of course I am aware of the fine points, of the tens of hours a week practicing, of the notion of some-  I know some Spanish, un poquito.  I play a few chords.  Et cetera.  If it makes you feel more confident, you can add the some:  I am a sometimes artist.  I do some writing.  I can live with that; but I cannot live with arbitrary gate-making and -keeping, or the false notion that unless you make money at it, you are not it.  The difference between you singing in your car and the singer in the band is that you are not in a band currently.  Period.