Friday, July 31, 2009

I am in love with this song!

Perfect for hot, humid summer nights.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"All was silent as before-
All silent save the dripping rain."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We had lightning storms last night that lite up the whole sky; I've missed to wild thunderstorms of the midwest.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the farmer's market in town - chatting with friends under the hot sun, breathing in the salty ocean scent, and avoiding petition pushers on the sidewalk. It seems like everyone who collects signatures for medical marijuana is stoned. I passed two on the sidewalk, neither seemed fully present. Generally, the medical marijuana folks outnumber all other petitions in the square, but yesterday they were overwhelmed by the health care petitions. I was asked by one girl whether I wanted "health care for all." When I asked what that meant, she was vague - it means "health care for all," of course. I had to push a bit, is that government-run health care? No, not at all acutually, it's "public-run."

The term "public-run health care" confused me. Who is in charge of running public-non-government-run health-care? The term is misleading, as though this health care change would be led by a crowd of my neighbors and friends and not by politicians. Both ideas are a bit scary.

It is dark and dripping outside. I am going to throw this afternoon, but this morning I am organizing my desk - clearing out the pile of writing I've collected, saving what is good and tossing the rest.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Press close, bare-bosomed Night!
Press close, magnetic,nourishing Night!
Night of south winds! Night of the large, few stars!
Still, nodding Night! Mad, naked, Summer Night!"

~Walt Whitman

Some nights are not made for sleeping. I've been restless since the sunset and now the heat, the whirring fan, and the dark loneliness all around have conspired to keep me awake and dreaming.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"In summer, the song sings itself"
William Carlos Williams

I recommend reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez in summer. I'm not, his books are tucked away on library shelves, but if I didn't have Hemmingway, I would hunt him down right away. Hemmingway is excellent in the summertime too. It's sunny today, and humid. The walls seem to sweat with me today, nothing is dry. But the sun is bright and the breeze is soft and everyone is happy to have no rain today.

I made quiche for tea today, and had to piece together the damp dough for the crust, but it is a lovely, cheesey, fluffy quiche all the same. Moja rodzina is coming in only a couple weeks! I hope they'll let me cook for them at the cabin.

This afternoon I edit poems to send away.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Feast-day Sts. Boris and Gleb!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself. "
Lev Tolstoy

The old mill down by the river burned the other day, and we walked down in the hot sun to watch with a crowd of others. Kids ducked under the security tape and played around the police cars and water sprayed blew back over us from the fire-hoses. The fire was beautiful - flames and black smoke shot into the sky from the old chimney - but when it was done the mill was pitiful, a dead thing - all hollow-eyed and alone next to the living river. Now we walk past it and avert our eyes from it's skeleton. The mill is dead, we are alive, and we would forget the past if only the skeleton would go.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"We must not only cease our present desire for the growth of the state, but we must desire its decrease, its weakening. "
Lev Tolstoy

I'm watching the president on a silent television at the cafe. Even without sound, I've learned that he doesn't regret wearing jeans, and that he's looking forward to involving himself as much as possible in my health care. I'd really rather he didn't, my health care is my own to care for, or ignore, as I see fit and his involvement can only cause me trouble.

My husband and I have decided to join the modern age and get internet at home, our intention is that with regular access, I can sell my pottery online, write more regularly, and keep on top of writing market. Its exciting, I'll miss my many walks down to the cafe, or the library, but I'm looking forward ot not having to buy coffee everytime I want to check my e-mail.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?"
Henry David Thoreau

We have a problem with ants. They have made their homes in the wood under our floor and they are not leaving. Our kitchen is clean, and there is very little for them to feed on, but they prefer the pottery room to the kitchen and seem to thrive on the Borax we've scattered - hoping to kill them. I see them marching alone past my pots and run for a rag and a bowl of bleach-water, its the only thing they fear these daring ants. They smell the bleach before it hits them, and scatter, but when the water has dried they're back marching to the borax which hurts them not at all.

My husband laughs at the ant problem and accuses me of hating nature. He laughs when I accuse him of not caring about the ants; he laughs when I tell him they're ruining everything. He wonders what everything they could be ruining, since they seem indifferent to food, and all of ours is safely stored anyway. The war of the ants is amusing for him. He knows when he hears a clang, mumbled curses, and then "ANTS!" yelled from the pottery room that I'm running for the bleach, the lavender oil, and an old rag. Another battle has begun.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Every man's memory is his private literature."

Alduos Huxley

I found a folder of drafts and notes from college and from my year in Pennsylvania. It’s very exciting for me to look through my writing and discover quite a bit that can be re-worked and perhaps used for some good. I am particularly excited to discover notes from my time at the dairy farm, when I worked for an old man with too many cows and no hope. The Harold notes, take up the majority of the folder and some are very good. I worked for Harold the year after college, while living with my good friend, who was an actress in a small-town theatre. It was the hardest job I’d ever had – 10-12 hour days with no lunch break, outdoors, or in Harold’s drafty barn. At night I dreamt I was at work, mucking an un-ending row of filthy stalls. But in the evenings, and on Sundays – our one day off, we had such good times. I kept my pottery wheel in my bedroom and threw at night when I couldn’t stand another work dream, we read E.B. White and Hemmingway incessantly, and wandered the town, running, walking, drinking, talking, and learning to see the world well.

Harold didn’t understand why I needed Sundays off. He was forever telling me of all the things he would do on Sunday if I would only come in to work. His nephew worked Sundays, but the boy was “Trash”, and “so wretched he hates hisself”, and so could never be relied upon to help with all the important projects. Harold remembered his one good employee, Kurt, who would work seven-days a week, 5am to midnight, and longer if need be. Kurt never asked for days off, he never took breaks, he never complained. When I would drive away, at seven in the evening, after a long December day of frozen manure, broken machinery, and spilled milk, Harold would watch me go - shaking his head and thinking of Kurt.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book List:

I'm reading Tolstoy. Last week I needed distraction from the rain, so I picked up War and Peace. When that was done I read The Death of Ivan Illych for the first time. It's very short, and very Tolstoy. Now I'm reading Anna Karenina. I would like to find a copy of Divine and Human.

At the same time, I'm often picking up The Book of Hours, by Rilke. I'm trying to prepare myself to edit my article in defense of art, and though I just choose books I enjoy to refreash myself, all of them are helping me form and solidify my ideas. Tolstoy is especially good for all this because he has so many interesting digressions.