And so I think about the corset. As a conveyor of metaphor, it’s a powerful object, for me. I’m interested in structure, in organisation, in taxonomy, in classification, in order and containment, in safety and protection, in the harbour from the storm, in locking that shit down.
Do the doing things:
be alive in your body
Find a place to go and go there
to Dar-es-Salaam or Dearborn, Michigan
Sit on the tarmac in the time before up
Think of what you thought up and dreamed up
So many boats in my dreams, this last while. Boats and boats and then again boats. I like boats, always have (particularly those powered by muscle not motor), maybe as the result of having for a father a man who in his youth was a sailor or maybe as the result of my Piscean nature.
It’s crazy-hot here now and it’s not even June yet.
I like the notion of the skin being breached so that change can be rendered to the organism. I like the idea very much, altho’ I fully recognize the malarial reality of the wrong kind of puncture, the bleedout reality of the wrong kind of slice. But here in my metaphorical LaLaLand, sharp things are pretty things that are also agents of change.
This year, watching the Tour de France on TV, I heard one of the announcers say, “There’s the beautiful sunflower field” and it made me happy that, given all the manful muscling in the pelotonic tumult, he thought to mention that quiet golden place. Since then the words”There is the beautiful sunflower” have lodged themselves in my imagination in the inexplicable way certain words and phrases do from time to time, becoming something like a prayer or an offering or a streamer of solace unfurled the way a strand of birch bark can be freed from the tree.
A couple of days ago when I was stopped at a street corner waiting for the light to change, a man walked up from behind me, stood beside me, looked at me, smiled, and said, “Nice legs, librarian.” Now, I’m really not a woman who enjoys strangers making commentary on her appearance but he didn’t have the stink of testosterone poisoning about him so I didn’t just default to my “Fuck you, you fucking fucker” setting. Plus? He called me “librarian”. And oh good lord, I do love me a librarian, so very very much I do, and am always so happy to meet a fellow member of that tribe, which obviously that man was.
Butcher’s charts take it all apart.
Sewing patterns put it all together.
The sundering and the reconciling … they interest me, both. I maybe love taxidermy because it requires both; I should maybe love the jigsaw puzzle more than I do, for the same reason.
Often I think of the poetry of objects
about the way a seam is resolved
or the way a spine grows
about the things we make with our bodies
and the bones from out of our bodies
I think I think too much about clothes — mine, yours, his, hers, theirs, whoever’s. Because really? I think an awful lot about them. Like, an AWRFUL lot. Thing is, when the world is being beautiful, I don’t want to be a blight on it and when the world is being unbeautiful, I don’t want to add to the ick, so I end up thinking a lot about my clothes. And in my thinking, I also think this: I think style is an act of generosity. I think fashion is just merchandising. I think one is qualitatively superior to the other, by a lot, and in my mind it’s clear that the superior one is style.
Yellow! I don’t really like it, most of the time, and yet my favourite shoes in the whole wide world are yellow and I love it when a cool-toned garden is warmed by splashes of yellow and I think lemons are not only delightfully delicious as foodstuffs but delightfully delectable in every aesthetic aspect and I like looking at my bookshelves and seeing the yellow spines of Upside Down and Cheap Chic and A Prick Up Your Ears and What It Is and maybe now that I think of it I do like yellow, not as the object or the subject, mostly, but in small illuminating punctuatory doses.
You know, I’m not really a big fan of birds (the Byrds, yes, birds, no). Okay, truth be told, I find them horrible and creepy, more than is strictly reasonable — if in fact there’s a degree of finding-birds-horrible-and-creepy that could be characterised as “reasonable”. Mostly, of course, my distaste for birds doesn’t matter, doesn’t have an impact on my life — except when preparing a whole chicken for consumption. Yow. Now that is the stuff nightmares are made of. Mostly, however, I don’t think about birds or worry about birds.
The world spins on its axis, on and on and on, no matter who comes here or leaves here, no matter how happy or sad you are, no matter, no matter.
Oh. My. God. The happies, they are upon me.
How to catch an octopus
by Patrick Widdess
Here’s a thing I just realised. Chet Baker had it right: let’s get lost. That’s what running is, for me: a getting lost, the way you can get lost in very few things, maybe only love and sex and music and physical exertion and the way the air smells in the woods in the fall or the way a cold lake feels on your body when you jump in naked and let all that cold swirl across all your bare skin to leave you gasping and shuddering in a strange beautiful release that’s almost like the moment of orgasm, in the pleasure/pain aspect of it and also in the being completely present in your body aspect of it.
When I grow up, I want to be a people. A people with antlers.
The carapace is a wonderful thing in its own right and I can celebrate its utility and its beauty — I can, I honestly can. But I never really forget that for all its protective value, it’s also a small, confined place, like a pedestal … or a prison.
Ice is nice. Okay, if you’re me, it’s more than nice.
Blue-and-white china is a lovely thing indeed. I have rarely seen any that I did not like, at least a bit, at least the colour scheme if not the pattern. Because while green is queen, blue is definitely her consort, and the consort’s most worthy consort is white.
If you take away my periodic PMS madness and my 92%-of-the-time short fuse, I’m a pretty fun gal.
Okay, so there’s this Canadian clothing designer, Natalie Purschwitz, who runs a small and very interesting operation, Hunt & Gather, out of Vancouver. A few months ago she got the genius idea to wear only clothes she has made herself, for a whole year, in a project she calls Makeshift. Makeshift, I find, is a very nifty notion, if not also a little daunting. (But of course most things worth doing are a little daunting.)
When colour isn’t present to advance the story, form and texture are what keep the narrative moving.
Boring to hear someone cry “wah wah wah” about a head cold, I know, but that’s what I’m doing anyway. Nearly ten days of illness is too damn much and while I’m doing my best to soldier on bravely, the brain it braineth not. So I will be true to my chromosomes and get all girly on you by getting all hyperventilate-y about shoes. Because … well … shoes! What’s not to love about shoes? Especially shoes cooked up in fevered dreams, kind of like the ones I’ve been having.