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.
I don’t know about your little piece of the planet but here where I am there’s been a lot of greyworld and I’m not really an appreciator of greyworld, unless it’s mitigated by storm. Which it hasn’t been, here and now. So what can be done? One can give in to the grey and be taken down by it — opt for bed or heavy drink for weeks on end, except those are roads to ruin and I prefer to remain unruined for just a little longer in life.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you take away my periodic PMS madness and my 92%-of-the-time short fuse, I’m a pretty fun gal.
I like the feeling of dream, the look of dream, the words of dream, the music of dream, the LSD of dream. I like the blur, the opacity, and the glow of dream. I like the strange wrong flawed perfect images of dream that sometimes tell a strange wrong flawed perfect truth.
I took my kids to see Zombieland the other day. (Because yes, I am an awesome mother.) It was a highly enjoyable experience, more than any of us had anticipated, honestly, and chief among the many excellent moments was the scene in which the four nonzombies who are our heroes realize the rules of quotidian life no longer pertain and lay waste to a souvenir shop, smashing and crushing and pulverising all the cheap tat that stocks the shop’s shelves. It is an exhilarating moment, for sure, because transgression so often is, and transgression that involves destruction? Ding ding ding! We have a winner, folks!
Last May, I ran a half-marathon. It was a dreadful experience, in ways I can’t, even four months later, fully articulate. I can tell you that I wasn’t jubilant when I crossed the finish line, I didn’t feel the lightness of spirit I had anticipated. Not at all. In fact, I was bitterly disappointed in myself because I hadn’t run the way I wanted to run and because in the months of training I’d done to prepare for the race, I’d lost all the things I value about running, sacrificed them to this goal of propelling myself 21.1 kilometres in tandem with thousands of strangers, in a specific and challenging amount of time.
The backbone of the backbone.