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.
Tomorrow I go for thyroid surgery. The surgeon will glide her knife across my throat, press the edge into the troubling flesh, open me up, and remove the right lobe of my thyroid, that worrisome shit-disturber.
It’s crazy-hot here now and it’s not even June yet.
I would be brief on the day I didn’t have a lot to say or, really, had a lot to say but wanted to make the thoughts in my head all compact the way a wintertime child can take a puff of snow and squeeze it into a ball of ice, to make it all hard and small.
So yes, I’m making a beautiful bookthing. It’s that wondermental thing known as: a labour of love.
What I’m doing right now is I’m writing a thing, a beautiful thing, a bookstory thing. It’s hard going — oh god, it is — and for all the wild-ride moments of outpour, there are many many — many! — ice ages of brainfreeze. When you write a thing as a pen-for-hire, you push through the brainfreeze, because money and somebody else’s deadline are great motivators. But when you make something with joy in your heart and when it’s a collaborative effort to boot — I’m making this thing with James Cook, whose delicious photographs will join up with the words I write — you let the going be slow because you’re waiting for a strange kind of knowledge — epiphany, I guess you’d call it — waiting to see in a way you’ve never seen before, waiting to understand, waiting to make connections.
If tomorrow I were to walk away to some other place, go live in a where that is not this where, the place I would go would have lots of snow and the house I would live in would be made of cold, a house of snow — or of-snow-adjacent.
… you just have to love it back.
You know how much I love words and the physical act of writing, how much I love the graphemic grace of the thing that is written? Yeah, you do. And you know how much I like holding a pencil in my hand and making marks on a paper with it — marks with meaning, I mean — and also how much I like reading a paper full of writing from someone else’s hand? Well, I like all that very much, you know I do, but I like something else too:
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.
Dave Kinsey at Fecalface has a treat for you, me, and the lamppost:
In all the annals of object porn, there are no objects that incite greater lust in me than typewriters.
You know what I love? I love “yes”. I love “yes” so much, and so hard, and also its more boisterous adjutants “hell yes” and “fuck yes”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you take away my periodic PMS madness and my 92%-of-the-time short fuse, I’m a pretty fun gal.
Sometimes I think it might be enough for the wild things of your brain to assert themselves sufficiently that instead of pretending they don’t exist, you have to turn your gaze to them, even if you can’t classify them. Taxonomy is good and useful — delicious, even — but maybe not always necessary. Maybe you don’t always have to be able to assign a clear name or narrative or meaning to a nightmare. Maybe the beast that rises from the deeps when you dream a dream like that doesn’t have to be a beast you recognise. Maybe not being able to speak the creature’s name is not only okay but an important component of baddreaming.
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.)