So yes, I’m making a beautiful bookthing. It’s that wondermental thing known as: a labour of love.
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:
Humanity is bad and terrible and capable of the most horrific acts of cruelty and venality. But oh my god, when a beautiful brain does beautiful brain things, it makes me remember that some of us are not only unbad and unterrible, but really fucking wonderful. What I’m thinking of here is this thing I found on the webs that are inter, this fabulous wonderful thing. To be precise, this thing:
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.
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.
Lisa Auerbach’s Tract House project is full of badassery and makes me happy.
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.)
I listen to a lot of music. A lot. And while I think my taste is fairly wide-ranging, ultimately I have to recognise that I am particularly drawn to and moved by music that is odd or broken or primal or otherworldly. I want from music what I want from poetry and fiction — I want to be moved. I want to be taken to a place of sentipensante, feeling-thinking, to borrow Eduardo Galeano’s most beautiful word, because sentipensante is “language that speaks the truth”. And my god, that is a powerful notion.
The notion of a participatory makeocracy thrills me, well and truly, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is that I relish the blurring or even eradicating of borders and divisions — integration not segregation!
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all, just like you: the Internet is a fœtid swamp of depravity and conjecture and rumour and fibbery and inaccuracy and pointlessness and Lindsay Lohan’s twat, and I can’t really come up with a compelling argument to dissuade anyone of such notions.
The backbone of the backbone.