Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Monday, November 28, 2016
What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours... and so the song goes. Or 48 hours. Or 72. It's not even so much a question of words. The mind and the body do betray sometimes.
Meditating on fear and it's not a specific fear that you can confront and say, "This..." It's this other thing that's just there, or not there as the case may be. Like you can see a shadow but it's not really there. You can even photograph a reflection but it's not really there. You can't touch it, but that makes it no less real.
I would stay home and be alone today if being alone was an option. Sounds penetrate the thin membrane.
Feelings. Other peoples' feelings make noises. Don't tell me it's not so. You can't tell me you haven't heard them.
Meditating this morning on fear, and shadows, and voices, and reflections mostly. Fear is a shadow but more often fear is a mirror. Fear is a voice. It's an echo and what's an echo but a kind of reflection? So meditating on my fear is meditating on my reflection which I suppose is a form of narcissism but then things start to get complicated and it's easier to get up and go to work if it's going to be my own voices wrecking the cocoon.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Friday, November 25, 2016
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Wednesday night making love. Fucking? Fucking someone I am in love with.
That sounds right.
Crazy passion with two interruptions. A minute of baby crying two rooms away. A single brief moment looking over and seeing the dog staring, and then when it was over I hear her circle and settle into her quilt with an indignant harumph sound.
Brooklyn Thanksgiving morning and a juggler in tights unicycling down Flatbush Avenue at 10am. No audience. Just balanced happily on one wheel, tooling down the road, and juggling bowling pins.
No helmet either. A rebel living large. When I believed in a god I thought maybe he or she or it put weird shit like this in my path to mess with my head. Now I understand that the weird shit is just there. That I'm not the only person trying desperately to break the monotony of daily human cruelty and insanity.
The sheer monotony.
You can't make up the shit that's actually happening in the world. It makes no sense so when you write it into a story or a screenplay they call you an absurdist, even though it's all the real life shit that everyone is trying hard not to see and acknowledge. So all you can do is mess about to amuse yourself. Get a unicycle and juggle, or tell bad jokes or drink a lot or whatnot. Why not?
Packing cheesecakes off to a small family dinner. I'm happy today, or happy enough. Happiness almost feels like revenge some days.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Monday, November 21, 2016
The sky was all messy with charcoal smudges like eraser-marks, rub that out and start over, again and again and again. Not a bad day but not a good one just somewhere in between and sorting out feelings about Winter coming home and the season in general. The opposite of bad isn't necessarily good. It's merely "not bad" and that isn't quite the same as good, is it? It's just "not bad."
He's back though, for now, and we (I) deal with that as it comes. It's not exactly as if there's a choice in the matter. He comes. He goes. Sometimes he brings gifts. Sometimes he takes back the gifts from the last visit. You just never know.
Echoes of Robert Frost now...
A love or a season
a love or a season
to bow and accept
to bow and accept...
Saturday, November 19, 2016
Friday, November 18, 2016
n. the moment a conversation becomes real and alive, which occurs when a spark of trust shorts out the delicate circuits you keep insulated under layers of irony, momentarily grounding the static emotional charge you’ve built up through decades of friction with the world.
n. the tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it—whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness—which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.
n. weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had—the same boring flaws and anxieties you’ve been gnawing on for years, which leaves them soggy and tasteless and inert, with nothing interesting left to think about, nothing left to do but spit them out and wander off to the backyard, ready to dig up some fresher pain you might have buried long ago.
n. the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
Q: On the awareness that you’re happy
“What was the term for consciously being aware that you’re happy and therefor becoming unhappy?” –Anonymous
n. the moment you realize that you’re currently happy—consciously trying to savor the feeling—which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.
Kairosclerosis is from the Greek: kairos, "the opportune moment” + sclerosis, “hardening.” The Ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. Chronos is quantitative and linear—the ticking of the Western clock. Kairos is more qualitative, referring to moments that are indeterminate and sublime, when something special happens, when god speaks or the wind shifts, when a door is left open between one minute and the next.
This definition is why I ain’t writing The Dictionary of Obscure Pleasures. In my experience, moments of joy tend to die on the examination table. Kurt Vonnegut liked to say, “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” I think the opposite is true. Notice when you’re sad, and dive in and wallow and examine it and pick it apart with forceps and calipers. The sadness will lose its vitality and harden over time into something benign and foreign, like an emotional fossil.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
And that's the first headline scrolling down the page this morning?
Twenty years of diaries and nary an honest word therein. It's not that I didn't exactly know it was mostly falsehood, but I really wanted it to be true. That must count for something, right. Where does one go with that?
Take a deep breath and start again.
I woke one morning last week once again with these words on my lips: It's now or never. Don't bother picking up where you left off. Just recycle the lot and start fresh. I don't want to insult the people who've known all along how messed up things are and have had to live fully immersed in the consequence of fuckedupness, and I've known all along that it was really fucked up but I just didn't want it to be as fucked up as it is.
I'm talking of course about the country and the election. I wouldn't say I'm reeling but let's call it crestfallen. I'm crestfallen and resigned to the old adage, "Nothing changes if nothing changes." This is no different. If this isn't a wake up call then I'm already dead. Viking funeral, please.
Time to start fresh.
So yes... (looks around)
Scientists say dogs dream about the humans they love. We are going to begin with that flagpole thrust into the ground like a mariner landing on a new shore. New for him, anyway. Never you mind the people standing there thinking who the fuck are you and what fresh hell is this we have enough gods thank you ever so fucking much.
None of this is as scattered as it may read. Trust that it will all circle back in, but it has to start somewhere and we're going to start with a dog dreaming. We're going to start with a scabby pitbull lying on an old comforter and she's asleep but crying. She inhales deeply as if startled and exhales in a series of far off sobs and whimpers. She has a story or a narrative if you will that only she knows but it's easy to see that there's something in there. It's the crying in her sleep, and then sometimes when she's awake she stops in the middle of whatever she's doing, as if she's just remembered something she forgot to do, like a woman leaving for the shops stopping to remember if she turned off the flame under the kettle. Then she pauses and stares off into space, and she huffs a bit and continues about her canine business. There is an entire narrative hidden just beneath the surface of those moments.
Or maybe, just maybe, her concern isn't with her past but with the future. Do dogs have a future?
Have I ever been able to conceive of a length of time before me, or have I always been too hung up on the widening expanse behind me?
I need to think about that.
Sunday, November 13, 2016
"White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump's victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear—especially African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBT Americans and Asian Americans. Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America.
"I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics. Hispanic Americans who fear their families will be torn apart, African Americans being heckled on the street, Muslim Americans afraid to wear a headscarf, gay and lesbian couples having slurs hurled at them and feeling afraid to walk down the street holding hands. American children waking up in the middle of the night crying, terrified that Trump will take their parents away. Young girls unable to understand why a man who brags about sexually assaulting women has been elected president.
"I have a large family. I have one daughter and twelve granddaughters. The texts, emails and phone calls I have received from them have been filled with fear – fear for themselves, fear for their Hispanic and African American friends, for their Muslim and Jewish friends, for their LBGT friends, for their Asian friends. I've felt their tears and I've felt their fear.
"We as a nation must find a way to move forward without consigning those who Trump has threatened to the shadows. Their fear is entirely rational, because Donald Trump has talked openly about doing terrible things to them. Every news piece that breathlessly obsesses over inauguration preparations compounds their fear by normalizing a man who has threatened to tear families apart, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and who has directed crowds of thousands to intimidate reporters and assault African Americans. Their fear is legitimate and we must refuse to let it fall through the cracks between the fluff pieces.
"If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.
"If Trump wants to roll back the tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately."
- SENATOR HARRY REID