This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Blueberry Ghost

The aroma of blueberry muffins has been following me around for three days. In my car, I thought there was a bakery near by, coming in through the vents. In a different neighborhood the smell still wafted and I reasoned that I was picking up a slow drip of pine sap from the cutting of Devyn's yule tree that sits over my defroster vent. Walking home in the heavy late winter snow, I still could detect the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins. It's in my apartment too. I have not baked blueberry muffins ever, let alone recently enough to be carrying the smell of them around with me.

Blueberries always remind me of the mid-summer time in the U.P. We could gather enough to fill multiple 5 gallon ice cream tubs if we had the greed and patience to do so. The wide tracts of land clear cut by the paper mills were left with nothing but sandy soil and hip high jack pines. Those tundra-like swaths were prime blueberry zones. They would just fall off their branches in clumps of threes and fours into your palm. They grew wild, juicy, and chemical free. They were best straight from the bush to your mouth, their meats warmed by the July sun.

Jessica would cook blueberry pies from scratch without a recipe as if she were someone's Nana. We'd pick berries just for her pies which she'd make so pretty, with cuts in the top crust and sprinkled with a bit of raw sugar. Her crusts made all the difference. They were buttery, flaky, and full of her big green eyed love.

The summer before Jessica died she lived by herself for the first time. She painted murals on the walls of her cleanly scented bedroom. She built collages of places and people that captured her interest from old magazines salvaged from St. Vinny's bag sales on her living room wall. She cooked meals for me almost every week and fed me any time I was hungry. I would bring her bags of berries for pie, mix cds for relaxation, and other surprises.

She had to go out of town one day, but told me she'd baked a pie and saved me some. She said her door would be unlocked, the doors in the U.P. usually are, and to come over any time that weekend to get the pie. In I went to her peaceful home to find two pieces of thick blueberry pie wrapped on a plate on the table with note reminding me to enjoy. I left her a note of thankful poetry and walked the pie to my boyfriend's house to share. We liked to eat blueberry pie with ice cream while drinking cold beer.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Senses

I've just sat down after a four hour cooking marathon. I made Red Pepper, Lima Bean and Cilantro soup; Ribollito (Thanks for the awesome recipe Laura!); and more garlicky pesto. I made a second batch of the pesto this week due to some more feelings of a sickness trying to creep in.

People are getting a week long killer flu all around and I really don't want it so I'm eating raw garlic like it's going out of style and having lots of peppermint and green teas, and o.j. with honey. I froze lots of individual portions in hopes that my grocery splurge yesterday will get me through the next month since I'm cutting up my credit cards.

The sun is moving for the Western horizon. It's been a lovely sunny weekend here, you can really feel the strength of the sun coming back and the days are noticeably longer now.

My life continues to retain a somewhat overwhelming sense of chaos. All at once my spirituality, sexuality and purpose are up in the air for questioning. The only things I'm certain of are things I decided on when I was a child; like the fact that purple is my favorite color, I love shoes and wanderlust permeates me. Oh, and that I like to ride my bike and write. I don't know anything right now and when I'm asked to talk about my future I cry.

Questions posed to me (by whom or what?):

What do I want to do with my life?

Hobo?
Write?
Be comfortable?
Teach?
Research?

What is important to me?

Love?
Spirituality?
Community?
(which?)
Becoming an activist?

I hardly know what I'm good at anymore. One thing I do know is that I'm fed up paying my student loans because I want to be able to use the money (I work all the time to earn) for bike parts, travel, recreation. It seems so easy to just stop paying them!

I haven't smoked weed all weekend. It's been hard because part of me feel like it's no big deal, but I'm accepting that it is, right now, better to not smoke.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poll

What are y'alls' thoughts on the new blog layout design. Is it hard to read? Is anything distracting about it? Improvement suggestions?

Thankye,
The De-Centralized Mgmt. Point

Friday, February 22, 2008

Chicago History, Revolution & Advertising: a mash up

It is so interesting to read Chicago history. This city has been in a constant state of people searching for more, scrabbling over one another to get to the top; people being beaten senseless by the machines working against them, sometimes resulting in them either falling through the cracks, running away or rioting. Ok, so that's kind of a narrow view, but I'm the writer, we're focusing where I want.
:)
When I moved here I read The Jungle for the first time. The Jungle isn't about the meat packing industry as much as it's about workers' rights; being beaten into submission by loss or refusal, and in the end, about the participation of masses of people in projects to try breaking the chains they're bound by. Upton Sinclair's last few chapters are ideological, a rallying cry for the newly rising IWW and union workers. It's a gruesome but realistic story of immigrants fighting for rights in Chicago in the 1800s.

I've been thinking about hobos and tramps non-stop for the last several weeks. I've also been thinking a lot about mythology, which is related more to my wanting to know about the old ways I'm drawn to from literary stand points, rather than religious ones.

I keep wanting to write and have been writing by hand, for myself. This usually means 2 things: 1. I'm back building and 2. I'm depressed. Both true and both just existing like little sprites with spears on my shoulders. They prick me into action and prick again when I lapse.

Another good book about Chicago and revolution, before I go: The Spook Who Sat by the Door, by Sam Greenlee. A book about racism in America in the late '60s and the riots that broke out country wide as a result.

Now for something largely unrelated that I just remembered: I watched Rize two weeks ago. It's awesome, watch it. I realized that the images one sees all around urban-metro areas in iPod billboards look like they were totally lifted from the camera work done in this documentary.
Oh advertising...you funny little wizard industry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Windchill Factor

The weather went from glorious pre-spring preview over the weekend to brass-bra, diamond cutting, cold again this week. Dang-it-all!!! >:(

I simply cannot wake up in the morning when I'm waddling over slippery footprints frozen into ice in my cold hard boots, three layers of clothing, and fogged up movie star sunglasses (to make sure no skin shows). It takes something like 4 hours before I feel even remotely up to the tasks before me.

The last week or so I've almost completely fallen off the exercise band wagon and have been opting for going home to veg out, knit, and read anarchist materials. I'm going to continue doing that until motivation strikes me or it warms the F up.

And the great thing is, I'm totally ok with it. Yay!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Looking for a Framework

I realized on the way to work, two days ago, that there has been nothing in my life to prepare me for the life I now have. I have no framework of understanding to hang my experience of 9-5 indefinitely, living alone, having time to create after work hours, adult-type routine on.

That realization made me feel better, actually.

Slack-o-holic



Another fave on-line image from today. It's my new desktop background.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Qld, Austrailia

So, Qld stands for Queensland, a south eastern state in Australia and that's where Ipswich is. Petersham is in New South Wales, the directly state south of Qld. All this and more according to Googleit.

It's earlier than normal for bed for me, but starting last night I have a strange and slightly smelly mucous at the back of my throat and sinuses so I'm going to listen to my body when it tells me, "tired."

If any of you magic herbal shamans reading this know of provisions for possible coming sinus infections, please do let me know as I am too tired to Googleit right now. Thanks and Love,
Shana

Sunday, February 10, 2008

In Loo of Cleaning the Bathroom

In lieu of cleaning the bathroom I'm writing nice letters to friends I've known for years, and also to new people that I've stumbled upon in the brave new interworld.

Below is the comment I left for J9 to whom I was Google directed while distractedly trying to find out what the term is for a person or thing aged 90 - 99.

Septuagenarian, octogenarian...ninety...?

It's nonogenarian. Nono, I learned, is the Latin root for nine. That's interesting because in the other cases -genarian is attached to a Greek root; the Greek word for nine being ennea. But, as J9 might say, I digress:

ohmygod, I think I love you.

p.s.
wiki-ed ninety + octogenarian.
your blog came up, thus saving me from a rinky-dink wind-about trip toward the correct answer and to your writing instead.


Reason #486 that the world wide web is the 2nd Best Invention Ever

(#1 being electricity):
Never, before the net, would I have written to a person that I don't know who lives in Petersham & Ipswich, New South Wales & Qld, Australia, a place I've never heard of, and told them I loved them.

I won't even know what Qld is until I Googleit a few minutes from now.

The next letter that I sent flying on wings of tiny plastic encased wires went to Ohtis, a band I happened to see Thursday night.

Dear Ohtis,
I've been sitting in a tee-shirt and underwear with all my bathroom supplies on the living room floor trying to think of what rhymes with Elephant so that I could finish my limerick to you. What I mean to say is that I'm procrastinating on the utterly important task of cleaning the loo to write you this letter of appreciation for the Fucking Awesome show you played at The Note last week.
I had gone to see Elephant Gun and was so shocked at the good time I was having that I came out of my semi-alcoholic mopey stupor and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
So Thank You Ohtis and
Rock On.

Sincerely,
Shasta


And now, Ghandi.

Friday, February 8, 2008

creation=life=revolution

On the way to work, on a very crowded train, I pondered.
I drank in and thought about graffiti: it's makers, the ones who cover it over, why the ones who make it keep remaking it as the ones who cover it over keep covering. Toronto had the best graffiti I've seen. Toronto has more people espousing creation=life=revolution then Chicago does.

I want revolutionary companions. I want ones not afraid to commit acts considered illegal by the establishment. Encouragement and support is needed. I want ones who have an imagination and a vision of better worlds to share. I want ones who know what I'm talking about when I talk about better worlds. I want ones unafraid to inhabit the cracks of the sidewalk where the living little plants grow up from. I want a friend who'll come out with me to go around the city posting signs, letters, and notices to the world from people they don't see and viewpoints they might not consider. I want to cover over the lavalife dating posters in the buses that make me cringe with posters containing images of Medusa and words reminding people to think about beauty for themselves.

I want to be reminded, everywhere I go and everywhere I look, that the universe waits to delight in me.

I'm going to have to keep creating. It's the only way. Thank god I write. If I didn't I don't know who I would be.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Summer Gnome, Pt. 2

The following poem was written as I grew out of the swamp of my feelings for the Gnome following the "tooth incident" which we've not talked of since.


"Release, Renew, Redye"

A red veil covers my eyes;
Thin enough to see and breathe through,
Thick enough to thrash under.
Red for heirloom tomatoes
given me from the bushes out back
by the dumpsters.
They were only for me
And for everyone else your
decadence was served to.
For the blood and crack:
For the blood that came
and washed away fear of seed.
For the crack of front teeth,
Ripped from my imagistic nightmares.
Spit from a mouth I sucked
and held in incinerating feebleness.
A hot, Red veil suffocates today.
On the morning train
Two days later.
A gossamer
A cheese cloth
A shroud of Red
disfiguring every step, reach, gasp.






February 27, 2006

Summer Gnome, Pt. 1

The friend I refer to as The Chef, who calls himself Gnome, texted me again today. I used to believe he only contacted me when he was unhappy and wanted to fuck. I slowly came to believe that he really did want the friendship he claimed to want. I slowly come to learn that I learn more slowly than I think, and that idealism and optimism are very different feelings.

He moved to Vermont recently. He and I bumped into one another at mutual times of upheaval and uncertainty in the summer of 2005. I immediately knew he thought I was cute, and I'd just begun to test the waters of both my sexual confidence and emotional capabilities. In other words, I was a burgeoning slut with freedom. I was living in the grey tarmac of suburbia and feeling like I had very little control over my life.

Coming out of the woods is never easy. Coming out of the home I'd made the woods to a place people told me was my home was downright infuriating.

Gnome and I flirted, and quickly found that we were kindred spirits of the Earth locked under a bubble of telephone wires and four-lane highway smog. The first time we spent together was in a nature reserve where we went off the trails and hid in the tall grasses by the shifting lakes in the Fox Valley. We pretended we were bushwhacking it, back in our separate and magical homes. I practiced doing cartwheels and told myself to just be me. I was awed by how easily that was done and delighted when he followed me in a log roll down a big grass hill. We laughed hysterically and nearly cried we were so happy to have found a friend that Understood.

I thought he was too much of a gear head for me and didn't entirely trust his motives. I used those thoughts as a way to deny the affection I was feeling for him, I didn't ask about the ring on his "wedding finger" but instead wanted to know why the burre blanc sauce tasted so good or what else arugula went well with. I don't remember the events leading up to our first kiss, but him telling me he wanted to kidnap me away after that day in the preserve.

We planned for a discreet weekend in the City while I was training for a new job there. He booked a hotel; I brought my laciest black panties and bra.

I went away for 6 weeks after my job training. Before I'd gone, I'd gotten a bit involved with a nice guy who didn’t have a wife and kids; who opened the car door for me and loaned me a toothbrush after a long night out. I came back and everything had changed. Gnome's boss, the nice guy's best friend had died suddenly, I quit the restaurant and moved off to the city.

The last kiss I gave the Gnome was one of the most horribly memorable moments I've had. We'd already fucked, in his car. I was crying because of an overdose of emotions; desperation, orgasm, fear, love. He kept saying he had to go, which made me want to wail disproportionately louder. I slumped over to my car from his; he half walked me there. I got in, rolled my window down, and grabbed him, dramatically, by the shirt to pulled him to me for another kiss. We bumped mouths, teeth, and a front tooth cap popped off in his mouth.

H&R Block

I came home to do my taxes. I have 5 w2s from 06-07 and one of them is missing. I can't remember if I ever had it or not. I think I did and am frustrated because I'm flat broke and want the return to live on until paycheck normalcy returns, and because I don't have system or place in my little apt. yet where all these paper jams can live.

I'm not used to losing things, but this year I may learn the exception to that old rule.

I'll have to call the restaurant and wade through the mire of bookkeeping that bogs any mom & pop restaurant down and wait it out for the last w2 to come.

Life, or rather, my behavior in it, is frustrating me currently.

Hm. I seem to recall thinking just 4 hours ago that I'm getting better at seeing positives and not only negative...well...a count on cnn.com a minute ago had Obama beating Clinton 9 - 7 in the states voting in primaries today.

Hm. Oh! This is better.
I got a box of truffles in the mail today. Yes. Yes. That helps.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Warming Up the Blood Stream of Consciousness

Ah February. Oh.
My birthday on Friday was warm and lovely. Many people came out of the walls to wish me love and happiness and health and it helped me remember how well I am loved. And loved so well.

So, February, I learned from Devyn, is a great time to clean out things. Clean out your head, your home, your fridge, whatever. Before he'd told me about Imbolc or Brigid (who's beautiful on my Goddess calendar and a complimentary representation of Aquarius in my mind) I found myself being really anal and reorganizing my closet by color and type of garment.

I'm watching myself pretty closely lately. I'm waiting for my patterns and cycles to become clearer so that I can cope with the life I'm living (which I remind myself, I've chosen) better.
As I'm watching I'm also learning how to love my dreams up close so that I can live them and focus less on chasing. That, I learned from reading Off the Map, which nearly sent me into an flying leap for anonymity and freedom. I wondered if I too could become a hobostripper.

I've noticed in the last 2 years that February/March is a time when I'm usually picking up pieces of fragmentary depression and weaving them into a gorgeous tapestry of creative action that sustains me until spring (or spring fever, depending on where I'm living). I've been writing, organizing, knitting, walking, smiling at strangers and taking myself on dates to museums to look at old old things. I didn't expect the Field Museum to smell so much like moth balls.

3 recent compliments that felt really good and inspire me:
Your poems sound like they'd make phenomenal short stories.
Your playfulness is infectious.
A radio dedication from my favorite dj for my birthday followed by some soul deep inspiration booty shaking music.

I've been 'practicing' provocative dance moves in my apartment randomly. I'm teaching myself the "porn star crawl" and what i'll call the "isolated cheek ass shake". I'll tuck the knowledge into my greenhouse of plans and laugh lovingly at myself.