Saturday, April 25, 2009
I have joined a student theater group,
an insurrection in the motherly gray capital
battered by invasion and occupation
--exhausted somnolence, dreary romance.
In the piece we're mounting,
a demonstration in the central square,
I play the role of the Angel of Prague,
and must climb the facade of an ancient church
fronting the square, and stand behind the statue
of a female figure, a near-forgotten saint,
where I am to unfurl a pair of large fabric wings,
in my dream, my blue wing upon which is written,
IT MUST BE BEAUTIFUL, and my red wing
which reads IT MUST BE NEW.
I hold on to the waist of the statue
until I unfurl the second wing,
and then I must balance
on the narrow pedestal, or lean
against her stone back to support myself,
which is all right until I look down
the cold dizzying stories to the pavement,
and gradually find myself furling
the cloth around her stone shoulders,
my legs trembling; it's hard to hold out
your arms when you're frightened
of being dashed on the stones below,
and in a while I slink down, back into the crowd,
where I shed my huge armature
and am praised for my performance
despite the fact that I feel defeated,
that I have given in to weakness
when I could, if I were stronger and less fearful,
I could have upheld those wings.
by Mark Doty from Fire to Fire
Friday, April 24, 2009
The tenth section of his long poem "Down From the Houses of Magic" by Cyrus Cassells from Soul Makes a Path Through Shouting. Click the post link for more. Found on the ever inspiring, Harriet, Poetry Foundation's Blog.
Let this earth become a heaven:
From the point of light within the mind of God,
The Earth hurling its roughhouse wills and lusters,
The Earth accruing poison—
Planet of joy, planet of crucifixion,
Piñata destined to be smashed—
All the mirrors of heaven blackening, imagine:
No lack, no lack, but in our human minds—
Let the clematis become a prayer
As clouds and canon-flowers ready
Sweet unguents of pollen and rain,
As God bellows, and a wild cavalry of wind sweeps
Down from the houses of magic
Down from the houses of magic
Down from the houses of magic
And now, a synthesis:
For one giddy moment she felt that she had oriented herself at the interface of the visible and invisible worlds, that she was contemplating wholeness...Perception and word games. Add sex to the mix and you have my three favorite kinds of game.
The sensation was short-lived, but while it lasted, Ellen Cherry seemed to hold something slippery by the tail. Slippery and altogether crucial. She couldn't quite identify it. She definitely couldn't analyze it. Instinctively, she realized that analysis would negate it. It seemed to be a kind of rapture, a rapturous essence that was available in all things if only one regarded them in a particular light. On a rational level, it made about as much sense as a whole deck of aces, yet it provided her with a fleeting joy so intense that the memory of it would comfort her for months to come and would drive from consideration any possibility of retreat or surrender.
The moment itself had passed, however. She needed to blow her nose again...(Robbins 273-4)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
In more grounded reality there is my answer of "Pretty well." That's how I respond to people asking how I'm doing. It's the truth. I'm not notably great, but I'm not sluggishly sad either. There is sadness that issues forth when people talk about their relationships, or when I think about the last time I had sex and how it was amazing, and sometimes when I think about the concept of personal injuries I feel their sadness lingering. Overall though...I'm flush. I have quite a few things going on and the busy social season quickly approaches. I want to share myself with someone, but for now I guess I'll keep the banana split that is my personality to myself. That makes me sad. When I was kid in kindergarten and all the kids didn't want to watch caterpillars inch across sidewalks - that caused sadness too, so it's not terribly new I suppose. I do miss feeling adored, but (and here I'm just comforting myself) maybe that's what mirrors are for.
At any rate life is interesting. I still enjoy inching sidewalk creatures. I still have a hefty collection of toys, sentences, and calming sutras, and the advice from one friend to keep moving forward. That's not always my strong suit but lately, it's manifesting pretty well. Before I go, two things:
1. I'm aware of and sorry for my light posting as of late
2. I'm aware of and mildly apologetic for continually re-posting Breszny's astrological omens this year. He's got me fucking pegged since November '08, it's almost eerie.
So here's this: Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 22, 2009
You've said enough for the time being. You have expressed the hell out of yourself and have been thorough in providing your vision of how the collaborative efforts should unfold. But now I think you should cultivate the power of silence. Keep your evolving thoughts to yourself for a while so that they can ripen in your imagination, and allow the ideas you have already put out there to fully work their way into the imaginations of others. In early May, it will be time to jump back in with a new dose of your insight and inspiration. By then, people should be begging you for more.If anyone wants to beg, I'll write you a nice story. Begging is so hot.
Monday, April 20, 2009
"She was referring to the art that was grown under the artificial lights of fad and fashion, overly fertilized with personal ambition and deprived of those weathers that evolve strong systems in the slow, hard garden of belief." (Robbins 199)- but I do know that the shadows, hoo-doo and mystery, and antebellum embellishments of the book permeated my imagination with legs as quick as those of a 6'6" cross-dresser. I clutched my copy down to GA for my annual summer stay at an aunt's house and eagerly pushed it further pole-ward when my parents arrived so we three could trek together to Savannah for a weekend getaway.
Savannah is steeped in stories so old it gives grand old it makes it's younger cousin to the west, New Orleans, blush like a pale baby. It was saved by Sherman in his march to war. It has the first museum the South ever saw and the nation's third oldest synagogue. Savannah is home to some very rich memories I cooked up while we spent three days in the lovely city on the Atlantic and river. It is also home to a few of my past's smaller, but perhaps integral injuries.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I'm also tolerably sad and slightly uncomfortable physically. I'm feeling too thin skinned these days and want to know how to build a more protective barrier, but not one that turns into resistance to the outer world. I want to be accepting, but not permeable. I think the modern world poisons my body too quickly, I always wonder how other people feel that or think about it.Yeah, I'm quoting myself in my blog. I don't know how weird it is to do that, but I don't care too much about weird. I do care about writing and clarity and didn't want to remove the first sentence there, out of context as it may be, because it leads to the discussion I want to open.
Body pain, stress, sensitivity, responsibility. How do y'all balance these? Some times I feel there's a secret I'm missing to being able to accomplish all I want while supporting myself in the big urban flats. When I haven't gotten as much sleep as I'd like, or when I've been stressed emotionally so much that it drains into my muscles and turns into burning pain, I start to wonder about the other ambitious folks out there. How do they keep going and going? Is it merely an attitude that doesn't allow room for thinking this is too much? Do they just assume their bodies will willingly motor them to and fro for 18 hours a day without protest? Do they drink 14 bottles of kombucha a day and get up at 4 am to do yoga?
When I get home at the end of a long day out I feel buzzed on society. It takes a conscious effort to let go of all my effort, and time to let the "work harder" mode of Chicago drain out of me so I can return to a state of openness and meditation. The concrete, the noise, the conversation, the commuter pace - I have to stretch all of these things out of me like lactic acid in growing muscles. My intuition tells me it's good that I notice all these things, that all this noticing I'm doing is setting me upright on the path I'm walking, but my ego is getting tired of these body aches and pains dragging me down so often. I have goals to meet! Debt to kill! I have a quiet, humble place in the world I'm going to and it doesn't accept credit cards. So, once more readers, in summary:
How do y'all maintain balance? How do you keep going when you have to keep going? Is it attitude?
Do you drink 14 bottles of kombucha a day and get up at 4 am to do yoga? Do you eat the world's most balanced diet and take vitamins?
Saturday, April 11, 2009
At the end of the seder, Jews have always vowed to one another:
"L'shana haba-a bi-Y'rushalyaim/
Next Year in Jerusalem!" Why does the seder end with this vow?
For Jews, forced into diaspora two thousand years ago, wandering always in countries which were sometimes safe harbors and sometimes nightmares, the dream of Jerusalem was more than the city itself.
To dream that next year we would be in Jerusalem is to dream of a land and time of autonomy, safety, self-determination, the right to one's own culture and language and spirituality, to live on land that can't be taken from you by the whim of an outside power. To live with the basic right to be who you are. Jerusalem comes from the same word root as "shalom" which is usually translated as "peace" but actually means "wholeness."
But this year, in Jerusalem, wholeness is very far away, and the news seems to be worse with each passing day. Still, when we look for the sparks of resistance, we see them everywhere. Fed by an aching for justice, some sparks have already grown to small brush fires, and grow in strength each day.
This year we say instead: L'shanah ha-ba'ah b'olam b'shalom!/
Next year may we all live in a world of peace!
- Love and Justice in Times of War Haggadah
The reason Passover has always stuck to me is because it is the telling of a story, and, like any good story, the first thing it does is tell you it's a story. This post is not a good story, it is a litany of mechanism that I have been tinkering with all week.
The unwed seed, planted in my brain before consciousness took hold, is called by story. I have been wanting stories to pour out of me, stories that mean something to anyone who might take the time to read them.
There has been, recently, a gap, between what I feel and what I think the world wants. I have taken to describing it as the "little bird lost" syndrome. The little bird lost is what happens when I lose my center. I feel like a caricature then. I told the bartender an unsavory quip about the lubricant at my bedside while trying to drink myself to death (or so it seemed come Thursday morning) because, well, he wasn't saying anything. He was just standing there, wiping his bar.
The fissures are obvious, and the more so because I don't want to be hiding them. I break, for brief moments sometimes, "Do you ever feel you're crazy?" I ask strangers. I know everyone does on occasion. I ask so she knows that's how I feel. Little bird lost feels paralyzed in the psychic place where there is infinite space between gaps. I can never truly be touching you, or this place, or this moment.
This is not a world we say "I can't" to. This is a world where I am not afraid to be strong. This is not a world where my curiosity overrides my gut knowledge. This is a world where I try and fail in order to succeed. The body exists to heal itself constantly and that is the state I move toward.
I ask big questions to achieve humble goals. I want dialogue, questioning and celebration. I had better learn that there will be obstacles. I had better learn that the little flapping birds don't just get picked up because they're scared, they get picked up because they stay and are seen on the path.
Monday, April 6, 2009
And it's the start of the second quarter of the year.
And well, there's this from the brilliant Mr. Brezsny:
Aquarius Horoscope for week of April 2, 2009
Your IQ has crept up beyond its usual level, and may ascend even higher in the coming days. I suspect you're poised to erupt with a host of sharp insights, and maybe some brilliant analyses or strokes of genius as well. Why? How? It may have to do with the way the planets are massaging your brain chemistry. Or perhaps it's because you smell freedom, and your libido is boosting your intelligence with the enhancements that only the onset of exhilaration can provide. I recommend that you milk this gift for all it's worth. Don't waste time on trivial conquests like polishing off crossword puzzles or acing online personality tests. Try to solve the mystery of the ages, or at least your two knottiest problems.
"Knottiest problems"? That's fucking hilarious considering what my getting tied up on Friday led to on Saturday. Oh what a tangled web...
Ok, I'll stop with the inside pun/jokes for myself now. Thanks and good day.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
[A part of me knew] that for every positive image there was a pure and perfect negative, that right on the other side of the thin piece of paper called making things up, was a whole nother story, and that story was about learning to believe in the things that had been there all along.
[Intuition] is nothing more than the most likely juncture of the thing called will and the thing called chance.
from Moving from One Body of Water to Another
Waltzing the Cat, Pam Houston
I am not cynical enough for many people. I'm ok with this.