Monday, December 30, 2013

WHEN THEY GO 'ROUND THE BEND

Ariel, Mom's other cat.

Soooo, back here out in Long Island watching a Hallmark Channel adaptation of Treasure Island starring Eddie Izzard. It got crummy reviews, but it is a nice production and I do heart Eddie.

Sigh sigh sigh. The kittehs are luxuriating in space and quiet. Cooder had a difficult night what with noise and emotional discord in the air. I was a tad concerned for her as her heart condition does not bode well for extra-stress. That said, I think being with me was enough comfort and once we got out here she re-acclimated to a house somewhat familiar. She is happily curled up on the bed. Emmylou was in one of her splayed-on-her-back sleep abandon positions. I think she is back downstairs at the moment. 


Cooder, happy to be out of jail.

While at John and Mel's last night, I came across a card John had sent to me in 1996. John is a more than pretty fair poet and he wrote this little ditty on the occasion of the holiday then:

Here's to the holidays,
Here's to the season,
Here's to the many ways
We drink without reason.

Here's our to families,
Here's to our friends,
Here's to little choo-choos
When they go 'round the bend.

Here's to the New Year
Here's to the new start
Here's to the new fears
That will lie in our hearts.

So rejoice in the yuletide and time
And forget about my odd little rhyme.

Most witty, right?

Taking an afternoon nap with not a bunch of immediate responsibility was delightful. Until Thursday morning, I can be somewhat at my leisure for the first time in many weeks. Safe, warm, quiet. John and I were both remarking last night on how we had been too much in anxiety to quite concentrate on reading. I hope to re-enter a thinking and musing state. I even moved my beading supplies into our room and might get back to a creative pursuit or two before I jump into the New Year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

HERE AND THERE AND HERE AGAIN

The view from Mom's porch in the morning.
12/22

Greetings from Los Angeles or rather "the Springs" as we are wont to call it … or were wont to call it.

I am still finding my way, mentally and emotionally, through the last two weeks of upheaval. I don't know how I feel or what I think. I suppose I am in a kind of shock, really. 

Mom is in the kitchen making her breakfast and talking to her very demanding cat, Max. We are heading out early to get some errands done before we come home to do some housework. There are "infrastructure" things to do here such as getting Mom a new computer and smart phone, going through some closets to get rid of more clothes …

I cooked for two days. On Christmas Eve alone, I made a pumpkin pie, a cheesecake, a quiche, and four pizzas. My sister=in-law, Stella, was my ever beautiful and gracious kitchen helper. 

The next day, the turkey was delicious. We did have a nice dinner with just my brothers, Michael and David, and their lovely spouses, Alicia and the aforementioned Stella, Mom, and our family friend, Peter. Plus, Michael feeding Max turkey. I could barely move on Thursday, I was so tired from two days of cooking.


Christmas Eve quiche.
Christmas Eve pizza.
The infamous Max interested in bacon.


Mom's porch.




12/29

Well, safely back in Brooklyn. Cooder is curled up on the back of the Volny-Marki couch very happy to be out of "stir". She is in reasonable shape, but has lost a little weight and smells of cat piss a bit, which has never been her style. Tomorrow, we head back to Long Island.

Emmylou was so happy to see me when I stumbled into the apartment at 6:05. She stood on the table meowing at me. I immediately decamped to the couch to see if I could get some real rest after the red-eye. Emmy came to visit me several times through the four hours I got some sleep, but I barely woke. 

And now, I am binge watching Homeland.


Traditional box of Sees.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THEY KNOW THEY CAN SURVIVE.

Someone sleeping in and enjoying a sunny window and a soft bed.

I was cheerier earlier in the day. I didn't sleep very well, although it wasn't the tossing-and-turning-cursing-myself insomnia. I did fall asleep for awhile and then woke up for a couple of hours. I finally took some meds, but I didn't sleep all way through to rest as I wanted to be up in case I needed to work.

I think what really put me off was sitting down to write a timeline of the events surrounding my Brooklyn sublet and all that happened to make me leave in the midst of a snowstorm. I am still reeling on some levels from all those startling events. Not the least of which is the significant financial, energetic, and emotional toll this has taken on me.

Wikipedia quotes this about antisocial personality disorder: 

ICD-10[edit]

The WHO's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth edition (ICD-10), defines dissocial personality disorder (F60.2) as:[10][11]
It is characterized by at least 3 of the following:
  1. Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;
  2. Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;
  3. Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;
  4. Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;
  5. Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;
  6. Marked readiness to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.
The diagnosis includes what may be referred to as amoral, antisocial, asocial, psychopathic, or sociopathic personality (disorder). Although the disorder is not synonymous with conduct disorder, presence of conduct disorder during childhood or adolescence may further support the diagnosis of dissocial personality disorder. There may also be persistent irritability as an associated feature.[11][12]

The highlights are what I experienced in my close dealings with B2. Although I had known her for several years and we had not always had the smoothest of relationships, I was fond of her. And you know me, I'll try to work things out until the bitter end. Duh. I am too forgiving, I suppose, too willing to look to see what my complicity in interactions might be.

This put me in mind of a quote from a potboiler book and movie, Damage.

Damaged people are dangerous. They know they can survive.

B2 had spoken to me of some of her life experience so I was not entirely unaware that there were some special challenges there. She hadn't lived with anyone in 23 years, so I knew there would be some adjustments on both sides. But I've had lots and lots of experience living with folks and am, in general, quite accommodating and flexible. I thought we could just work through it. I was entirely and thoroughly wrong. 

I think B2 was the worst person, the biggest bully, the most abusive, that I have ever met. She had all the flexibility and self-righteousness of Dick Cheney. A truly frightening inability to negotiate or see another point of view, to forgive or understand. Sometimes, I am not even entirely aware that I am being abused, I am so astonished and unprepared. I always think that with my sweet temper and rationality and tolerant, humorous personality, I can cajole kindness and love out of the crazy. 

She snores. It's so cute.

I doubt I will make that mistake again.

I did get some work done, some things unpacked or repacked, made a nice dinner, listened to the latest audiobook, Cutting for Stone

So, I will try to put this day behind me and more hours between me and that experience. Fortunately, I had people to jump up to help me, support me, get my sorry ass out of that sling. Grateful and thankful, that's what I am.





Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GET BACK ON THE HUMAN TRACK

Remember me? I used to write a blog and send it to you? I think I am here again.

For any of you who might have been concerned that things were not good and that that "not goodness" was the reason I was not posting, well, you were right. I had been guarded and apprehensive about my sublet in Brooklyn and it turned out that my caution was well-founded. B2 was not tenable as a roommate, landlady, possibly as a human being. 

I am still reeling from the abuse, bullying, recriminations, and overall intensity. And still not sure what I want to say about it. But the cats and I had to get out of Dodge ASAP. We moved last Saturday in the midst of a significant snowstorm. 
Emmylou enjoying the pleasure of a couch.

Currently, we are comfortably hanging out with the ghost and memory of MV in the family home that is up for sale. We are very much enjoying all the space and the solitude, particularly after being in such a small space. I think Emmylou would just as soon have Albert around for playing purposes but we might well be back in Brewster at the end of January. 

The stress has been to find places for the kittehs to stay during the time that I will be in California. That all seems to have fallen into place. Once I recover a bit more, I can go back to job hunting and life planning.

The house is lovely and welcoming, as was the ghost of MV. We felt better as soon as we opened the door and stepped into the kitchen. The kittehs made themselves at home very quickly. They are not the sort to hide behind the stove or under the furniture, or, at least, not for very long.

Cooder on the bed.


I am so thankful to be sitting in a warm room, one cat on a chair, the other on the bed, listening to music and the sound of my own "voice" as I learn to write again. Tomorrow, I have plenty of work to do, or plenty of tasks to attend to. Friday I leave for California for eight days to see me mam for the first time in two years. 

More to come.

Sing it, Leon.
The woods at Sans Souci Park.







Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A RUBY FIELD OF FEELING

Yes, many many days since I have written. Yeah, I more than survived Thanksgiving. Actually, I had a very nice dinner with Mel, John, his niece, Elena, her boyfriend, Peter, Mel's workmate and soul-sister/mentee Marlowe, and a special guest appearance from the "Loki" of 12th Street Bar and Grill, JH.

Department of Good-to-Know.


Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
 -Flannery O'Connor

The hard part about truth is not the "stomaching" but the understanding, the realization of what is. Better to swallow once you have been able to chew through some of it, get a taste of what needs to be digested.

I subscribe to this nice daily poem from the American Academy of Poets. I must admit I do not always take the few minutes to read and savor these because, you know, gotta keep movin' on more important things ("Now, WHO is Tom Cruise dating?") … but this one this morning stuck with me. And besides, I am getting a head start on my next year's mantra of "slow down, move forward."

My Teacup
by Alli Warren


trees are steaming 
ever more vital pliant DINK 
I can't see a thing in the sky 
I choose George 
Stanley over Fear 
and Trembling 
Tell why you chose 
to do this or that 
on each occasion 
Nothing with hooves 
or heels was it? 
Excuse me for not thumbing 
the abyss, "the goading urgency 
of contingent happenings" 
how stretchy the membrane 
how drunk the ship 
breaching the freight 
we port with 
however it is 
I am and come to know 
the ruby field of feeling 
and isn't a life suddenly 
laid in all its excess 
of doubt & dualism 
gag in the mouth I forget 
to give sense to 
relations that animate 
to be carried among them 
you are not an engineer 
yet forms persist 
so topple the column 
any place there's a rope there's 
the earth is not enough 
I stick my head in it 
I lose my coat 

There are so many great phrases here, and a multiplicity of ways to read the cadence. Here's what the poet says about this poem: 

This poem struggles with decision making and its aftermath, at the level of the individual, the nation-state, and the species, if it may be so bold. It sits on a loveseat, a barstool, a concrete slab, and an office chair. It wants to live, love and learn but can't see the field for the steaming trees."

--Alli Warren


Yeah, can't see the field.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BECAUSE I COULD NOT

Now is the time that challenge a hearty walker's mettle. When I look out the window, I see very bundled up people rushing down the wintry (although we do have a couple of weeks to go) street. It's a comfortable 40 degrees out and the rain isn't here yet. I do need to get out but I am being productive in the job search/organization world, so perhaps I will just brave the rain later. I mean, I have a slicker and everything, so why not?

I'm treating myself to an afternoon cup of coffee, something I rarely do at home. Perhaps it is the passing of MR, or just that many of that family circle have been in touch these last few days, but I have been a bit more philosophically or spiritually inclined the past couple of days … or maybe it is just the Rumi in the bathroom where I peruse it from time to time. 

Last year, I never got around to making a list of resolutions. This year, I am starting now. I usually make the resolution to read a book a week (and generally make that goal, although that includes audiobooks, kids' books, and graphic novels. In 2014, I resolve to watch more foreign films. I mean, can't I find the time, in all my media watching, to stop whatever else I am doing (I generally multi-task with knitting or paperwork or beading or something) so that I can read subtitles and pay closer attention. 

So, the theme of next year is Slow Down, Make Progress. I sat with Cooder today and just had a pet with her, but I don't do that every day. And I should. Just as I need to continue to find that 30 minutes to walk every day (or close to it). 

So, before you start thinking that I should think more about work goals and resolutions, I am, but just not in a formulated plan quite yet, or steps, whisper or otherwise. Actually that should be whisker goals.


Later.

Self-kudos? I managed a 40-minute walk in the dark and the rain … and I had forgotten my gloves, so cold hands, too.

So, got an email from LD … who lost some peeps this week. Made her think of larnin' her Emily Dickinson in high school and it is a worthwhile poem at this point in time

Because I could not stop for Death (712)

 
by Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death – 
He kindly stopped for me –  
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility – 

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –  
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –  
We passed the Setting Sun – 

Or rather – He passed us – 
The Dews drew quivering and chill – 
For only Gossamer, my Gown – 
My Tippet – only Tulle – 

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground – 
The Roof was scarcely visible – 
The Cornice – in the Ground – 

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads 
Were toward Eternity – 

- See more




Monday, November 25, 2013

ONE DOES IT

Hot milk sponge cake. I kept dreaming that I was trying to make a hot milk sponge cake for my mother's 87th birthday (coming up). I was at my sister's house (and that, too, is highly unlikely) and I needed to look up the rest of the recipe on line. My niece's computer would only give me references and links to history and ancestry (my niece is a born-again Mormon and has researched ways to get some of us into heaven with her). But hot milk sponge cake? And anxiety about it … I'll have to ponder that one.

I didn't even report on the first snow which we had a week or so ago. My mother was surprised when I mentioned it to her a couple of days later, because, evidently, for years I have called her on the morning of the first snow. It hasn't snowed again, but it is really cold, all of 27 degrees last night. I called M, as has been our Sunday evening habit for many years now and re-instituted now that I am away, and it was 21 degrees in Brewster. And 8 in Schroon Lake. I walked over to John and Melinda's to watch the last episode of Boardwalk Empire and did not find it too terrible, and at least it was still dry.

And so goes the day of looking at postings on job boards. It is not an activity that cheers one up, particularly. But one does it anyway. One does it.

Our extended family of friends, the one that stretches back to Southern California lost a partner/wife over the weekend. I knew MR, only vaguely. I've known her partner/husband ST since I was about 10 or 11. ST was a closer friend of my brother David, although ST was another who ended up in Santa Cruz based on my enthusiasm. At any rate, the ripples of shock and sadness lapped up here yesterday when I got a rare email from David, who specifically mentioned the Rumi poem from last week. 

I've posted this too many times, and too recently, I know, but I feel compelled to honor MR and ST with Mr. Stafford's poem, as it is a talisman of words for me. Read it again for Charlotte and Scott and MR and ST and Mary V and for all of us near and far who love or like and/or respect and appreciation one another.


A Ritual To Read To Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep. 
Life cycle of a leaf. I didn't take this and don't know who did.

Friday, November 22, 2013

TREAT EACH GUEST

This morning, while quite truly stumbling around for hot water and honey and a cup of coffee, B2 said "Don't miss Rumi this morning."

I've been trying to sort through a lot of conflicting emotions about all kinds of things today. I sent this email to someone: 

There are a lot of things at play for me right now, more than I have written about.

I'm fighting a river of depression that spreads out in an alluvial plain, kind of eddying around inertia and defeat. I'd say my head is above water, but it is threatening flood all the time. (I just watched a documentary about New Orleans, can you tell?) The other night, while struggling to quell the dementors, I came to think of myself as particle board, glued-together shards of something that once had integrity, made into something disposable, negligible, and nearly worthless.

This is probably more information than you want, and more dramatic, but this is my day-to-day, night-hours-upon-night-hours state. 


Meanwhile, finding that my regular gig might not be so regular and that money I had counted on to get me through is not going to be there. But at least now I know.

So, on to laundry but before that I stopped and read the Rumi for the day.

THE GUEST HOUSE

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning is a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all.
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Now, I might not subscribe to the whole of this, but it does give some perspective and something to chew on during the laundry cycles and beyond.






COLD NEW AIR

Indeed, I must admit to tipsiness. 'Twas the meeting of a reduced version of the Kermit Place Readers discussing the second half of the second volume of Proust. There were only four of us instead of the usual seven. We had a most terrific time and, of course, as is our wont, drank some wine. But we had a lovely time reading passages aloud and comparing texts as we did not all read out of the same translation. Proust is, indeed, a lifetime undertaking and utterly worth a long time of study. Not something you read for narrative, but a different kind of narrative experience altogether.

On a more personal front, still fighting the dementors.


Emmylou in excelsis.




Yes, and on top of that had a profound and sad discussion with my 87-year old mother. Well, yes it was about aging, and vulnerability, and pain, and perceptions, and needs, and accepting or rejecting the reality of one's particular state. Yes, that and more. And that will have to be enough for now. I need to … yes … sleep.


The Nothing of Roselight

Death comes, and what we thought
we needed loses importance.

The living shiver, focused
on a muscular dark hand,
rather than the glowing cup it holds
or the toast being proposed.

In that same way love enters
your life, and the I, the ego
a corrupt, self-absorbed king,
dies during the night.

Let him go.
Breathe the cold new air, 
the nothing of rose light.
— Rumi, trans. Coleman Barks

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

IF YOU DON'T PUSH

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I am kind of music junkie and once I am on a tear, abandon hope. 

I did manage to read last night and not watch the Kate McGarrigle tribute. But today I popped in the DVD of IT MIGHT GET LOUD. I just made myself turn it off as I was watching it the second time through with production comments. I e-chatted with my 17-year old grand-niece, CF, who is a big music fan and loves the movie that I wanted to have it tattooed to myself. Be still my heart. 

In the film, there's a scene with the Raconteurs onstage where you're bleeding during your solo on "Blue Veins."
Jack White: It just shows the idea about passion and pushing really hard and making things harder on yourself. You can stand still and play politely and still get paid at the end of the night. If you don't push yourself, you're not going anywhere.



I've mentioned this before. I'm not a musician. I can't read music nor play anything. I can't even sing anymore. But I am so fascinated and moved by music and musicians and the delicacies, intricacies, and nuances of music and the sonic narratives that are songs (or other pieces of music), I cannot get enough. There aren't very many people of my acquaintance (thankfully, there are some) who want to listen to Aretha sing "I Say a Little Prayer" and focus solely on her piano playing or her breathing for emphasis, etc. And then listen more to just enjoy that art.

So watching analysis, passion, and mastery, which this film is all about, is more than my cup of tea, it's di Fara's pizza or a meal at Lupa, only it lasts longer, is not expensive, and won't make me any fatter.

I need to get to Proust and then get to sleep. I had insomnia last night, got up and ate too many 'Nilla Wafers and then slept too late. M sent me an article about insomnia and depression from today's New York Times. 

“It makes good common sense clinically,” she continued. “If you have a depression, you’re often awake all night, it’s extremely lonely, it’s dark, you’re aware every moment that the world around you is sleeping, every concern you have is magnified.”


Um … yeah. Sometimes I am not the best nighttime company. And, you know, I could have just taken a precautionary sleeping med. Well, be all those things as they may, I was able to get some productivity out of myself. Even took the subway to the Brooklyn Trader Joe's and did some walking. 

The afternoon light on downtown Brooklyn.


B2 has a cool book in the bathroom, A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings, translated and curated by Coleman Barks. I've always liked Rumi, although he seems too good to have been true. This particular poem was for April 15th but had been dog-eared.



Bewilderment

There are many guises for intelligence.
One part of you is gliding in a high wind stream,
while your more ordinary notions
take little steps and peck at the ground.

Conventional knowledge is death to our souls,
and it is not really ours. It is laid on.
Yet we keep saying we find "rest" in these "beliefs".

We must become ignorant of what we have been taught
and be instead bewildered.

Run from what is profitable and comfortable.
Distrust anyone who praises you.
Give your investment money, and the interest
on the capital, to those who are actually destitute.

Forget safety. Live where you hear to live.
Destroy your reputation. Be notorious.
I have tried prudent planning long enough.
From now on, I'll be mad.


Yes, bewildered as well as bewitched and bothered, but not in any good way. I am not even espousing these words, I just found them interesting and I am, more than indeed, bewildered with little hope or expectation of things turning out okay.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

WITH EVERY TRUE HAPPINESS

I should just admit this outright, I don't always know what cats want. Cooder slept way in this morning, happily and comfortably ensconced on her silk down pillow on the newly installed chair. Since she finally deigned to enter the world of the moving, she has been restless. Yes, there have been Greenies. And more Greenies. But could the gentle (yet incessant) scratching be a request for even MORE Greenies?


This was a post I began a few days ago, so I was kind of trying to write. Cooder is, of course, still in search of Greenies, although right now she's having some water. Emmylou just jumped into the just cleaned litter box. Oh, the simple joys.

I still have twenty pages or so of Proust to read tonight and it is 10:45 so I should get to it. Still battling the dementors and sidekicks, overeating and avoidance napping,(although my nap was very short, ending when the carillon recording did My Country 'Tis of Thee and The Lord Bless and Keep You).

My mother and I had a wide ranging conversation this afternoon about friendship, generosity, kindness, disappointment, and expectations, among other things. Subsequent to that, came across this related, if tangential, Proust musing on the subject of expectation, albeit expectation in a different context.


But it is not thus, in the bustle of daily life, with every true happiness, with every great sorrow? In a room full of other people we receive from the woman we love the answer, auspicious or fatal, which we have been awaiting for the last year. But we must go on talking, ideas come flocking one after another, unfolding a smooth surface which is pricked now and then at the very most by a dull throb from the memory, infinitely more profound but very narrow, that misfortune has come upon us. If, instead of misfortune, it is happiness, it may be that not until many years have elapsed will we recall that the most important event in our emotional life occurred without our having time to give it any prolonged attention, or ever to become aware of it almost, at a social gathering to which we had gone solely in the expectation of the event.

Trees reaching out in hope or expectation?


I've been watching a DVD, New Orleans Music in Exile, that I got from the library. I have some new musicians to check out. I am groovin' to Papa Mali. I can see why he hooked up with Bill Kreutzmann, formerly of the Grateful Dead, although I thought he was too deaf to play any more. And although I should go to sleep and read Proust, I just might watch a bit of Sing Me Songs That Say I Love You: A Concert for Kate McGarrigle on Netflix.




COLORS OF THE DAY

America the Beautiful. That's the carillion recording coming across the street from the church for the six o'clock ringing. Now we have moved on to The Battle Hymn of the Republic. These songs are dangerous as they can get stuck in your head. I think it will end soon. I hope it will end soon. Yes. Only five minutes. I could probably sleep through that if I were napping ... and I worked hard today to avoid inactivity and stasis.

I fought off an avoidance nap today with a walk around the 'hood and some reading in the park.The park was nothing short of splendid. I am battling the demons a bit, so I just forced myself away from the table and the bed and went to the park to work on Proust. (118 pages to read in three days.) I sat under a tree with the window blowing through the leaves for quite some time. The air was crisp, sharp, and mild. 

The park was spectacular and there were fleeting moments of well-being. These photos do not do justice to the colors and the day.





I'm not writing much. I had some feedback that my posts were a little bit 'thin' and maybe not so compelling. I'm struggling. You've heard that plenty of times before, so I am mostly keeping to myself.


Hallowe'en survivor.



Thursday, November 14, 2013

QUICK ONE (EMAIL TO A FRIEND)

So, I wrote this to EJB this morning and realized it summarizes my current state of mind pretty well.

Got your postcard when I went up to Brewster, for which thanks. I haven't finished reading it yet as, sadly, I have never been able to easily read your beautiful script.

You were a presence in my dream last night, with the delicacy of a spider and the reach and strength of an octopus. Can't really say what the "narrative" was, nor were you really embodied, but just weaving some kind of influence or presence throughout. 

Pleased to be back in Brooklyn, yet so filled with self-loathing and disappointment that death seems the rational and right thing. (I wouldn't do this to my new roommate, so no need to be actually alarmed.)

You will perhaps (likely) too well-understand the strange feelings of astonishment and despair that this is where I am and, worse still, who I am. I am so not-in-any way-who-I-thought-I-was. No one could be more disappointed in me than I am. What is on beyond the utter squander of potential? What is this unbelievable and shocking and destructive self-deluded self-romanticism? Are there words for this? Probably French or German … maybe in Russian. 

I can recite a litany of my moral failures back as far as not paying back the $.50 that Patti Snapp lent me at Farrell's Ice Cream Shop in the Stonewood Shopping Center in Downey, California in about 1970. The list goes on and on and on. And I ask myself, who was that? who did that? who was so neglectful? hubristic? unconscious? unkind? 

I used to believe in redemption, enjoy the comeback. Of course, among other things, that requires hope. 

When I look around our current world and see so many of my talented, well-meaning friends in such desperate, terrible, and unexpected straits, well, what else is there besides despair — désespoir — as I see no solutions, no answers, no palliatives, not much amelioration. Far from comfort, satisfaction, self-realization, and far from thriving or happiness. 

Maybe a Buddhist monastery is the only answer. Or maybe I am over-thinking it already. Whatever that remedy (it feels like a dis-ease) might be, it is certainly not in anything I can see or have tried thus far.

Yours still in the struggle,

Sally Anne


Tupelo, hanging in at 17.

Now, I should add that I know there are worse situations, worse lives on this planet. Pain I cannot comprehend, apprehend. I struggle to "get it" in order that I can fix it, see the situation and move on. 

Cooder on her red silk pillow on the new (old) chair.
And I also know that it is ill-advised to publish anything so personal on the internet. But I need to talk about it. And I need, in however small a way, to be seen. Community and understanding are important to well-being. So be it.




Sunday, November 10, 2013

NEVER LEAVE ANYWHERE

I never leave easily any where I've hung out a lot or lived. Well, except for the apartment on 17th Street in Windsor Terrace, which I never liked. So, I have some sadness tonight.

Things are not bad, but I am absolutely feeling the transition, the in-between-ness. Tonight, I am back in Brewster to organize and pack up more stuff. The car already has as much furniture as will fit, although I have a couple of other pieces I would like to take, small things. I will be able to live without them, though.

The green room is all full of stuff to pack into the car tomorrow. Softer things that will fit into nooks and crannies. It's very peaceful here, and I nearly fell back into my old habits of sitting on the couch, listening to some audio book (this time, the YA book, The Fault in Our Stars), or playing solitaire. 

I brought back all of my books and audio books to return to the Brewster Library; I don't know when I am going to be back and I should try to make more of a break. M & J are considering downsizing which makes a lot of sense as their house is huge for two people and a little-ish dog. 

Albert was out with his parents so I didn't get to take a walk with him. Maybe tomorrow if I am efficient in getting the rest packed up and organized. I do want to try to get back to the city early. More unpacking and organizing there and finding a place to park and and and.

So, the last few days have been very internal and trying to stay away from the dark and scared and worst-case scenario side of musing. I have a lot of Proust to read this week and I need to get that job mojo working asap. B1 got me a little proofreading gig, but there's no telling when that cash will flow my way. There's graphic novel work to be written as Louise and I did a great job of brainstorming some details last week.

And I have some socializing to look forward to. I might have lunch with my nephew who lives in Williamsburg. And I called up my friend Connie and we are going to try to see each other this week. But the focus is on work and sustaining myself which is going to take a lot of effort.

I do miss the kittehs here. I thought about bringing Emmy so that she could hang with Albert and have some space, but she has a tendency to get outside with doors flying open as I come and go to the car. Guess I won't see this in the morning.

Friday, November 8, 2013

SPIRALED

How'd it get to be the next day already? Time flies when you are sorting small items and watching Sons of Anarchy I guess. Fortunately, I am almost through with that. 

I did try to read Proust today, but I could not absorb it at all. I was beyond upset at a major misstep and had to spend a lot of the day sliding down the spiral of shame. I don't know that I am recovered even now, but I thought writing wouldn't be a bad thing ... or would it?

Amazingly, even though this week has been challenging on any number of levels, I managed to not drink or eat my troubles away today. And even, at 9:30, managed to take a 30 minute walk. 

Trying to get a good walk is not easy for me. I don't have the inspiration of Albert nor the more or less quiet route already planned. There are many more stop signs and distractions here, but, hopefully, I will figure it out.

So, now, knitting and office supply areas organized, I can take my spiraled self to bed and see if I can make the sleep thing happen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

BROOKLYN HYDRANGEAS





























The hydrangeas are a bit different here. John and I went for a walk in the park and around the neighborhood a bit. Reminded me of the bushes up on Carriage Hill Road that I have posted photos of, but clearly this is a much younger plant.

I've been generally productive today, but I am not concentrating very well now. Well, it is 11:26 and I should likely be in bed reading Proust. Yes! The Kermit Place Readers are back into Proust for November and it is most delicious.

Emmylou is back to her ridiculous sleeping positions. We are a little short of sleeping surfaces here. There is a lot of musical chairing going on with the three of us jockeying for positions. It will be better when I get another chair or two and a proper bed. Whatever the size of the bed, I am going to it now.