Tuesday, September 30, 2014


The dementors really do not take prisoners. They are not in the least particular in when or how they get to you. It can be the middle of the night as they creep into your heartbeat to pound your fears and insecurities to course through your body. They can pull up a chair, and sit down beside you at the library on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. They never rest. So, I sit here, curating for Sociative, listening to the Americana Awards Festival on Folk Alley But internally I am shivering and sick with worry, almost nauseated. Almost shaking.

I've been good about food, exercise, medication, and sleep. No idea where this despondency arises except maybe exhaustion from the struggle. I feel like crying. Maybe I should go outside for some air.

Yesterday, I walked in the woods behind the North Salem Library again. There were many ruins of old stone fences and, just in a week, the leaves were already deep on the path. I do look forward to more exploring. Even though there is an hour left at the library, my anxiety is such that I think I should go outside and see if walking around helps. My mindset asks me to go take a nap, if I can't curl up under a table. But I'll try some sunshine.

So I have been trying to decide if I was going to post this. I am coping. Feeling mostly a bit better. Then I came across another one of Jeff Nunokawa's posts and decided to share it with you.

5276. Scaling Down From Feeing Scared

The eternal silence of these infinite spaces terrifies me (Pascal)

I guess everyone knows about that one^. Recently though (as of right now) I've been thinking about a fear a little easier to navigate than feeling lost in the eternal darkness of outer space. Writing now, I'm not so much terrified by some total silent treatment, as I'm worried that people and places that once warmed and welcomed me have grown cold and hard to reach. (Who knows? Maybe I brought that on. Maybe cold and hard to reach is how they look at me, and they're just reacting with equal and opposite force, moving away at the speed of soundlessness.)
In any case, sometimes it's easy when you're frightened to mix up fears of what's really close with fears of what's really far away. And sometimes it's important to try to avoid doing so. The loss of some warm understanding or place to go isn't the same thing as a nuclear winter or a new revolution that ruins all the roads back home.
Maybe you've lost some old friends and familiar planets, but what orbits near you still speaks brightly enough to coax you through the night.

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Though the trees are still mostly green, the rustling has started. And then there are THE APPLES. M and J brought home a bag of Macouns from Salinger's Orchard. Believe me when I tell you that they are like eating heaven. M and I "toasted" apples as we had our first ones. Apples and cheddar. Do you feel me now?

I would that you were all here to see this splendiferous autumn day. Stellar. I hope we get another one tomorrow as I am back at the library, trying to work on some critical, odious, and oft-procrastinated writing duties (resume, Linked-In update, etc.) This week has largely been devoted to completing a draft of Monsterwood. Louise is proud of the work, and coming from a two-time Emmy winner for writing, there’s a damn good chance the rest of the world will find it valuable as well.

Besides editing the script this week, I had a day of cooking trance which I have not had for a quite a while. I made some kind of mole-chili out of disparate but well-matched ingredients. The kickers, I think, were the spice package for turkey mole tamales that I bought in LA some time ago, and the Trader Joe’s Tomato/Red Pepper Soup and Butternut Squash soup … I was in the zone and not paying any attention to anything else for many hours … except for stopping to edit. 

From Sean Wilsey's More Curious

Obama went right to Mark Gallogly, my neighbor, embraced him, then addressed the economy from the podium" "I'll be looking for advice from all of you in this room."

I thought, I'd tell you what I wanted to tell President Barry Rosenbloom. We have elevated money to the level of humanity. But money and humanity are enemies. Enemies who feed off, lie to, and use each other. There can be no freedom in this situation. Only fear. By elevating money you give it a vote. So what does money think is the ideal global condition? And what does humanity think is the idea financial one? The disastrous answer to both of these questions is: more.


A situation of foregone failure, or mutual conning (a consensus to ignore doom somewhat reminiscent of our national decision-making process), had been set up ...

Alrighty, then. Need to get this posted and start on another. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


Winter sleep.

Well, I changed my library venue today. North Salem is open until 7:00, although I don’t plan to be here that long. I had a few errands to run, like replenishing Greenies and kitty litter. Plus, another night with crappy sleep. I duly went to bed at 11:00 and was still awake at 2:00.

Now it is Friday afternoon, and warm enough to sit on the deck. I just fetched Emmylou who was deep in the backyard, happily exploring. She didn’t exactly come when I called, but she did make herself seen and is now contentedly whapping her tail as she and Albert lounge in the family room.

Lounge is a good word and fun to say.

As it was quite clement this afternoon, I took Albert on the long loop walk. He and I don’t get to walk together much these days, so it was plain lovely. I wasn’t in any particular hurry, so we could stop and sniff as often as he liked. We both enjoyed it quite a bit.

I resumed listening to Greil Marcus’ The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years. Once the bombast of the first chapter is over, he actually has some pretty danged astute and interesting things to say about culture and aging. And I would quote some here, but you’ll just have to wait a couple of days until I pick up a hardcopy at the library. I did like what he said about Gimme Shelter, that is is the ultimate Doors’ song. When you think about it, they would have torn up that song.

To say the last couple of days have been tough would have been an understatement. I have managed to keep it together, make babysteps in progress, but that wilderdarkness is full of dementors howling that I come for a visit, and maybe stay a long while. I get that salbug feeling that I want to roll up and roll under the bed. To thwart the dementors’ seductive nightsong, I took a whole dose of sleeping medication and went to bed at 9:00, hoping that I would fall asleep and still get up at a reasonable hour, which I did.

Well well well. Now it is Monday in the wee small hours, so clearly I am not sleeping. I'm not sure I will have another night of tossing and misery when I turn out the lights. I've been working for the last few hours after a fun and filling Mexican (party) meal with la bonne famille. 

Yesterday, or rather Saturday, after a couple hours' work at the North Salem location, I checked out the trail behind the library. Although I am brimming with thoughts and quotes, I do really need to try to sleep, so I will just leave you with these pictures from the walk.

And here's a bit of the Marcus book:

"What does it mean to make cultural history? It means to make images and sounds, to launch ideas and sensations that feel absolutely new even if they are not. Cultural history is a matter of old forms dressed in new clothes that turn history in a new direction. Cultural history may mean to triumph—to achieve worldwide and enduring fame, even to affect the lives of countless people long after you are gone, as the Doors did; more likely it means to find yourself stranded in the history that goes on without you, incapable of killing, in yourself, the motion that things could be better, or merely different, more alive, than they are ..."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Back at the Mahopac Public Library again. I found a great table near a window, but there is no electrical outlet there, so I had to move to a less groovy spot near a snoring woman. But I do have a big window not too far away, and I can at least see the blue sky, clouds and trees. It’s so pretty here; sometimes where I am just driving somewhere, I momentarily forget my … stressful predicament …

(I just sneezed and woke up the snoring woman, who said “Bless you.” She’s got her head down and is going back into it.)

A small problem with my current location is that I am smack next to the biography section and I can see just glancing many books to tempt me. I did pull out a biography of Toulouse Lautrec. I’m going to check it out … in the taking it home sense. Would any of you be tempted by the multiplicity of Oscar Wilde biographies? There are five of them within steps ...

(Yep, she's back to the deep snore. Glad I did not interrupt her.)

As I drove in today, I needed some sustenance and found a well-stocked natural food market. AND !!! a well-reviewed Mexican restaurant. I will definitely check out that place. 

Much later and not enough work done. But at least I am applying ass to chair. It is very cold in here today. I'll have to bring more layers tomorrow. It's even more beautiful now as it is magic hour. 

I'm still making my way through Sean Wilsey's More Curious, although I am not as impressed with it as I was at the beginning. Given that it is a book of previously published essays, I will give him the benefit of the doubt as a writer, going forward he is bound to mature. This is from an essay in 2002, still prescient today:

I thought unpatriotic thoughts about America. How we'd all been living in a bubble of ease for the last ten years while bombing, How, thanks to our droneish work ethic, the attack was on big office buildings full of prompt people eager to earn money. Were this Spain no one would have been in those buildings. Why couldn't the US be opposed in values by someplace that wanted us to take long siestas and eat for hours at midday—and would stop at nothing to undermine our current system of insufficient sleep and bolted sandwiches?

I like this one, too.

Escaping from sadness is what made this country. We are all escapees.