not just circle
daily practice

Friday, May 23, 2003  

Just Because:

I can't stop thinking about someone, and no, it isn't Humphrey Bogart.

posted by ~ | 3:49 PM

Thursday, May 22, 2003  

There's an especially good feature on McSweeneys:

Titles of Unwritten Essays Jotted Down While Living in Prague in the 90's

My personal favorite:

"Pulp Fiction" and Its Unfortunate Validating Effect on the American Dudes of Prague

Followed closely by:

The Expat in His Subletted Apartment: His Neighbors Hate Him, but He Thinks This Builds Character

Both of them remind me, humorously, of ex-boyfriend Thaddeus, who is now bemoaning his fate in Russia after years of drama and longing for what he then spoke of as his adopted motherland. Man alive, was he ever full of crap.

posted by ~ | 12:48 AM

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  

I've Had a Visit

...from this man I really love, and it was an immense pleasure. Recently I'd been thinking better of it all - of admitting to it; but even the smallest exposure recreates the whole picture and reminds me why.

We talked, as we often do, about motivations and super motivations - the fact that no one is ever altruistic - everyone has things they want from every interaction, and that people are rarely honest about that. Right alongside that is the somewhat suprising ability he has to hear me edit myself. He always knows when I am not 100% behind what I'm saying, and I really enjoy being seen in that way. It always makes me wonder how much he can see through me, and make me assume that he sees it all.

I also wonder what he takes from it - what motivates him. Obviously, he wants my help with his projects. He wants me to do what I can for him. I also think he enjoys his abiltiy to make me love him, but, I wonder if there's anything else to it.

He makes me wish I were more forceful and confident, and that I didn't constantly second-guess myself. There's a certain kind of romanticism, that I think includes the abilty to believe in ones own feelings and intuitions, that I am no longer at home with, and is perhaps a casualty of my education, of which he makes me regret the lack. It's not that I really even doubt myself, but what I lack is the ability to speak without editing, and to speak out. It's almost just that I am out of practice, but it's also a matter of trust and courage.

I've been lucky to have been able, on some occasions, to reveal myself to him, to show him what is best in me - a kind of theoretical imagination, an elasticity of mind, and a kind of humaneness and generosity of vision when I love. I'm also mousy and timid, a fence-sitter, a fierce self-editor and an obssessive, and he has seen that, too.

So what are my motivations? I want him to know me, and I am enormously satisfied when he does. I want to be respected and to be asked to give the best thing I have. That has happened. I also want him to love me, and I want to experience that quickening of the senses that accompanies a certain kind of draw - the kind magnetism he exerts over me, almost for its own sake.

I live in a desert, and he is like a well. Unfortunately, he is one that I may not draw from very often, nor as deeply as I would like, but a small drink is enough when you're parched. Whenever he leaves, I always feel like I am back out on a long, dry journey.

posted by ~ | 5:38 PM

Every night, I go to bed alone. It's been like this for nearly three years.

Sometimes I like it. There's a part of me that really craves solitude. The thought of being remote, absolutely silent and to be completely alone is immensely appealing to me, and sometimes, when I crawl into bed by myself, I feel the vastness of the night sky, and my small self floating in my blankets, and it isn't so much that I am happy to be alone, but I feel myself. I feel what I am; and there's a satisfaction in that.

Other times, I get into bed alone and close my eyes only to have faint glow of light from the windows burn through my eyelids. I can't sleep, and I can't stop thinking. Things crowd in. I worry that I've forgotten something at work, wonder if my plans can possibly be made real. I think about the body my imagination has siezed upon, and trace its contours in my imagination. It's then that I lose track of myself and am swept up into comparisons and sadnesses.

So Krishna admonished Arjuna on the field of battle:

Whenever the mind wanders, restless and
diffuse in its search for satisfaction without,
lead it within; train it to rest in the Self. Abiding
joy comes to those who still the mind.

posted by ~ | 1:06 AM

Friday, May 16, 2003  

Rest In Peace:

June Carter Cash died today.

posted by ~ | 7:18 PM

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

Now that I've made my blog so pink and feminine, I may as well confess that I have been reading too much Jane Austen just before bed.

Cynicism and experience have made me nearly impervious to the modern version of that story - I am much more likely to mock at than I am to swoon over 9 romantic comedies out of 10 - but there is one brand which still slays me, and against which I am uttterly helpless, and it is the kind that is to be found in Jane Austen novels, with their careful and infinitely articulate social niceties and that sense of certainty and justice that is to be found in a letter, or any profession of attachment where there is honor and sincerity.

When I was 15, I went to school in England for half of a school year. I wore a long, green wool cape, and attended Harrogate Ladies College; a venerable old institution in beautiful North Yorkshire. While I was there, I visited places like Bolton Abbey and York Minster, and it was there that I first fell in love with Mr. Darcy, surely the dreamiest creature in all of noveldom... until I met Mr. Knightly shortly thereafter.

During my brief sojourn in Harrogate, I remember, more than anything, looking up from a worn paperback after reading a sentence like: "It darted through her, with the speed of an arrow, that Mr. Knightly must marry no one but herself," looking out of the window of a train gliding through a perfectly picturesque English countryside of gentle green hills, crossed by stone walls and dotted with sheep, and sighing to myself as I dreamt of my Mr. Knightly.

posted by ~ | 1:32 AM

Wednesday, May 14, 2003  

The Swimmer
by Brendan Kennelly

For him the Shannon opens
Like a woman
He has stepped over the stones

And cut the water
With his body
But this river does not bleed for

Any man. How easily
He mounts the waves, riding them
As though they

Whispered subtle invitations to his skin,
Conspiring with the sun
To offer him

A white, wet rhythm. The deep beneath
Gives full support
To the marriage of wave and heart,

The waves he breaks turn back to stare
At the repeated ceremony
And the hills of Clare

Witness the fluent weddings
The flawless congregation
The choiring foam that sings

To limbs which must, once more,
Rising and falling in the sun,
Return to shore.

Again he walks upon the stones
A new music in his heart,
A river in his bones

Flowing forever through his head
Private as a grave
Or as the bridal bed.

posted by ~ | 9:33 PM

The New Look

I'm trying to cheer myself up with a little pink and a bird's nest. I think it's all pleasingly feminine, and I'm not entirely comfortable with that, but I think I will get used to it, and that could be a good exercize.

Starbuck's, Beverly Hills

There's a 55 or 60 year old man who's had a facelift so that the skin on his face is smooth, tight and pale, but his neck is loose, wrinkled and sunworn. A frowsy older woman, densely fat, champagne blonde and with black kohl all around her eyes, wearing a dishwater white cotton cardigan is dipping her raspberry pastry into her paper coffee cup. An almost matched pair of brash Israeli women completely clad in Dolce & Gabbana, with big 70's style fade-lense sunglasses talk loudly in Hebrew. Coming and going: trim girls in gym clothes with bare, tanned bellies and perfectly arranged casual hairstyles; some with docile boyfriends trailing behind them like dull-plummaged birds behind their showy mates. The barrista is a large lesbian with closely-cropped bright green hair under her black Starbuck's baseball cap. She's got silver facial piercings, bad skin and over-plucked chola eyebrows.

posted by ~ | 3:53 PM

Tuesday, May 13, 2003  

After months of financial crisis...

I'm having a hard time subduing somewhat apocalyptic visions of the future. There's a part of me that stands cooly back, watching the engaged me struggle as things spiral down the proverbial toilet, thinking: it will be ok. It has to be. Behind her, there's another member of my psychic peanut gallery that whispers of being just about at the end of my allotment of borrowed time. What really gets me is how affronted I feel about it all. It's such an incredible, energy-sucking, black hole vortex.

I tell myself I should be free of this panic about basic survivial. If only I had sensibly gone to college to become an accountant, or a nurse, instead of frivolously studying literature and dreaming romantic dreams while reading T.S. Eliot and Gerard Manley Hopkins and sighing to myself... Which is not to suggest that without such a grimly realistic course of study, one cannot find gainful employment, but it's more the whole turn of mind that would have allowed me to be happy with a degree in accounting.

Sometimes I feel like I am in line for a particularly miserable destiny, and that as it all catches up with me, I have only myself to blame; I simply choose wrong, and I always have. Everything I do represents a new wrong decision that cripples my chances for happiness, security and not dying alone as a ward of the state. It would be fine if I were alone in all this, but I feel miserable about the fact that my son has to partake of my black fate. I think my penchant for melodrama and over-wrought navel-gazing is a symptom of the problem.

What a depressing blog this is. If I were an accountant, I bet I'd be funny and clever.

posted by ~ | 12:32 PM

Saturday, May 10, 2003  

I have to admit, I'm a little sick of it.

My son's school keeps scheduling things that I must attend, or make my boy feel miserable, neglected and unloved, on weekdays when I have to be at work. A lot of the parents there somehow manage to have lives that allow them to attend... but not many of them are single parents living paycheck to paycheck.

My sister keeps bringing her dog over to take a pee on my lawn. She lives across the street, and not a day goes by that she doesn't bring the dog over to deposit its effluvia on my territory.

My mother, who lives with me, and normally holds up a portion of the household costs hasn't been paid in nearly 5 months, and the financial punctuality that I have worked so hard to maintain over the past few years has gone completely down the toilet.

My brother has taken so many of my CD's, that I'm not even sure what he has anymore. What I am sure of: I will never get them back.

My dog keeps burying scraps of food and his toys in my bed. The other day, I found a crust of bread, a piece of cheddar cheese, and the tail of a monkey stuffed animal belonging to my son that he felt needed to be stored in my bed for safe-keeping.

There's this man I fell in love with.

posted by ~ | 6:16 PM

Wednesday, May 07, 2003  

Why Radiohead is The Best:

there, there
words by Thom Yorke

in pitch dark i go walking in your landscape
broken branches trip me up as i speak
just cos you feel it doesn't mean it's there
just cos you feel it doesn't mean it's there
there's always a siren singing you to shipwreck
(don't reach out, don't reach out)
stay away from these rocks we'd be a walking disaster
(don't reach out, don't reach out)
just cos you feel it doesn't mean it's there
(there's always someone over your shoulder)
just cos you feel it doesn't mean it's there
(there's always someone over your shoulder)
feel it
why so green
and lonely
heaven sent you
to me
we are accidents waiting
waiting to happen
we are accidents waiting
waiting to happen

posted by ~ | 4:18 PM

Sunday, May 04, 2003  

It strikes me that I choose to love people who are impervious. I always seem to love a man who is an island, of sorts.

I've been reading a really great book - The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies, and there was this really brilliant paragraph in it:

"...just because you are not a roaring egotist, you needn't fall for the fashionable modern twaddle of the anti-hero and the mini-soul. That is what we might call the shadow of democracy; it makes it so laudable, so cosy and right and easy to be a spiritual runt and lean on all the other runts for support and applause in a splendid apotheosis of runtdom. Thinking runts, of course-- oh, yes, thinking away as hard as a runt can without getting into danger. But there are heroes, still. The modern hero is a man who conquers the inner struggle. How do you know you aren't that kind of a hero?"

I must work. I must find a way to burn slowly and steadily. It's high time.

posted by ~ | 4:55 PM

Friday, May 02, 2003  

The thing about Radiohead's new record is that it is really comforting. It feels like familar rooms, and what keeps going through my head is Thom Yorke's beautiful keening voice singing "just 'cuz you feel it doesn't mean it's there," and for some reason even that bleak message is incredibly reassuring.

posted by ~ | 7:33 AM