Monday, May 08, 2017

A thing for sunshine

The vibe here is low and slow -- windows open, back door propped, flies in and out on a breeze -- we've stepped aside this weekend.  The world goes on.  It's not easy to cultivate respite from the world. Alllll my attempts fail.  But Clark had surgery Friday, for a deviated septum, so we're in an authority imposed retreat.  It really works. I want to hire someone to come over with a clipboard and a vest to tell me sternly that I'm in a time out.   That this and that are not my concern.   That animal pain and animal comfort are the extent of my influence.  That photosynthesizing is paramount.  

Luckily the sun is out.  After this long cold wet dark season, sitting in the sun is a matter of survival. 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Finally, a thing like spring

It reached 80ยบ today and was undeniably, objectively, the nicest day of the year. I worked here, then there, and then came home and spent the afternoon sitting on the couch working on STUFF while drifting dog hair tickled across my feet. I felt stiffly bored and humorless, couched deep in my clutter, while outside the Objectively Beautiful Day squandered about, breezing through trees.

But tonight, I’ve got this feeling I’d forgotten or left somewhere a long time ago. I feel like the break-in to a satisfying sad song, like when the tempo surges. It’s such a small thing. All the windows and doors are open. I’ve swept and mopped away the poofs of dog hair. The lights are moody and low. I'm listening to old music, stuff that is seriously sad as fuck, but in a good way because these songs are all said and done. It’s the things that are unsaid and unfinished that cause me grief, but they aren’t here right now.  

It’s my third night in a row retiring with a hot cup of thera-flu in a masquerade of lemon and honey. My only cold of the year hit me last week -- Wednesday night, 8:37pm to be precise. I actually felt the fetal pathogen implant in my sinuses.  It gestated overnight as a single point of pain. Thursday, it spread through my face cavity, down my throat and finally exploded into my lungs and out the top of my head. Thursday night I shivered and sweated into the blankets. I stayed home Friday from my daughter's class field trip, to her very deep and teary disappointment. I slept until noon, then ached around, petting dogs and nudging my coffee cup, shifting in and out of being alive on pulse.

I’m slowly coming into focus again. Chemically induced narco-sleep is helping. Sunshine would probably help. Tomorrow I’ll try to find some.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

I meant to post before the clock ran out on 2016, but maybe it's better this way.  It was a nasty year, we all agree, and maybe it's better left unacknowledged. 2016, you don't exist here. It's good to put you away, 2016, while yet knowing nothing has actually changed as we turn into 2017.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

I have a paper due, and it's probably too late to get any substantive help... but, help.

Can someone help me out here?? French psychologist Jacques Lacan has this idea that infants go through a critical developmental stage when they first recognize the figure in the mirror as themselves. In theory, this unified image of the self is an "ideal" -- something toward which they will wage a sisyphean struggle for the rest of their lives.

What about pre-mirror societies?  What about mirrorless homes?  Or homes there the mirror does not reach the ground and they don't have this critical mirror-moment until their ego is already developed? Why is the mirrored self "ideal?" So a child recognizes themself in the mirror, aaaaannd they have been looking at the human form and identifying with it since their eyes could focus. So, why is the self in the mirror so ideal that above and beyond any previous engagement with the human form it informs the trajectory of their life from that moment forward??

I ask because a number of other theories build on Lacan's ideas and I'm calling total bullshit on all of it because I don't get it. This is some flimsy shit. Seriously, what am I missing?

Friday, October 31, 2014

One small gratitude

My current food obsession is spicy chili crisp piled on hard boiled eggs.  I love this humble man and his hot, oily peppers. It also happens that no one else in my family is remotely interested in eating chili on eggs so life is pretty much great.

I know this is trivial, but it's something.  I'm making an effort to revive Deconstructionist.  It is the longest running commitment in my entire life, except for well, running.  I have now been running for longer than I smoked.  The house I live in is the longest I've ever dwelt in one place since ever.  It's like I'm finally growing up.

Monday, October 27, 2014


I've spent the weekend in a chair, variously contorted and invariably uncomfortable.  In chairs actually (more than one): a chair in the kitchen, in the living room, on the couch, and propped by the contumacious pillows of my bed.  I also spent 7 straight hours on a chair in a coffeeshop with only one bathroom break -- which is really more about being dehydrated than the torturous trial of my weekend, which was torturous.  I am feeling bound in breath and limb.  I don't even dare to think about the things I'd rather be doing.  I did do a little bit of running, but not enough.

My kid can make herself a PB&J sandwich now, so my work there is done. Of the eyebrow-raising proportions, the dogs clean up the difference and that allows me to stay in the chair.  It has become the devil I know.  I'd rather be a mom.  I fucking hate sitting here...

...mostly because I'm not convinced of the validity or effectiveness of what I am doing or how I am doing it.

I'm researching.  My research is focused on the great European witch-hunts in the early modern period of European history.  This is the most awfully awkward sentence i have ever permitted to be seen by other people. I can't get beyond the fact that I've use the word 'European' twice in one sentence.  OMFG.  The subject is fascinating -- macabre, disgusting and infuriating, although I'm way too old and sagacious to let it affect me.  Or have an effect on me.  Fuck off.

I think a confident person would have finished this project by now.  I'm too multi-causal in my approach, and it is the ruin of me.  Stake me, burn me. Just let me out of this chair.

Monday, October 13, 2014

This week, a single parent

My husband is out of town, day 6 of 8 now, and I have gotten lazy.  I've taken the kid out for pizza and burritos and ice cream.  I've let her stand in the shower for too long, and watch movies past her bedtime.  I know better, but don't have the energy to do better.  It's like a passive bribe: let's not punish each other.  Mostly meaning me, to my own self.

At this rate I'll never be the person I want to be though, and the only thing that bothers me is the idea that every day for the next 80 years I'll think it's still just within my reach...  perhaps tomorrow I'll close my grasp.  Be better.  I'll just do it, later maybe, and it will work forever on.  We eat in restaurants and I get existential anxiety. I'm a Sisyphean groundhog-day cliche.  I'm tired by the end of the day, exhausted by the sustained commotion of micro-failure, till a step back feels like reward for surviving.  Come on, lets go spend what we saved.  We've earned it.  I'll start tomorrow, when I'm dead.


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