Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The way flowers look and the way buildings look is often different. But Gaudi.

Gaudi's buildings are often rounded, often covered on the outside as well as inside with color. Sometimes the building surfaces are detailed like part of a jungle. Gaudi's buildings sometimes look like they grew up like a tree from the earth they stand on and are still growing.

I had seen pictures of the cathedral, Holy Family, Gaudi designed in Barcelona. I liked it. I look through a whole book of color pictures of many Gaudi buildings. I am changed.
A city and its water.
The closer I live to Sutro Tower, the more I think it isn't dangerous.
May Day was a time, when people had little privacy, to go forth into the woods very early, so early it was late, and remind the plants to be fertile, through example. Later, that wasn't stated so much, but the idea was that the young people would go out early on May Day and gather beauties of plants to decorate the village. Maybe make some new people too.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" by Shakespeare, has some of that spirit. Shake the spear, dance around the maypole, though midsummer is a different time than May Day early morning. Both are dark, sexy, and confusing. In the play, 4 young people with some love problems and some unrequited love problems go out into the woods at night, two to elope, two to prevent the eloping, and various things happen. Affections change, rules change, assumptions change. Sometimes in the night they look dumb and feel bad. Other times they are just really confused. Things look different in the middle of the night.

In the morning, it's all a okay and better than it was when the night began. The four people who had a painful lack of symmetry when night fell are sorted into two happy couples by morning, and inside the play, it seems like they'll be fine, and pretty happily living on for quite a while.
* I had it with me the whole time, right next to my heart.
* Gaudy, Gody, colors are divine.
* Reading Dostoyevski is an event. From the moment a novel kicks in to the end of reading it, for the whole time, including the time not reading, his way of looking at things wins over any faint assumptions you may have. His way of thinking has much agony, and deep inside the agony, hope.
* When sensation returns, one of the sensations that returns is pain.
* "Crime and Punishment" and "Macbeth" could be read together. The murderer can't stand up psycologically to having murdered.
* Raw persistence is needed less now that you're around, and there's all the delight.
* The way I think doesn't know how to include a lot of what I acutally experience.
* The way I think doesn't know how to include a lot of what I acutally experience.
* Don't argue with what's old. Do something new.

Monday, April 28, 2008

There was, in Europe, the Thirty Years' War. Maybe if we like each other for thirty years, that's a vote in another direction--the Thirty Years' Like.
Everything I think about how things might be new and better is not so. For I am soaked in the old and worse.

Or almost everything.

Maybe once in a great while something different and healing occurs in my head. I might be utterly scared by it. I might not notice it because it is so different from what I am used to. But maybe sometime I can notice, keep breathing, feel its good, and pass it on.
Fighting is a way to structure time.
I'm amazed, b-mazed, c-mazed, d-mazed, e-mazed, f-mazed, g-mazed, h-mazed. . . . The labyrinth leads on.
Quake. Oak. Quake. Oak. Nature's style varies.
Brian Eno says that some people who produce recordings will only work in studios that have particular pieces of powerful gear.

Eno says when he walks into a studio, he knows that the studio, as it is, is a musical instrument, and he's going to learn to play it.
The best thing is less than the showy thing.

The best thing doesn't need to emphasize what it is because it really is that.
Being loved is different.
Butterflies mean that beings don't have to stay in the same form their whole time.

Butterflies mean that some who look fragile can travel far.

Butterflies mean that some of the best things in life I never could have imagined.
* Heath, hearth, earth, theater, heart. Hear.
* Show them other ways to belong.
* What about everything, which nobody notices and nobody can notice?
*Valencia Street in San Francisco is for much of its length parallel to Mission Street, but then it says, "This is silly," and jogs over and dead-ends into Mission.

Parallel lines meeting here and now is an activity that fits San Francisco, which doesn't have one strong grid system, but various grid systems in different parts of town, which are not at right angles to each other, but often askew to each other.

And each grid system within itself is available for meetings, like Valencia and Mission, and for bits that look like streets on the map being not streets that are car-ready but (in the official jargon) "unpaved right-of-ways"--habitat for little critters and humans hanging out in a way that paved streets aren't.

In San Francisco, a grid is like a melody in jazz--a basis for surprises we find, together.
* Democracy means it's all your fault. That isn't true. However.
* Re-enter gently, honoring every air molecule.
* Re-enter gently, honoring every air molecule.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Emerson and Thoreau were friends while they lived, both writers. Emerson was also importantly a lecturer. Thoreau was also a surveyor, doer of outdoor odd jobs, noticer of nature.

Now Thoreau is far more likely to be read voluntarily, spontaneously, not for school, than Emerson is.

It's sort of a classical/romantic split in the largest sense. Classical meaning carefully planned, solid, built in a logical way, and not carried away by emotion. Emerson's writing is like that. He's so careful and sober I can read some nasty or negative things he's written and not quite notice at first because he's stated them in such a sober grownup way.

The romantic, in the larger sense, is let by internal reactions than pre-existing ideas of what a work of art, an essay, should be like. The romantic starts with how the interaction between self and world feels, and gets structure from that. Maybe a fairly different structure for each piece. Thoreau.

Of course, all the arts, since they lived, have moved toward romantic.
How much does this way weigh? Will its heaviness crush me or make me strong? Will its lightness let me be light or free me?
A world is a dot if you're trying to figure out how the whole thing moves relative to other whole things. A dot is a world if you live there.
Deset plants live clever.

I heard a speech by a woman who, when she was in school learning to be a civil engineer, had a job monitoring a landfill. The result of that job is that any object that comes into her life or that she might think of taking into her life, she thinks about her longterm relationship with that object. Object as in soda bottle. Object as in wrapping. She thinks hard about it all. She can't throw stuff away. She has visited away, and studied away in detail.

Desert plants don't look at their resources and go, "Oh, well," and drop them wherever.
One block over, there's a quieter street to walk on.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

* Henry David Thoreau was intelligent within his body.

Once when he was walking in nature far from his home base of Concord, Massachusettes, he unusually tripped and sprained his ankle. As he fell, he saw the arnica plant which he used to prevent swelling and pain.

His father was a pencil manufacturer. Henry could reach into a crate of pencils and come up with a handful that was a dozen, again and again.

Walking with a stranger to Concord, the stranger asked if a particular plant grew there. Thoreau said, "Yes," while reaching down and picking off a sprig of that plant that was right there, and handing it to the stranger.

Thoreau was aware of the details of where he was, whatever where that was.

These facts from Emerson's essay remembering Thoreau after his death. From way over here in time, people who are aware of Thoreau are used to that Thoreau wrote "Civil Disobedience" and "Walden" and oh, yeah, some other stuff.

Emerson felt strongly that there was much to come that was written. He missed that writing and he missed Thoreau, a distinctive and particular guy.
* Sometimes when I'm filled with fiery certainty that I am right and someone else here present is wrong, I remember to count to eighteen, the Hebrew number of life.
* Do you have Friday off? This feels like Friday to me, even though it's Thursday.
* Bitterly she smoked in the teachers' lounge and told me, the student teacher, "Never teach high school for more than five years."

I don't know. Clearly, her life wasn't going well, and she perceived these energetic and larval youth as prison bars.

It did make me think of an alternative culture where it would be easy for people to teach high school for five years. Go in and out, bringing the complexities of the great world to high school, and then the energy and problems of high school back to the great world.
* Do one's job.

Sometimes it's light.
Sometimes it's night.


Monday, April 07, 2008

The breakthrough that would be equivalent to making the first atomic bomb would be many breakthroughs. A chain reaction where the parts of the chain might not know about each other. It might not cost that much once several people give up their assumptions.
I guess. You guess. And so we go on.
The dream of not talking, like our smart ancestors didn't.
I read "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte more than once as a teenager--it's a romance.

Much later I read about it and that some people when it came out and later didn't like it because of its supernatural content.

Which I hadn't noticed.

It took me a while to understand what they were talking about.

Jane Eyre has left Mr. Rochester for good reason. Conditions have changed over time. For one thing, he has become a better person through suffering. However, he can't get in touch because he doesn't know where she is.

So one night he cries out in his loneliness, "Jane, Jane" and she, hundreds of miles away, hears him. She takes off to look for him, which surprises and doesn't please her current friends.

In several readings, I had never thought of her hearing him as odd or supernatural of anything. I thought it was fortunate, but also, of course it happened.

Sometimes I don't get with the program and don't notice that I haven't gotten with the program.

Friday, April 04, 2008

* I like 6 times 8 is forty-eight. 6 times 7 is forty-two is okay, but I don't actively like it.

I pretty much like 3 times 7 is twenty-one, but not as much as some multiplication events.

9 times 9 is 81. I could wear that on a sweatshirt happily, and not know why.
*The door gleams green amid the gold, unlikely to be seen by movers fast.
* It depends on what you are willing to name and what you are willing to be with without naming.
* Today is today, and I don't know anything.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Do individual plants experience themselves as individual plants?
People from other places say various things about people from here, but not that we're good listeners. "Oh, those Americans listen so well."--not said.

People from other places often note that Americans ask many questions in a way that tiring and annoying. The implications is that Americans don't notice the situation they are in, don't listen to it enough to even ask good questions. The implication is if they noticed where they were they wouldn't be asking all these question from other places and other assumptions, but would be absorbing the different place they are.
Seventeenth near Mars. Can we stop war here? The plants here look healthy and glad. Plants don't seem to devastate each other en masse. Can plants teach us about that?
A Christmas flag could be made by shrinking the stars and putting them on top of fifty little Christmas trees. What with one thing and another, the flag could use some green.
It would be easier to do the task if I were allowed to be subtle.

It is draining to have to do something well and at the same time present the appearance of what doing it well would look like to someone who has never done it.
I don't know what our neighbor, M33, thinks about the presidential race. M33 is one of the nearer to us galaxies--spiral galaxy, looks smart. M33 is not a registered voter. Is this apathy?
"Hello" and learning more about who's on each end of that is quite a bit in itself.