Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another way San Francisco helped with poetry creation was the way it helped Robert Frost.

Robert Frost's poetry is much from the climate and land of New England. Robert Frost lived his first ten years in San Francisco. Anyone's first ten year, if it's all in one place they think below thinking, this is the deal, this is how it is.

So Robert young had to be thinking that, that he had land and climate down, and then at ten, he was in New England. He noticed and noticed for a long time.

"Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening"--not something you do in San Francisco.

"The Education of Henry Adams" is written by Henry Adams, in the third person, by himself. The first part is worth reading, standing at a bookstore or whatever, even if you don't read the rest, because it is about, vividly, the difference between the New England winters in town and the New England summers on the farm, which was what happened in his first ten years or more. Fierce contrast yearly--nothing in San Francisco weather is as different from other parts of San Francisco weather as New England summers and winters.

In front of the Hyatt Regency by the bay, near the beginning of the less famous cable car route is a pretty good, non-looming stone noting of Robert Frost's having been here. It's like a stone cylinder with the top cut at a slant and resting on it a metal plaque noting that he was here some and next to the words a good likeness down in metal relief.

He was here and it helped him, I think, be in the there he was famous for better.
If you dump the label that's on who you are and what you're doing, you could act more directly and more subtly

Monday, September 27, 2010

When did you learn something that surprised you? What happened?
Making the soup of life better, or less bad. Stirring differently.

Friday, September 24, 2010

She does not emphasize that she's coming from the place of having a broken heart, but she does state that that is where she's coming from

People can and do fall in love with the math-heavy sciences--with their beauty and complexity, the power of the way they explain what's happening. Margaret Wertheim did. As she learned more about the math-based sciences, she noticed that women, people like her, were harshly excluded through most of their history.

She wrote "Pythagoreas' Trousers," a history of math-based sciences with an emphasis on women getting crushed and excluded as the history of math-based sciences unfolded.

She can be light about it--after all, Pythagoras, the triangle guy, he of the Phythagorean theorem, lived before trousers were a-happening, but he was definitely a guy.

"Lonely Hearts of the Universe" by Dennis Overbye is about the personal side of the cosmological search of the twentieth century. What were these guys like, wonders Overbye. He notes a couple of times that women were not allowed to be part of the group that used the breakthrough making telescopes in Southern California, at Mount Wilson and Palomar Observatories.

He just says it, and there it is. I stop and wonder about the women born to wonder about stars who couldn't get in all those decades in Southern California and before that all those centuries around the world.

Bread and roses and telescopes. And engineering problems.

When I met her, she was a falling apart, respectable drunk, her face melting, her house in a nice neighborhood near with the Sausalito shipyard had been in World War II. She had worked there. After a while, she was essentially an on-the-spot engineer, solving problems as they arose. She loved it, heart and smarts together.

And after World War II that door closed hard. No way could she go on with engineering; jobs like that were for guys. All things did conspire against someone like her going on with engineering.

OK--a drunk cannot use something like that as an excuse for the slow suicide plan. But I can look at that life and say this isn't how society should be. She knew she could do it and much more because she'd done it. Society said, "So what?"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

SIX, the English word, contains the Roman numeral for NINE, which contains the Roman numeral for ONE, which contains a letter that looks just like ZERO. ZERO in English ends in itself, which means nothing.
I had a thought that seemed pretty good, but it rolled away over the sleep/waking border. Maybe it will come back as a dream I never consciously remember and heal me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Making the material, the fabric.

Making the thread, the yarn, and moving the thread, the yarn around itself so that it becomes the material, the fabric, the basis for many events and warmths.

Spinster, as a word, has been pretty much shrunk down to denoting a lack--no husband, a woman who does not now have and never has had a husband. For a long time, that was a legal category, the legal term for someone like that was spinster.

Originally, it meant a job mostly done by women, including women with husbands. The job of taking a big wad of natural fiber, wool or cotton, say, and spinning it insto a thread, a skinniness, that can then be woven into a wide, thin holding togetherness.

I want women to do this now in different ways. Looking at the wads of what we've got and feeling how to make it thin, then broad and newly useful.

To have a dream while waking up and know that that's what it's about--spinstering, spinning into a different way of being, held by different kinds of fabrics.

The mostly guy-led way of studying material all the way down is now seeming a bit dead-end-ish to some. During a lot of the sequence of figuring out matter in the Western physics way, women weren't allowed in that playground.

So now some of us have more time and somehow we could let a new question find us.

Mater, mother, matter. What is everything made of basically, really? The style of asking the question may matter? Analytically, yes, we've been doing that, and expensively. What you are made of and what rocks are made of--how is another way to know more about that?

Be spun by the very nature of matter and spin into another way of knowing about it. Yes, no, maybe. I mean, massive being sneered at is built into the job, to the extent that anyone of current importance notices that it's happening. That is not a variable. There will be sneering.

But fun in trying, and healing in partially succeeding. Maybe healing in ways and at scales quite against current rules.

Women's traditional fabric work--spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, quilting, much more--can be experienced by the doer as soothing and trancemaking, in a good way. Doing it with a group you like to be with and talk with helps.

When all women had to do that kind of work, some of them experienced it as really boring, part of the system of being ground down to brainlessness.
So now, in some places, some women could do that work and got back and forth more--spinning, thinking, dreaming, and find and by found by we don't know what yet. Spinster turns out another way to make the little bigger and more useful. Spinster maybe you. We need to demand the impossible of each other in detailed ways.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I get to be around at a time when some primates are doing many things with wheels.
Special, then general.
I knew when I sat down there to take a break from my walk that I was going to sit there until. But I didn't know until what.

I sat there until a harmonica started playing within earshot. It was played with the Saturday morning spirit--I don't know what I'm going to play, but I'm going to play something. Gently dabbling.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A little kid running down the sidewalk ahead of his parents, saying, "I've got the magic ingredient!"
The autumn equinox arrives on quiet night feet. Let's go darker.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It took me a while to get that the guy was nuts because a lot of what he was saying was political and a lot of the political stuff he was saying I agreed with.
"That's between you and the juice. It's got nothing to do with me."

--a man on the sidewalk replying to another man's drunken observations

Friday, September 10, 2010

An enterprise very light on egg people seems to be reaching some dead ends.

I like reading "The End of Science" by John Horgan because it amounts to a series of reviews of what's up in various parts of science in the mid-1990's. I am reading it later, but still much of it is interesting news to me as I don't keep up on what's up with every part of science and how science practioners feel about how their field is doing.

I knew that some people think string theory will do wonders in theoretical physics and explain much (explain a specialized physics sense of "everything," make a theory of everything. Other people think string theory is so unprovable that it is like philosophy or art--mathematics for art's sake. That it isn't science because there is not imaginable way to prove it.

I didn't know before I read "The End of Science" that it is inaccurate to say "string theory." There are many string theories, and no way that can be agreed upon by people who like string theory to choose among them.

So maybe that's the end of physics. Things were stuck there in 1996 when the book was published and are stuck there more than ten years later. (This is a part of science the newspapers sort of keep me up on."

But the book explores many other parts of science that seem at an end in different ways--nothing new to explore, deep disagreements about which way that part of science should move.

So I'm kind of enjoying this as a sort of 200 level course in some science, and I'm noticing lots of science folks are frustrated.

Lots of men are frustrated. Almost everyone talking in this book is a man. I haven't read it all, and I know Lynn Margulis awaits me in the chapter "The End of Evoluttionary Biology?" but there are close to no women and they are running out of fertility.

I could say I hate to think that. I don't hate to think that. I think it's worth thinking about. I hate to say it, because folks get really hassled for saying things like that.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

One man to another on the sidewalk: "I don't want to die for my country because I want to stay here and enjoy it."
If you need to believe that an individual is simple, or to believe that a group of people is simple, it helps to know not much about them.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Bugs have their own ideas, plans and standards. Their worlds seem small to us but not to them.
A problem with being thorough is that ill-wishers might have time to notice what you're doing and how you're doing it and stop you.

Sometimes are times to make a situation better than it was quickly and get out.
When the wisdom of the sun speaks directly, shining on our skin, the instructions seem to be, "Move slowly, or don't move. Think simple thoughts, or none."
What are we doing here, and so many of us?
Gandhi was a friendly guy. Spell his name right, and it ends in "hi."

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Just north of Market Street, there's a traffic island in the midst of the intersection where Hayes and Larkin and Market meet in a typically confusing San Francisco way.

In the middle of the traffic island, there's a lamp post.

Around the base of the post, someone skilled of hand and observant of plants has drawn in chalk long flower petals that look a little windblown, so the lamp post seems to be the large, looming center of a flower in a windy field.

There is a more direct, islandless way to cross that intersection, but I used and paused on the island because of the remains of a sprain. I took the slow boat, and someone left me a flower.
When I was walking past the band playing outside in the city of a Sunday, they sounded phenomenally good. When I sat down to listen to them, they didn't sound so good.

It could be that when I was walking, I was comparing them to the usual rumble jumble of the city, and when I sat down, I started comparing them to all musicians I have sat down to listen to.