Saturday, October 29, 2011

Plants in cities think better at night when there's less human talkiness.
A weird way to be provincial is one time I heard there had been a big earthquake in Italy, and my first thought was, "That can't be. It's not on the Pacific Rim."
It looks a mess, but I think it's all good and it's healing. I could pick at it, and make it look better to me for a moment, and slow the healing process.
When it's time for the noon Tuesday party, we say, "It's time for the noon Tuesday party." Sometimes that's all there is to the party, that sentence. Other times there's more--two, three, four.

If a disaster happened, sometimes we'd remember dull moments with longing and affections. So we could just notice a dull moment and make that be the party of no disaster right here right now.
There's so much beauty I'm embarassed. I don't know how to respond.
Here comes the dark to show us.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Title of novel: "Resurrection"

Author and translator: Leo Tolstoy, Vera Traill

First sentence: "No matter that men in the hundreds of thousands disfigured the land on which they swarmed, paved the ground with stones so no green thing could grow, filled the air with fumes of coal and gas, lopped back all trees, and drove away every animal and every bird: spring was still spring, even in the town."

A wise person whose name I can't remember said for a modern English-speaker reading 19th century Russian novels, the first hundred pages tend to be a confusing, difficult trudge. Then suddenly, around page 100, you find oneself swept away. The people who seemed like they had incomprehensible motives and too many names are suddenly a center of your own life, as important, at least, as your own current activities.

Tolstoy makes special demands on the reader. Once you're inside him, inside his power, he's demanding of you what he demands of himself: What about everything? What does everything mean, and how can it be healed?

Looking at the ground of the city and finding hope anyway somehow goes with the more famous scene in "War and Peace" where Andrei looks at the sky after he has fallen in battle and finds meaning, somehow, convincingly, that Tolstoy conveys almost psychically to the reader, using the cover of words.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sometimes the two-year-old can grow up and say no with really big words.

Two and three and four are ages to pick up language and culture without analyzing and memorizing, sopping it up. Sometimes the world changes, much later, and that kid, allegedly grown up, meets people who were absorbing some different assumptions at two, three, four.

The adult feels uncomfortable. The inner two-year-old may feel betrayed. "I learned it a different way when I could learn without conscious effort, and now the situation wants me to learn something basic and new. Foo. No!"

But the uncomfortable adult doesn't have to talk like that. We've got all these big, fancy words to say that the situation or people who are making us be uncomfortable because they are different than the scene we learned to fit into at two are really, basically, fundamentally wrong. So we don't have to learn big new things, or explore the vastness of our unknowing or difficult but things like that.
I thought I'd be closer to being omniscient by now. There's a lot going on.
Shake and wait.

It doesn't need to be made. It needs to be loosened, slowly.
Science fiction. San Francisco. Ess eff. Things could be different. And sometimes they already are.
--"We have to go uphill to get to the hill?"

--street voice, one bicyclist to another