27 December 2001


Revolution is not showing life to people, but making them live - Guy Debord

21 November 2001

How Dust Becomes My Adventure

Ed in a canvass recliner and me in my hat, we both settled down for a long winter’s nap. Er, or not. I bundled up in red Sally Who long johns, a flap in the back with buttons so your butt can peak out if you so desire, blue flannel dog pants, a big wool sweater, lambs wool coat and a scarf around my ears. Ed made hot chocolate and this time I poured the Chambord to avoid the sickly sweet of too much that betrays his heavy hand. And there we were, smelling the redwood damp yet from the recent rains and reclining comfortably back watching the sky. Brilliant green, blue, gold and white sprays of light streaked across the night. They began slow and erratic – one here and one there, every five to ten minutes – and then rose in frequency like an symphony reaching it’s peak at around 1:30 in the morning. Our ooooo’s and aaaaaaah’s and did you see THAT’s were reminiscent of a crowd of two watching fireworks. There was something just that much more spectacular about this, however.

They say that the genesis of these displays were simple specks of dust. Debris from a meteor, no larger than dust particles, traveling so quickly that when they hit the atmosphere they burst into flames across the sky. I can’t even fully fathom how a speck of dust could become such a marvel to wonder at. I think it must be as Rilke wrote in the Elegies, how when the bowstring feels the tension of the bow and in letting go becomes more than itself. It must be something just like that. And how odd it is to feel envious of a speck of dust moving through the night sky with such fury – to think to myself how it would be good and rich to be like it. To find in a moment that my one grand aspiration is to be like dust – knowing all along that this too shall be realized.

When the light show was over, or rather just slowing, and the cold had sunk into my bones, we moved the party into the house. We struck up the heater and nestled into the sofa and read bedtime stories. A bow on a perfect crisp night.

My life. How dust becomes my adventure.

17 November 2001

The Storm

The meteor storm will commence shortly. In less than a half hour we’ll be gazing at the sky, bundled in long underwear, hats, gloves and warm coats, to feast on natural wonders. Many years ago I dragged my butt out of bed in an ungodly hour of the morning to sit on a hill in The City for the Harmonic Convergence. Someone brought donuts and we stopped for coffee, all piled into the bed of truck and wiped the sleep out of our eyes. When we arrived at the hill, there were hundreds of people scattered in groupings across the landscape. Some were dancing in flowing garments. Others were completely still, in contemplative meditation. Still others were engrossed in various forms of ritual. Our motley crew drank coffee, ate donuts and smoked cigarettes – waiting for the convergence to heal our lives or change the direction of everything or even anything. Our leather jackets squeaked against one another and our spiked boots or jackets or armbands occasionally poked our fellow travelers, reminding ourselves we were there. Man, we were all so in love with each other we barely needed the world – and we didn’t even know it. We’d found our Harmonic Convergence and didn’t even know it.

But tonight, tonight just Ed and I will be trundling out into the cold night air and peaceably watch the storm.

16 November 2001


We went to see the Harry Potter movie this afternoon, opening day matinee with children rushing with their parents home from school to be first in line. It’s been sold out for days. We were second in line and had center seats in the middle. The theatre was filled with the nervous excitement of children, all shushing one another as the previews came on the screen.

12 November 2001

Rhythms of Life

Saturday was chore day - cleaning the rain gutters in the nick of time before the downpour commenced, bleaching the kitchen floor, doing every last dish, vacuuming and the whatnot. As I cleaned the dirt out of the runners in the window I found myself uniquely falling in love with the house. Tending her needs brings us all a little closer.

Our day of work culminates in a walk to the store in the rain. The dimly lit back alleys don’t betray the standing puddles of varying depths. Discovery is left to stepping right in it, which is perhaps the most adventurous and fun form of revelation though Ed’s socks might disagree. While the stories of people’s dramatic lives whirl around us, I find myself strangely comforted with these simple events - the radiating warmth of the kitchen contrasting the cold rain tapping the sidewalk, windows and rooftop, the thought of vacation in the springtime to a secluded beach in the tropics, the smell of wet wood on the breeze.

Sunday starts early with coffee on the sofa and the morning stretches lazily into the afternoon. The rain sustains a constant percussion. Water droplets bead in rows across the clothesline, catching light and glinting like little diamonds outside the kitchen window. The world is quiet and inside today. These are the rhythms of life I so longed to feel and hear through the deafening roar of the City. Suddenly in this small town I’ve found room to breathe.

06 November 2001

Your G-Man

Last night was trash night. I pulled the brimming new blue plastic trash can with the locking lid to the curb and hauled the eight gallon recycle buckets along side them. It was a night like every other night in this place, adorned with new ritual that feels stupidly exciting, but colder. Fallen leaves and flowers from the potato tree blankets the path leading to my front door and it smells like fall – dying things, slightly decaying things. It seems oddly ironic that the roses are burgeoning with buds bursting open in tiny swirls of fragrant color.

So what is remarkable about this night? Nothing in particular. It was the morning after that gave me pause. A morning like every other morning in this place, the smell of fresh brewed coffee wafting through the tiny rooms and the sun pushing its way across the redwood deck like a dedicated soldier. The ablutions of morning - pulling a wool sweater over my head, turning on the computer and settling into work for the day.

But last night was trash night so I push my toes into slippers and shuffle through the front yard to the curbside. In a tidy row are the empty receptacles, and on top of each large garbage can, placed carefully inside the lids that rest upturned like a cup, is a letter from Bill, the garbage man (or Your G-man, as he endearingly signs the letter). Bill’s letter is soft and from the hearth – his poodles died, a mother died and his daughter is getting married. He hopes for peace, not just a platitude, but peace. He encourages us to always be thankful and not to wait for a holiday and he thanks us.

Nothing in this world seemed more civilized, joyful and humane. Nothing could have made me happier.

02 November 2001

The Broken Home

After the endless search, the identification, the acquisition and the occupation – I am here. Here amid the towering redwoods, here amidst the rolling hills and rising skyline of trees, cozied up to a creek that runs dry now but which has spilled its banks in times of trouble.

I’ve called my mom at least three times a week since we’ve moved in. “How’s it going?” She asks, sympathetically, wondering if I’ve acclimated to living near children and if I’m getting used to the day-to-day in the new community. “It’s going fine,” I tell her, “but I have questions about the yard.” She asks how the yard looks and unfortunately I can’t tell her green. “It’s looking very sad,” I confess. “What should I do.” She wisely recommends water for starters and begins explaining the fine art of pruning roses, watering schedules and hedge trimming. “The hedges need more than trimming,” again, defeated. She goes back to the stuff about watering, how I should water the hedges as often as I water the lawn. I don’t dare tell her that I haven’t watered the lawn and instead pose my answer in the form of a question. “So how often are you suppose to water the lawn anyways?”

25 September 2001

Bullet Holes

I know who I am. Who I was. In my dreams I shot a hole through the arm of my sofa with a 9mm pistol. It left a brown stain around the edges where the bullet pierced the fabric. The wood frame altered the trajectory and there’s a bullet lodged in the kitchen wall, next to the plastic clock.

I was laying on the sofa when it happened, when I pulled out the pistol and aimed at the forest green shadowed golden rose fabric and aimed between my toes and hit my mark. It was quite a good shot. Upon reflection I think I must have kept both eyes open (usually I close one when I aim).

I don’t think I mentioned that I found a home. It’s little house with a big yard. It’s where my stuff is going to be. It’s where nearly every morning I’m going to wake up for awhile.

30 August 2001


Why would anyone in their right mind deliberately put their nose to a grindstone?

07 August 2001

All This Beauty

Maybe the definition of home is the place you are never forgiven, so you may always belong there, bound by guilt. And maybe the cost of belonging is worth it.

-Reflections of Alphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, from Gregory McGuire’s Wicked

Perhaps there’s more truth and wisdom in that than I’d prefer to believe. Living this guiltless life as I do, never having felt too tethered to the earth. Strange for me to consider since I have longed to experience what I’ve conjured to be an enormous and cathartic surrendering and letting go called forgiveness, yet know so little, maybe even nothing, of guilt. Perhaps I’ve chased after Forgiveness with such reckless abandon that I’ve never considered her consort and familiar. If I must seek out Guilt to brush elbows with her benefactor I might well reconsider the chase.

I want nothing of guilt, just the unburdened freedom of forgiveness.

So we tie things together in a bow. Tell me gentle reader what all of this means. What symbols emerge that are oh-so-telling to you that escapes my vision for my simple proximity?

Where is my hand? My left hand sits firm on the head of a sober Contemplation and my right hand turns up toward the sky, a cozy night chair for Creativity. And what of everything in between?

Out the port side of the airplane loomed thunderheads in the distance, filled with tremendous electric charge. At the feet of this billowing and rising pillar crashed a wave of blood red as the last vestiges of sun filtered through the hazy wet horizon of cloud. Lightening rose up from the ground and formed balls of spectacular color in the bulbous monstrosity that occasionally arced and sparked golden bolts.

As the sun sank and the moon rose, a star spangled sky canopied rows of sparkling golden lights that danced as the storm raged somewhere on the ground below. I recognized this horizon of lights, snaking across the sky, from dreams I’ve had.

Sometimes it is so defeating to realize that we are responsible for making our own magic and mystery. How when we’re bored it’s our own damned fault and failing for lacking imagination. How when our lives are void of adventure and possibilities we only have ourselves to hold accountable. It really sucks how ultimately responsible we are for all this God damned beauty.

04 August 2001

Knowing's Not Enough

Choir boys and angels, so you loosen your halo in your reckless life… -10,000 Maniacs

Where your body is. So accustomed to this environment and we think we know ourselves oh so well. It’s only because the air in familiar, but don’t mistake that for knowing.

Don’t look. Where’s your hand? Right now, without looking. Where’s your hand? You know and you don’t even have to look. You just know, have consciousness about how you move through this environment. But in the water, when you’re swimming or paddling about, the knowing isn’t there. Where’s your hand? I used to ask the people I was teaching to swim. They’d stop and think, often look, and had no consciousness about their flesh in relation to itself when the environment had changed. Just one little thing changed, the air to the water, and suddenly they were strangers to themselves. But only one little thing changed. Suddenly everything was new and the learning had to begin again.

Yes, we’re adaptive.

I put a 9 mm Glock in my mouth with the barrel at the back of my throat pointing up toward the back of my scull and pull the trigger. See. The learning starts all over again. Where’s my hand? Just one little thing changed. See?

Sometimes it comes from the outside, those subtle differences that make us strangers to ourselves. Sometimes it comes from the inside. Like the first time I truly understood what it meant to forgive or to be forgiven. Like the first time I realized what it meant to be part of a community. Like the first time I felt empathy, compassion or courage. Just one little thing changed and suddenly I had to get to know myself all over again. The environment was new. See?

Where your body is. Knowing isn’t enough.

03 August 2001

Yes, The Springtime Needed You

I was just thinking about her you know. It’s a tragic loss, an overwhelming sorrow.

If your spirit hasn’t slipped entirely from this world, if some part of you still clings to the things this world is made of, I want you to know how much I admire, respect and hold deep feelings for you. You are an example of the best of what we can be as humans and it humbles me. There is an inimitable and indelible place in my heart and memories for you. I am truly blessed to have known you. My life has been made so much richer because of you. I am glad I was given the opportunity to convey these sentiments to you in your life. It reminds me the value of telling the people I love and care for how much they mean to me, the depth to which they move my world. I wish I could say it all again, time and time again, over and over. I take solace in believing you heard these words and must reconcile that we will communicate differently now – that you will have an ear now to what is in my heart. I pray you have a safe journey. I will miss that part of you that was flesh and bone.

01 August 2001


There are monsters in my closet and bees in the walls. I hear them buzzing at night now, along with the crackling and crunching of the winged devils building the incubator for their mistress’ offspring. During the day they whiz and whirr outside the windows and occasionally a stray meets in doom by winding its way into my deadly parlor. Woman against nature or is it nature committing suicide? It’s hard to tell the difference.

As God is my witness this devilish deliverance is all a matter of self-defense.

22 July 2001

Red Rain Barrow

In the face of a turbulent world, riddled with foes, snakes and ladders, I continue the great quest for a home. It’s a journey of mythic proportion. So much depends on a red rain barrow…

There are demons, monster and angels swirling in the crossfire of an enlivened quest for that one fundamental, elemental goal… home. Strange little chariots from pumpkins turned house gnomes and furry creatures that nip at my ankles. The little critter’s teeth gnash and burrow, sting like burrs yet their voices cheer and spur me on. I find myself swatting at them, but pausing from time to time, trying to sort out if they’re an irritant or a blessing. But then perhaps this is simply the fleas in the carpets, that have infested the apartment for years on end despite the no-pet moratorium in place in this fine crumbling villa for well over twenty years. It’s hard to tell.

The side the house is embedded still with large shards of glass from when my building blew up. Sometimes, on windy nights, I’ll hear the tinkling of falling and breaking glass as it loosens with the weather. Some of the shards are easily six inches long and have pierced and lodged into the wood siding of the neighboring building, where they’ve remained for nearly a decade. Perhaps this part of the old house is the part I like the best. The part that wanted so badly to reach beyond its own boundaries and become part of something bigger, leaving bits and pieces of itself in the things around it. It will not be difficult to leave this place.

And what waits for me on some picturesque hillside or dreamy bay? There are a few things I know. I’ll see the fog dripping from someplace else, but it won’t be upon me with its chilling fury. There will be a God damned red wheel barrow, covered with rain for chrissake, to depend on, not the roar and thunder of the diesel busses climbing the hill. If I have to I’ll simply spit on it, if that’s what it takes, and I’ll make the sun glisten through my saliva and cast prisms into unseen places.

I see my life becoming different - comfortably different. The City and all that it has come to represent will fade with my disdain into a beautiful landscape filtered through fog that I will look on with awe and wonder. Sometimes when you’re further away from things they’re more beautiful. Perspective is everything. A rolling hillsides appears almost liquid windswept. Such a different experience from the burrs that get enmeshed in my cotton socks from the thicket up close. The City is quite the same way. Appearing magical on a horizon but so toxic and crumbling while I’m here, in the middle of her, surrounded by her buildings, noise and perpetual exhaust. Home should be where you feel you can’t get near enough.

Okay, okay. I’ll get off the home kick. You’re thinking enough already. Okay. Enough.

18 July 2001

The Undead

Did you know that there are vampires in America? Okay not really vampires, but kids who like to pretend that they’re vampires. They actually suck each other’s blood, ritualistically. I’m all for ritual and defiant teens, but this blood sucking thing is a little over the top. Blood is dirty, I mean really dirty. If you’re compelled to ingest something for the sake of becoming undead, why not eat dirt? It’s cleaner than blood and dead things are often put in dirt. There is a symbolic angle on the whole thing too, life springing from dirt and dead things returning to dirt and spawning new life borne of dead things. One could easily call a potato the undead or the living dead. Tubers. Tubers should be the new rebellion. If you want to be a vampire, eat a potato.

16 July 2001


So commences the arduous task of finding a home. All those tawdry clichés seem to float away, not enough weight to hold them to the ground. Home is where the heart is. Home is wherever I lay my hat. Blah, blah, blah. Home is the place where my bed is, where all my stuff is, where I stack old journals in a bookshelf and dust piles up from time to time. Home isn’t some abstract place of comfort and serenity, it’s a place, preferably on a sloping hill that rises to a beautiful little hovel and falls to a boat dock on the bay or some inviting body of water. I suppose it could be on a park where children play on weekends and dogs run around like pinwheels.

Home has changed over the years. At one point it was a box on the wrong side of (and way too close to) the tracks. The commuter train would thunder by and the walls would shake as the whistle blew and the clanking sounds of the crossing bell would pierce the air on the hour, all night long. The pea-green carpets were terminally stained and the cocaine dealer who lived next door would beat his girlfriend and target practice in the backyard when he wasn’t drinking beer and throwing the empty cans out his front door to an ever-growing pile of aluminum on the lawn.

For a spell it was the back seat of a 1967 Dodge Dart, complete with built-in roommates, torso and full mannequins that would be rearranged at night such that we all could sleep, the largest with her foot out an open window. When it rained there was simply no way to keep the sky out and accommodate all of us comfortably. The trunk was my armoire into which many things fell irretrievable. This did not last long.

Then home was a small room on a windy hill in a house on a caldesac. Later it was in a room on a windy hill surrounded by trees in a Mormon household. Then home was little box in the sky, a dorm room built on prison specs, little single beds that pulled out from a bolster such that the bed could pretend to be a sofa during the day, two to a room.

Then home was a beautiful room in a big Victorian House, filled with college kids and dreams, a big pantry and sweet little fixtures from an era gone by, the wedding date of residents of years ago engraved on a broken pulley that one day opened the door from the top of the steps. The overhead electric rails strung out in front of my street-side window, sparking as the bus’ rabbit ear antennas scrolled over junctions in the line. Watermarks on the ceiling and roaches scurrying across the kitchen floor were just a few of the features of this aging beauty in the heart of the Western Addition. The demise of this fine paradise was the culmination of a summer sublet to a punk band from Wellesley. The once new carpets were beer-stained and haggard, the built-in cabinets filled with months of trips to the recycle center. It never regained it’s charm.

Home became a basement studio sublet in the heart of Pacific Heights, caring for cats who’d drag in mice from the backyard and taunt them, squealing, into the small hours of the morning. The dark subterranean haunt was hidden from the world and marked a moment of going inward. It was all very temporary.

I had a dream about the madwoman in the attack and by serendipity home became a small, very small, one bedroom let on the top floor of an old Victorian. The greatest feature of this miniature living space was a seemingly centuries old stained glass window that withstood earthquakes, fires and explosions to filter the light in colors across the living room floor. When the building exploded nearly a decade back, the sturdy room resisted the momentum and stood unmoved while the plaster and glass shattered throughout the entire building. The window remained unmoved. But not me, I moved a little back in the building to a far less hearty, but slightly more spacious nitch in the world. A nitch we’ve I’ve grown, admittedly, to despise most of the time, but it’s home nonetheless.

I wonder where home will be next. What little place exists for me that will grow as comfortable as a habit? Where will I raise my toes to point toward the ceiling and fall into fitful sleep at the day’s end? On what wall will this photograph rest that inspires me throughout the day and will my neighbors sit for a spell and watch the world go by on our front stoop? Will I occasionally smell aromatic wafture of briquettes in a grill and hear the far away echoes of children playing? One thing is decidedly clear, where home is next doesn’t have the roar of engines up a hill, the sound of sirens throughout the day and the ever present noise of car alarms and mayhem. It’s going to be a quieter place with trees and grass and perhaps water. I simply cannot continue to live where the only place of serenity is a place I cultivate on the inside.

12 July 2001


Well. Wouldn’t it just figure. Inadvertently, likely due to the previous post about organ donation, and the note to my organ donor recipient, I put too much vacancy karma out into the world and my landlord somehow capped into that energy source. Yesterday morning he announced he’s evicting me. Yes, they’ve come for me. Another victim of the great San Francisco gentrification project. Legally he has no grounds or cause (and I know he knows it), I’ve gone from most-favored-tenant-status to undesirable as a consequence of being a long-time good tenant living under the protections of rent control during the dot.com invasion. I suppose I’d be more miffed about it if he weren’t such a slumlord. Besides, I can’t stomach thinking about myself as a victim, it’s just not in my DNA.

Within hours of the news I already felt the pressures from the tenant’s rights advocates to oppose the imposition on principal. People have to fight back. You have to do it for the people. You can’t let “The Man” get away with this. They are all, of course, absolutely right. I’m not exactly sure who really wins by fighting this one on principal, however. It’s not as clear as some might think, although the Soup might disagree. Sure, technically, I would probably win, but really, win what?

10 July 2001

Take These Eyes

I think we should all become organ donors. Sure, we might not die for ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, etc years from now. This isn’t one of those areas where we can make a difference in our lifetime. This is one of those ways that we can make a difference when we’re dead. We could write little notes to our potential organ recipients.

Dear recipient:

I hope you like my eyes. I’ve been told that they’re a lovely shade of blue. I used them quite a great deal. When you close them at night, you’re going to see colorful geometric shapes behind your eyelids that turn into magnificent pictures. Don’t be startled. It happened to me all the time. You get used to it and you’ll grow to really like it.

I imagine that right now I already miss them, but I’m likely in a place of transition and I’m learning to let things like eyes go. They belong to you now, I understand. They really like flowers, up close, and looking into tide pools for hours on end. You’ll probably do things with them that I’ve never done, take them places that I’ve never been with them. I know this will make them happy. I can tell you that they’ve always wanted to see the earth from far away, like from a spaceship or the moon. If you can do that for them, well, it would be great.

If you can do me a favor, however… They’ve spent a great deal of time being used for work, and right now I think they really deserve to play. It’s something I never found enough time for and I regret it. I feel like I owe them this advocacy, that you use them for indulging the splendor. They are a window to your soul and there’s none of me left in them. It’s a clear shot to you now. Please make the view as beautiful as possible for their second time around.

Best of Luck.


08 July 2001

Joyful Girl

I do it for the joy it brings, because I am a joyful girl. - Ani DiFranco

Drunk Co-eds live next door and have a propensity to wage battle with the gate that the landlord has put up to protect the garbage and recycle bins from pillaging City dwellers. I’ll hear screams from the gate being conquered and holler out my window to remind the Co-eds that they’re welcome to use my key anytime. They’ll stumble up the stairs, weaving serpentine and bouncing off the banister and stand before me happy and glassy-eyed, slurring that they’ll return the key shortly. A few moments later, predictably, they’ll present themselves on my doorstep with key in hand, breathing heavy with a bit of sweat glistening on their upper lip and brow, to explain how they’d locked themselves out, they’d lost their key or some other crisis, adventurous tales of climbing the fire escape, squeezing through partially opened windows, a story that grows in fury with each passing word.

They depart grateful and beaming. I fancy myself an icon of salvation and redemption in that hazy moment – the benevolent benefactor. I savor the notion that it’s entirely possible that one or the other of the Drunk Co-eds take a moment of pause and think to themselves, wow, she’s really got it together. Part of me anxiously wishes that they’d say it out just so I can tell someone. Hey. I’ll take it where I can get it.

Yesterday I went hiking the Steep Ravine trail on Mount Tamalpias. It feels like forever since I’ve trekked those paths and being among the wet mossy green towering redwoods was very sublime. Above the fog line it feels like I’m walking through heaven and I can look through the clouds at the ocean below. I brought my digital camera along such that if the day turned out to be a fateful day when I encountered another Mountain Lion I could take a picture. When the Park Ranger raised that skeptical eyebrow at me, when he pulled his we’ve-never-seen-a-Mountain-Lion-in-this-area-but-people-like-you-see-them-all-the-time attitude while I filled out my Mountain Lion sighting report I could whip out the proof. I fantasized about being mauled by the beastly creature and showing the ranger tattered and bloody photos of the cat gnawing on my arm. Ah! I’d like to see what he writes down about witness credibility on that stupid form after I leave this time!

Alas, no Mountain Lion. But I did see a Banana Slug. For all I know it was a rare and dangerous poisonous and carnivorous Banana Slug. It’s possible. After all, Lawyer-babe was afraid of it. Who’s to say it wasn’t a deadly Banana Slug? I could have died! Excuse me Mr. Know-it-all Park Ranger man, I’d like to fill out the Banana Slug sighting report. I admit that I feel shunned and dismissed that there is no Banana Slug sighting form. One day the world will rise to my expectations.

Cassie and I went to see the lovely and talented Ani DiFranco at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on Friday night. Ms. DiFranco is going through her Chia Pet phase and is wearing her hair tied up like a little troll doll. It’s fabulous. Anyway, there was all this girl energy rising from the center stage audience and I kept imagining someone letting the lion’s loose in the pit. Cassie said, it’s Greek not Roman. And I said, and it’s a theatre not a coliseum but it could happen. She contends that couldn’t happen and that by the way she doesn’t like hippy chicks, she likes earth girls, and how the way I say it makes it sounds like a bad thing so if I must categorize her tastes at the very least I have to say intelligent earth girls and I can’t laugh when I say it and how I have to say it like it’s a good thing. Rules schmules. Earth girls, earth girls, earth girls.

At the concert I sat next to a Catwoman with mousy brown hair. Not Cassie (who doesn’t have mousy brown hair at all), but the woman on my other side. The mousy-haired Catwoman batted the air with an open palm (not at all in time or synch with the music), like a cat trying to catch a fly (that wiggled and jiggled and giggled inside her). When she was excited she’d stand up and pull the hood of her sweatshirt off her head and flail around in jerky seizing motions while she batted the air with her open cat palm. It was frightening. The first time it happened, I was startled and feared she’d started to seize into a diabetic coma. I demanded that Cassie retrieve the apricot oatmeal bars from her satchel and shoved the bar under Catwoman’s tongue and yelled for orange juice. “Chew woman, chew!” Catwoman’s date looked on in utter horror and ran looking for security. It was an honest mistake. It could have happened to anyone. Under any other circumstances I would be a hero for saving her life and yes, forchrisake, I’m sorry. So we all made nice but Catwoman and her date gave me sideways glances the rest of the evening – which I thought was totally uncalled for.

01 July 2001

Strategic Planning

Power is the ability to set the agenda, to move the agenda and to stop the agenda. It has nothing to do with titles, positions or pay scales. Power is a choice and with it comes responsibility and repercussions. If someone is willing to take responsibility and live with the consequences, they wield a great deal of power regardless of who they are. It’s just that most people are wholly unwilling to sit with the consequences, which are rarely, if ever, pleasing.

24 June 2001

Last Day of Summer Vacation

The temperature is starting to drop and the fog is rolling in. It’s like a little seal on an envelope, the letter says, the party is over. We got a summer that wasn’t really ours, had no claim to, and now it’s over. I once again start leafing through the real estate guides for Kauai that perch with a cadre of periodicals on the toilet tank as bathroom reading materials and wonder when Ed is going to start fully realizing his white-male earning potential. I resolve to pluck the two, inch-long hairs growing out of the mole in the crook of my arm. I consider that it may not be September until with comfort I’ll once again be able to wear my new Mephisto sandles.

22 June 2001

Abercrombie and Fitch

We all survived the summer solstice. The world didn’t end and there was no mass hysteria at the prospect of shorter and shorter days. Okay Ms. Glass-is-Half-Empty, snap out of it.

In other news of the world, the Cookie Monster was assaulted and battered at a Sesame Street theme park yesterday. The Cookie Monster was pushed to the ground, while a father hit and kicked the fuzzy blue cuddly bear-monster. The perpetrator was arrested and contends the Cookie Monster was rude. Let’s take a moment of silence and grieve for the world and her ways.

The day was filled with a judgemental angst. This is probably a result of my wandering into Abercrombie and Fitch before boarding the bus from downtown to the neighborhood. Admittedly this was the first (and the last) time I have ever set foot in an Abercrombie and Fitch store, and frankly I was appalled. I’m far from being a fashion princess, my ripped T-shirts and Boy Fit Capri blue jeans are testament to this. I’m quite excited that Punk is making a comeback, even if it’s just fashion. I was assaulted with perky colors and slinky slogans on tight-fitting T-shirts and stretch pants. It was painful. I had no idea that’s what was in these places.

I walked out of the store dazed. It left me feeling like a fifteen-year-old girl ready to rebel and I got to wondering how a late thirty-something me would look in a Mohawk again. I recommitted to getting myself two biceps.

Today I find myself a little more concerned about the health and well-being of the Cookie Monster and the fate of humanity as a consequence of the recent attack on the beloved blue bear-monster. Some might call this denial, others may call it altruistic. While certainly a number of definitions are up for grabs, one thing is certain – Abercrombie and Fitch ruined my day.

20 June 2001

Ode to Boy

My arms hurt, my legs hurt. My biceps hurt and I don’t even have biceps. It’s a good hurt, but everything still hurts. It’s the kind of hurt that reminds me that I’m alive and in so doing leaves me feeling more alive – so I like it. Lesson in this? Go out there and cause a little pain and remind yourself and someone else that we’re all still breathing.

I met a man once, while wandering the streets of Leningrad, back when Leningrad was Leningrad, and I asked him who his heroes were. He told me, “my hero is the man inside of me, the man I am to become.” In truth, this is the first time it dawned on me that the person I could/should aspire most to be like, whose values represented an ideal to strive for, whose life and gestures are a testament to all I believe in, is myself. The person who could move mountains and change the world is me. That little interaction on a sleepy dark city street transformed my thinking and expanded my horizons.

Sometimes I think of how the Soviet Union crumbled in a relatively bloodless revolution. I ponder how that fractured great beautiful country contains this being who aspired and inspired, living in a City that both lost and found its name. I wonder if he has yet to realize his becoming amidst the chaos and uncertainty.

19 June 2001


As I was dropping seventy-five dollars on hair care and make-up products at Walgreens (Yes, seventy-five dollars), I ran into Restaurant Girl. She’s quitting her jobs and was jovial and friendly. I’m invariably shocked when she’s cordial. I always look around and wonder, are you talking to me? Are you serious? Don’t you remember that you’re always rude to me? I think she forgets and I wonder if at some point mid-way through the conversation she remembers who I am and thinks to herself, damn.

So anyway, I’m being nice back, simply because I’m stunned by her pleasantry and I tell her that Cassie has recently returned. Oh yeah, she says, from Spain! Wow. And she asks after her, how was her trip and how is she? I tell her that Cassie looks beautiful and healthy and that it was my impression that the experience was great for her. Restaurant Girl breathes in acutely, gasps almost, and takes a step back, overwhelmed for a moment, “she really couldn’t be more beautiful.” Her eyes get wide as she ponders the mere thought of it and I think she’s going to fall right there in the checkout line at the make-up counter.

At that point all I really want to do is take my little plastic Walgreens basket and slam it upside her head. I think to myself, she’s given you her phone number how many times, encouraged you to call her and all but tattooed the word AVAILABLE on her forehead… you dizzy bitch! Well now she’s beautiful, radiant and glowing, I tell her – hoping it tortures her mercilessly. She’s dumb struck and nervous and just says, “wow.”

Restaurant Girl pays for her manies and I’m next in line. “Doing some make-up shopping!” The shop lady proclaims as she peers into the blue plastic basket with eyes wide, then gives me a sideways glance of disapproval. She pulls out a number of little sparkly eyeshade products and says, “these are marketed for teenage girls,” with a matter-of-fact condemning tone of utter disappointment. “Well I am,” I say casually, “a teenage girl,” and leave it at that. She steps back and looks at me and shakes her head. “For the girls who won’t wear Revlon,” she whispers under her breath. I’ve just committed a crime against humanity.

As a matter-of-fact, I was reading Mademoiselle magazine last night, after the shopping extravaganza, which is clearly not marketed to teenage girls, and these Fetish products which I purchased were indeed featured in that magazine. Now I don’t say I was reading Mademoiselle with pride, nor can I attest to actually enjoying the magazine. The featured fashions are atrocious and over-priced, the articles are all about planning a wedding, getting your man to marry you, dealing with the fact your best friend is getting married when you’re not, meeting your to-be in-laws for the first time or losing weight. The magazine was a freebee that arrives periodically despite myself and I do scan through the pages with self-righteous indignation and mock the articles and advertisements. I’m happy to admit that I do in fact enjoy some of these pulpy trashy periodicals – I’ll get titillated and giddy when I buy a Cosmo for the airplane for the Jerry Springer-like reader’s writes. Think on that as you will. But I’m simply not part of Mademoiselle’s market audience. But, Ms. Walgreen’s Shop Lady, I can be a teenage girl as long as I want to. How do you like them apples?

17 June 2001

I Solace Myself By Thinking

I solace myself by thinking, eat of the apple, your own damned fault.

I called Dad for Father’s Day. What an odd bird. At some point I’d really love to say, with visceral candor, “listen, I’m really sorry that we don’t have much in common, that we don’t seem to even be living on the same planet most of the time.” Sitting quietly over coffee and watching hummingbirds we do try to communicate but always seem to miss the mark. It’s not evil or argumentative. It’s not even silent. The words follow some logical order, but they don’t have any weight when tied in a bow at the end of the day. I can’t seem to find words that mean anything to him either. At best we hold equal culpability yet admitting that doesn’t alter the outcome. This dynamic has ceased being tragic and has rolled into being just the way things are.

Mom, on the other hand, has been quite inspired by Cassie’s trek through the wilderness. I’d proffered that if Cassie made it without ill event that we consider this sojourn together. The prospect has tickled her imagination and she’s filled with questions and contemplation. I’m convinced that some untoward happening involving barnacles has sealed the deal. Or perhaps it’s the notion of meandering the Spanish countryside in pink flip-flops and a bag of magic rocks that’s placed weight on the decision. It’s hard to tell. Undoubtedly we’ll be following in Cassie’s footsteps sometime in the future and likely I’ll be cursing her under my breath, pelting her with psychic fruit and thinking, how’d you like it if someone picked an apple off of YOU! Though admittedly I’m equally thrilled by idea of spending that kind of time with my mother. I think it would be an adventure that we’d both come to view as precious. (Note to self: Be strikingly clear with mom that past life experiences are strongly discouraged on the journey.)

16 June 2001


I met Cassie and Martin for dinner last night at Edinburgh Castle, a Scottish Pub-ish thing that serves Fish and Chips in the heart of the Tenderloin. Cassie brought her own contraband barnacles from Spain (asserting that they look and taste like puppy penis’ – ours is not to question why.) Martin and I looked on aghast in and horror as she had the little critters deep-fried and served up with vinegar and salt.

She’d went to a psychic earlier that afternoon who told her she was going to die. I could have told her this for half the price, but she has no faith in my prophetic abilities. It was, after all, I who foretold her meeting of the trust-fund nun on her sojourn across El Camino in Spain – from whence she just returned. I think to myself, if only she would believe in me more she’d save a pretty penny – not to mention live a significantly more dramatic life – especially the way I tell it. (Note to self: continue to work more diligently on Cassie’s autobiography. Note to self: Stop telling me what to do.)

So the forum this morning went swimmingly. Afterwards Ed and I accomplished a series of mundane tasks, ranging from grocery shopping to sorting finances. We went to duel with an older black woman, who we came to know as Pearl, over a taxi.

Pearl was convinced this was her taxi, as she’d been waiting longer, despite the fact the driver insisted his call was for someone named Ed. It certainly wasn’t our intention to heist her ride, but hired drivers are hard to come by on a Saturday afternoon and we weren’t about to be overly chivalrous either. Once her dander calmed and she resigned to give up the wheels, we began negotiating. As it turned out she lives not three blocks from us so we helped her with her groceries and gave her a lift. In the end, it seems, it turned out all the better for her. She had to turn all those sideways glances and thoughts of indignation into a face full of teeth – quite happy in the way this story turned out for her.

13 June 2001


I bought new carpeting for the living room. A sage-ish colored thing to go with the new Luca photograph. I won’t hang the photo until I’ve painted and so invariably there’ll be a photo in bubble wrap on the floor of my study for the next year. Predictable? Am I predictable?

Cassie returns from Spain today. Any moment I’m expecting the telephone to ring and hear her sleepy jet-lagged voice squeaking, “I’m home!” But alas, I’ve determined that she’s invariably been a curmudgeon with a customs official and has been detained in some holding area while she proves she has no contraband. I’m guessing, however, that she’s smuggled in some barnacles and has some explaining to do.

29 May 2001

Turns On The Radio

I leave for New York in the morning. Moving across the sky from one sprawling mass of concrete to another. Sometimes it feels like a science fiction novel, where life takes place in transporter systems and little glass cubicles in the sky. Human contact is entirely missing a context and somewhere along the lines it just stops making sense.

I feel like it’s in my power, or it should be within my power, to make it start making sense again. To fix what’s been broken feels like an urgent task – all that is mission, but can I accomplish it? It seems like such a reasonable goal…

Something can be done about everything.

06 May 2001

The Bonniest Baby

In 1927 his father was voted the Bonniest Baby in Yorkshire. This was much to the chagrin of the other contending bonny babies and their doting parents, no doubt. I fancy the parents of that bonniest of babies were quite proud and took the prize as a testament to their good parentage and skills in birthing bonny babies. A plaque awarded by the Yorkshire Observer and signed by the chairman and managing directors is displayed prominently on my bookshelf.

That same bonny baby lies incontinent and crazy in a nursing home facility on the peninsula, thousands of miles from his birthplace. I’ve never seen him smile and he’s ornery as a codger. I see the plaque, powder blue scrolls and pinkish script, and I cringe. Sometimes in the morning, without being wholly aware of it, I find myself whispering under my breath, bonny babies suck.

These past few days I’ve been filled with a rumbling rage. I haven’t even left the house but once all weekend, only to go to a movie yesterday. Partly I’m battling the remnants of a head cold. Partly I’m just tired of the world and her ways. So instead I sit home and ruminate, nurturing the seedlings of anger and resentment into a small creature that needs to be fed. This is that moment when everything thing needs to culminate into a big angry growl and someone needs to respond by saying, “you’re absolutely right. What’s happening here is unacceptable and untenable and heads will roll to vindicate the wrongs committed against you.” And just the mere thought of that kind of valor and vindication is plenty to steady my course and stay the raging seas.

I wait and I wait but it’s not forthcoming. So I just look for things and around the house to get mad about. The dishes, the laundry, the dust. Sooner or later I will have my revenge on these things.

This way of life is killing me and I’m such a willing participant at times.

02 May 2001


I went to speak to College students last night. Blah, blah, blah. It was a three-hour night class. By the end of the evening I could feel a scritch in the back of my throat. By the time I arrived home the scritch had turned to a burning ember. In the midst of dreaming about a strange house, painted artichoke green, mustard and eggplant, on the floor high heeled pink satin shoes covered with red fishnet appliqué bore an emblem saying stripper and in a closet three pennies lay on the floor, all donning the date 1972, I woke up parched, gagging and sweating, my throat and body afire. By morning I could hardly breathe and had lost my voice. I thought those students would feel privately vindicated this morning, not knowing how or why. The universe did what they weren’t allowed to do to a guest lecturer in their classroom - tell me to shut up.

29 April 2001

Push Me In

At the end of the day, I wonder what the hell I’m doing. Information comes in my head and it sits there, moves around and congeals with a collection of other information. Experiences are like a stir in thick batter rearranging everything and making it closer and closer to that final finished thing ready to be baked. And somehow I feel like Grettel, looking into the oven and waiting for the witch to push me in.

If You Are Squeamish...

If you are squeamish, don’t prod the beach rubble. –Sappho

25 April 2001

The City That Reads

Precious. Delightful. So nice this lovely public anonymity. This virtually exposing privacy. A place to broadcast to everyone and no one at all those little private nothings. Shhhhh… it’s a big secret.

Cassie leaves for Spain in a few days. Heading east for an adventure. She’ll suffer through the ticket line at the International counter, anxious and excited yet decidedly calm and wander slowly through the terminal to the gate. (She’ll be early, unlike me, who would be late and scurrying.) She’ll have a book for the airplane under her arm and she won’t be checking her luggage for her journey of three fortnights. Traveling light with her feet on the ground. She’ll wrestle with demons on the road of St. James under the milky way. Or perhaps she won’t. Perhaps she’ll just sit with her Gods and idols. More likely.

I, on the other hand, will head to Baltimore in the morning. The City that Reads. Baltimore - how desperate and tiresome. I’m certain the people of that fair city wouldn’t provide me warmest welcome with such a disparaging perch. But it comes down to a taxi, an airplane, a hotel and a little conglomeration of shops nestled against a harbor where tourists flock. Once, amidst dining on the pier after a day of disillusionment I discovered the waiter was a former acquaintance from San Francisco who had stolen my vacuum cleaner. How precious. You moved to Baltimore. The City that Reads.

The redeeming feature of the harbor is the aquarium. Among the finest I’ve had the pleasure to stroll. Towers of fish. But I wouldn’t take pleasure in swimming in circles day after day although I’d be lying if I said I that I didn’t do just that from time to time. I’m looking to spy my way out of those uninspired routines.

24 April 2001

He Looks Defeated

The night was long, agitated and restless. “Lover, lover, please stop grinding your teeth.” It starts with kisses and are-you-okays, what’s-wrongs and sweet little wake-ups. But as the night progresses he’s far less kindhearted and by morning he looks at me sideways and angry. My jaw hurts and he feels a little vindicated – somehow retribution for his sleepless night.

This is the price of sugar. After that first bite of the hot fudge sundae, piled high with whipped cream, I feel the vessels tighten at the base of my neck and my toes begin to curl. I’ll be angst ridden all night and wake up tired for the noise I’ve made but slept through clearly more peaceably than him. He growls even when he comes home from work, hours have gone by for him to place this neatly in the past, but he remembers and again those sideways venomous glances.

I explain how it’s not something I can control, that it’s not purposeful. He vows never to go out for ice cream again. “You just refuse to feel guilty for anything.” “Yes, you’re right. I do. I don’t like it and I’m not going to feel it.” He looks defeated.

We go out and speak whimsically about this and that over dinner. By the time the bill arrives all is set right with the world. He no longer craves that I feel the sorrowful guilt of any misfortunate oaf stuck somewhere in limbo or the upper rings of hell. And being as I haven’t or didn’t or don’t, we’re at least on equal ground where neither or us thinks that I should.

23 April 2001

He Looks Defeated

The night was long, agitated and restless. “Lover, lover, please stop grinding your teeth.” It starts with kisses and are-you-okays, what’s-wrongs and sweet little wake-ups. But as the night progresses he’s far less kindhearted and by morning he looks at me sideways and angry. My jaw hurts and he feels a little vindicated – somehow retribution for his sleepless night.

This is the price of sugar. After that first bite of the hot fudge sundae, piled high with whipped cream, I feel the vessels tighten at the base of my neck and my toes begin to curl. I’ll be angst ridden all night and wake up tired for the noise I’ve made but slept through clearly more peaceably than him. He growls even when he comes home from work, hours have gone by for him to place this neatly in the past, but he remembers and again those sideways venomous glances.

I explain how it’s not something I can control, that it’s not purposeful. He vows never to go out for ice cream again. “You just refuse to feel guilty for anything.” “Yes, you’re right. I do. I don’t like it and I’m not going to feel it.” He looks defeated.

We go out and speak whimsically about this and that over dinner. By the time the bill arrives all is set right with the world. He no longer craves that I feel the sorrowful guilt of any misfortunate oaf stuck somewhere in limbo or the upper rings of hell. And being as I haven’t or didn’t or don’t, we’re at least on equal ground where neither or us thinks that I should.

17 April 2001

Different Directions

Oh darling, yes I can rage. It wasn’t my finest hour, but I certainly can get in touch with my inner bitch when the moment is ripe. She sits there so patiently waiting for her turn.

I shake it off a little – the loom of days, the bigger picture, the universe of possibilities. Worry about my own little garden. Cultivate the richness of my own life and don’t fret over the wasted strands of DNA and spilled water on the world.

I had lunch with Max today at the Sheraton Palace. Cau ca vin and crème brulee. Chatter about family and days gone by and days to come. A smooth little discourse without a single pregnant pause or conversations hiccup that all to often accompanies the unfamiliar. A big embrace and a parting of ways to our separate trains that never keeps us so far apart even when they’re speeding off in different directions.

24 March 2001

Closing Time

So they thought and they reflected and they discussed and those twelve people in a little room in the sky said their peace collectively. For each juror there was a charge to deliberate, twelve for twelve and they came to their agreements, by whatever means, and decided seven one way and five another. And there’s one final step, always just one more step in a set of stairs that seem to lead nowhere near satisfaction. Penalty. A gentile white haired man in a robe will speak his peace. Everything happens so slowly.

And life has this predictable and yet always surprising way of continuing – even when it doesn’t. It’s like closing time at the bar, everyone knows it’s going to happen but they’re surprised and saddened when the bright lights are turned on them. A collective sigh peals the air and people hide their eyes from that revealing moment and squint.

Shield your eyes boys. It’s last call.

17 March 2001

God's Work

In the halls of justice, two defense attorneys tell me that they love their jobs, “it’s God’s work,” they say with perfunctory pride – like a mantra they learned in law school. I spend a good deal of time ruminating over their blaspheme. The laws of God have nothing to do with the laws of man. God’s work is about the soul. Do they really believe that what they’re doing has anything whatsoever to do with the soul? I let the notion fumble through my head, how perhaps they have come to view the justice system as the soul of America. And I think, the conscience, perhaps, at best, but not the soul. In fact, at its simplest level it’s merely a set of rules – like them or not. It is what it is, a “system.”

We do need rules in order to coexist and we need to agree on those rules. Any peace loving person can be incited to violence when those rules are rejected. We may or may not agree with those rules, but they have their place. They are not to remain unquestioned, but they have their place. They are not to remain unchallenged, but they must be challenged within the context of the communities and societies that created them.

I sit here this morning as a witness for the prosecution in a criminal trial, waiting for the jury to return their verdicts. Twelve people sit in a room somewhere across town discussing the details, struggling with a morass of testimony and other evidence to sort out the truth from the lies. Their verdicts will neither be a victory or a defeat. After all, what is right and what is not right, need we ask anyone to answer those questions for us?

10 March 2001

Something Inbetween, I guess

My head is as messy as this desk on Fridays and sometimes Mondays. This is what I think about your justice. Intrigued. Skeptical. Disdain. Hope.

I have a lingering feeling that you relied on my politics. You thought that on some level you knew me, or something about me and I believe you’re mystified at how wrong you were. Politics, after all, are simply the ideology that supports the infrastructure. No different than religion, philosophy or machinery - a grand rationalization and a tool.

What’s in my head is one thing. There is a logic that rests on thinking and puzzling through a problem. The logic of my skin works its way around my tongue in circles and whispers and this is what I speak. When it starts to feel right, the words surface into air and gives rise to the wind beneath birds. Everything carries something. The weight is never so great or so insignificant as to not leave some space between.

Sometimes you can feel the closeness, the tightness, the perfect fit of the space, the weight and the foundation. The foundation, this too is a grand illusion. Is it the bottom of the ocean, the peak of a mountain, the someplace in between? Is it a rock or some collection of smaller things? If you’ve ever been in an earthquake you know that the ground beneath you is a myth. There’s no such thing as surefooted. Everything, yes everything, is subject to change. Sometimes, to realize this, your very world must be shaken up - hard. It looks like freedom but it feels like death. It’s something in between, I guess.

There are strange blessings in all that happens - learnings, teachings, doorways and windows. Your doorways are different than mine. You’ve come to this moment for different reasons and lessons than I have. But we did choose to come to this moment together. Nothing is an accident. When it comes to what we each believe in, it’s very clear to me that it’s all rhetoric to you and it’s all very real to me. We’re about to make it all real for everyone. How it all shakes out is going to be a revelation to one of us.

28 February 2001

Thank You, Luca Battaglia!

Thank you Luca Battaglia. I bought one of your photographs (Vetri rotti) this past weekend and here it dons my study wall. The frame is cut out of the hood of a 1969 Chevy Impala. It’s beautiful – the picture and the frame. No doubt it will bring me boundless inspiration for years to come. Thank you Luca Battaglia.

I stretch and the world relaxes. Wistful and sleepy this afternoon.

24 February 2001

Blessed Art Thou Who Blossom

Blessed art thou who blossom. Hand in mine - bone, blood, flesh and air. Finding our places with each other. It's so surprising. I rode the bus from Divisadero to Arguello and I was somehow amazed at the number of people in this world who I'd never seen before - that we've never talked or shared a single moment. I go from zero to intimacy in two point four seconds and no one bats an eyelash. It can be so beautiful and overwhelming and kind.

I wandered to a consignment store on Clement. I'd seen photographs there over a year ago and haven't been able to stop thinking about them. They were close, intimate pictures of windows, doors and walls. The frames were as illustrious as the pictures. The artist cut them from old cars, mostly steel, smoothed and rusted. Each photograph comes with information about the car the frame was cut from - the year, make and model.

I'd gone inquiring after the artist whose photographs haven't donned the halls for many moons. The owner, who I recollected as rather maudlin, seemed cheerful and enthused. She'd just been thinking about the artist, she told me, and had set up an appointment with him for the following week, to view his work and bring some back into the store. She would call me when his work was in and promised to take photographs of other work he had available. She paused and eyeballed me from head to toe. "They cost about four hundred dollars," she said, seeking an expression, "is that in your range?" I told her that I'd like her to call me when the pictures appeared and refrained from answering her question.

When I left the store I looked at my shoes, checked out my boy-fit Capri blue jeans, my ragged black oversized T-shirt and vibrant yellow rain slicker with dirt around the sleeves where I've cuffed them because the slicker is way too big. For the life of me I'll always dress like a pauper. It's partly why I don't fit. Insisting on comfort. I insist on comfort. I'll buy seven feather pillows for my bed, flannel sheets, plush cotton robes, that seven hundred dollar chair with perfect lines and an artful design and is comfortable. It has to be comfortable. I sat in thirty desk chairs before I chose the one that acts as my throne. The desk is too high and in elevating the chair my feet don't touch the ground so as I sit in my study my feet rest on three books, the top one a dictionary. I stand on words and their meaning. What else do I have? I need these things. I rely on them.

She called me Wednesday, the woman from the store. She'd chosen four beautiful pictures and handed me a bundle of photographs that she'd taken of his other work. He'd only let her take four pictures, she explained as she splayed photographs across the sales counter. I gathered my selected rejects into a pile and asked her if I could take the others to the window to study them as I viewed the four she'd had hanging. I decided on a corrugated steel structure with a wood framed window housing broken panes of glass. She'd have to call to see if it were still available, would I wait while she rang him and save her a call?

I listened to her on the telephone, "The woman is here, the one I was telling you about" - I felt awkward and a little titillated to be "the woman I was telling you about." I wondered how it was I was "told about." Was I a women who came in with a floppy soiled slicker who probably won't buy anything, but isn't it uncanny that I called you last week and someone came inquiring after your work? However that was, he'd be bringing the picture to the store on Monday and she'd ring me when I could pick it up. I paid and left.

All I have this evening is a receipt for something that's yet to arrive. Something that I've already paid for, that's truly a thing of beauty, and in the meantime it's merely something to look forward to. When it comes I will react as though it's a surprise. I know myself like this. I will go to retrieve this thing in only a few days and I'll receive it as an unexpected gift, with genuine appreciation. I laugh at myself, the way I do this.

Yet somehow this evening, fumbling around the notion of how I crave comfort, dismiss convention, stand on my ream of words and their meanings, await the arrival of that which I have already paid dearly for and approach it all as an unexpected surprise sits in the cradle of my thoughts. One day you will say enough, and it will be enough, and I will leave. Those are the words it makes me feel. Yes. Feel. Strangely disconnected. Because at some point I'm suppose to leave, tired of stumbling after you trying to explain myself. Those are the words that follow. It's so difficult sometimes to take responsibility for the lives we've created. This glass of lemonade is my witness. You can change your mind, but not once the photograph has left the store. Facing one another with our palms up and hands empty, frustrated and speechless. I'm not talking about my lover or my friends. Should we conspire to find the wisdom in it, this awkward speechless moment is the cost. Yet we sit dumbfounded and amazed when all words fail us. And it's almost easy to miss, in the midst of our exasperation, that this lump of clay changed shape and something that was out of sorts was suddenly set right. Blessed art thou who blossom.

12 January 2001

Place of Subtraction

One must allow other people to be right- it consoles them for not being anything else. - Andre Gide, The Immoralist

This is where I started isn't it? Perhaps an addenda to that is that the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

So I find myself, sometimes, in a constant place of subtraction. Sometimes I find myself in a place of bitterness, which I reel against. Bitterness may, at times, result from examination that occasionally leads to disappointment, but it's not the cornerstone of progress. Bitterness is also that taste that often warns you of poison in the plant. It's not something to hold on to, but it's certainly something to learn from.

09 January 2001

Powder Blue

Ed accidentally spilled a cup of coffee on a white toy poodle that was tied up outside the coffee shop this morning. In a freak office accident, I rolled my chair over my jacket and the material got caught in the mechanisms of the wheel. I spent an hour of tug-of-war with the chair and went to the head of operations to free my jacket. A chair, I figured, was part of "operations." There's a full moon over the City and the fog is settled over the Bay, but the sky above is clear. Ed wouldn't tell the poodle owner that he spilled the coffee because he didn't want to be responsible for ruining the poodle or the dry cleaning bill. I think he has a crayon in his brain - powder blue.

01 January 2001

Brave New World

Greetings brave new world. To realize change, one must first have the courage and will to create change. In old English, courage means heart.