unbounded or burdened
Monday April 02nd 2018, 9:59 pm
Filed under: calendars,change,HelLA,himself,transitions Tags:

The car, sold. A one car family. My sixteen year old self is horrified. My 23 year old self elated. My 40 something self undecided. She did well, 11 years, 85000 miles of driving there and back again, the ultimate question of vector versus scalar, which bugged me no end in high school. How is it possible to have driven so far and gotten nowhere? A question that returns, as it were, a million miles later, minus the 15 or so I’ve actually managed to travel (vector, that is).

A day without a car, tomorrow. Bicycle and perhaps a park by the beach with a boy. The boy. A new quarter, new classes, busted deadlines. But 8 or 9 hours each week I’m determined to do something with, to not allow to disappear into the daily texture of surviving. Anything. Or a few things. A hobby, perhaps, or even an interest….


I used to know them. Possibly all of them. Sometime after moving to HelLA, when Google Earth was still a new product, I made a flythrough of all the places I’d lived. A few were approximate, and I’m sure I started only notionally in HelLA before the litany of addresses in the Bay and UK – Unit 1, women’s co-op, Dwight, funny summer sublet that the dead guy from Sublime had rented, Piedmont/Oakland, MLK couch, the Mission, Ward, Warehouse, Fyfield, Iffley, North Oxford, (redacted), Goldhawk Rd, West Ken, LES, UWS, West Village, East Village, Brooklyn, aaaand back to WeHo. And then the list continued – midcity, Silverlake, Echo Park. And now, my ultimate fear, back to the suburbs. As if all the in between places didn’t happen. (Apparently, I do in fact know them all still. But that’s not my point.)

Which of course isn’t true. This isn’t the leaving of Ox, or even the leaving London despair of present and future purpose (though return still looks slim). This is a move cross-town to save time, lots and lots of time, for people large and (more importantly) small.

The tangible scars of my past can live again. Not the burns or pierces or tattoos – the BOOKS. No longer in boxes in the basement, the selves that rose and fall, lived and died, and folded tens of thousands of pages over to varying depths. Who failed to read, and failed to fold, chastened, even humbled, by the staggering expanse of unread pages. On bookshelves, freshly ordered for delivery in 10 days.

A walk up in the wet from a bar I’m fond of, but never lived at. A last hike tomorrow, I think, more meaningful, a thousand loops later. Likely without the 35 pounds, though. Toddlers don’t experience nostalgia, I don’t think, in the ways I do.

Though, I think we’ll come back to look at the mustard flowers.

Stress, and grief

She said, to answer my question what points she was working on. Also, where your spine meets your ribs, so, a major parenting spot. Not really an empty center. And her “hot hands” (shared, apparently, by her 11 year old daughter but not her 11 year old son) healing. And also disturbing, working through old and newer ambitions and desires, aspirations and intentions. A Greek meander left to right, hyper rational and logical, and all I am, a Celtic knot, mystical and magical and all I’m not very good at being and have, frankly, neglected. And a not very empty center.

Monday November 14th 2016, 11:45 pm
Filed under: change Tags:

I’ve certainly never sobbed in front of 160 people before. My voice quavered and broke, and the simple fact i have no answers, no plans, no explanations, was too much. I didn’t know what to say because, now, for me at least, there’s nothing to be said, nor shouted. I continue to not read the news, or the world, and instead want to spend time thinking and listening to people.

A friend, encouraging us not to trust the cloud, but to write it down, to preserve thoughts in journals to fight fascism. Which would be less compelling if he weren’t from Argentina. Another, from Croatia, who also lived through this already; asked where to move, she replied “nowhere. There are no more options.”

My students are thanking me for being human, and afraid, and broken. Like them. You would think that a bar this low would be low enough for all. But apparently not.

A play
Sunday July 31st 2016, 11:13 pm
Filed under: change,himself,magic Tags:

Not a book. And a typo on p 258 – “there are things that death cannot touch. Paint…and memory….and love.” Who knew paint was so powerful?

But the words are, however juvenile, however past the selves who read the books, first with other smalls, then alone, and someday again with him. I want him to know this feeling, of being deep inside yourself, ranging across past and present, making connections between things that didn’t seem to be connected. Feeling fragmented and whole, exhausted and awake. A book, finished. Because that’s what you do.

Back to it
Wednesday September 23rd 2015, 10:28 pm
Filed under: calendars,change,himself,nextish,teaching Tags:

Teaching, not work. I’ve been working. Plus himself. Which is a different kind of work. But back to it tomorrow, with a weird set of night-before jitters. It matters. But it’s different.


And so the last weekend of a decade passes thusly. Errands, work, walk, drinks. Eat, narrative, more narrative. Walk, errands, play, narrative, eat, drink. Bustling, walk, music, drinks, eat, narrative, drink.

Much reflecting of late, as the decade ticks around again, but he looks up at me. Not much by way of conclusion, nor thoughts that add up to anything in particular. I’ll take it, I guess.

shoes, sweaters
Tuesday November 25th 2014, 12:04 pm
Filed under: change Tags:

Black ankle boots. Black Docs (10 hole). 2 pairs black Converse. 1 pair green pumas. 3 pairs flip flops. 3 moth eaten sweaters in various wools. All in a large black trash bag.

For the most part, ain’t no thang. But. One pair of boots saw me wed. The Docs have been with me for over 20 years. They’ve seen every place I’ve lived and nearly every city I’ve walked since Christmas 1993. Oh, the stories they could tell. But they’ve been mostly dead for a while, now. More importantly, I got new boots. Next set of stories.

Tuesday August 05th 2014, 2:31 pm
Filed under: change,himself,memory,something new,summer Tags:

Packing, again. But not to move, not this time. To move things around. To make space. To echo the space himself is growing into. Books, of course. Not that there are so very many books in the little house, particularly mine. I have an office. Hell, come October I’ll have two. As I sweat and wrestle packing tape and dusty boxes, I’m reminded that books are a necessity, but space to live alongside them is a luxury. And each book or cluster, of course, an impossible series of memories. Too many memories, even in a few boxes, of too many mes over many many years. A boarding pass, casually sticking out of a volume of Proust, for a flight from San Francisco to New York, as I exited, stage left, to go back to England and try again, rather less casually.

Wednesday July 23rd 2014, 11:38 pm
Filed under: Boozy,change Tags:

The rhythms, they tend to be all consuming. Not that I can stick to them for that long – I can get lost in 24 bars of 3 chords in So What rather quickly. But in an empty house, the buckling down to an article, a talk, and a highly public presentation – no problem. Back from that weird-ass rock of sunlight and ice and green and elves and trolls and a frightening per capita percentage of academics for a handful of days, and seeking out new rhythms before night falls or day breaks or whatever the fuck preposterous metaphor applies to the major changes ahead. First, though, some hyper organic paint, without VOCs (volatile organic compounds, for those of you playing along at home) that offgas for years. We survived cigarettes and scotch drinkers and lead paint, but the next gen won’t be able to survive a fricking splinter. But it’s so hard to resist. Saw Boyhood yesterday, as an unapologetic sucker for Linklater’s romantic shtick. Six months ago, it would’ve been about me. Now, it was 20% me and 80% himself. Which made it harder, not easier, to watch, but a remarkable act of filmmaking, regardless. An old friend. this evening, for just enough drinks to break through the catch up and onto the now and the next, but, alas, not enough time to go very far into it all.

I’m on 80% holiday. All my major work deadlines met, new projects and the New Project still a bit down the road, and time for 10 days before summer teaching is upon me. The idea I might think better if I take a step back from the work and read for the big picture for a bit. Or not. 10 days of drinking myself senseless might also help. Not fussed.