10.22.2017

Let what will be, be

When the spent sun throws up its rays on cloud
And goes down burning into the gulf below,
No voice in nature is heard to cry aloud
At what has happened. Birds, at least must know
It is the change to darkness in the sky.
Murmuring something quiet in her breast,
One bird begins to close a faded eye;
Or overtaken too far from his nest,
Hurrying low above the grove, some waif
Swoops just in time to his remembered tree.
At most he thinks or twitters softly, 'Safe!
Now let the night be dark for all of me.
Let the night be too dark for me to see
Into the future. Let what will be, be.'

[Robert Frost {1874-1963}, 'Acceptance' from West-Running Brook]

10.18.2017

Finality is death. Perfection is finality. Nothing is perfect. There are lumps in it...

  1. What takes your breath away? allergies, very cold weather, and one certain set of cloudy blue eyes
  2. What did you do today that you regret? let a couple of opportunities pass
  3. Will you ever do it again? of course. Not because I want to, but because life is like that.
  4. Is happiness something to be achieved and sought after or is it something to be retained and held onto always, no matter what happens? it's the journey, not the destination
  5. Would you rather live in a world of perfection or do you like the world the way it is? I guess I like it the way it is. "Perfection" isn't happening anyway--lumps, remember?
  6. Is a frightening world an interesting world to live in? we don't really get a choice. The world is frightening, and interesting, and we just kinda have to deal with it as it is.
  7. What gives people depth and character? their humanity. Personality, upbringing, circumstances, education, trauma, drama, psychology, health, resilience, support...
  8. What band, together or not, would make you want to JUST FLY after seeing their show R.E.M. I'm so sad that I never got to see them play.
  9. Recently a 10-year-old grilled cheese sandwich in which some people saw the image of the Virgin Mary sold on eBay for $10,000. What do you think of this? people find peace and solace and inspiration wherever they can, and more power to them
  10. Who is the next person you will hug? I know who I want it to be, who I wish it were. But, more likely? It will be one of those who know that--

    Way down inside me was a pilot light
    That good friends tended and fed with tiny kindnesses

  11. Where was your last vacation to? my last real vacation was Los Angeles
  12. Where was your last car ride to? uh, home from work?
  13. Where was your last bus ride to? probably something associated with that L.A. trip
  14. Where did you last walk to? I took an afternoon walk yesterday with "my walkin' buddy." In 15 minutes we usually go about a mile.
  15. What is the worst band in the universe? there are plenty of acts that I don't enjoy, but I'm hardly the ultimate critic
  16. What is the next book you want to read? I'm about 2/3 through A Game of Thrones for the second time. After I finish this, I'll read something quick and easy, and then plow back into A Clash of Kings.
  17. What are the 3 most useless items on the planet? those seals that Hallmark plunks into the bag with your cards (thrown away, every time); the packaging on my generic Imitrex (it's a blister pack that requires scissors to open! with a migraine!); and plastic soup spoons (I always. always. always. cut a bloody rut into my tongue with those sharp little bastards)
  18. What gives you a peaceful feeling? backrubs, sleeping until I wake up without any outside interference, or personal mail. That's a start.
  19. Do you ever stay up late watching infomercials? never
  20. Did you ever BUY anything from an infomercial? never
  21. Are you a light sleeper? increasingly, yes. It doesn't much help that my across-the-street neighbors love their outdoor lights as much as my next-door neighbor loves his truly dumbass dogs who have teeny-tiny bladders and need to be reminded to pee, always at ungodly hours.
  22. Are you a T-ysR-s kid? under no circumstances whatsoever
  23. Are you part of the mile high club? wouldn't that be something? Wouldn't that just blow ya mind?
  24. Do you like...
    pena coladas? 
    please tell me that's supposed to be piƱa coladas. ?? And no, they're too cloyingly sweet.
  25. getting caught in the rain? yup
  26. yoga? sure, though I personally prefer Pilates for a more challenging workout
  27. intelligence? uhm, kinda
  28. making love at midnight? no objection
  29. health food? eh
  30. champagne? if I have to drink wine, it's the only one I'd actually swallow
  31. the feel of the ocean? very, very much. "It's been so long since I've seen the ocean - I guess I should."

  32. What was the funniest way that you ever misheard the lyrics to a song? I'm not sure? I'm sort of good at that sort of thing.
  33. What have you never seen anything lovelier than? those eyes, from question one? They're the most beautiful thing I've ever seen in my life.
  34. Have you ever painted...
    a wall? 
    uh, yeah. Many times.
  35. ceramic? yep, though not well
  36. a painting? "painted a painting." Oy. Um, yes, I've even hung one canvas of my own in my house.
  37. model? I don't think so
  38. sun catcher? no, that trend happened after my "art" phase ended
  39. face? nope
  40. body? ha!
  41. If you believe in heaven, are there separate heavens for different animals (kitty heaven, dog heaven, bird heaven, etc)? doubtful. I think we're all one big happy family up there.
  42. If you could build your body from scratch using the parts from different celebrities who would you combine? I don't think I can do that. It's been a while since I blatantly took people apart like that, even for my own use.
  43. If you could build your perfect match from scratch using the parts from different celebrities who would you combine? Likewise, it seems both disgusting and mercenary to think that way--and also, what's the point? There's no "perfect match," much less one created with parts snagged from celebrities. Ick
  44. Avril Lavigne or Michelle Branch? Avril
  45. Vanessa Carlton or Britney Spears? Vanessa
  46. When you sleep next to someone, do they fall asleep first usually or do you? with someone else present in the vicinity, I'm an even lighter sleeper than usual. I might doze but I don't think I really sleep.
  47. If they do, do you watch them sleep? unless I'm fully awake, I don't "watch someone sleep." Even then, it's kinda creepy.
  48. How many people have a piece of your heart? I don't know that this is a quantitative sort of question. But I have been listening to a mix CD that Chris made for me in the car lately,
    and I am reminded just how big a piece of me remains with him. As I work my way through the mix, I hear the songs (obviously) which have a theme (which is clear to anyone who gets the sort of mixes that I make, which is also the way that he made them)--but I also hear the subtext, the meaning that he was putting in there just for me. Our inside references. And it makes me laugh and sigh and catches me unaware, tears in my eyes and a hitch in my breath, how rough my feelings are and how close we still are, will always be. He spoke to me in ways that no one else did, that no one else could. I miss him
    viscerally.

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the first third of the twenty-first part (there was no twentieth); the title quotation is by James Kenneth Stephens, in The Crock of Gold]

10.15.2017

perdition of the soul

Forgive me
for my impatience,
forgive me for stupidity
forgive for not showing love,
forgive for rigidity of the mind

and perdition of the soul.

Forgive me for tricks of the trade
and life's blind hawk
         of the spirit

forgive me for forgetting
     how to forgive

     and how to forget.

[Joseph Ceravolo {1934-1988}, 'Forgive', from Collected Poems]

10.14.2017

all the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust

  1. Have you ever asked yourself, 'Is there any more to life than this?' once or twice, yes
  2. Do you let the restrictions of society restrain you? of course. That's what society is - a restraint on behavior, for the better of all.
  3. Or are you just too full of life to be stopped? that's not "full of life". That's antisocial and out of control.
  4. We are spinning on a bright blue bulb that is bursting with life. How could you possibly feel alone? platitudes are so valuable, thank you
  5. Is there something you'd like to try? there is. I'd like to trust someone, and have it proven true. I'd like to have faith in my own judgment, and find it borne out over time. I'd like to have something real...for real.
  6. What makes your heart smile and your skin get all tingly-ish? right now, with this snuffly cold? My heated mattress pad, thick socks, and all the flannel I can layer on - maybe after a long, hot bath.
  7. How long has it been since you danced the night away? a couple of weeks, maybe a month
  8. Are you willing to do EVERYTHING POSSIBLE to get the most out of life? really good question. There is just one thing that's holding me back from that 'everything possible'. If I had reason to believe that it was no longer in the way? I'd be storming ahead, full steam.
  9. Are you willing to give the very best most beautiful part of yourself to the world? uhm, no. I think that's got to be reserved more specially than that.
  10. Is there love in your heart? yup
  11. Do things tend to go your way more often when you're happy? I like to think so, but I'm not sure that's how it works out in the real world
  12. What do you do while everyone sleeps? sleep
  13. What is one thing you will you never ever ever get any more of?
    the bankrupt heart is free;
    So much of duty as you may require
    Of shards and dust, this and no more of pain,
    This and no more of hope, remorse, desire,
    The heart once broken need support again.
    How simple 'tis, and what a little sound
    It makes in breaking, let the world attest

    [Edna St. Vincent Millay]
  14. What's your favorite short story? "Graillis' Legacy" from William Trevor's A Bit on the Side
  15. Have do you feel about beauty pageants? in their traditional iteration, I find them abominable
  16. What is your favorite DIY related website? (mine is probably http://www.homeofthesampler.com) meh
  17. Do you bruise easily? very
  18. In William Shakespeare's play, "All's Well That Ends Well," the character Parolles makes an interesting speech about virginity, saying that "Virginity by being once lost may be ten times found; by being ever kept, it is ever lost...To speak on the part of virginity is to accuse your mothers; which is most infallible disobedience...virginity murders itself; and should be buried in highways, out of all sanctified limit, as a desperate offendress against nature. Virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese; consumes itself to the very paring, and so dies with feeding his own stomach. Besides, virginity is peevish, proud, idle, made of self-love, which is the most inhibited sin in the canon. Keep it not; you cannot choose but lose by't..." What do you think of this? it makes its point, albeit heavy-handedly
  19. Would you prefer to stay in a motel, hotel, inn, lodge, or resort? hotel
  20. Have you ever gone scuba diving? no, but I think I'd like to try
  21. What kind of bread do you like? it's the rare kind of bread that I do not like. Lately I've been in the mood for English muffin bread, because it's cool, rainy weather. Perfect for toast.
  22. Do you usually behave the way you want to? when I'm not at work, yes. Mostly.
  23. How does the idea in your head of what you want to be like match up to the reality of what you are like? what, is this a quantitative question? The inside matching the outside is always a goal, and the degree to which it's accurate changes by the day, or more often.

    Always a goal.
  24. Do you realize that in 111 questions this survey will have more questions than there have been years since Christ was born? not really something I think about
  25. Are your air and water as pure as you want them to be? once again, it's not really something that I think about
  26. Would you ever visit an insect zoo? ugh, no
  27. Can you enjoy life without stimulants (coffee, cigarettes, drugs, alcohol)? I have a very minimal caffeine habit. That's really about it.
  28. How many hours do you sleep every night? quite a few, probably more than normal
  29. I go crazy when I'm without ... solitude
  30. Can you do the robot dance? I think that I probably did that as a young teen
  31. How much thought do you put into your dance moves? as little as possible
  32. Are you able to recognize patterns, habits, routines and break out of them? that's what journals - and blogs - are for. And the kindness of friends who pay attention and care about what happens.
[From the 5000-question meme; this is the third third of the nineteenth part. The title quotation is by J.M. Barrie, from Peter Pan]

10.09.2017

I'll wander mazily over all the earth

Don't go far off, not even for a day,
because I don't know how to say it—a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in
an empty station when the trains are
parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then
the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve
on the beach, may your eyelids never flutter
into the empty distance. Don't leave me for
a second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll
have gone so far I'll wander mazily
over all the earth, asking, will you
come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

[Pablo Neruda {1904-1973}, 'Don't go far off, not even for a day']

10.08.2017

confidence - taken in / by a suntan and a grin

  1. Who do you never want to end up like? There is a woman that I know of, whose relationship is disintegrating. Both she and her significant other are trapped in a defeating pattern, through their own choices and each others'. It's awful to watch and seems incredibly painful to experience. I wouldn't want anything to do with that life.
  2. How many oxymorons can you think of? if you know what to look for, they're everywhere
  3. How many years old is your diary? I've been blogging for 13.5 years
  4. How could today get any worse? today was a good day. It rained almost non-stop, and was quite cool. But I spent the day with the bff and her kid, tromping through "craft barns" and picking up caramel apple supplies, celebrating autumn.
  5. What will you never ever do again? I would like to think that I can simply decide to never do a thing again, like to "always follow my heart" or "never give up an opportunity to make more money" or "given the choice, always choose Cheetos." But it's seldom that easy, right? Nor that obvious. The lines are not drawn clearly, and the choices not so simple.
  6. What's the most terrible lie someone could tell you? I've probably heard it already - maybe even more than once
  7. Would you ever wear vinyl pants? ugh, no
  8. What was the last thing that you printed out? a mailing label for a package that I sent this morning
  9. What would you say to Flavor Flav if you saw him walking down the street? I wouldn't recognize him if he walked up and bit me
  10. What are you dependent on? caffeine, a couple of prescription drugs, hand lotion, and the help of my friends
  11. What do you look forward to each day? more sleep
  12. Did you take lessons as a kid? If so, at what? only in school, when I learned to play an instrument
  13. What's the best song to listen to after a break up? depends on the breakup. Some are sad, some are angry, some are bewildering. Some need a slow and weepy song, some need a fast and loud song. There is no one 'best song' for any occasion.
  14. The radio is playing Poison, INXS, the Psychedelic Furs, Dio, and Matchbox 20 on different stations. What do you listen to? probably Matchbox 20, possibly INXS
  15. Do you know what it's like to take care of someone else? yes; I am an adult
  16. Would you rather take care of someone or be taken care of? being "taken care of" was part of why my marriage ended. However, a lack of care can be just as bad, depending on the circumstances.
  17. What I'm saying is, in any relationship--whether in romance or family or friendship--there is a give and take of care. One party cares more than the other, provides a greater degree of care to the other and to the relationship than the other does or can or is willing to provide. When it shifts back and forth over time, it's healthy and supportive. When it's always one giving more and the other taking more, then it's not a partnership, but a parasite and host. Who could want that?
  18. What is the worst 80's song in your opinion? eh, there are a few that I wouldn't want to hear overmuch
  19. What song makes you so happy that just want to dance and dance and DANCE? for some unknown reason, George Michael has always had that reaction in me. Some of his stuff has a really visceral reaction within me.
  20. God, does it even matter if you think you "can't dance?" well, I'm not really prone to dancing around a lot of people, but under the right circumstances and the right people, it's very natural
  21. What has been your most beautiful magical memorable cloud nine manic ecstatic incredibly happy bouncy air-light moment of this life??? there are a few of them. The last one happened in April.
  22. According to Depeche Mode, "Everything counts in large amounts." According to the Crow, "Nothing is trivial." Do you believe this is true? I see these as opposites--? The DM point is more easy for me to understand, that the importance of a thing increases with its frequency or weight.
  23. Are you enjoying this thrilling luscious roller coaster ride of a life as much as I am? it has its moments. Being around for the amazing ones makes the less-than-terrific much easier to bear.
  24. Do you know how improbable it is that life exists at all? yep
  25. Are you kind to strangers? prehaps more so than to some people I only merely like
  26. Do you go out of your way for other people? some, yes
  27. Make a promise: I will clean off the coffee table this week Will you keep it? probably
  28. What do you think of the author of this survey? she's terrible with math but somewhat tenacious
  29. What makes something "literature"? Also, what makes something "art?" there are probably some objective qualifications, but in my mind it's pretty subjective. "Literature" encompasses all of fiction, really---even the crap. And "art" is whatever anyone thinks it is. Parents have been displaying that on their refrigerator doors forever.
  30. Why are you even doing this survey? Doesn't it tell you something that you have nothing better to do than fill out a 5,000 question survey? I'm looking at this as an opportunity to explore areas of my brain and my world that might not get covered in any other way. Anything can be a source for writing, or therapy.
  31. Has answering these questions been a learning experience for you (writing them certainly has been for me)? I've really got to start reading ahead.
  32. Have you ever been so happy you could cry? yep
  33. Do you know that the one you love is the one you will spend the rest of your life with?? want to, maybe. Will? That's another story entirely, and one that can only be written in real time.

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the second third of the nineteenth part. The title quotation is from "Everything Counts" by Depeche Mode]

10.04.2017

somewhere nobody bothers to ask

This Moment / Right Now

there’s a whispered prayer blowing
the crumbs of a season’s harvest
     off a girl’s plate

& a roar breaks from her insides,
the roar a lioness
     a beast that knows

& a man kneels somewhere
cupping his tears
     for the loneliness he feels

though he’s surrounded by the world,
& a finch in a tree singing
    for a lover as the buds on its branch

pop into leaves that will flourish
& welcome the green grasses,
     Right now a boy is wondering

if people can really dodge bullets
& is he one of them & somewhere nobody bothers
     to ask, they simply wait

Wind spins across the landscape
they say God is twirling his fingers—

The heartbroken hook new bodies,
night after night, drink after drink

& I dance—my feet mashing grapes
for wine & I sing mockingly—
what is life / what is life

[by Roberto Carlos Garcia; originally published in Poem-a-Day, February 20, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets]