It’s been so long since I had a really good night’s sleep that I’ll probably have to go to bed at 8 p.m. tonight, to catch up. (Last night, despite the rain, and despite needing to wake up at 8:30, I went for a walk at 1:30 a.m. Arrived back home at 2:15 a.m. Went to bed, then, couldn’t fall asleep.)
In 2014, I’ve read 180 books all the way through, and (at least) another 46 partially. I will not get anywhere close to as many books as I read in 2011, 2012, or 2013, but I’m okay with that, because this year, I wrote gobs more poems than any other year.
I also spent gobs of time on Twitter this past year. Until Samhain, I’m fasting from Twitter (n = 267 hours). Amazing how much emotional energy that has freed up. I do miss seeing what the people I follow are up to; conversing with my favorites.
Rain most of last few nights, all day today. Supposed to clear up and be sunny & 60s Friday and Saturday, before cooling down again.
Felt so amazingly significant that I dreamed about Persephone yesterday; was sure that’d be focus with P today, but there was so much other stuff, we barely glanced at it.
Feel lost without writing poems, but I need a break from intensity and focus of poetry. Looking forward to lying fallow for a while.
May have to rethink plan to write a blog post every remaining day of 2014. Writing this often, my thoughts feel choppy and disconnected; they haven’t had time to coalesce into coherence. (Maybe that’s just the effect of the sleep deprivation.)
So. Very. Sleepy. It’s 6 p.m.
Gasoline today was $2.999 per gallon. Weird. I’d have to dig up my old checkbook register to see when’s the last time it was under $3. Because of the rain, my drive down to Prince George’s County — normally 60–70 minutes — was 84 minutes. Seemed a lot longer because traffic on 695 was averaging 15 mph; once I got to 97, I was back up to 60 mph.
Feel like I’m on the brink of understanding how to do my spatial-dispersed photography-visual poem project. Frustrating at how elusive it’s been.
Dreams this morning contained the following elements: catalpa trees; travelling through Wales on a train; Myfanwy Jones. Don’t recall the narratives. I actually did travel through Wales on a train once. It was overnight, so there wasn’t much to see, but I stayed awake (with some effort) because I thought being in Wales was so cool.
Spouse and I are going to do Early Voting later this week, a first for both of us.
It feels like a million years since I got mail from someone I actually wanted to hear from. And now that I’m avoiding Twitter, most of my emails are junk I immediately delete.
Dancing baby elephant.
I need to wash my hair. Lately I’ve been using vinegar (1 tablespoon in a cup of water). I also need a haircut.
Our welcome mat is really ugly, I’ve (only recently) noticed. To call it a “muddy” color actually insults mud. It’s more like bile-colored. I don’t know where Spouse found it, but we need to get a new one.
This is like one of those days where writing morning pages just seems pointless.
Counting things soothes my anxiety. Putting all my pennies into rolls over the weekend was unexpectedly enjoyable for that reason. And I ended up with $6. I’m also counting the hours until Samhain because of my Twitter fast. Helps keep me motivated to stay off it (I’m 17% of the way to my goal! A little over 1/6. I’m making progress!)
Re-read Captain Awkward’s archives, after mentioning her to someone. Lots of people spend way more time with friends and even family than I ever have.
I just want to hibernate. Barring that, curl up under blankets with a mug of lemon tea & honey. Then sleep for hours and hours.
Forgot to bring my camera with me today. On the long rainy drive, saw 2 extremely large metal things being transported by truck. Wish I could’ve photographed them. One was a tube; one looked like part of a lunar module.
Bananas bouncing around apricots!
Rhythmically scratching half-circles on my scalp somehow soothes me too. And sometimes seems to open up my sinuses? Be much better if Spouse was scratching my head, or even rubbing my forehead, but he never does the former and rarely does the latter. Also, he’s out running errands right now.
Woolly rhinoceros. Triceratops. Pterodactyl.
I like writing a ‘writer bio’ when I feel reasonably certain the audience will appreciate my whimsical approach. Even if I had a bunch of publishing credits (and obviously, I don’t), I find writer bios full of that stuff . . . kind of mystifying. Also, boring. That kind is probably one of those prestige/status things that are so incomprehensible to me. Honestly, some of the literary journal names are so ridiculous, I wonder if people don’t just make shit up sometimes. If anyone asked for details, you could just say, oh, they were a zine that went out of business years ago — how would anyone know any differently? Blue Toenail, man, it was so rad, back in the day.
For the love of god, can I visit the Yahoo home page without seeing that photo of the “rare albino deer shot by 11 year old hunter”?
I’ve decided it’s not too early to start getting ready for bed, even though it’s only 7:15 p.m. Good night.
List all the real people (or their lookalikes) who have appeared in my dreams lately (n = 11). They are mostly people I know from Twitter, except for US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; Padma Lakshmi; and 2 women I met last year at AROHO. 3 nonbinary people. 1 man (Spouse).
In the witching hour, lemon tea in the dark. Time to drop the last of my distractions, descend into the depths. Time to dive.
Dream about Persephone.
Note in my dream journal, “I’m part of a system that oscillates between open and closed. I think I need to be more closed for a while.”
Realize that almost all of my conceptual breakthroughs owe nothing to collaboration. I get ideas from my materials, from other people, from the world, but not from working directly with other people. (Usually.)
Even though a lot of my most-cherished friendships wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t approached the other person, I realize that I need to stop approaching people as often as I do. The way I’ve been doing it hasn’t been effective for what I was attempting. Social rejection hurts. I’ve been getting a lot of social rejection lately. I need to change what I’m doing.
What if I wait for other people to approach me? (Introject says: “we’ll die, all alone!”) Thing is, I prefer my own company to that of people armed with platitudes, or tone-deaf suggestions. What if I stop trying so hard? What if I give up on other people (for a while)?
Realize that there are, in fact, really good reasons why I behave the way I do at professional conferences. Unlike most people there, I rarely know anyone beforehand. Even when I do know people, though, I’d prefer not to spend time with them at the conference itself. Social stuff vacuums up all my cognitive bandwidth, leaving me crumbs to use for the stuff I really care about (and the reason I’m there in the first place): learning about other people’s research, ideas; making cross-connections of my own.
List what I’m actually doing when I attend professional conferences. As I play with my purple magnetic beads, realize there are tangible items I could bring with me on future occasions to improve my experience. Realize my protocols assist me in getting my needs met, quite robustly; what I’m doing at a professional conference barely overlaps what other people are doing. (I also follow these procedures in many other social situations.)
Improvise several photography scenes, with materials easily to hand: metal pieces; flowers, fruits, leaves. Photograph my own body from odd angles.
Read interview with Annie Lennox. The man who interviewed her kept dragging “sexy” into her talking about her power and agency in the world. O hai, the male gaze: to diminish her, make her seemingly predictable and ordinary. Recognize that I would have asked much better questions.
In the shower, think about the kinds of questions I ask people. I find out all sorts of things that wouldn’t have arisen in conversations with other people. Attempts to forge relationships with people I’ve asked questions of [in specific situations] have derailed, as their responses get funneled through third parties. Any thanks somehow gets directed to those third parties, instead of directly to me. That’s something else I can stop doing! I get angry, in a good way.
Flirt with the world, as seen out my balcony door.
EE with RR; EE with A, D, FF
B with P
Unexpected encounter 1: unnoticed on Gerber daisy until I move it, a crab spider; notice him as he scurries across my hand; I transfer him to blanket. Catch back up with him, return him to the flowers.
I recognize the 8th House by its associations as I re-read Caroline W. Casey’s Making the Gods Work For You, the chapter on Pluto ~ The Power of Shape-Shifting:
“All things that are unseen: death, rebirth, transformation, sex, spirits, ancestors. All initiations of descent into the Underworld. All that was sacred in the ancient world and that has become taboo in the modern.” (p. 100)
My penciled-in notes: Kore, Sedna, tricksters, sparklers /// uncertainty, beginner’s mind.
I need to divest myself of more things I’ve outgrown.
Pink sock worn yesterday has developed holes. With a pang, throw it out.
Put on green-gold-blue and white plaid shirt. Take out recycling. Add red-and-blue striped (under)layer to my outfit. Drink juice. Photograph clouds and trees.
Will go to bank and post office and Panera Thursday, not today.
Inspired by local geological formations, conceptualize a photo series, starring myself, amidst those boulders (or others). Realize I am an odd confluence of many things, such that this photo series might allow me to express experiences and emotions I have not yet managed to do with poetry. Maybe the immediacy of the visual (which I have vastly more experience with, compared to writing poetry) will be more effective.
Leisurely drive amidst Maryland farms on my way to get my car’s emissions tested. (<5 minutes this time.)
To exit, instead of turning right, then left ~ explore. Turn left, then right. Find mosaics store. Look at everything! Buy variegated mix of glass tiles; agates; beach glass in shades of orange.
Outside, more photos of trees and clouds. For companionship in my car, take 1 fuzzy brown Gleditsia seedpod; 1 Alder catkin.
OldMe would’ve been excited by the mosaics too. Would’ve quickly signed up for classes, bought tools, materials. Would’ve wanted to trumpet to the world her new obsession, even before she discovered if she liked it or not. NewMe signs up for nothing; declines entering mosaic store’s monthly drawing; declines to give my email. NewMe just wants to play. Play with cool stuff. I consciously choose no commitments right now. This period of uncertainty, unsettledness, not-knowing . . . is precious. I need to honor it by keeping everything open.
Sometimes that’s a struggle. I’m breathing into it.
Halfway home, wrong turn leads me to pass horse and rider doing dressage.
Elton John sings about Levon, as I park my car next to a field.
Unexpected encounter 2: wasp on my hand, at farm stand. She very patiently walks all over my hand, wiggles her rear end, cleans her antennae, and face. Apparently perfectly pleased to be there. I am . . . bemused. Curious. Intrigued about why this is happening right here, right now.
Today is making itself sacred; I’m just along for the ride.
Buy dark wildflower honey from the farmstand, produced by hardworking Frederick County bees.
Radio tells me weather will be in the 50s next 2 days. Storms.
Spouse tells me about how he’s going to do early-vote tomorrow evening after work. We make plans to go together.
Spouse puts his laundry away.
Like a cat, Spouse is often very affectionate when he sees me preoccupied. Finally shoo him out of bedroom, because I’m writing.
Dinner. Cookies. (Confirm that Spouse ate the thumbprint cookie I saved for him.) Lemon tea, with dark honey from 2 places.
I’ve written > 300,000 words on this blog,. Calculate: if I write a blog post for every single day remaining in 2014, and they average >= 889 words each, I will reach 400,000 words posted on this blog, as of December 31, 2014. Challenging, but doable.
Am I ready to plunge into the fathomless depths that await? Is anyone ever?