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March’s miscellany

March 5, 2015

After a lot of thought, I contacted the guy and told him I couldn’t make the Book Review any longer than it is, and if that meant he couldn’t publish it, I understood, and I apologized for the inconvenience.

{I didn’t explain, make excuses, or over-apologize.}

Without the Book Review hanging over my head, by a circuitous route I then found myself looking at and requesting books on Lithuanian folklore and poetry from Inter-Library Loan. They arrived at my local library earlier this week; I picked them up yesterday.

Yesterday was St. Casimir’s Day, a Catholic saint’s feast day that wrenches my heart. St. Casimir is the patron saint of Lithuania (and Poland, iirc). The cemetery most of my Chicago Lithuanian ancestors are buried in is St. Casimir’s. His holy day mattered to my mother, so I grew up celebrating it with her. Whenever March 4 arrives, I recall red, green, and yellow ribbons in my braided hair, which is one of the (very rare) things I feel nostalgic about. I can’t even have this one Lithuanian cultural observance — that was part of my own lived experience — that is not haunted by falling out with my parents.

I also resent how patriarchal Lithuanian culture is: why should the national saint be a guy? Why not celebrate my ancestresses? Pre-Christian goddesses? Nature spirits?

Every year, I only remember on St. Casimir’s Day that I meant to figure out a different day to celebrate my own Lithuanian heritage, dammit.

+++

{It snowed for 8 hours today. Spouse worked from home today, and will likely do so tomorrow too, since there’s ice under the snow.}

Songbirds hopped around the snowy potager today. I don’t know what they were looking for. I scattered blueberries in the windowboxes for them, in case they were looking for food. I also deposited handfuls of months’-worth of dryer lint into a bowl, that I placed outside. Someday soon, songbirds will be nesting.

If I could figure out a way to contact paper wasps (or any other kind of critter who uses paper) to give them my used (unbleached) coffee filters, I would. In the interim, they’re piling up in an empty windowbox. (Ideally, I’d prefer to compost them, but I don’t have any chomping bugs or worms.)

Four books arrived from Amazon on Wednesday. I devoured Stranger by Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown, barely moving until I finished it. Marvelous! I’m chagrined to find out the sequel is only on Kindle, since I don’t have a Kindle, and don’t like reading books on a screen. Not sure if this is what will prod me into borrowing Spouse’s Kindle.

Am currently reading Walkers Between the Worlds, which I’m greatly enjoying. Obviously it’s much slower going though.

+++

The only detail I remember from this morning’s dreams was that one character was from Jamestown, New York. Spouse used to be casual friends with a woman who was married to a man from Jamestown, New York. I didn’t consider either of them friends, but I found the husband pleasant company. Because of that, when we were visiting the Finger Lakes a few years ago, I took a photograph of a highway sign depicting Jamestown, NY, as a destination. I’ve never been there myself.

+++

I wrote 2 poems today, both of which were developed from the same type of specific constraints. One of them is about my wintry day today. The other one started out kind of metaphysical, but surprised me when it took a psychogeographical turn. (Later looking up details I put in because they suited my imagery and meter, further surprised to find they are ecologically correct. Synchronicity for the win.)

Thought about including the HUC8 in the second poem’s title, but decided against it.

I am writing about more water bodies than those I know personally!

{Now, if only I could figure out 1. How to write about the water bodies I do know personally, 2. How to get acquainted with Chesapeake Bay, soonest, so that 3. I could write about Chesapeake Bay…}

+++

When I got wait-listed by AROHO for this summer’s writing retreat, I decided to assume that my application was ranked #159, so that I would not feel even worse about considering that I might actually get invited if someone else couldn’t make it.

This afternoon, I got an email saying that there was an opening, waiting just for me.

So I wasn’t #159 after all.

Instead of delight, I felt … a little sad. Aggravated. Definitely not interested in going though. I told them I wouldn’t be able to make it & wished them luck.

As exhorted by a Twitter-friend, lately I’ve been thinking about my ideas about Being Welcomed (especially into a community). I don’t think I’ll ever try to join a formal or informal group again: if the group exists before I show up, its structure won’t want to stretch to accommodate what I need. Also the people in the group probably wouldn’t be interested in what I need (since they never have been before). I think I’ll go back to making friends irrespective of group lines, and/or making friends who don’t know each other.

Those scrumptious resources that groups tend to have available, that ordinary individuals don’t have access to, are the main reason I’ve kept trying to join groups, even though I don’t think I’ve ever had a good “group experience”. Unfortunately, to receive access to group resources, you have to be likable. And part of that seems to grow out of behaving predictably. Also, being high in the trait of Conscientiousness. I’m unpredictable (even to myself), impulsive, and (the way “Conscientious” is used in this context) I score very low in the trait: building/making/designing stuff is cool; doing so explicitly “for the future” is of no interest to me whatsoever. Not even just because I won’t personally be around for it, but because I don’t value certainty and stability (except in rare cases).

On LinkedIn this week, I found someone I was frenemies with 25 years ago. She accepted my invite, probably because she (apparently) just joined. If I ever hear from her personally, I have no idea what we could possibly have to talk about. And that’s the norm for me. I don’t stay in touch with people very long because I change, but they don’t.

Anyway, gotta get this up.

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