They walk like cowboys, recently dismounted.
ocean beach 7.25.14
Think about how many details we leave out when we tell stories about ourselves. Those intimate moments where spectacle meets nuance. All those ways we understand dimensions as coordinates – maps of contested margins. I don’t assume you read any of this, which is why I can be so matter-of-fact.
In fact every Sunday, until I found an alternative, I learned about the consequences of taking things literally, from a biblical perspective. It was my orientation to the world. Now, I find myself drawn to phrases like loving witness and learned that the prescribed strategy for getting out of disasters is to assist others.
We are racing to the airport. I am anxious. She tells me her depression is incurable. So deep that strapping electrodes to her brain won’t help, or if it did, it would only be temporary relief. So deep that she can’t wash knives in the kitchen sink when the bottomless darkness sets in. She can see herself slashing herself to death, making the motions, trading hands to make the gestures of listening to those urges, one hand always on the steering wheel. She tells me she is no longer afraid and that is how she has been able to survive.
I want to believe this means you found a way to see light differently.
As the sun sets California Orange, I am grateful for the Post Office. This is a dispatch so I will keep it short. I wanted to say the only difference between elegy and eulogy was the degree of reflection. Also, I learned that I should ask more questions before saying yes; the word agamy is an apt descriptor for me; and setting plans in motion is its own thrill.
sunset SFO June14
I don’t want to alarm you.
The house is empty and without running water.
An escape tunnel is being built,
a series of connection points.
We will live underground again.
The shawl looked forlorn.
The socks draped over the freeway fence.
Morning commuters wove patterns
inside lanes designed to maximize tension
lulling casual passengers to the hum
of wheels hitting mile markers.
He said, “You need to put your breath behind it”
as she told a story about a place in New Mexico that contains light
found between the spikes of cacti and rotations of tumbleweeds
hues of yellow, orange, and blue if you knew how to look for it.
Is it a luxury to be clueless?
Port Costa, June14
movie star faces
We dream of different reasons
to perform the same routines.
Money is not enough of a lure.
We have been poor before.
Status is not an option.
We have been poor before.
In order to believe in tomorrow,
we occupy contrasting spaces.
That is what we are trained to do.
We have been poor before.
Keep your words soft and sweet in case you have to eat them. – Amish proverb
We are tired; it is June. We are at the midpoint of a rogue year. As I rest, I am forming a plan. This plan is just beyond my horizon, like those childhood summer storms we saw coming days in advance and were the most talked about event weeks after they blew past us. Those summer storms a result of collisions, of mixing extremes, of letting go. Perfectly orchestrated chaotic conditions that result in epic reverence, a beauty best experienced first hand. These are the kinds of moments I’ve been hoarding as the day’s light provides sustained warmth and has exposed vulnerable possibility. It’s a ritual, a strategy bent towards inspiration with hopes of reinvention. I’ve been storing these impressions – that are destined not to fade – in a section of my mind loosely bordered by conscious desires and authentic needs. They are nested within categories as broad, and as narrow, as intentionality, kindness, and forgiveness. I found this extra room after carefully packing and laying to rest accumulated regrets. I even took care of those regrets that fell through the cracks simply because of time and those that became normalized through tenderly laid bad habits. Regrets embedded so deeply I felt the weight of the space they left behind. It was a performance much like the cooling impact of a thunderstorm passing through on a sweltering languid summer day. A relief beset by joy.
title credit: line from A Ritual To Read Each Other by William Stafford
“the body breaks, your needs consume you forever” – “Else” Built to Spill
Sam Francis, Untitled (Marko’s Rain) Hirshhorn, DC April14
we were slow to feel spring’s arrival that year
catalogs of ideas laid fallow
buried beneath quiet desires
soft as breath resisting exhalation
easy as misinterpreting epoch for epic
just last week the sidewalk read:
this is the point I lost all hope
only to be rubbed away days later
absorbed into our patterns as unchecked tension
doubts deep as distance begets neglect
lost in our own understanding
of wanting nothing
except to fix these regrets
after seeing how strong resistance can get
enduring over and over again
finding instead all those ways we feel unafraid
how gestures become routines
pleasure as a way of practice
reflections of asking: more
wanting that space between witness and memory
title credit to LB
this time of year
the graffiti changes
curves are softer
shadows more gentle
every line an opening
to center our attention
*German for “in everyday life”