Showing posts from May, 2021

Day 435, May 26, 2021

Dancing in the Rain Tonight's soundtrack: Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, 2003 We had a big storm blow through this afternoon. At one point, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the patio umbrella blow by the window. I ran out and retrieved it from where it had impaled itself on the string bean trellis. The chickens were making a commotion and I rounded up the hens into the coop. The rain drops were large and heavy. It was our first good summer rain. There was a time when I was in high school that I loved getting caught in the rain, being so wet that my clothes stuck to my skin. There was something marvelous and thrilling to dance in the rain. It was as if it was the ultimate statement of not giving a care. It was like allowing one's self to let go of any sense of consequence, social constraint, or expectation. And as a kid a summer rain is never cold.  I didn't stay out too long and retreated inside once the rain started to really fall and I could hear Frank

Day 434, May 25, 2021

A Better Species  Tonight's soundtrack: Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains, 2002  (the video is weird, but it sounds quite good) It has been a busy few weeks and I have fallen off of my usual routine of writing so I feel like there is so much to share, and yet it seems almost too overwhelming to start. Over the weekend, I was reading about ethical responses to markets. The main focus was on being an educated consumer that understands where the goods one purchases are from, and being aware of all the intermediary steps and people that are affected by that purchase. There are choices we have as consumers to choose brands or products that are produced with sensitivity to human livelihood and the environment, there are formal structures like Fair Trade products, and more local solutions like buying shares in CSAs, participating in alternative currencies, and gift economies. Like all things, we make compromises. We have a diversity of choices and factors that come into play

Day 429, May 20, 2021

Like a Rodeo  Tonight's soundtrack: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, Khatia Buniatishvili, Neeme Järvi, and the Verbier Festival Orchestra, 2011 I've been in a workshop on transformative racial justice these last two days. One of the reoccurring themes has been the power of narrative. I think this comes across on multiple levels. On the most personal level, it is the way the smaller breakout groups have fostered a sense of community. By sharing stories about ourselves, we are negotiating social spaces with different ground rules and expectations than one typically finds in a Zoom room. We are challenging each other with how brave or honest we want to be, and in so doing set the tone and expectation for others. It has been a really wonderful experience and the strongest sense of community I've found in a workshop since arriving at the University. This particular workshop has the benefit of time, we are meeting in large day-long and half-day chunks, nevertheless, the other

Day 426, May 17, 2021

Just Around the Corner Tonight's soundtrack: Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage, Munich, 1989 Just a short snippet tonight. I received shot #2 this morning, and in two weeks I will have state of the art immunity and maybe masks will be less obligatory and I might be able to consider indoor dining again.  Today was a full day. I don't seem to have any side effects yet except tiredness and a slight sore throat, but that might be from the salsa I had with lunch. Sometimes that happens to me, a slight swelling in the throat.  This weekend we met up with some friends for a gathering around a fire pit. It was the first time we've hung out with anyone since last year and the last warm days of late fall. I think we were nervous, but also excited, and it was wonderful. Our host brought out a guitar and we spent the last bit of the evening taking turns sharing songs. One could almost imagine that it hadn't been a year since we last sat around together.  We also picked up four new chic

Day 422, May 13, 2021

Flightpath Today's soundtrack: The Sun Ra Arkestra, Berlin, 1986 It is interesting how fragile our emotions and psyche can be. I was yearning to go outside for a walk at the end of the day, but ran out of time sandwiched between my last meeting and a webinar that felt more like a long commercial than a learning moment. It felt like a sorrowful thing to not be able to go. I felt like a child who missed the ice cream truck.  Early in the evening, in the spring, the sun pours through the west facing window. It bathes my face with light and I have to lazily close my eyes.  It becomes easier to close my eyes than to keep them open.  Amy Tan says, everything has to be about the reward in the moment, rather than thinking the reward is in the payoff at the end.  Water study IV She talks about her mother as becoming an invisible person when she arrived in this country. As the sun sets the air grows colder and I shut the window. The sun is now resting on the sill and will soon sink into the

Day 421, May 12, 2021

The Ending and Beginning Tonight's soundtrack: V.S.O.P. II, Umbria, 1983 Yesterday, I wrote in the last page of a notebook. I've been writing at least a page a every weekday morning in this red notebook since March 6, 2020. It is the thing I do as I eat my bowl of cereal or bagel, smoothie, and coffee. And since January 14th, I've been working on the first draft of a short story, one page at a time. It has been strange that both the story and notebook petered out at the same time. I wonder if I was subconsciously aware of the paucity of pages as I neared the end. Water Study II Finishing a notebook is always bittersweet for me. It is like finishing a sleeve of cookies or the last ice cream bar in the freezer. Notable in its accomplishment, but then there is the palatable absence because a notebook becomes a familiar thing, something with a consistent heft and texture in the palm.  I have a whole collection of notebooks in my basement. Most are filled with poetry, some are t