Thursday, September 23, 2010

Feeling Earnest and Inspired

Sometimes I try to play it off like I'm all cool and cynical.  That is bullshit.  And I'm bad at that game. I always squeak excitedly at something and give myself away, because, really, I am a sap.  And I am earnest as hell.  I believe in rousing speeches and the power of the people to do anything.  And the power of a person, with fire in her heart, to kick some ass.

I believe you do too, cynical as you are, because it feels so much better to be that person, and because you are awesome.  And I proclaim here and now that, deep down, all truly awesome people are earnest and sincere.  So push your inner cynic face down into the couch and sit on him, and listen to these words, from, as is so often true here, APW, about fighting for your own dreams and fighting for the dreams of others:
It was about always saying yes to each other, about saying, “Not only do I believe you can do that, I believe you can do something ten times bigger. And I believe you have a responsibility to do it, and to help change the world, and I will personally do everything I can to help you accomplish your dreams.”
          . . .
I want to see women standing up and saying I will fight for your dreams, not just for mine.
So, tell me what I can do, or tell me what you want to accomplish, and I'll figure out how I can help.  I promise to start sharing my dreams and asking for help, which is damn hard for me - and probably everyone else.  It's hard to open up those tender places.  They get hurt so easily.

I'll be thinking about your dreams and you'll be thinking about mine, and we'll have double the power of thought behind them and double the intent and double the energy and double the talents and tools and manpower.  And, shit!, we'll create an awesome world!

Think about it.

And here's something to muse on whilst you do, from First Milk:

I Wish I Had More Sisters
Brenda Shaughnessy

I wish I had more sisters,
enough to fight with and still
have plenty more to confess to,
embellishing the fight so that I
look like I'm right and then turn
all my sisters, one by one, against
my sister. One sister will be so bad
the rest of us will have a purpose
in bringing her back to where
it's good (with us) and we'll feel
useful, and she will feel loved.

Then another sister
will have a tragedy, and again
we will unite in our grief, judging
her much less that we did the bad
sister. This time it was not
our sister's fault. This time
it could have happened to any
of us and in a way it did. We'll
know she wasn't the only
sister to suffer. We all suffer
with our choices, and we
all have our choice of sisters.

My sisters will seem like a bunch
of alternate me's, all the ways
I could have gone. I could see
how things pan out without
having to do the things myself.
The abortions, the divorces,
the arson, swindles, poison jelly.
But who could say they weren't
myself, we are so close. I mean,
who can tell the difference?

I could choose to be a fisherman's
wife, since I'd be able to visit
my sister in her mansion, sipping
bubbly for once, braying
to the others, who weren't invited.
I could be a traveller, a seer,
a poet, a potter, a flyswatter.
None of those choices would be
as desperate as they seem now.
My life would be like one finger
on a hand, a beautiful, usable, ringed,
wrung, piano-and-dishpan hand.

There would be both more and less
of me to have to bear. None of us
would be forced to be stronger
than we could be. Each of us could
be all of us. The pretty one.
The smart one. The bitter one.
The unaccountably-happy-
for-no-reason one. I could be,
for example, the hopeless
one, and the next day my sister
would take my place, and I would
hold her up until my arms gave way
and another sister would relieve me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Fall

Today makes it official.  Autumnal equinox. 

Today, Night and Day stand shoulder to shoulder, perfectly balanced.  Tomorrow, Day will bow to Night and turn, relinquishing her power for another round of the seasons, stepping into the shadows.  She has had a glorious reign, and we pause now to give thanks for the bounty of it and to reflect on balance, on thresholds, on ends, and on beginnings.

Happy Fall, my loves.  May you find yourself cozy and warm until Day steps forward again.


by T. E. Hulme 

A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm floating upstream

Fantastic video by the Chemical Brothers.  The Salmon Dance.  Sadly, unembeddable, but watch it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I went camping this weekend, and Fall was there. In the crimson strokes on the poison oak, in the falling leaves, in the crisp air. The first day was clear and sunny and perfect for a hike over the changing landscapes of the Coastal Range.  On the second morning, we awoke to trees draped in mist like lace,* brides to the changing season, and were stilled, reverent.

There will be pictures soon.

In the meantime, and while we are in the mood to greet Fall with quiet and nostalgia, please go see and do this interactive video by Arcade Fire, The Wilderness Downtown. Discovered here.

You must use Google Chrome, and I suggest minimizing all windows but that one for the full effect. Let them dance for you, like Salome and her veils.

*Incidentally, I have had a hard time coming up with a better descriptor than the old standbys “shrouded in mist” and “veiled in mist.” They just seem more accurate than anything else. “Mist” is right; it was mist not fog. And though the mist turned a slow dance, like Salome and her veils, the trees were so still as to forbid a metaphor of their dancing. Same for swimming. “Enrobed,” perhaps, or “swathed;” “mist hushing the trees in a lullaby.” “Mist pouring over the trees as the ocean pours over a drowned man,” “like a baptism,” “like water from a baptismal font.” 

(tree picture from

Friday, September 3, 2010

I don't think Emily had much of a crew, though.

The XKCD mouseover today has tipped me off to something wonderful:  Because Emily Dickinson's "Death" is in ballad meter, it can be sung to the tune of "Gilligan's Island."  What other treasures are out there, waiting for just the right tune to bring them to life?!

Here are, for your singing pleasure, the lyrics.  You're welcome.

Death, Emily Dickinson

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.

We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then 'tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses' heads
Were toward eternity.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Speaking of things ripening outside my back door...

My FIRST tomato of the season (sitting on what used to be a stop light lens) (or would that be a go light?).

There is Good, Part Deux

An addendum to the list of things that are good:

Willie Nelson

I love the chugging guitar at the beginning and the phrase "like a band of gypsies we go down the highway"!

Also, because of the title of this post*, Lloyd Bridges.  Lloyd Bridges is awesome.

*A reference to that cinematic marvel, the second film in the Hot Shots series

There is Good.

Listen to Sgt. Baker.  Girl knows what she's talking about.
A non-exhaustive list of good things* includes, in no particular order:
New iphone
Taking pictures on said device
Finding delightful things around the house to photograph with hipsta!matic! effects!

bike rides with my baby
stretchy kitties
sweating a LAWT cuz yer running so! hard!
late summer tomaters
things ripening right outside my back door
making decisions (being able to make decisions)
tart frozen yogurt
anticipating a weekend with my parents in Disco Bay
swimming pools
knowing that people you love are happy
Quadrivial Quandry
country music
lots of other things.  Really.

I'll be volunteering in a middle school very soon.  My first job: talking about being a lawyer.  Hmm . . .

*not capitalized because I'm not Martha.  Hard to believe i know

Addendum to the above list: inconsistent capitalization