Sunday, June 28, 2009

I love that this house is being swallowed by plants, the sidewalk barely passable. I hope that when I'm old and arthritic that my house and garden will succumb to a similar fate. Actually, I wish I could make this happen to my yard right now. I wish I could make everything in my life overflow this way, in wild beautiful bursts. One thing tangled in another. All of it sweet.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Community, Hope and Pyromania

Twice a year at every solstice my friends build and burn a wooden figure along with the wishes of the witnesses. This isn't related in any way with Burning Man (capital B, capital M) and the oddly false, strained and irritating people I generally associate with that drug pit in the desert. I prefer our low key event, one that celebrates a true sense of community, hope and pyromania. Here's to summer!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Suffering under the So What Factor

The symbols of hope have deflated back into normal politicians. The big, nearly ungraspable problems of the world have pulled free and become truly ungraspable. People are buying bread instead of books, booze instead of bread. To all this I say SO WHAT? The days speed and the gray hairs grow and the kids outside take longer and longer to GET OFF MY LAWN.

In the end, the world doesn't care if I write a good book. Even my friends, who will certainly support my efforts to keep writing, to keep striving won't love me less if I fail to do so. In the back of my head I hear half a dozen different writing teachers saying "What's at stake here?" The truth is, not much. This fact alternates between feeling liberating and terrifying depending on how well I slept the night before. The drunkards were out full force last night and I was awake for hours so I apologize if I sound too bleak.

In truth, it's too beautiful outside and my life is too sweet and easy to feel any real depression over this. I don't even know what "this" is other than a pang of existential angst. Maybe I'll head out into the yard, soak up some sun and try to shake it off. And if you have any suggestions, short of having a child or finding god, I'm all ears.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer is not quite officially here but it's busting out all over nonetheless. We pick salads out of the back yard and eat them on the patio while we watch the cat stalk the bamboo. We go down the street on our feet or on our bikes, happy to have the warm wind around us, the sun on our shoulders. I think about how different my life would be if I had to hop in the car to get anywhere and feel endlessly grateful for all the years I've been able to stroll the neighborhood. How different would my vision of the world be if my experience of it arrived as isolated points rather than continuous paths. I can't recommend it enough: Take a walk, ride a bike and watch the world slow down.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Yesterday I witnessed a man sleeping on the grass in the South Park Blocks being harassed by a trio of jock assholes. Sean and I approached the scene as it was playing it out; the jocks throwing something small at the man, maybe a rock, then throwing a sandwich at him when his response was less than the jocks had hoped for. Sean and I both wish we'd moved faster and with less hesitation, fast enough to warn the sleeping man or discourage the dumb mob mentality of this pitiful crew of douchebags. We did not. The only reward was that another witness chased them down for several blocks. The jocks tried to play it cool, but two of them ended up running off. The third broke off from his clan, turned the corner and was hunted down beyond our sight.

As a person who was harrassed a'plenty in my youth, I feel a particular kind of outrage and sadness at this kind of behavior. Sure, you can rise above it and dismiss the asswipes, but for me at least, it confirms a dreary belief. I maintain my faith in individual humans as being basically good. That good may be solid and thorough or it may be irretrievably buried under a mountain of bad. Still, I believe it exists in each isolated person. The problem is we don't live isolated from one another and the crap that I witnessed confirms that people collectively are a miserable, sheepish lot as often as they are a supportive, uplifting mass.

None of us are immune. I've had my own cruel moments, my own sheepish nods. Sean too. All we could do was shake our heads in unison with the harassed man then wander back into our day. But today all I've been able to think of is that sweet bland thing called kindness and how we should all dig a little deeper for it.

Monday, June 01, 2009

This week I get the short stick and become the one that stays. You, the one that goes. In your absence, the hours flatten into uncurled ribbon, long and smooth. I gain a wealth of wasted time. I go to sleep beneath a day both unmarked and unremarkable. Not useless without you, but simply not as good.