Les Semaines


what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: The Phonosnout


Holiday Visiting

Well, my parents and their puppies are here and we're all coexisting quite well in the house. My worries about the dogs were quote unfounded. Since this isn't their house, they're not at all being territorial, and are very quiet (no barking, not even when the mail came, or when the cats wander just on the other side of the thin barricade). They whine a little bit, mostly when the one that can jump up on the bed leaves the other one behind. But overall they're being exceptionally well-behaved.

Sophia was petrified at first and hid behind a chair, but after only about 24 hours she was out playing and now she's used to it and is acting pretty normally and has even slept on my mother's lap twice--more than she has done with me recently! Zach is pretty lackidaisical about it all, and took the whole thing pretty much in stride. Of course, there have been lots and lots of visitors in his lifetime. For Sophia this is only the third visitors and certainly the first to ever bring animals.

So the beasts are all getting along quite well, and the humans are doing fine of course. We have very low-key visits with my family and don't get up to anything much in particular. We didn't do anything much the day they got here but get everyone settled in and have dinner (wonderful stew, which Mom brought with her) and then yesterday Mom and I went grocery shopping, and to the drug store to pick up a couple of things, and to the pet store for bull pizzles for the dogs, which they loved, and tinned food for Sophia who was having trouble with the tinned food we'd been giving her (the cats only get about 1.5 tablespoons as a treat). Then the four of us went to a local used book store that Mom and Dad enjoy going to and loaded up on books.

I roasted a lamb leg for Mom and I and a roast beef for Jim and Dad who don't like lamb and after dinner we watched Chicken Run, which Jim and I had already seen in the theatre, but loved enough to watch again.

Today one of my closest friends from back when we lived in Missoula was in town to visit her family for the holidays and we managed to get together for a couple of hours. I picked her up and we had coffee together then came back to the house for a little visit then I had to take her back. It was so wonderful to see her again--she's a smart and beautiful person in all ways, and has been an inspiration and support for my writing since I met her at least 17 years ago.

She is working on the biography of a relative of hers and is totally caught up in her life and it was so wonderful to see her enthusiasm for her subject, just like Mom's for the biographical essay she's working on. They have much in common, my mother and my friend.

Anyway, it's Christmas Eve, Mom and Dad are out walking the dogs, Zach is complaining that he hasn't had his tinned food treat yet, Jim's reading and Sophia's asleep--but I'd better wrap this up and get back to everyone before the dogs and their family return.

Happy holidays to all!

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Since Dad has been here, we've been listening to a lot of Billie Holiday. So wonderful, what a voice, what an interpreter of emotion. Heaven.

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Believe it or not, I haven't finished a single book this week!

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No time for writing, either. None.

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Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

July 1978

971. Same night

So now I'm left with nothing to say except I don't want to sleep alone tonight. O God, there must be fifty ways to find a love, why can't I find one? A lover I can love. Or ever poor Paul. I'm beginning to feel sorry for him, wishing he were a person who might someday be happy. He needs to be happy, but he is a man obsessed and does not know what his obsession is. The eternal mangle. [Quote from Chris de Burgh's "poor boy" song about Christ omitted.] Phil's red rose. He's 25; I didn't know that. So young. People are so complex. Everything is so random. No on is happy. At most I find good moments, of contentment, of slow pleasure. I am only 19, what will I be doing at 25? Will I love? Will I step on my way to building my own Anaï-world? Will I be strong enough to building my own world? Sometimes I wish I could go to university forever. Always. Such a lovely world. I would love to teaching writing at the university level, but I am not a genius. Would I be if I tried harder? If I wasn't so slimily lazy? Look at all my trials & tribulations, love, goodnight.

972. Time for things to unmean

I am losing the power of speech. I can no longer say those little words which oil the mechanics of casual encounter with casual acquaintances. I stand and say nothing, until I have created an atmosphere of silence so heavy it takes all my efforts to burrow under it and lift it from my shoulders saying I must go. This silence is a bond deeper than words and may grow into a trance. Now that I have created it, I must learn to manipulate it.

973. A season in hell

Writing a little/letter to Harold. Bought transportation today--Bugs Bunny, my blue beetle. S'nice. Paul was back last night for strip poker. I lost. The o, o, o that Shakepearean rag. So elegant. My. On that beautiful Oriental rug (he knew I wanted to). Hell, what a journal. Wave, George. Cheer me. I wish I could communicate with Paul; he's all walls. I don't want to communicate with him, really. It bothers me how little i really care for him and how much I want him. The old mind/body dualism revised. Anaïs, what would you say/think. It's hot in here, unbreatheable really. In heat I feel low on oxygen and sometimes panic and now I feel I can't breathe. Open another door onto the noise of the traffic and the breeze. Lovely breathable breeze. Think I'll try for a moon tan tonight. Lying in the night cloaks your soul in mysterious glowing moonlight, the stars feed you poetry. The wind pours vowels in your ear, which roll down into the centre of your being and unlock it to the moon.
     Dark outside, but my arms smell of the sun.

974. Dubonnet

Paul again. Better and better. Too bad I don't like Dubonnet anymore; he left half a bottle in my frig. We played strip poker tonight. Really. I lost (and won). This is enough. Dubonnet and the end of the Similkameen Red. What a life. I'm tired; spent four hours on shelving today. It was a mess. Loads of fun. My mind is very earthbound tonight, burdened with soil, desirous of sleep. Bah bug/beetle, new car, exciting.

975. Anaïs' journal

Now she speaks about poetry being transmuted language--"the physical aspect in poetry has to be transfused with meaning. Incandescent and transparent only to show the meaning within...Poetry is the myth created of our human elements." Yes.

976. Charged language

I wish I had my language more under control. I still write with immature, pedestrian language, not "language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree." Maybe I should swallow a good dictionary, learn to swallow and digest my language, learn the way to charge language with meaning, learn. I am still a child-with-building-blocks with language. It is in me what to say, but the words I wish to use don't exist. I must learn to use what I have, to charge it with richness. Overpower myself with language. Learn.

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