Les Semaines


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


Hummous with friends

What I got for my birthday: a flash of lightning, a thunderstorm, picture-perfect garden-picked red roses that made my whole office smell wonderful, electronic cards, paper cards, a fire in the fireplace, barbecued ribs from the OK Corral. A quiet Monday. If I were in Canada where I belong it would have been Thanksgiving for me. Alas, here it is merely Columbus Day and I had to work. But what a lovely evening! The fire was a perfect thing for the rainy night.

It has been a sleepy week. Maybe because it's been mostly gray and rainy. And wonderfully blustery, too (I love that part). There have been sunny periods, but mostly it has been stormy. Invigorating. What I love best about fall.

And I finished updating my student files. Now I have my big student gathering to organize and experience and then the most hectic period of my day job is over for this year. Then I have the craziness of Clarion West to look forward to with the new year, but somehow because I haven't been doing Clarion for 12 years it doesn't seem like such a chore.

So Monday was my birthday and Tuesday we went out for sushi with Tamar and her boyfriend and yesterday there was a gang of ectophiles (people from the ecto music list) over for a couple of hours before we went to a concert and today was my fiction writing workshop meeting and already I couldn't remember when my birthday was--it seemed like weeks ago. In conversation this afternoon I said my birthday had been a couple of weeks ago. I'm very confused.

I do feel that right now. That and a little foggy. Especially for the last couple of days there has been that misty distance between myself and the world. I find myself responding to things as though I'm not sure I'm really there. I feel like I could sleep 24 hours a day. Is this a residue of last week's flu? I think at least part of it is that I'm anemic again. And feeling a little neurotic as part of it--dizzy and headachy and not quite all intellectually there. I'll be taking better care of myself to get rid of this problem, that's for sure.

My Forgotten English calendar still sits showing last weekend's work: weaponsalve. I guess I truly am a little behind and it's easily time to update.

Update: I have been sitting with friends, talking, and eating hummous two days in a row. That should count for something. Something good.

Shouldn't it?

last week's thinking and doing § next week's thinking and doing


Last night we went to hear Kristin Hersh, playing at the theatre of a local suburban community college. Which was a slightly odd setting as most of the time we've heard her in bars. I appreciated being able to hear her without having to suffer through beer-sticky floors and cigarette stench and to have the entire audience there to hear her rather than being there to drink beer and incidentally to say they'd been to a concert. So anyway, she was wonderful and mesmerizing, playing songs from the range of her career, from early things with Throwing Muses to recent songs. It's always a treat to hear her.

last week's listening § next week's listening


Mappa Mundi is Justina Robson's second novel, (for comments on her first novel, Silver Screen, see my August 22, 1999 entry) and like the first it was utterly absorbing. I had trouble putting it down, but you know I had to sleep and go to work and do all of those regular things. It's the story of a new kind of software that works on the human mind. Some of the right people and some of the worong people are working on it and they're playing political and power games with each other to have control of it, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes not. In the thick of it all is Nastasha Armstrong, who has written some of this programming in order to help people with serious mental problems and Jude Westhorpe, whose half-sister is nearly burnt to death in her bed by someone who was used as a guinea pig for a group trying to see some of what this programming could do. Natasha is already in danger because of her skill with this programming, and from friends who love her but as spying on her, but gets even thicker in this when Jude comes to meet her to try to understand what has happened to his sister. This is an SF thriller and mystical and an intellectual mystery, with wonderful characters. Highly recommended (if you're looking for it, check U.K. sites as it hasn't yet been published anywhere else).

last week's reading § next week's reading


Not this week. No. Alas.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

June - July 1980

1163. Trying to Shine                         June 15, 1980

Th sun tries to shine today, and so do I. My mother is home from potlatching. She got home last night tired and laden with gifts--Humpty Dumpty sat on the spare roll of toilet paper, liquid embroidery, and cups, and a small pot, a cake pan, and a big bucket. Her biggest figt was being there and seeing the dances and feeling not white.

1164. Trying Again                         June 17, 1980

And o yes I failed miserably at trying to shine the last time I wrote. Then I missed a day (a day of rain) but today I tried again. Today at 10:30 my sister gets operated on, how frightening [1], so now I try again to shine. The sun is doing fine, but I am still only at the trying part. The birds oustide do well, as do the rabbits, despite the fact that they didn't show themselves this morning to me. Rising to shine is an art--one that I have no talent at.
     So now I'm staying at Jocelyn's and I'm trying to learn how she lives there, and it's nice but not me, but I stay there. And here is the sun, shining as though it hadn't rained so heavily yesterday. Here is the sun, shining.

1165. Time jumps at me                         June 24, 1980

It's already the 24th and time jumps at me. I'm trying to write a poem and to lose a headache, and I'm trking to talk about eagles and time and what they mean and to get over my laze block,
     It's three by eagles
     watching them huge and dark over me, flying.
     Time jumps me bck o the eagle crouched in the tree
     in he rain and gray wind.
     Time jumps me ahead and I see my eagles in stage, where the year breaks in three instead of four, where time splits in this way and at the same time multiplies and eagles multiply geometrically as Malthus described.
     The eagles, like I can't, move through the seasons and beyond time, living them more thoroughly than I can. And always I see them when I'm moving in a car, and always no one else seems to see them (look there's eagles). There are eagles outside in the dark there somewhere tonight, somewhere in my future where I'll see them too soon.
     Time jumps at me in my
     three by eagles life.

1166. Gray Water                         July 7, 1980

I am out of my mind, and am inhabiting some other place, where the light is unfamiliar, and the noises are buzz like fog horns in the distance. At times I sleep if I do that--if I don't do that I go to some kind of sub place of this. Some thickness surrounds me like water here, though I am, of course, bodiless, weightless, and all. I want to move, but of course cannot, and can only sense what there is around me, in my spot of mind out of mind.
     I am writing from this far place--thinking thoughts without patterns, unable to sort my sense of breathe clearly. Drowning in this place, I am lost and drifting--nothing makes sense and I sense nothing as if it were something that reverberated through what there is of me.
     I am a speaking thing, speaking out of some vast reservoir of language, speaking words that are not words because they are not thought. My senses register things--things of unknown natures, sensed through this thick screen of liquid or of the bar of being thought out of mind. Sound--blurred and distant; sight--all gray; touch--water, warm and insensible; taste--the blandness of gray water; smell the scent of gray water. I am the gray moving through it all--the gray & liquid.


1. Hmm. After this length of time I can't remember what for.

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