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Les Semaines

02.03.24

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

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Sick Again

Sunday night after I finished the taxes I started feeling a little weird and sinusy and shivery. Monday at work I felt the same way, though a little worse. Tuesday it was worse yet, but I still managed to cope with getting myself to and from work. Wednesday, I was sick. Fever-y, sneezy, coughy, exhausted. I stayed home from work. The status stayed the same until late Friday night, then the fever finally broke. Saturday I was coughing and tired but human again. Dammit, I can't believe I got sick, twice in a row. I vaguely remember something like this happening last year. Argh. Anyway, today I feel quite human but don't have any stamina to speak of.

And in the midst of this things with Jim's work situation are getting worse and worse. He has a crisis month to deal with, but is hoping that things will be okay at the end of April, after he's dealt with two big moves, horrible updating and offloading of the archives without help from his former co-worker whom they were hoping to contract for this time but she has just discovered that her mother is ill. Poor Jim. And now he seems to be getting my cold. I hope it's just allergies and stress and it will go away. Sigh.

So most of my thinking and doing has had a lot to do with sleep and kleenexes and trying to get warm enough. Not very entertaining. I have no wonderful dreams even to tell, though I do in The Phonosnout. I did phone my mom twice, though.

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Listening

Music has hurt my head this week. Ow ow ow.

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Reading

Before I got sick I read Dan Simmons' second volume in the Hyperion Cantos, The Fall of Hyperion. I had a little less engagement with this volume as it scattered its energies a bit--the first volume had given solid chunks to each of the important characters, while this volume added other characters and kept switching between them all so it didn't have that deep hold with each character that the previous volume did. Still, it was a fascinating tale and I loved how it drew in poetry and philosophy and a sophisticated story. Fascinating conceptually and richly imagined. And now I gather there are yet two more volumes in the series.

I also read Jack Dann's Counting Coup. This is the story of a schmuck who meets up with an alcoholic Indian medicine man and he two of them set off to fix things--on a binge stealing cars, abandoning their lives (well, sort of), robbing liquor stores (again, sort of), driving south. It's an interesting story. I hate reading about schmucks but there was something different about this novel, perhaps because of the addition of the native spirituality angle of it--the truth of the crazy spirit. I wouldn't say it was my favourite novel ever, but it was well worth reading.

After that I had no brain cells. I tried reading the novels I had out from the library but they just made me antsy and made my head hurt. So I re-read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (see my July 23, 2000 entry for my first comments on this one). They were fine entertainments in between bouts of fever.

Then I re-read Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, which alas didn't entertain me that well. Somehow it felt flat and preachy this time rather than wondrous. I hope it was just the way I was feeling.

Then I had the urge to re-read Sheri S. Tepper's The Song of Mavin Manyshaped, and The Flight of Mavin Manyshaped and am in the midst of The Search of Mavin Manyshaped. These are the story of a shapeshifter in a land of magical game where she first must escape her horrible circumstances and rescue first her brother, then her sister, and then her lover. Yes, these are wondrous and so richly imagined and carefully told. They are really delightful. I'm just loving them, getting lost in them. They're exactly what I need right now.

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Writing

Hah! I can't believe I managed to get this journal entry written.

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Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

Spring 1982

1275. The Chinese Written Character [1]
March 3, 1982

The way one must love words is so endless.
The tyrannical devotion of language to yourself
yourself to language. The written character
is a medium for poetry. Your life
is a medium for poetry.
There are things that could be questions

1276. A Note About a Dream
May 5, 1982

Over a week ago I dreamed I was a witch, and that I had trained a tiger, who ran with me. The dream included flying to prove myself against disbelievers, charming the animals to run below me, and right beneath me, with an almost sensible tie, the tiger. I also remember him lying beside, while I stroked his heavy head. I remember his thick fur, his breath on my hands.

1277. And spring in Missoula
May 5, 1982

has almost arrived, the wind is often warm and there have been sunny, almost summer days. The trees are finally, finally beginning to put out leaves, and the grass is alive. There are birds, too, though not many, but they sing.

1278. Dream
May 10, 1982

Last night I dreamt Mother (today her birthday) and I were walking or driving down to a stream (very green that had cut a deep ravine). Coming up the other side, we suddenly met some wild dogs (wolves?) that chased us back where we came from.

1279. Fragments
May 16, 1982

I have it now: the slow breath
I turn into, waiting, tasting
the pulse of the land. Spring,
and I've come from the fields

Let me explain: it's the difference
between words, between rock or
stone. The difference is feeling.
Am I saying too much? Let me
show you:

1280. Want to Say
May 24, 1982

I want to say "and now I'm someone I have never been before." I've been thinking about belief and how it creates something, and how I don't believe in anything, even that I don't believe. Saviours.

1281. What I have to do
May 26, 1982

To construct a world:
Begin in rain, in some season
you admire. The rain can be
the end or the beginning
of sleep, best to be both.
Best to be soaking the crumbling
logs in a rainforest, bringing up
fresh saplings in chill weather,
patches of snow on the ground
signalling late spring or early
winter. Let there be wind,
cold wind, waxing or waning
with cold, gusting through
the trees, scattering twigs.


NOTES

1. Fenellosa's book, promoted by Pound, The Chinese Written Character As A Medium for Poetry.

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