Les Semaines

September 9, 2007

what I'm thinking and doing § what I'm listening to § what I'm reading
what I'm writing § retrospective: old journal

 §

Broken

Back to work. It feels like I never left. Except I'm broken, and can't remember how I used to do things, how to concentrate, to remember to turn on the alarm on my clock(!!) Really, it's very sad: I've only been back to work four days and have been late twice.

My brain hasn't worked well this week at all, to do anything, even at home. I'm disoriented everywhere. I need to get used to weekends zipping past, not enough sleep, trying to stay awake at the computer, and having to leave the heavenly loveseat when I have Sophia curled against my feet and Atia asleep in my arms.

Somehow it just doesn't seem fair. I hate the world.

I've been loving my walk in from my neighbourhood parking spot to work in the morning. It's not the most beautiful route or anything even though it is on a trail, but just being out in the morning air this time of year is delightful and I can see the lake (and enjoy walking under the Interstate--sometimes I pretend the Interstate is a river).

So I'm struggling along, trying not to get washed away in the tide of all the To Do. I will keep my head above water, stay cheerful, and remember to play stick with Atia and shake Titus' favourite toy for him (we call it the crack toy because it's the one toy he absolutely cannot resist), and make Sophia put up with being touched.

Oh, and I'll write. I will. And I'll get that damn novel out the door.

Argh.

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Listening

I got the new Ani DiFranco CD Reprieve via lala.com, and much to my surprise I think I like it. I haven't really loved anything of hers since Dilate, so I'm very happy about this.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

Esther Friesner's young adult novel Nobody's Princess is a fantasy about the early life of Helen of Troy, when she was a young princess in Sparta. Here, she's a fiesty young girl who despises women's skills and sneaks away to learn fighting skills. When her sister marries, she contrives to go with her, and from there on begins a series of adventures worthy of any hero. A fun read.

Siobhan Dowd's young adult novel, A Swift Pure Cry follows the story of a teenager growing up in a small town in Ireland. Her mother has died, leaving her with her troubled, newly religious alcoholic father, who has given up his job to collect donations for various church charities. She's in charge of her younger brother and sister. When she finds herself pregnant by a local boy who has since left for America, she hides at home, and things become more complicated and frightening than she could ever imagine. An interesting well-told story.

Helen Frost's young adult novel (told in verse!) The Braid is an evocative story about sisters separated during the Highland Clearances. One hides and goes with her grandmother to live on a small island and the other goes ont he ship to Canada with the rest of their family. There are trials and adjustments for both--the worst being the death of two siblings and their father of cholera on the ship on the way out. Despite this being told with line breaks, it's highly readable even for the poetry-shy, and evocative of the times and emotions involved in the drama of real lives, though the characters involved here are fictional.

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Writing

Still in a writing funk and got a poetry rejection. Woe is moi. Whine, whine.

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Retrospective: old journal

April 24, 1994

Landscape for Henry

What is closest passes most
quickly; what is farther is slow,
etched on a skin that doesn't
heal as quickly as health
would allows: there's a small
and empty box of sadness
in the hollow of my chest
that requires intermittent,
tend care, that needs occasional
silent notice, the light of my
own gaze. And there's that hill
I want to look beyond, but
nothing passes and the train
I'm riding passes/runs parallels its
ridge line. That's the rise I inhabit
as clumps of spring grasses knot
the side of the rack near to me
like the noisy punctuation of the tracks in a speedy song.
The line of the hill
dips and rises--it's the horizon line
and it flowing out like the long slow
turning notes that shape the song.
It's sad in that hollow, but the hill's
rise and fall is in there turning that flowing
edge slope into a gathered story taht
I know can tell. It doesn't make it happy
but it does make it known.

[Drastically revised, this became "A Course in Sadness" in Blood Memory].

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