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Les Semaines

99.03.07

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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Resuscitating Joy

How rapture gets smothered in dailyness. I heard that phrase on the radio earlier in the week and my thoughts have stuck to it as though it were flypaper. It seems to be about everything in life, from the love of living, to relationships, to work, to writing, to reading, to listening to music, to, well, everything.

Maybe rapture is too strong a word to begin with. Delight might be better. But still whatever it is, smothering isn't too strong a word for what happens to it.

So once you get tired of constant change, how do you get past or prevent that smothering?

One way to look at whatever it is more closely, and to see the particulars in each part of it. Or to simply give yourself space from it. These both sound charmingly vague don't they? But to go into an example seems even worse, and I feel certain it would sound like a letter from an agony aunt (Dear Abby for anyone not familiar with this term which is so much better, isn't it?). So anyway, no examples.

You'd never guess from this that I detest platitudes. I don't know. Maybe I shouldn't try to discuss things like this, especially here, but this is one way I've decided to get past the smothering I sometimes feel in my life--to look at bits of it more closely through writing about it. Anything to get past the boredom that threatens to turn us all into hunters of the Bright and New.

We've got an unexpected houseguest right now for about a week and two others waiting in the wings. That stirs things up. Luckily the current one is low maintenance and is trying to write tonight himself. Jim's proofreading the book I just finished the layout for.

So now I'd better get back to the story that due today. I promise not to be so abstract next week.

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

Listening

Three new discs from Norway this week. Two are by Kari Ruselâtten, and by Ephemera. The strange thing is that I really like one of the discs by Kari Ruselâtten and the other just leaves me cold--it's way more pop-sounding, while the other is more rough-trad.-folk oriented, but they're both basically pop/rock discs. Funny the difference there.

Oh, and I do like the Ephemera quite a bit. I knew I would, though, as the friend from The Netherlands sent me a tape of them with the Bloem de Ligny she sent me.

Also another friend located two earlier discs by Kristeen Young for me. Amazing how much they sound like what's she's doing now--just as good. And a fun rock group called Frogpond. Delightful to play loud loud loud.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

It has been a slow reading week because I've been busy with other things. I read one short novel, Dorothy Heydt's A Point of Honor, which was a fun, light read. Since then I've been slowly working my way through Brook Hansen's The Chess Garden, which I am enjoying but regret that it's a head rather than a heart novel--in other words, you're told about the characters but can't really feel them.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

It has been a frantic week, with a non-writing (the book design) chore dominating most of the work week evenings. I've been doing these books for years and this somehow seemed the most awkward one to put together--or maybe it's just my mood, since I have so many other pressing things to do.

Also, found out on Friday that a friend got a big Canada Council grant and I was very pleased for him because he very much deserves it, but I knew immediately that I hadn't gotten mine, and sure enough came home and the letter was waiting. Sigh. Maybe next year. It would have made such a difference financially, especially this summer, and might have made taking some time off work possible. I know I've received several small grants and they've been wonderful, but a big one would obviously make a bigger difference is what I can accomplish. And of course there's all that "is my writing only worth a small grant and not a big one" thinking. Well, anyway, as I said in email to my friend who did get one that next year will be an even better time for me to apply, especially if I get accomplished what I hope to this spring and summer. The Canada Council deadline is October.

So I'm polishing the short short that I started this week and trying to finish another short story for a crit group, a story that was due today. Sigh.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

February 1975

86. Wish a Song

I wish i could write a song. That's all i can think about today. The sun is shining (finally) and the snow is almost completely gone. It's the perfect day to write a song, to wish a song, but i just can't write one. I can think one i've heard on the radio, but that's not good enough. I'm going to have to do better. Wish a song!

87. On being not too terribly thrilled

I'm not too terribly thrilled today (who, me?). This is pretty boring, classes that is (Classes? What classes?) Nothing exciting is happening, except when the sun is out, and the sky's blue and the teacher just gave us two sheets on how a bill becomes law, and that's really exciting, isn't it not? Anyway, as i said before no one has done anything exciting, and nothing exciting has happened on his/her/its own. Maybe something will happen in my (ugh!) double biology, or the council meeting.

88. On being a secret judge

Well, something interesting happened yesterday, our president of council has asked me to be a secret judge for the Miss Valentine contest for the dance. The dance is this Friday. I'm going, mostly so i can write about it (Oh? More likely because she's got somebody on her mind.) Shush! Anyway, i have a list of competitors, and i have to watch them for personality mostly, and other things, then i decide who i think would be the best Miss Valentine. I don't have any idea who i'm going to decide. (Decisions, decision.) Really, i was very flattered to be asked.

89. Bi-quiz

Oh no! Another quiz. "Help" i cried rather rowdily. I blew it! So badly that i lost track of how many questions i got wrong. I am so mad. I am going to have to smarten up or fail biology. I don't know why i'm in here. I hate biology anyway, but i guess it's a good think i took it, because i might go to university1 and it has made new requirements and i need a grade eleven science to enter. Biology's better than chemistry or physics.

90. Cozmozoic Theory

Do you know what a cozmozoic theory is? I do, at least now i do. My Bi teacher told me. It's the theory that life on earth began by someone dropping it (us?) from a spaceship. Great. I wonder if there really is a biology answer for how we were made (How do we get here from there?) Maybe th whole answer is psychological. With my luck it is.2

91. Sitting Here

It's quarter to eleven at night, and i am getting very sleepy. The TV's going (when isn't it?)3 and i'm just sitting happily and sleepily in my corner. 'Chilles cat is getting rowdy, which means it's bed time, try to get him to sleep time, and i heeding the call so... good night.

92. Good morning

It's going to be a good morning, afternoon and evening if it kills me. It probably will. It's "sort-a sunny" out, that is the sun comes and goes. It's cloudy and it might rain, but i hope not. That's enough of the morning weather report [Quote from Simon and Garfunkel's "Only Living Boy in New York" deleted.]

93. Death-poems

Everyone has read death poems today. I wonder why. Is this such a deathlike day that poems have to be read about it? I don't feel dead, i don't need death poems today on the day i am awakening to live. Is this fair to me? They could stop all my progress and where would i be? Back where i started, that's where, maybe i belong there, but have i ever stayed where i belonged? Maybe i don't want to belong there, to be there. Did anybody ever think about that before they began to read their death-poems?

94. Poem/Song Following

As song passes to song, my mind passes and slows, following the poems that i see and hear today. Does that sentence mean anything? That first sentence there. It sounds a little poetic, but i don't know that it is, or that it was meant to be. Is there really anything in it, are the poem/songs really there? Who can tell? How to tell? Think hard, i say, have you no reply?

95. Questions, quality questions

This certainly is my day for questions. Socially significant ones of course. They have to be up to certain standards. There are even rules of quality for questions in case you didn't know. You mean you did know there were certain standards for quality in questions? Just exactly who do you think you are?


NOTES

1. Interesting. I always thought I was more certain about going to university than that. I wonder what I thought it would do otherwise?

2. Mr. Munch, my writing teacher, has written HA! here in the margin in pencil.

3. My parents turn the TV on for the 6:00 news, and it stays on till my father goes to bed. That doesn't necessarily mean anyone's watching it.

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