Les Semaines


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


Off-Cycle (August 3, 1999)

Sorry this is so late--we had houseguests, and since my study is the main guest room I haven't had good access to my computer for about five days. At times like this that I wish our house were bigger, though a couple of days before when we were doing the pre-guest cleaning blitz I was wishing it was smaller.

I still haven't really settled down. This isn't good, but I guess it's to be expected. And now there's only a little over a week before we head to North Carolina for Jim's Dad's 80th birthday. It's a surprise party, which always sounds funny when I talk about it (I mean, a surprise party for an 80-year-old?) but still. It will be pretty intense, since we don't see very much of Jim's family and he has five siblings, add to that their families, well, I don't much envy Jim's sister who is organizing all this. I do admire her, though.

But our houseguest was Jim's nephew from Baltimore, who is the only relative who has visited us in the last eight years or so, and he's come twice. I really enjoyed seeing him--we're counting on him to help us get through all the family stuff. He's quite sane.

So what's going on in my wee little brain? All kinds of miscellaneous stuff. I keep sorting through our trip to Turkey. Think about how addicted to online journals I am--I find it fascinating to get glimpses into people's lives. Or is this just another time-wasting activity?

Spending some time showing Jim's nephew around I realized once again that we need to get out more--spend less time glued to our computers. We took him to Snoqualmie Falls. They're the falls shown in the Twin Peaks tv series. A short drive away and I'd never been there before. It's pretty and relaxing, though rather crowded on a Sunday afternoon. We also went to Roslyn, since the friend who came with him was a real Northern Exposure fan, and Roslyn is where the exteriors of the show were filmed. Two evenings we drove the 25 blocks or so to the cliffs overlooking the Sound and watched the sunset. That was lovely. Last night's in particular was lovely. And damnit, yes, I do need to do this more often.

So Christina's home in her new home in Taiwan, trying to get settled in, and we're here in Seattle feeling unsettled ourselves.

And there have been thunderstorms all day. Fun, but not exactly geared toward helping me settle in to good behaviour, like writing or anything. Instead I've been shutting down the computer and watching the hail fall.

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


Spent most of the last few days playing music for Jim's nephew and his friend to see what would catch their ears. Sarah Slean was the biggest hit with the friend. I'm not sure what Jim's nephew liked best. Right now I'm listening to Kristeen Young. Loud. Scaring all the neighbours with her shrieking intensity. Suits the storm.

last week's listening § next week's listening


It feels as though I haven't has time to read. The only book I've finished is a re-read of Diana Wynne Jones' The Magicians of Caprona, a great kid's book about two warring families of magicians and how they have to unite to face a common enemy. Diana Wynne Jones is so inventive that this is a delightful read. I was in the mood for something I knew for certain I'd enjoy, and of course I did.

last week's reading § next week's reading


Wrote a new poem this week--or rather, totally revamped, revised, revisited, and reimagined a bit of an old scrap of a poem and it evolved into a new poem. And just in time for a poetry workshop. Imagine that! And I keep saying and saying and saying this, but I need to focus in on the fiction. And since we're going away so soon I can't bear to pick up the novel just to drop it again, so I've started working on a short story revision. We'll see just how far I get with that.

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

February 1976

261. Clouds by Janine

When I look out the window I see clouds in a blue sky. Those clouds remind me of my mind. I am happy but these little troubles keep cropping up. Guess that's life and I'll just have to live it. I am watching the seagulls. Anyone reading this will think I am obsessed with seagulls. Actually it's the freedom which I feel they represent. The trees are blowing
--For the wind loves to play in your hair
And the earth delights to feel your skin--
I am going away, first in my mind then with my body. i am going to stop writing i with a capital. i'm just not that important.

262. Can't do no homework

I can't do no homework. I left all my books at school, and i'm at home. Went to UVic1 today. Watched Roman Polanski's MacBeth. Very gory. Whatever. Shaun gave me a ride--i love his car.2 It's f'rout. Shaun's nice, but just a little too worried about appearances. I find appearances a little too hard to keep up, and very boring. I guess you could say i ignore them. Strange day. Glad to be home.

263. Something must be wrong

Something must be wrong down here in my brain--but remember this way much be my way out. Oh, and i'm wishing you were here...but you're not so i guess i better take the way out and escape to you. I'm sitting in drama feeling lost and found, feeling down and somehow wanting you, whoever, whatever, whyever you are. I wish. I want. Only remember--this way must be my way out.

264. Tale

When i wandered out i once wandered to the hills and caught the view and held it (in my mind). It's still there and i can take it out whenever i want it. I hold this hills in my hand, and the sunshine is caught in the ink of my pen. I'll never let it out. I dinnae ken it when i done it. I've got to find another way out.

265. Like to say (010)

I would like to say but one thing--my zero to you power of ten equals nothing at all [paraphrase from Jethro Tull, I think, it's followed by a quote from Jethro Tull that I now omit about flying away Peter, flying away Paul]. Something must be wrong; i feel strange and my attention span is but two seconds. Something's going to happen, something's got to happen, because something's going to give, i can feel it. Oh wow, i wish i could transport myself away from here, i just want out.
     Please let me go, i'm going to just run out.

266. On suddenly noticing what i've been doing

I feel so unimportant, the least of The Seed. Everybody does something except me. I fight with Paul and Paul to get attention. I want everybody to pay attention to me. I do a lot of acting. I really want to be important to somebody (or something) like Laura is important to Pete. I am confused and beginning to hate myself. To make it worse, i can't cry to make my self-pity complete. Written Friday, February 20, 1976.
     It's been a hairy night.

267. All roads

It has been said that all roads lead on back to Jesus. That is so true--wherever i turn He's there, and i can't escape. I'm not even sure i want to. I want to be safe and secure in His shelter, but i fight Him whatever chance i get. [Quote from a Christian song deleted, about being a pilgrim.]

268. Time for a little instant poetry

I dare say that it's time for a little instant poetry (just add water and stir)
i'm looking
to find an easier road
to lead me to Him
this road
(the only road)
is so hard
that i think i'm going to fall
and i wish that i was all
the way there; home.
I wish i was home.

269. Oh no! (Guess what, Phono)

Oh no! Terrible news! I've done it again! (What? What? Says my mind's eye Phono, dying of curiosity.) I've fallen in glove [sic]3, and am obsessed by the image of a guy.4 I hope you're not jealous, Phono, but right now he's the only thing in my mind and i cannot shake this. (Oh great says mind's-eye Phono, not again.) Sorry, i've been good for a long time (sort of) and it was getting boring--besides, it's getting near spring.

270. Good Things

Good things are going to start happening--i hope, i pray. (Yes i do. I pray!) At home, here in Phono, at school, and 'specially, 'specially in The Mustard Seed. Yay Seed! Yay Seed People! Everyone is so f'rout (that word's getting a little (?) overused). Oh wow! That right road is hearing up way up. (I think.) Up into the sky where all things aren't f'rout and free and close to God. Let it be, yes, let it be.


1. The University of Victoria, where I ended up doing my B.A. beginning the following year.

2. Red two-seater sports car--a Fiat Spider, I think.

3. "Nice glove-y dove-y". Watch the Yellow Submarine movie some day when you're tired and/or in a silly mood.

4. This would be Paul. See last week's Phonosnout for an early assessment of him. Of course, if I only knew then what I learned later I would have run away. Except then I would never have met Christina (she's Paul's sister), and she has been my dearest friend for over twenty years.

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