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Les Semaines

99.11.14

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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Fogged

All today our part of Seattle has been covered in a mist; we're living in a cloud; we're fogged.

We can watch the wind push it eastward, where it thins and disappears. But here we're in the thick of it. Can't see much but it. Overwhelmed and hidden.

Reading this week's Phonosnout entry was painful for me, as it made me remember the first time in my life I was crazy in love. With an emphasis on the crazy, the blind. I guess the fog was my idea of him and my idea of what love was and my teenage emotions, and add to that the willful blindness of my Christianity, and I was utterly fog-bound. I thought he was god-like. I'd long had a crush on him and couldn't believe he suddenly, out of the blue, returned my affection. I fell hard hard hard in love, in obsession. I threw myself into it in the way you only can do that first time you're truly head over heels. Actually, when I first typed "head over heels" there I typed "head over hells" which is more like what the aftermath of this was. Though the relationship was only a few months long and part of it took place with Paul out of town, it took me three years to get over him and to get him finally out of my life. I was his emotional slave for three years and would have done and nearly did anything for him. Off an on, amidst trying to get him out of my head with other relationships. He kept coming back because he knew I was still crazy about him and would take him back, even if it was just for a brief time.

It took a long time for the fog thin enough that I hated him as much as I loved him then hated myself for still loving him then until I finally felt sorry for him and how small his life would always be.

And when the fog cleared I was left with all kinds of scars and shame and one wonderful thing that made it all worth it: the friendship of his sister, who I can easily say is the person I am closest to in the world after Jim and my parents. A sister of the soul.

And I can remember what it was like to be fully, blindly, and as it seemed at the start, utterly magically in love. It was a new world.

It was worth it.

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

Listening

New disc binge: Ani Difranco to the teeth, Fiona Apple's When the Pawn..., and Heather Duby's post to wire. All are wonderful, but just coming into focus for me, so more later about them, I'm sure.

last week's listening § next week's listening

Reading

For the last part of the convention and for most of the plane ride home I read M. Lucie Chin's The Fairy of Ku-She. This is a story of mix ups between the human and immortal realm in ancient China. I found the plot and magical bits kept my attention, though I didn't find there was enough characterization for my tastes, and when one of the characters became totally, unredeemably evil it seemed so much a plot device that it highlighted how flat the characters were. Still there were parts of it that charmed me.

Once I finished that, I started Sean Stewart's Passion Play, finishing it later this week. Like all of his novels, I greatly enjoyed it--he's good with character, creating real settings, and writing intriguing plots. Sadly, now I've read all of Sean Stewart's available novels, at least until his new one comes out (next month?)

Also finally finished John Bayley's Elegy for Iris, which I started before I went away. This is the late philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch's husband's account of their life together and her Alzheimer's. I've always loved the odd world of Murdoch's novels, so I was interested in to read this. Bayley seems like an odd sort, too, and the picture he paints of their relationship is peculiar; he is very matter-of-fact about her later condition. I would recommend her novels over this, but I did find it interesting.

last week's reading § next week's reading

Writing

Still doing everything but writing (other than here). I wonder how long this will continue?

last week's writing § next week's writing

Retrospective: The Phonosnout

About the Phonosnout

May 1976

412. Empty house and a poem

I'm living in an empty house and it's rather eerie. The silence is rather scantily covered by the radio. Paul phoned a while ago, and made me feel a little less lonely. There's somebody out there thinking about me! What a beautiful feeling. Thank you, Paul; thank you, Lord.
     Here's a poem i just found in an old notebook of mine. I could've written it today, but i didn't (if you know what i mean):
     when i watch time
     it stops.
     How can i find
     music in minutes?
     Maybe is someone
     tried hard enough
     they could hum a few bars.

413. Well, hello

Well hello, i said. Time passes and the Prisoner of Chillon1 is set free. Am i? Will i be set free? Too late, i already have been released. Over a year ago.2 F'rout [quote from Elton John about butterflies flying away omitted]. Except i think i'll return for Paul's phone call this afternoon. Yes, i think i will.

414. Beyond the smile and the words

Well, once i thought i knew you, i saw you and followed you with my eyes, i heard you and hung on your every word. I waited for your smile, and provoked you if you would not laugh. Now i find there is so much you i never saw. So much more beyond the smile and the words. Help me to find what i have not already found and to understand that which cannot be understood.

415. On feeling frustrated 'cause you're not around

You know, sir, this is really getting bad. You're not here and i'm incomplete and cannot accomplish anything. No moves I make seem useful. I could work forever, move forever, do forever, and still not exist until i see you again. (There is no life except in your arms.)

416. So dramatic

Statements now are getting so dramatic, my thoughts centred on two things--The Lord and you. That's all that seems important in my life right now. Everything else fades into the background, even The Seed. This kind of time leads into drama, but i am ready for sleep and not much else. Life can be killed for sleep and drama, i live for the Lord and you. So dramatic. So tired. Is there truth in dramatics? I am so unsure whether my statements are true or just to make myself feel more real.

417. Funny (peculiar)

It's funny but i am never satisfied with myself unless you're here. Or i'm with you. Then i feel i am eclipsed (sort of, if you know what i mean). I feel you accept me as i am, even the faults that stare you in the face. Now i wait for you to call. [Quotes from two love songs that I can't now remember and from Elton John's "I Need You to Turn To" deleted.]

418. Blind

I am blind. In many ways I see less than Mrs. Martelli.3 I am Mrs. Martelli, Passacaglia. I am Lear before rebirth. My eyes only see what they want to see, and often no even that. The Lord is my eyes and through him I see what cannot be seen. He goes beyond the surface, into the shadows that i close my eyes to. [Quote from Elton John's "Come Down in Time" deleted.]

419. Thanks for phoning

Hey you, thanks for phoning, you kept me in contact with reality (and in a way sent me into unreality). I find it easier and easier to fall into thoughts of you, and i'm feeling a little insecure about it. Am i becoming obsessed? Is my only conversation about you? Have i no life but you? What about when you go, do i hibernate? All i can say is thanks for phoning and letting me know you're really there. [Quote from Elton John's "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" about thanking the Lord deleted.]

420. Parents in Seattle

Parents in Seattle, leaves me alone, but 'Chilles4 and Brüne.5 And (of course) Paul. I guess i'm not really alone, it just feels that way. I can't handle solitude most times. Actually, i'm never be alone again, the Lord is always with me. Strange.


NOTES

1. I can't remember who the Prisoner of Chillon is.

2. I'm referring to my conversion to Christianity

3. Mrs. Martelli was the blind character I acted in the play named.

4. My cat, Achilles

5. Our family dog, a Lab/Spring Spaniel cross who looked rather like a border collie. A wonderful dog.

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