You want to be awakened but you forget you need to sleep first.
I sleep by a canyon, under the stars, and Desire, the restless child, is in a tent next to me, I can hear her tossing and turning all night. Right before the sun breaks, Coyotes drag me by the hand to a bend where there is a drawing of you. They say that someone who looked like me drew this a thousand years ago. "This is what love looks like," they say. Then they point to my chest, "This is what an old love feels like," they say. And Desire is finally sleeping, but so young, so so young, so many years to go before we can become as still as a painting.
When I wake up I hear the sounds of footsteps, and I see two children running in opposite directions. There's a trace of cinnamon and cedar in the air, they leave scents like ghosts. I'd recognize them anywhere, they're my kids, Desire and Destiny, they still haven't learned how to play together. But one day they will, and when they are both running in the same direction, Ill be as happy as the moon when the earth asked her, "Please will you stay?"
at a senior celebration for Elli, and there are all these awards going out, and I kind of wish I could win one for being the guy who claps and smiles even though he has no idea what the hell is going on (#fatherhood #patriarchy #fightthepower)
I only learned recently that you don't have to read every chapter of the Book of Love. When I started reading only the short paragraphs that spoke to me, I became easier, giving up the forest fire for the sake of a cinder (it’s blue, it’s a philosopher’s stone, it never dies). The book describes a symphony, a single theme with variations, you can hear the music when you look at the notes on the page. I can't read music, I'm a terrible conductor, so this is not my experience. I can't describe what I hear, here where gravity lost interest in time, with a glowing blue stone under my tongue, and no available translation.
The fortune teller (the one who always slips in between waking and dreaming) said this is a box and this box is how you feel when you get what you want but it's in the future and to get it you will have to leave the present forever. And I said if you asked me a year ago I would have given anything but not today I know how I get when I get what I want and I'd rather be surprised because every moment is like a birthday (I didn't tell her this but you know some birthdays are depressing). And the fortune teller said yes but here in this moment you don't know if the future will ever come and everything is uncertain and you are a ghost. Then I will be a ghost I said. She said some ghosts are always hungry. I said then I want to be hungry.
We tried for hundreds of years to tame our animal natures. That part of us we didn't trust because although it was primarily gentle and kind, it was also prone to sudden vicious and hostile fits.
But they took me to the river. I was taken apart and put back together and everything was inside out.
Seeing through the eyes of the animal I am, I am taming my human nature, that human who is usually vicious and hostile but prone to fits of gentle kindness.
My ears are tuned to sobs or laughter, the sounds of waking up, the honey that is the balm of a waking world.
This woman walks out of an alley, disheveled and twitchy, with a dirty tote bag over her shoulder. The bag says HOPE. She crosses the street and grabs a newspaper from under a bush, and then she crosses back and is looking through the windows of parked cars. Hope is a scavenger. That sounds just about right for where we are today. There are all kinds of warriors and all kinds of wars, and that force that knows there is treasure in the rubble is called hope.
The rain drying on the skin. This is what happened to us. I mean this is what it feels like when you happen to me. This is what it feels like when a ghost moves through my bones. This is what it feels like when the sun cones up again the day after the world was supposed to end. This is what it feels like when the background noise finally stops, and like a mermaid into water I dive into sleep.
Summer project: contemporary version of "Paradise Now" called "Serenity Now." Although we would ideally like a revolution, we are willing to settle for shit to calm down long enough so we can take a little nap.
After 50 trips I was getting my heart plated with silver. I would wait on gold because 100 sounds right for gold (I don't really know how things work, how people do things, I just pretend I know). I told my heart the news and my heart asked to see the silver and said it wanted some time. I don't know how my heart works. My heart took a night and the next morning it had taken the silver and it melted the silver and reformed the silver as a bullet. My heart said shoot me. My heart said I'd rather be hurt than protected, that's the best present you can give me. Meanwhile the dog who circles me always (I don't know why, I don't know how dogs work) says to my heart, 'if you could see what I see up ahead, you'd know that the best thing you can do for yourself is to get some sleep. Haha' says the dog to my heart 'go lie down. Now you go lie down'.
I was distracted. Riding down 7th street, other biker coming from the other direction, he gives the biker wave (down low) and I'm distracted. I'm supposed to return the wave, and it kind of comes out as me not so much waving as blowing a kiss instead. Love wins.
waking up from a dream where zooey deschanel is doing a new sitcom that's filmed on location in a sacred temple on a mountain top in peru, and the floor of the temple is covered with chairs, because it's the tradition to bring a chair when you visit in order to represent your butt in some eternal way, but it looks like it's very hard to move around. the producers say that they are not disturbing the temple or the chairs at all, but we all have doubts (and questions).
Sometimes I see traces of myself, hologram reflections in drops of water, and I don't know where the hell I have been. I don't know why I'm so hungry, my skin wants water and sun, enough for who I used to be and enough for who I might be tomorrow. What if we all learned we had reached our own height, and there was no higher we had to get to. What would love look like if we didn't have to get to the next thing. What would love look like if we didn't have to watch our backs all the time. What would love look like if we knew we were just shadows.
The Dog sees the whisp of the Moon on a heating up morning and remembers: Last night I dreamed about you and I always dream about you, and you always look like Lauren Bacall in my dreams. You came into the room dancing, and you wanted to dance with me, and I said I didn't know how to dance, and you said that didn't matter, and I looked at you and said Uh huh this is what love feels like.
Waking up and talking to people who are waking up and we're all pretending like we're woken up and not just waking up. Like ghosts who don't know they're dead yet but they are starting to suspect, we don't know we're alive yet.
I come from a long line of restless strangers who cultivate the desire to be elsewhere. I spent twenty years trying to be elsewhere, wanting to skip ahead to the end of the ride, and today I find myself here, having lived past the predictions for an expiration date. I fell in love with here, though it's not my instinct. I have to learn and keep learning the opposite of escape, an absolute beginner at the art of being. I've heard that when you make eye contact with a dog, the dog is fighting its instinct to take this as a challenge. And over time, dogs learned how to empathize through eye contact, turned an instinct for fighting into an instinct for love. I think I know what that's like. I used to be sure that going against my instincts would erase me. I used to be sure of so many things. Back in those days when I couldn't sit still.
The smell of sprinklers on hot cement at night will always remind me of young love. I'm right back to making out in graveyards, talking about vampires through clove smoke. I've had a good share of things though. So when Elli's boyfriend accidentally takes the wrong keys, and I find myself interrupting a wonderful meeting with a dear friend in order to drive all the way to Lavine and back to get the keys, when he apologizes a hundred times, I say, "no problem," and I really mean it. Because one day they're both going to smile at the smell of wet hot concrete. Because I believe in young love more than anything else.
When I woke up, the Moon was in the kitchen making coffee and the Sun was breathing on my neck and I was so irritated with the Sun that I didn't dawdle I jumped out of bed and went to talk to the Moon. And the Moon said Your irritation is poisonous but your enthusiasm is contagious. And I said You're right again Moon can you stay close to me. And the Moon says Yes and the Moon says Yes.
even in the heat, even in the fractures, even in the ruptures where silence wouldn't come, where silence just kept sleeping, the day was using the sun to write us a love letter; in every nook in every crevice, if we just knew how to look, if we just remembered that we remember how to read the signs, this love letter, the one that begins, "this too, even this, too, is holy, is sacred, is beautiful..."
Elli is learning how to drive. She's getting it, but I still find myself saying things like, "I'm not mansplaining, this is about safety!", and giving her so much advice that I feel like I do when I've been talking too much when I'm teaching; I feel like I have to go home and wash the patriarchy off of me. But there's an interesting point when, after so many little details, I want to tell her about something else; for example, what I do when there's an option to park in a corner spot, how I weigh in the time of day and rush hour and the position of the sun, whatever, and then I just stop. I just stop giving her advice. Because after a point, these little details are things she'll find out herself. And it's alarming to realize that how I deal with these little details will not be how she deals with these details, but in fact, how she deals with them is part of the story that is her story only. Like there's a big story that we're all in (this is the road, it's chaotic and rough and gorgeous, and this is the side of the road, where you can rest), and then there is everything else, all nuance, and somewhere between the big story and the nuance, we are who we are, a collection of connections, a series of angles and erosions formed by repetitions, imprints as well as all those things that we let go.
She was standing on the lip of the sea, the lip is the place where sounds come through, and she said what I was dreaming but couldn't wrap my tongue around, she said: If you look through one side of the window to my heart you will see rain, on the other side it's a desert, but if you could look closer (you can't though because I am a nervous dancer) you'd see that these conditions have caused the strangest things to grow, a most peculiar and delightful garden surrounding my stone of a heart that glows in the dark and casts a shadow on the hottest time of the year, this stone of a heart that remembers absolutely everything.
When the sun reminds you that your bones are a temporary rack for your melting flesh, and the moon is like the loved one you haven't known for a year, comes kissing the nape of your neck until the world turns a silver blue, and you're the roar in the wave, then your tongue has been speckled with the dust of the big bang and there is no such thing as otherworldly, all of this is familiar to all of us, made of the same dust, friends with the same death, and awake with the hunger that comes from wanting to hold the gaze of the moon until we don't know the difference between memory and forgetting.
Miss America is looking so haggard these days, her eyes are all shadows and cobwebs. I remember how we used to think she was innocent, but when the bones here started to speak we learned she was by turns vicious and naive, but she's never got to speak for herself, always spoken for on behalf of some imaginary. Her tongue is knots, run through with thorns, but sometimes in the blazing heat I can hear her, says We're not done yet, our veins are the migrations of the world, circling the heart of the world and we're not done yet, she says I am never so free as when I give myself completely to someone I love, that's what freedom is, she says In cynical times, small kindnesses breed great hope, she says I'm the little boy you keep killing, the one that keeps coming back to haunt you until you remember your promise to me, to keep me safe, to give me a place to grow up, so one day I'll tell you the story about the day that your children couldn't remember what fear felt like.
The Dog is looking out the kitchen window, watching the morning sun begin the day by melting a spoon that was left out overnight. The Moon is behind him, brushing her hair, and the Dog says to the Moon, "Now that was a hot night, last night, I couldn't breathe all night. All niIght I kept missing the nights when you and I couldn't tell our heartbeats apart. Before we became separate, and before we became shadows." The Moon is starting to hum, the back of her throat is coated with honey and she's all hummy from the honey, but the Dog cannot hear because the Dog is wrapped up in his Dog memory, and the Dog goes on, talking to the Moon, "Do you know that ever since, ever since we became shadows and couldn't touch, I count every day as a miracle? Because I thought the world would stop turning altogether when I lost you," is what the Dog says. The Dog is lost in grief and longing. However. The Moon has stopped brushing her hair, however, and she can smell the heat from the Dog and can't stop thinking about how the heat is rolling like an ocean into all the shadowy places, and by now however the Moon is drinking red bull and vodka, and the Moon, however, her eyes are dark and wild, however, building heat like a storm, like a storm, like a rolling storm.
You contain the living and the dead in you but no bones about it you are on the side of the living. Pull back your head/camera and you'll see time doesn't matter, but look at you, in the river of time, you know what matters, your heart is a drum and everyone is the material expression of love
I have music on in the background (always because music) and Elli comes out and says Your music is what insects would listen to if they had radios.
Then your eyes adjust to the light, too much light, and the endless blaze of a day starts to give way to shadows, and you're in too many times and too many places at once, a parking lot by a movie theatre, the middle of a wash where the butterflies are too hot to fly, a bench in front of a Dairy Queen where you plan the next world with someone you love.
I unzip my suit, the one that is all bravery and enlightenment and “I am detached from the things of the world”, and slip out back to smoke. Out here, I am like I am when I sleep, covered with wet feathers, wet with longing and memories, wet with the weight of all I want to do tomorrow, wet like my tongue is wet. I don’t know if it’s a mirage, but it’s definitely written in water, when she walks out and doesn’t notice me until she starts to unzip herself, cigarette dangling, feathers starting to unfurl. We don’t know what to do, not because we are suddenly revealed to each other, but because we both know at the same moment that we are just like everybody else.
at a stoplight, i see myself sitting on a patch of grass, staring at me, this is an earlier version of me, wearing cutoffs, on his way to a grateful dead show, and wow i didn't know pupils could get that big, and i tell me, 'you won't believe me, because right now you know everything, but your best days have just started', and he says, 'i was just going to say the same thing to you'.
I sometimes think I write for me, but I'm at my best when I write for you: to tell you what you do to me, how good it is you're here, what you teach me about light and shadow, and how much I miss you when I can't find you because of all the cobwebs and the glare and the noisy birds.
When the storms come he gets very small, he burrows in between worlds, feet pressing against all the promise in his heart and shoulder blades stretched against the loves that ended too soon. The sky is pregnant and there are lizards in every corner. We passed the hottest part, past the heat of death, and we are edging toward that hot wet secret that brings us back to life. He just can't get small enough, it's not hiding, it's burrowing, trying to get deeper into something you don't know very much except you know that you love it very much and love should rhyme with rain, like they're familiar hands on different bodies.
I like people who are a lot of different people.
i leave the house, with a chantal akerman film playing on my computer. i think nothing of it, but when i come home, jake the dog has moved all her toys into a corner, and is sleeping on a sheet she has spread out on the floor instead of her dog bed. she is surrounded by papers, and i can see she has been working. the first sheet says, 'for sadie's tongue, a thick description, haha,' and the rest of the pages are torments of paw prints.
"I'm just gonna leave this here."
Every day I was Chewbacca in the trash compactor, yelling about the inevitable end and no one understood me, and that was my relationship to time. I wasn't into the long distance or open thing, I had a list of expectations and wanted to make it behave properly when we were out together, but time kept making people I loved get old or exhausted or go away. I was on the edge of almost getting old when I unlearned everything I thought love was, and then I fell, head over heels, in love with time. Love used io be relief from time, but when I'm like this, all under the spell of the moon like this, love and time, I can't tell them apart.
All night long ghosts disguised as trees and wild dogs and love from another century danced my head until I finally lost touch with the waking world, and when the sun was up my first breath was perfume and dirt and wet grass and I remembered that I never fell out of love with the forest and she never forgot me not at all
I had this dream where I was in another country, at a 1am yoga class. The teacher was this woman with wild hair and wild energy and I knew her, but someone in my dream said I wouldn't recognize her until I was awake. The class went really late, it was past 2am, and at one point I was going into a child's pose because I was exhausted and she grabbed me and told me not to lie down but to push through, because I would learn something very important. It made me very angry, but by the end of it, I saw that she was right. When I woke up I recognized her as someone from Plymouth, who did me a very big favor and taught me something important about what it is to push through when you are close to something. So this is an updated diploma, I received it yesterday, with both Plymouth and Transart on it, because I am a graduate of both, and both of these places have the best teachers I've ever known. <3 to you. ps I miss Berlin. ps I'll be in Plymouth for the graduation in September.
Waking up before the sun and I swear I smelled fall for just half a second. Just long enough. Even though it's hot enough to melt a rattlesnake now, it's too late, my heart's already back at school way back there somewhere, sitting behind that girl who's reading a sci fi novel and likes my little cartoons. I'm not sure how anything works, but everything is possible.
Like hearing the dead singing makes you more alive, and how noise brings to relief the silence behind all of this, the world seemed to be constructed by tricks of reverse engineering. Shadow isn't the opposite of light, it's light's lover, the only one who can teach light about its own mysteries. Or like how remembering the last kiss reminds you of the one you loved before you were born. The interplay of tensions that make oppositions crumble.The first initials carved into a tree, the first breath when you open your eyes tomorrow morning, the note the sun wrote to the moon that says "I'll be back, wear something that slips off easy."
On the edge of the city I came across a boneyard on a hill, and these bones were the ones that retain the unspoken things that we really should have said to each other when we had the chance. This is the stormy season when the bones are absorbing the rain all night, and then tightening in the sun all day, and this makes the bones noisy, they are very loud this time of year, and all of those unspoken things are so loud it is a symphony, it's like all the songs about lost love playing at the same time. To me it was not the saddest thing I'd ever heard (although you might think that would be the case because I am not melancholy by nature but I court it because it is so mysterious and beautiful). In fact it was the sweetest song I ever heard, because I sometimes think that we are not so much what we show each other, but the things we hide, the unspoken things, the music behind all of this, the music where the tones are so dense that words just disappear, like a drop of water on a bone in the sun.
I want to get a lizard and feed it pasta so I can call it a linguana.
history was always the collection of those stories that were spoken and repeated, and the things that people had said and things that people had done that got spoken about and repeated about, but then there was that day that i learned that history was also and maybe more so, the silences, the waitings, the things in the margins and outside the proper channels and maybe also and maybe even especially the unutterable and the endlessness and the enduring and the places where hope fell out of the picture like rainwater into a drain, and all of these were gathered like an ocean of swathes of golden fleece, and on that very same day i turned around and looked at my shadow and i fell in love with my own shadow, and my own shadow, i understood, had been in love with me for a long time, had been watching me for a long time, had known silence and waiting for a long long time, long enough to become silence and waiting herself.
If there were a tv show called "Bitch, Please," I would watch it and wouldn't even care what it was about (#letsmakeartfortv).
Dear internet, I'm so glad that REO Speedwagon didn't turn out to be as important in my life as I thought they'd be when I was thirteen , love Chris
Tomorrow night we drive Elli up to Flagstaff to start college. Cue end of childhood music. Begin corny marching band sequence, loud enough to almost distract me from noticing how the horns and drums call forward a thousand ancestor spirits, who remember the terror and the thrill of new adventures (I can't forget the first time I rode a subway in NYC, the heavy machinery for a much bigger world, whose languages still baffle and surprise and seduce me). Note to self: try to avoid playing sentimental montages in my eternal cinema, try to remember her new adventure is hers, because I get to have my own, try to remember she teaches me it is possible to love shooting stars, try to remember it's ok to cry.
Hey you guys I just got back from flagstaff and you know what there are like lots more stars than i thought there were science is right you guys there are so many stars the scientists are right
Having spent so much of my stubborn fears trying to craft a beautiful and brutal reality I could agree with, I discovered that there is nothing like the beauty and brutality of the shifting seasons.
Feathers all over from a hundred angels being blown backward and we find ourselves not from here and especially not now but somewhere in between and you keep thinking you're just hearing and seeing things.
Fireflies and shooting stars and stolen glances and the lifespan of a dog, we're made to fall for fleeting things, and it's no wonder that a rock older than earth falls on us, watches us, and feels so much love for us that it bursts into pieces. "I have stones under my tongue," she says, "and when you sleep I am trying not to turn back into water."
There are tricks of light on all the windows on a morning when fall is whispering sweet little lies. Looking at a NYC street while there's a song playing about looking at a NYC street. Every window is a portal to a past, some are open and some are closed, you can't tell which is which. Some younger version of you would no doubt have tried them all, knowing someone has the password, but today, that's not you. There's a botanica up the street where you buy a charm, this time it's a charm without mirrors, 21 herbs that grow in Puerto Rico right now,21 herbs that grow in NYC right now, 21 herbs that smell like waking up right now. This is your body, it knows the way, it's a map of how true love can write a life, you don't know what happens next, but your body knows the way. Hunger is a clue, silence and stillness are not out of reach, your trembling is a thing of beauty, and there are ghosts in your blood that wont stop singing until you stop pretending that you're making this all up. This is all magic, it's only natural.
in the air, a voice came on the intercom and said, "is there a doctor on the plane?" and i swear the voice of everyone i ever dated popped into my head and said, "chris, don't."
Dog was on the other side of town, the one people here pretend to know, coming into the city. He was thinking, he was a little heightened, he was thinking about art & love & magic, and he said to himself, "Remember how I said I would look for you forever? Well, that's true," is what he said, but looking was hard because his eyes were all wounded and he looked like he used to feel when he woke up angry. But he hasn't been angry like that, not for a long time. "My eyes just need refreshing," he decided, out loud, "but with new tears, tears over something new," he added. Not even thinking they could be tears of joy, that happens to some dogs, and sometimes it even happens to this dog. This was the part of town where there is a dry canal that collects all the messages that the dog forgot to answer. There were more, many more, than he was comfortable with. "Oops," said the dog, and he remembered how his fairy dog father told him once about a Dog Star far away where all the dogs answer every message every time, and how that Dog Star is the most miserable star anywhere, because here, we are those messages that get delivered, the ones that write on us, the ones that get under our skin and stay, and we are also everything that slips through the cracks
Yesterday I was making breakfast and heard myself say "how can you teach when you don't even know the difference between Laertes and Horatio," so I knew it was going to be a hot and yelly day in my head, and it's happened enough where, if I know I'm not quite right, then it's best to withhold all judgement and eventually I will be at the right place at the right time. So when my daughter called me last night, called me from college, and just wanted to talk because she had a hard day, I remembered that this place is magic.
I dream I am at a transart residency in a European city. It's a week or so before it all starts so there are just a handful of artists and the people who manage the gallery spaces. The Grateful Dead show up. They're stopping through and want to play a little set for themselves. Jerry Garcia is carrying five suitcases and I ask him if I can carry anything. He says "sure man carry everything" and then he drops it all. I scramble to pick it up and he laughs and says "no just grab these two bags if you could, that's fine thanks man". All my friends are here. Except it's all friends from different eras. My friend Todd (with black hair) is planning brunch with the band tomorrow but I have to grade papers. And then I see Mindy (with blonde hair), who I haven't seen since middle school. I thank her for calling me out for objectifying women in 7th grade. I tell her that this conversation changed me a little. And I owed her. This makes her smile. I hear Dire Wolf and run toward the stage. Robert (with red hair) is here, and we hug, he says he saw them in the recording studio last night. He knows everyone. And someone brings a plate of food made for us by the band. I grab a burrito with jalapeño and cheese (they are white and yellow and green), it's their favorite food, Bob made these. I wave at Bob and he waves back. He's so nice. I'm eating and my friend is laughing because I'm eating loud and so loud that I wake up, I wake up from a dream where the living and the dead mix freely and everything is symbolic and metaphorical and beautiful and there are extraordinary things happening and I wake up into a world that is just like that
There in the middle of the city on a quiet Sunday morning is the first wolf of the season, come slipping through the cracks. She says Sit still we're all going into the underworld but even there the wind is going to ravage you. Sit still until this tumultuous world is just a tattoo under your tongue. Sit still until you remember when you look into me you are looking into the eye of God
T.I. (Technologically insecure): the feeling that, in no matter what the situation, you know less about how this works than anybody else who ever lived.
by the time i see the 2nd wolf of the season, it's just a little cub coming around the corner and i'd be a fool not to think this is a hopeful sign; the fiery morning gods have already started to pack, their obtuse summer fashions laid out on the desert floor for sorting; and my heart is already beating some pattern about the beginning or the end of time but i can't even wonder where it went or where its going because time is dressed for london, laying out on my porch like a victorian painted lady and all the painted ladies go oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh; and meanwhile i meanwhile am worrying over whether i hurt someone's feelings or someone hurt mine (i can't tell these things apart anymore), and meanwhile i meanwhile have an anxiety playlist in my head that i turn up whenever i feel too too superchill, and meanwhile i meanwhile am wringing out the knots in my stomach like i were my own laundry when that same skinny blackbird comes to my window and says for the hundredth time this century, "nope nope nope you haven't missed a thing.”
Every journey feels like a metaphor, a rehearsal for an escape. You wonder if snakes get thorns in their stomachs before they shed, if the moon turns blue and her sight is crossed because she misses the sun already-still, so you practice what you love about your dog and love fiercely and let go suddenly and wake up in another dream. 'It happened again. Here we are again. Who knows where we are again. Who knows who we are again. Magic'.
Later that same day. You remember the last time you were there or here or wherever but you've never been. You remember how back in those days we were all kinds of crazy, young and invincible and all we talked about was death. You're so nostalgic these days, especially here where you want to be somewhere in the future remembering this moment as the time you fell in love with here. But you didn't know that was what was happening at the time. You keep falling asleep and every dream is the same dream where you're here and you hear someone coming in the other room and you think 'she's home, she's home now, and so am I,' and rainy days are meant for dreaming and you sleep to the smell of something green and full of vitamin d and ginger and dirt and promise.
London's not the beginning nor the end nor the center nor the edge of the world, but enough of these have threads that pass through it that it seems that this is where everything is happening right now, that the absolute now is what happens right here, all the cards of the tarot deck are falling at your feet; strangers on trains and buses know secrets like you do, and if there were just a little more time here, together you might put things together just enough so that you can start living like the dogs who howl at the moon, who don't even wonder if this is wrong or right.
It ends, or maybe it just shifts, somewhere around here. A backstage pass and tesco pomegranate, and I don't see faeries but I see their shadows, they're not gone yet, and I whisper "if I have to spend six months in the underworld, I'd like to bring some books, because I'm curious about things and I like to read when I'm curious, because you know how I get up there, all busy covering myself with barbed wire to keep pain away, but here," (this is a long whisper but faeries are patient, as patient as you sometimes) "just before I got here I removed the barbed wire and everything hurt and I went a little blind, and now I can almost see everything except for a little circle in front of my eyes." (It's a woo girl blocking my view). I continue because I'm not done yet, "and now that everything hurts but it's so beautiful and vivid, I'm curious about everything." They ask me, "like what," and I tell them, but I won't tell you, it's secret. I continue because I'm not done yet, not nearly done yet, I just woke up after all.
Like any astonished people in an astonishing time, we try to close our eyes and turn to stone. If I could paint I would paint you in flowers, that’s what you do to me when you say sweet things. Let’s make magic, let’s fall with the velocity of a dream. We’re all just light and shadow, let me see you in shadow and light, when I see you like that I want to make beautiful things, then time gets groggy and finally falls asleep. Our eyes are open and we see the fire but we also see the water, love is absurd and love is beautiful and absurdity and beauty are as defiant and persistent as flowers.
He is at the table with the Dealer and the Dealer is still a little wet from being at the bottom of the river (and the Dealer is a little rough around the scales from being a mermaid and her scales are not like justice but they are like river justice which is just love), and she says, “I’m sorry your luck is so strange, you always get so many hearts, queens and jokers, not so many diamonds,” and he says, “Oh, if I have bad luck then keep it coming,” he says, “in fact it’s ok if I never get another card again I’ve had my share,” he says, “you’ve given me nothing less than miracles,” he says, because mermaids make his tongue loose. She is not stupid, she recognizes he is playing, the oldest trick in the book is to playfully say you don’t want to play. He however doesn’t recognize what just happened, that he finally stopped worrying over his cards and started paying attention to the Dealer. “I like it when you hear what’s in the background,” he says, “or see what’s in the foreground,” he says. And she just hears the beating of her heart, she just hears the heartbeat of the world, the first sound after the star exploded, you can still hear it today.
So I am in a yoga nidra class and wondering if I’m too anxious these days for the nidra (the Moon crawled under the covers and kicked at me all night all week), but then there is that woman made of shadow and dust and she’s showing me my matrix body and how it’s lines and dots of white light and I see how it’s crooked and I think yep that looks just like me, and when she says haha that’s why the skeleton is a frame and I say haha and my haha brings me back into the room and am thinking yes I love travel I just love it very much I’m so lucky
Someone told you once that you were your fear, and you believed them. Someone else (maybe it was the same person) told you that your heart was gold, and you believed them too. I don’t know how long it takes until you stop believing what people tell you, I haven’t been able to stop it, but on good days I can turn the volume down a little. On those days (those days are these days, the after the harvest moon days) there are ghosts dripping with seaweed and tears, and there are angels with cinnamon wings, and there are hungry mermaids with hearts in their eyes, and there are nervous dogs who need to be held because of the noise outside, and there are healers as silent as fire. All of this and none of this. Do you remember the time we stopped looking for ourselves, when we stopped looking for validation or recognition, that time we started to become citizens of the world?
I wake up from a dream as irritating as an Ohio traffic jam. Leap from that space to go anywhere else and despite me being too ungrateful I walk into a field of glowing light and I am made of light and there in the kitchen is everyone I miss, always growing it’s always growing, and all of it is light. I try to remember the dream but it’s gone, just this light and i meanwhile. I reluctantly fall in love with all of this.
so dog knows this is obvious but, he notices, when he looks at the moon, there is a mirror inside his heart that starts to spin, and there is a mirror inside his head that starts to spin, and there are mirrors deep in his belly and in his throat, and there are mirrors, and they spin, they spin, when he looks at the moon, and he knows this is love. and he also notices that the moon spins when he looks at her, and her mirrors start to spin when he looks at her, and when she looks at him she starts to spin, and it's not even a thing, this is like platonic, this is not a thing, hahah, imagine the dog trying to get all with the moon or vice versa or whatever, it's something more symbolic. the dog thinks. and the dog thinks, we should just all look at each other and make our mirrors all spinny and we'll all be spinny all the time, and sure this is ridiculous, and sure this is tragic, and sure this is dreadful or lost or whatever, but for dog and moon, this is like home, this spinning is home, and all the things glitter and look exactly like they look when you are looking at them, they look and smell and taste and feel exactly like they are, because everything is just like you it glows
when i dream that you're walking up to my door (the dog is excited, and my heart is light), and i can see your feet turning the corner, walking up to my door, i can't help but think something good is about to happen, something very good is about to happen.
idea for mexican-italian fusion restaurant: que pasta
When the faeries on the roof at night turn out to be rats, that mysterious admirer turns out to be your shadow, and the next incarnation is still waiting to be born, you got through the nights remembering the sunset and praying for rain. Don’t forget the sunrise. If you wake up early enough you’ll hear birds that haven’t forgotten your name, you’ll see by your reflection in a dew drop that you’re a whole day older with twenty four hours ahead of you, and you might see the marks on the ground are a new story, that the daughters are writing us a new story.
Even though I forgot the city, it didn’t forget me. For weeks I’ve been seeing notes on walls, and just assumed they weren’t for me, so I stopped reading them. But I woke up in the middle of the night and heard or saw something, I can’t remember what, but when the sun came up even my teeth were paying attention.
We were scared of our shadows, too, until we became them. It’s soon after you change that you discover why you always loved glitter and things that glow in the dark. Why every corner looks like a secret passage to a forest. Why you look at philosophical positions as menus for being, and menus for revolution. Maybe these days they are the same thing. You always were much too big for any structures, they always became your cocoons, and even your dreams for fall are bleeding into spring, and you wonder who you’ll be when the orange blossoms burst. There were two people, maybe three, that you missed for so long that you yourself went missing. But. You come back. You’re not the same but you come back. You come back with circles under your eyes, dirt under your nails, a tremor in your shoulders, and something of a comet in your mouth. You’re your great grandmother’s dream come to life.
trying to teach jake to say 'run-roh' (#postdoctoralgoals)
That war you prepare for always turns out to be a pie fight, or a pie eating contest; let yourself be utterly disarmed, let the cool wave in the morning bowl you over and tumble you like you were the wish someone made on a dandelion last month; the tide turns, your heart is soft, everyone is pregnant, and your dog can’t tell the difference between a star and a shadow; the veil is thinning and both sides sound the alarms; everything you are is a love song.
Everybody let’s all just give each other thundershirts for Xmas this year
you finally got around to moving that one box from the cubby hole into the closet, but found you'd already done it, but don't remember when. so you go outside to wash the window, but it's freshly clean. and your bedsheets are clean, and you're clean, and your mind is strangely calm as a bird who just found a spool of rainbow thread. you are many threads, and a later version of you, one who got through the thing you think you cannot possibly get through, is pulling you forward in time, to a place where all the threads come together. the light that only comes around in these days of the dead is waking you up before the sun, and you want to find everyone you've missed, and say "i'm sorry i'm so sorry i wasn't home i'm so sorry i missed you," but you're home now, and even the moons beneath your nails are glowing
He wasn't alone in thinking that everything up to this point was inevitable, and everything after this is up for invention.
The dead know more about thresholds than anyone, and they know that there is always a mix of the inevitable with the invented, and that one can crisscross back and forth across time and space in ways that the living just can't fathom. There is only one inevitable threshold between life and death, and that one is certainly permanent.
So when the world got bitter, and he was determined to give out candy, he found himself throwing himself out the door and chasing the children down the street. "You have to take this candy," he told them, because it was a generous thing to do, he thought to himself. He was secretly looking for the younger version of him, the one who hadn't grown too bitter yet, and he wanted him to have a little more sweetness in case that might help tip the scale in sweetness' favor. In the morning, he would wake up with candy wrappers leading to his bed, like a trail of breadcrumbs toward another time and place, as inevitable and inventible as death or birth.
Then there was that one day when we discovered that the only thing holding us back was that we didn’t let ourselves believe that the things that were happening were happening to all of us, and we were happening to each other.
That morning Moon is laughing, she says I sang to her all night but I don’t remember I thought I was sleeping. She says she turned my heart into her: a silver compass, a window of chalk, a siren’s map. She says now you have a heart like a dog, that loves the sea enough to make it rock, that loves the ground so much it trembles, that loves the sky so much that when you miss someone it starts to rain.
I’m never gonna be one of those people who give a pillow to their dog. Except I have three pillows and I only need two. Wow that was a slippery slope. (If you give a dog a pillow she’ll sleep for a day)
When the gods who said we were right about everything turned out to be nothing but terrified and well armed versions of ourselves, we grew eyes in our hearts so that we could see and feel when we were close to the old gods, the ones who weren’t the ones we created in our own image, but the ones who knew we were wrong about everything and loved us anyway.
If you think there is magic in everything, you can choose to pay attention to something that might seem dull or lost or resigned, until it starts to sing, and when it sings, you may find you have no way of repeating the song, and you might find you have to make up another way of echoing, and when you echo, you might see that what you are making is very much like if not exactly art.
Love is standing perilously close to the edge of the world, love is the breath between the moment and the narration of that moment, love is a tea ceremony, a furry thing crawling in through the dog door, a cracked cup and a playlist of 80s fitness hits, love wakes you up or keeps you up or touches your forehead until you sleep, a dream and a grave and a story about you.
There is a terrible wind that won't stop, and we can't pretend that this is not history writing on our very bones, For every life stopped short, there is a frantic and furious love that is released into the world, that contains all the unfulfilled tenderness of the years that were supposed to be. Outrage is the response to the call of those love songs from the dead. We can't pretend our children didn't see this, but we have to act so that their children don’t.
it is in the body, the secret, the mystery, is in the body, and the answer to the question, it's in the body, and i could try to speak it, but when i do, it is too late, it is like singing about something that already happened, or trying to describe someone everyone already knows
You want to speak about complex theories of the Other and language and the seven levels of unconscious awareness, but someone keeps filling your mouth with flower petals when you are sleeping, and all you can talk about is love.
these two philosophical dogs, sitting on the edge of the sea, watching a storm coming in, and one says, 'this is all one version of reality that we can choose to accept or not accept, and we can decide not to play by the rules of this particular game,' and the other one says, 'i think we will both be much more interesting in a few minutes when that version of reality is threatening to drown us.’
you're back in that city twenty years later. all of the traces of you are hard to find, but they're there. there are other versions of your circles in the cafes and the galleries and waiting on the corners. when you look for familiar things, familiar things start to show traces, but this won't be easy. you have to decide which traces to follow, based on the ghosts that haunt you the most, or the gestures that feel incomplete.
This horizon, reminding him of the place before fall(falling), empty, empty in all directions except for a dot that could be a flock of birds, or the wave that's bringing in the flood that starts everything up again.
There's always something (someone/something) almost just not quite right behind you, that lost friend you never said goodbye to, or a stranger, or maybe it's always both, the ones that are always covered in glitter for each other are always strangers for each other, like we recognize the glitter in the pupil and try to fall into that, and that's why it's such a good idea to fall.
We let chance and coincidence become our gods, and opened ourselves to accidents, ridiculous and untenable situations, a lifetime without social or monetary affirmation that anything we did was the right thing to do, and a constant stream of events in which we met the most interesting and beautiful people in the world, who shared our gods but called them by different names.
i identify as a haired person
I'm talking to the moon on the night before the longest day of the year. It's been getting brighter and brighter for months and this is just impossible. This has been wonderful and terrible, I say (because I want to be diplomatic with the moon because the moon is moody sometimes), but can we have just a little more shadow. The moon is looking thoughtful and the moon says (this is in my head, it's not like a real voice, I mean I'm not crazy), Yes I think these things can be arranged.
Actually, I lost the scent, and even forgot the face I was looking for, and I couldn't trust the sun (too sunny), and the moon went all invisible (typical). I remember my friend talking about faith, and she said how it was a decision, to let the wind go out of the sails, and become that thing that lives in between the land and the water.
Even if you never had a name or found a body, I would still have spent this lifetime looking for you.
And when they sleep they play each other's chakras like a xylophone; the flesh and the bone and the spirit all come together in the breath, at least for the living (only the dead know how it works for them). "This, this, this is what love does to me, and this, this, this is what the song of the world sounds like when you play me.”
We're riding on the back of an elephant, in silk pajamas. The stars are all falling at once and humming a song we almost remember. There's cardamom and coconut and hot pepper in the air. "Three months ago we were having coffee, and now look at where we are." "Sure," I say, "but this is just a dream." "But the same dream," she says, "we're having the same dream at the exact same time.”
remember that feeling you had for the first time when you were riding in the car with your parents, going up north for the first time, after a long summer, and you all stopped for gas, and when you got out of the car, the cool air and that smell hit you for the first time? and do you remember when it was thursday and it was october and it was this morning and you had that same feeling and it wasn't for the first time except it's always for the first time? and repetitions and reminders of the first time always feel like the first time and maybe that means that this is really always the first time this time this one here is always the first time
When she ordered a glass of salt water, I knew this was the beginning of a great adventure.
in the morning the water was just receding and the floors were still wet, by afternoon it was so dry i thought i'd just imagined the whole thing, but when the sun started to set, the water would start to rise; when i came back, it was into a flood; i kept looking for patterns in the dirt that told me about how this worked, but really, it hadn't happened before; every play or novel or film fell short, and we were given the task of having to make it up as we went along.
on the train, staring without getting caught, trying to find out if anyone here has a clue of what it was like to waltz before the war.
but it came as a surprise when he woke up and saw that her name was taken off the list of things that had been resolved, and moved to the list of things that hadn't happened yet
Someone says something. Something like, "The first time I saw you...," or "You smell like...," or "You remind me of...," & you just know, somewhere down the road, they will leave bites and scratches on your body. The book of love starts to write on us long before anyone draws blood, the skin starts to receive long before anyone utters the word.
It seems as though everyone eventually starts to look a little bit like Leonard Cohen.
oh and a thanks gavin, i’m on my way to berlin to do a trial of my thesis defense so here are some thesis jokes
Did you hear the one about the guy who quit drinking coffee while he was working on a doctorate? No of course you didn't because No One Ever Does That.
doctoral thesis writing, typical daily agenda
5:30am - wake up thinking about dragons for some reason, meditate, drink coffee, light breakfast to get a start on the day.
6-7 - set up desk, organize notes, open video editor, and lay out clips.
7-8 - daughter to school, and jake to dog park
8-9 - go forth into writing with unbridled joy, hit small snag, put head on keyboard and cry a little bit.
9-10 - bigger breakfast, to get a bigger start on the day, nap. miss loved ones.
10-1 - more coffee, write furiously, tell yourself you will go back and rewrite everything.
1-1:30pm - start to remember that you have five emails from last night that you have not answered, also realize you will have to rewrite everything, put head on keyboard and cry a little bit.
1:30pm-2:10 - lost time. randomly hugging dog, learning esperanto, missing your loved ones
2:10-2:21 - do some nagging task, like washing your boots with a wet paper towel, a task that obviously has not really been nagging but just snuck into your head.
2:20-4:30 - go to gym or do yoga and come back and eat a third breakfast.
4:30-5:00 - what starts as a power nap turns into something bizarre and involves lost time.
5-8pm - magic
8-10pm - collect notes, organize the day's work, set video to render.
10-10:30 - remember that you forgot to have dinner! but you had three breakfasts so it is ok.
10:30 - remember the emails you forgot
10:45 - find something with will farrell in it and watch it.
11:30 - try to read self to sleep except it's the book that answers the first snag. hug dog, miss love ones, realize the paint splatter on the ceiling looks like a dragon, fall asleep.
Before you travel, you start to disappear a little, the shadow that follows you starts to go on ahead of you, and every action feels like sweeping.