09 December 2009

for the books

"It is “simultaneously stable and unstable,” “loud and soft,” “a single tension that carries countless tensions within it.” *



rounded lines



30 November 2009

23 November 2009

songs for...

right about

22 November 2009


color and tissue paper and I would add cellophane.
flowers on strings.
created by Scout Holiday.


The answer is hyper-collecting. It is time to compile and sift and re-sift until something emerges that is "entirely" my own.
Sure. Why not.
The following will be moments of transition, from some log following a myriad of things and sudden insight, to, for a while at least, my inspiration board.
A prayer of sorts, a touchstone to remind myself what I'm looking to see explode in a calculated manner from my fingertips.
On vera.

01 November 2009


Even though this advice was prompted by the familiar battle this time of year,
I would categorize it as advice for life,
every day in the cold months,
with only slightly modified vocabulary
for the warm{er} ones.
Hope everyone had a lovely Halloween.
Favorite costumes?
How about this one:
A polluted river
what our rivers will look like if we don't stop polluting them.

23 October 2009

for the frustrated mind

"When I say beauty, I mean just the reality and openness to everything."
~Jeff Koons
"... like walking through the forest in the evening, and then the sun finally sets completely, and your relying on the light that was there to navigate through it. It's the moment when your aware of the absence of light."
~Mark Bradford
"It starts with a postcard. I put two of them together and try to connect them. It's fun to imagine what might lie just beyond the edge, but them you work yourself into a no-exit situation where you have to make up something. You might say I make settings for these found objects."
~William Wegman
"We're so used to finding anything in abstraction. If your mind wants to find something, you can find it in almost anything. It's like people finding Jesus in a slice of toast."
~Julian Lethbridge
Can you guess what all these words are speaking to? Now, as the sun finally steals through the thin, crimson leaves during the last few moments of an afternoon like any other? But it saves, somehow, the sun. It saves and it draws a person out of a multi-walled house, out of a multi-dimensional mind rife with frustration and words coming from every which way.
They all apply to a theme present in the everyday, the mundane and the extraordinary. They
apply to something that might or might not necessitate the human consciousness.
The answer might be found in November's Vogue, as well as the accompanying tableaus.
But perhaps it is more fun not to look, not to go looking.
Rather to just feel it for yourself and make it be what it needs to be
for you
in this moment
before the sun draws you back out
or in

12 October 2009

This is October, After Twelve Steps

Legs feel like walking sticks with those exposed, knobby joints. Nights fall swiftly without much warning. Lists grow longer and more obtuse as I grow languid in the listing process of writing one line down, then another, and another... Nine is the morning's desired hour to stir me from darkened, cavernous dreams. I read somewhere that people don't look forward to dreaming anymore. Dreaming is all I look forward to. Well, not really. There are others, too.


Letter writing.

I was struck last night as I lay in bed, gazing absentmindedly across the open room which lies past the foot of my bed {a queendom, kingdom without a king, as I also recently read}, my eyes lighted upon the letter, folded into three rectangular portions, two kinds of stationary, one plastered atop the other, pale pink under the other's eggy watercolor. Pen just dry, papers yet to be stuffed into envelope, address yet to be scrawled, I realized I had forgotten these words had not reached the eyes meant to read them. I sat there, doggedly, assuming she who would had already... read and received. Ha! So much for unconscious conditioning at the gaping, grasping, invisible tendrils of technology. And the finite action of handwriting, delivering a psychological push to those words, stronger yet less definite than the mail carrier's easy abandonment when releasing said letter from the grasp of red-cold fingertips in a few fine October days.


Filling Burners.

Stirring the contents of multiple frying pans and brews, letting one sizzle and another simmer, going for a walk and coming home to the smell of each single endeavor, noticing their points of intersection, letting the steam cloud together... In short, many new ideas on the horizon, soon to be making the shift to physical form.


Peering into Corners and Retrieving

ways to fill the front of an envelope, so that the letters fall across the page in a sweeping fashion, like ribbons fall accidentally out of the hair or slip noiselessly off the waist, settling in greeting on the ground used by the lively and the adventurous for day-long endeavors unhurried by the grinning approach of night.

05 October 2009

oh my.

Well, career aspirations suddenly modified, I suppose I'll just have to create something as exemplary in terms of photography, food and the presence of Ruth Reichl myself. Help greatly appreciated. Unfortunately, nothing will replace the historical significance.

01 October 2009


Oh the merits of being awake to that realm called reality, and that little subcatagory called...

oh yes.


Pop culture, to be exact, for pop is precisley what I must exude in produced material, personality and presence in my new office environment. Cracking jokes, casting puns, wryly observing our surrounding environment... All great fun. I sat at lunch today, observing and listening. I felt like nothing short of a sponge. Adapting to new energies and perspectives is no easy task, yet a healthy one.
Image via Nerd Boyfriend.

29 September 2009

a few thoughts from closed eyes and open ears


Knowing it's time again to watch this

Looking out to a dramatic sky

Thinking about New York

And sentiments of I wish I were there

And rediscovering my love for design

Experiencing the cryptic messages of the universe

Telling me exactly what I need to hear

When I question yet again why I search through words

Or what for

And feeling a buzz from this

Because I always get some kinetic energy

Of the possible sort... and the idea of the art

Of acting.

27 September 2009


And I am seriously unabashed.
Even when it comes to the name.
Which came from a cocktail.
Again, unabashed.
{Although for this sentiment to be valid I should probably stop insisting}

26 September 2009

thoughts from footsteps retraced


Find something to live for.

Abandon yourself to it.

I hope a part of that something, is yourself.

Learn how to abandon. Learn how to live with abandon. Learn the boundaries of abandon. Test your own boundaries of abandon.

Walk. Run. Cycle. Do this until you reach a spot you once occupied on a geographical map. Then take out the psychological one. Remember. Feel it, the space, the moods. See it, from the height you were then, from the curtain of thoughts through which you peered at that point in time. Get closer. Look inside through the windows that haven't been replaced. Note the paint, always the same color.

Recognize the similarities and examine the differences. There are so many kinds of trees, houses, books, humans, animals... Yet we are all doing the same thing, by different methods. We are being. We are being for others. We are being for what we are, for the Self.

Don't try too hard. Have nothing to do with the overwrought. Yet there is no room for complacency, either. Integrate yourself into the space around you. The place you occupy is the one deserving of your attention. Look ahead, but hold the moment's hand.


Naomi knows how to live with abandon. Precise abandon. Her art--books, watercolors, installations--is an ongoing shrine to the larger aspect, contained and extracted from her mind and body.


I want to ask this question to everyone:

What do you do when you need to look up? That is, what is your go-to, sure fire, way to combat the despondency and doldrums?

22 September 2009

morning. 13.

Drop down, crossleggedly arranged on the floor. The blue of the oriental rug a sea of flowers and vines supporting my mass like a web or a net or a song. On this morning I keep breathing in the wind of an overcast day and wondering about covering my feet in soil from the flowerbed or by the cornstalks so I can grow taller and see above it all.

Let me elaborate.

Above the cloudy din of mechanically moving limbs and wheels and cogs and minds, above the expected, the understood and the explored.

So they say, she won't have grown among those explorers and adventurers, but she will have wished to -- and so her consciousness of a lack, of a space to fill, gives her a boost and perhaps will help her personally realize her positionary, reactionary dreams of a heaving alleluia outlined in that blue found in light and in deep breaths and slow afternoons and elegance.


Up, down, to the side. Seamless lines of polished wood. Strong, not yet weathered, or perhaps just beautified for the weekend. Sparkling waters deeper blue than skies. Victorian lives perched on windblown cliffs and main street store-fronted by idea translated to form. And that ivy remembered from the co-op as if from a dream. With each bend opening to a valley half moon of grassy farmland, red barn and sheep or cow or horse.

Breath continually caught between memories slipped and held fast. A lot of fog, a bit of rain then not as now. Silly projections of my own life and blurred vision of my golden hair and tanned complexion in the side view mirror. Turn to the green forest to combat those watery blues. Rise up, they encircle the depths, lead the way and protect from land but never from skies. No, never from skies which might turn blue to grey and soon, fast and expectedly yet unstoppably, to black.

Can it be things passed me by then as if I were a child? Everything was circular with an origin of fear and love -- a circumference of protective cloud barrier and starry interior liable to evaporate upon departure. Once that barrier is broken the wailing outlives the song, but eventually, if you think strongly enough and in the right vein, the song comes back, this time for permanence, as in "I-won't-let-go-of -your -hand" line of thought. It might even become something of legend. Treat it well, then, and with the light heart of comic verse and a capella.

07 September 2009

change your escape

"I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change."-- Jim Rohn
Change can be thought of as escape, yet why do we feel the need to escape in the first place? What are we really escaping from if only a self-imposed and believed perception of things? Although reality can't be denied and escaped from by evasive dreaming--confronting a problem and living in the moment demands such clarity of perception, if such a thing exists--any present state is still a living state (unless besought by a fatal and debilitating illness of a certain kind) and thus escaping becomes something layered upon living. To escape from a current state of being, semi-permanent and sometimes referred to as real life, is to escape from a chosen situation which is not obligatory. Where an escape is needed, is happiness present?
On the other hand, when change is needed, perhaps it would be easier to execute if thought of as escape. I believe we have at hand many different coping mechanisms, including the ability to romanticise and alter perception and create spin in any given state or situation. We all live in our own sort of dreamworld, we all perceive the same "realities," assuming they are real and have a static form outside our perception, differently. And thank goodness. Sophie wrote a bit about perception and writers recently in a biting response to part of New York life. Writer or not, we all do the same thing. And so what if instead of looking upon change as a terrifying leap or an event sure to result in deterioration of the self, it was thought of as another great adventure, an escape if you will. What then?
And with that I'm off to Crescent Lake.

30 August 2009

Where to go from here.

So I am supposed to write about that which is the object of my passion(s). I am supposed to write about that which is the recipient of my desires, which is the butter to my bread, the blood to my heart, the frosting to my cake, the Simone de Beauvoir to my Jean Paul Sartre...

In short, I am supposed to write.

When Ernest Hemingway was 22, Paris provided him ample acreage for roaming and plenty of empty chairs to occupy next to the likes of literary luminaries on the verge of lighting up the city with their ex-pat glow polished in the hours spent practicing their verbiage and intellectual mind games that seem to make life more important, if only for the moment.

I've been to Paris. I've been to Mumbai. I've been to Italy and lived in the alps. Although each place held the possibility of a life fulfilled, sustained the hope that is lost suddenly only a few days after returning to a place well known and well lived in called home; although each prospect and realization of being-in-that-place, no matter how romantic or how foreign to a Westerner, never was there a moment to define the rest of existence, to set the next million steps on a clear, flower-lined, mirror-paved path of glory or enlightenment or fulfillment. No, only in the few fleeting moments arising in sudden twinges of joy, by dwelling in the possibility of future prospects where the unknown is romantic and not grotesque, cold or groggy, did that contentment arise. It was before departure, just after the decision was made to leave and usually accompanied by an equally intense fear or loneliness beginning somewhere below the soles of my feet. The hope comes in handy to slice the vines holding the ankles in place and to infuse the mind with some buoyancy so as to lighten the load of loneliness.

What if it's as simple as always holding out hope?

As simple, I should say, as making croissant dough from scratch, as achieving the perfect lightness of hand when mixing biscuits. For if I could awaken to something as angelic as, say, Macrina's buttermilk biscuits with homemade peach jam each morning, well, perhaps I could fall asleep with at least one part of my body wherein hope rests undenied: the tastebud.

These two aforementioned abilities would produce the likes of cinnamon rolls and morning buns and, of course, the biscuits. And with Macrina's cookbook at my side the power seems to be in my range of accomplishment. However, using whole wheat pastry flour produced a lackluster scone and right now the thought of making croissant dough melts me. But there is one saving grace to this mess of not-living-in-Seattle-and-thus-missing-biscuit-by-way-of-Macrina, and it comes from the bible: ginger scones with lemon blueberry filling.

I made these last August and have been thinking about them since. Sporadically, the memory of the scone's thin sugary "crust" which shatters upon first bite and subsequently becomes a crackly reminder throughout the remaining scone to be eaten surfaced, yet the lure of new recipes, new flavors and lack of fresh berries overruled. The cool interior of lemon curd, the chewy bits of crystallized ginger and the burst of berry nestled between layers of cream colored scone add to the multiplicity of texture--cool smooth soft firm--which melts together in the oven but somehow retains original form when the final sitting is reached, at the breakfast table... or hour of tea.
Ginger Scones with Lemon-Blueberry Filling
Adapted from The Berry Bible, written by Janie Hibler
This recipe yielded 11 scones sandwiching the filling. For 22 smaller, non-sandwiched scones and equally delicious results open to condiment variation, omit the filling and bake each disk of scone separately.
Oven: 400 degrees.
Baking Equipment: lightly buttered baking sheet.
Baking Time: about 16 minutes.
Whisk together in a large bowl
3¼ cups flour
½ cup sugar
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda and
½ teaspoon sea salt.
With a pastry blender, cut in
12 tablespoon unsalted butter
until you have a crumb-like dough. Add
½ cup diced, crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon lemon zest and
1 cup buttermilk.
Stir until dough is just wet, then kneed by hand until dough just comes together.

Roll the dough onto a floured surface and flatten to a ¼-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter or the top of a glass (should be about 3 inches wide), cut the dough into about 22 circles. Lay half of the circles on the baking sheets and place
1 teaspoon of the lemon curd (1/4 cup total)
in the middle of each circle. Spread the curd and place
5 fresh blueberries (1/2 cup total)
on top of the curd. Top each curd-filled circle with another round of dough and press the edges together to seal. Sprinkle with fine sugar.

Bake scones for about 16 minutes or until the top half of the scone is cooked through. Enjoy warm or let cool to room temperature.

25 August 2009


This is about pine nuts and whole milk and honey. It is about machinery and method. It is taste and consistency and scent and temperature all tied up with bonds too small for the eye to see but strong enough for the body to feel.

This is also about something just as visceral but more ethereal. The bringing back and the leaning forward, coinciding in some odd modernistic dance of the girl who travels far away, lovingly returns home and finds herself propelled and pulled and projected into some other realm where her emptiness might be satiated. She would even settle for another drop in the cavern that has occupied the place just above her stomach and below her chest since she can remember feeling anything; since she could imagine alternate worlds, so far removed from her own yet coinciding with what she knew, what she knows, what she wants to know.

Simultaneously wanting to leave and wanting to stay leaves only limbo to occupy. Bent back at an odd angle with a self-made and socially-perpetuated deadline to make oneself on the chest is the position that lasts too long and exhausts inspiration and beats freedom away with a howl, source unknown. There are day dreams and night dreams and wished-for scenarios yet no simple or obvious path for collecting experiences to create the concoction of last night’s reverie, yesterday’s fervor. Yet there is at any given time an arsenal made of spices, dairy and grain available to the patient, the creative or simply the willing. There is cooking. There is baking. There is ice cream making on a summer afternoon.

My suitcase is unruly. Unfailingly, each time I return from Europe it refuses to accommodate spatial needs. The hand woven, thick yarned, cream woolen sweater from San Gimignano? Rejected. The red wine from Verona? Drink it in Rome. The white leather vintage style Capri car shoes from Siena? Carry them on. My palate, however, is different. Instead of growing smaller by the excursion, it makes room for new tastes, new textures, new memories. Daily habits are flawlessly formed, recorded and deftly executed with a rigidity that only great self-control can sustain. Oh, there are many examples. But for now… gelato. Every night. Rotating gelaterias, varied combination of flavors, sometimes cone sometimes cup. But always, always, the pine nut.

I left Oregon despising peanut butter and I returned with a sudden craving for the nutty spread in a form sweeter and slightly modified. {I also left freshly graduated from college, and suddenly finished with technology, the speed and ease by which people can reach and be reached by a person, turning my nose up at those with iPhone or Blackberry in palm, and returned ravenous for the aforementioned device}. I wish to thank this gelato.

Solid, foundational and warm are perhaps unlikely adjectives used to describe gelato, yet pine nuts have a way of transforming something delightfully cold and refreshing into something akin to that sweater carefully smashed into the corner of my suitcase. Gelato seems to be among the favorite recommendations when it comes to what to eat in Italy and although virtually nothing edible can be recreated 3,000 miles away from the region in which it was first tasted and thus produced, there is always the wild possibility of creating something synonymous and dazzling, something of your region, translated.

It is sometimes enough for the moment to sit down with a dish of sweetness at once provoking a memory and casting a line to potential friends as yet unknown. When the physical can be a symbol of the intangible, when it can calm the highs and lows with a nod to the future and wink to the past and smile in the present.

Pine Nut Gelato
I combined a few different recipes and scoured cookbooks for the following method, roughly based upon this recipe from

Spread roughly 1 cup pine nuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

While pine nuts toast, combine ½ cup honey and ¼ cup sugar in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the just-toasted nuts and process until a consistency of peanut butter is reached. Add 2 whole {fresh} eggs and process until combined.

Boil 2 ½ cups whole milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. With the food processor running, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg and nut mixture. The processor will be very full. Keep processing until the milk is incorporated into the nut mixture, about 20 seconds. The liquid should be smooth with a few small pieces of pine nut.

Pour the mixture back into the heavy saucepan and slowly reheat on low for about 10 minutes. Whisk constantly and do not boil. The mixture should thicken slightly. Pour the mixture into a large, clean bowl and cool slightly, about 15 minutes. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, whisking until combined. {Alternatively, add 1 vanilla bean [optional] sliced lengthwise to the pan when bringing the milk to a boil. Before pouring milk into nut mixture, scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk and discard bean. Omit vanilla extract}. Cover bowl and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Transfer mixture to ice cream maker and freeze after churning.

14 August 2009

new guidelines.

Guidelines for determining design
--both personal and otherwise--
other than the sometimes elusive gut feeling that moves you one way
or the other:

  • Would it fit as a curatorial asset in the town that made its impact on me,
Lucca, Italy

Each day I find a new item to add to my mind's list regarding the benefits of travel,
As each day another is revealed.
Today, this would be it.
Increased self-awareness, facility and
knowing just what it is
that you want.
In short,
decision making
photo snapped quickly before dinner when the town turned lamp-lit as opposed to setting-sun illuminated... in Lucca.

11 August 2009

variations on a theme.

This photo was made by Kari Masterson, a fellow maker of books, in Siena, Italy.

Silhouettes might well become a new theme.

This photo was made by Megan Newell, also fellow maker of books, in San Gimignano, Italy.

10 August 2009

I'm Home!

Still look like Jack Nicholson if I contort my face in the right directions, only now I'm a bit more tan. Six weeks in Italy will do that, I suppose. According to one market employee here in Portland, I also look more mature.

Perhaps. Although I give credit to the tan. Oh illusions.

Or perhaps this is my new look post-graduation.

Give it a few months.

18 June 2009

These warm days in Seattle, this waking of a city

These warm days in Seattle, they always roll in slowly by the morning hours in a heavy haze. There are always sounds of grounds maintenance. There are always sounds of car wheels gripping warm pavement, punctuated by an accelerating motorcycle. The hum of the waking city like the drone of a heater, readying the vast room for a peoples bright-eyed presence, directed undirected wandering and lax lounging on needled grass, studded with last night’s spirited dalliances in drink.

 Move the can and see who notices. See if they forget, those who moved it to begin with.

 Another dip into worded wells. Another magazine to “catch up” with. Another way to feel in the world without being of it. Though as I read one G.C.’s letter of welcome, I began to think about personality, about business, about lives on the stage and behind the scenes. Most of the articles attempting to make sense of the economic plight—in and out of the U.S.—explore this backstage world that so many people seem to think is unrelated or completely divided from the scripted, spotlighted performance. The choices we make behind the curtain are the foundation for the ensuing performance. They are critically connected, indistinguishable. If not at first, than during times of perceived eminent rise and downfall. Because she is like this, because he is like that—with friends, lover, mother, children, home, loisir, partner. 

Even where you choose to sit on a warm day, in the city. 

Which leads me to a genius of a man who made a genius of a film about this very subject: sitting.

He pulled me from my tired lethargy with nothing more than the honesty of his voice and the images of people sitting alone and together, standing at corners, moving to a beat viewers can’t hear. Image quality circa 1980 New York City, the year it was released and the place—with style and manner and social behavior to follow.


People sit where there are places to sit” –William H Whyte


As a sociologist, Whyte studied New York’s public plazas and so produced a book and a short film about his findings. I’ve tried in vain to find a screen shot of his aforequoted finding. Applied to public places, the sentence might seem obvious—one of those simple statements met with no more than a nod or a shrug. Yet the moment the white letters appeared upon the scratchy black pull-down screen of that heavy-aired classroom, staring so many pairs of eyes head on with a subdued and unchallenging force, I thought not of the physical space represented by benches, chairs, trees and stairs. I thought of people. Of the spaces we leave in our selves and in our lives for others to occupy; of the spaces between our ideas; of the spaces in which lovers, friends, family and strangers might feel on levels both conscious and subconscious; on the times we allow for our own chairs to be moved, for our trees to provide the sought after shade on a stifling day, or the longed for protection from a windy concrete passage.

People sit where there are places to sit. Someday, little by little, I’ll amass a cacophony of voices—silent and strong— at home in the space I have to offer, refined over years of the prevailing sociological study, that is, life.

another quote, ok

"All over the world Joyce fans will gather to celebrate the extraordinary tale of an ordinary day. There will be Bloomsday breakfasts, and Bloomsday love affairs, and Bloomsday arguments and, indeed, Bloomsday grandfathers hoisting their sons, and their sons of sons, onto the shoulders of never-ending stories." -here

How about Bloomsday + One? 

16 June 2009

but a preview.

"This is the function of books — we learn how to live even if we weren’t there. Fiction gives us access to a very real history. Stories are the best democracy we have. We are allowed to become the other we never dreamed we could be.” 
- Colum McCann 

Because today is Bloomsday
And because of Saturday--Bloomsday minus two--the day upon which  I graduated from college. 
Also, because I haven't had the time to refine my thoughts from said day, to record with hoped for eloquence the ensuing experiences taking me all the way through a late and lively and lucid dinner. 
Because this, the story, is the mechanism by which people will see. 
Because this is what I hope for, to create such moving thought experiments shrouded in the well placed word. 

09 June 2009

Likely Classroom, Future Classroom

My final class as an undergraduate has passed. It was a wonderful way to leave academia, for now at least. We spoke French and I drank fresh orange juice, tasted some brioche and reminisced about Grenoble, the mafia, Paris, Corsica, Nice... Seated in a different sort of classroom this time, one with brick walls and exposed metal beams, one where we were on display, participating in a sort of staged performance that characterizes most experiences where one is perched at a table before food and drink and the premise of conversation, we did indeed converse. Two girls whom I know only as acquaintances and a professor I know however well one is able after having traveled together and lived in a place foreign to body but not to mind. I’ve only known this city as a student, which shrouds all experiences with a sense both temporary and fleeting, which has inhibited me from planting roots, from establishing lasting tactile connections along with the many intellectual ones I’ve cultivated.

And now all that remains are some words on philosophy and the ethics of emerging technology which promises to blur the lines between human and machine, some ideas about communication rights and law as per the First Amendment and, finalement, the closing revision of my ideas, thought and printed in French, about the possibility of a second revolution. With the essays finished, the attempts attempted, will come the definitive ritual of receiving a piece of paper four years in the writing, yet virtually untouched and completely unseen by its architect. The intellectual compressed into the tactile, the reason for its accompanying ceremony forgotten save for its importance as a spectator sport.  

I think I’ll wear a bright dress found in India that looks like the sky. 

I wonder if I’m leaving some sort of paradise where the only obligation—if you can so call it—is to expand my mind, to learn. I answer to myself, decide upon my schedule, reside among friends in a close community, have access to food and drink and stroll through parks on most every whim.

There must be something even better post-graduation. I’m holding out hope. I know there is. You can feel it pulling at the skirt hem or coat tails with each projection of the mind into the future, with each moment the fact of life post-academia slowly and suddenly sits next to you.

Like going to live in Paris, doing nothing more for a means of survival than working for a flea market, or a bookseller, or a flower stand. Or, closer to home, finding a small but charming apartment in which to dwell, working to live and not living to work, just balancing on the head of a pin for a while. 

03 June 2009


I might want to rethink not participating is senior streak
Suddenly the idea seems oddly empowering 

01 June 2009

Let me steep. I want to steep.

After reading a certain article in Vanity Fair, one of my indispensable and surefire sites of inspiration and energy, I’ve a few thoughts. They flow from visions of my imminent college graduation and into another oft-imagined realm of life, the one where you throw all energy into personal endeavors of the sort that moves society: at large and in small underground movements, the ones where voices are repeated outside the boundaries of peer academia and ridiculed school papers. Yes, and on this cusp of shifting life pattern comes also the penetration of technology—a ripe theme in all my courses this final quarter. Technology that sterilizes and de-authenticates human grittiness and experience and ensuing inspiration.

“You didn’t just watch a double feature but steeped like a tea bag in the contemplative dungeon atmosphere,” writes James Wolcott about the physicality of cinema houses in 1970's New York.

I’m talking about the technology which takes the place and the “steeping” out of being in the world. Less cinema house and more dvd; less hole in the wall rental store and more netflix. This is as true for film as it is true for face-to-face sociality in general. For instead, people arein their extended lives--their computers, their internet personas, their narrow vision through which they hope to overcome isolation. The dialogue comes flowing from these virtual spaces only to connect in this non-place with other such hopeful beings. More on spaces soon.

In reading a small scrap about the New Yorker, I remembered a book I have gathering dust on the shelf at my childhood home {and always home} in Portland. It was given to me—along with two other books—upon my high school graduation. This is the sort of gift I laud, the sort of offering I hope to give throughout life—the gift of inspiration, what would take lifetimes to say and experience, verbally translated onto leafs of paper. The great woman who gave these to me has since passed, and now I wish more than ever to see and thank her, Carol Anne. She was my great-aunt, my grandmother’s sister, and a vapid vixen—a one-time great beauty with red lips and slender, shapely legs. She was also an intellectual, outspoken and opinionated, yet graceful. She made up her mind and stuck to her guns. Admirable. We need more women as such.

The only book I have yet to read from her thoughtful offering is a history of the New Yorker, and so this is the first book I will begin upon exiting academia. The first book to begin the rest of my personally designed curriculum, now tailored and fashioned in the way I think all higher—and indeed, lower—education should be. Travel, questions, meditation, inspiration, pain, joy... life, in short, conscious and mindful, challenging and met by a good meal with wine and sometimes friends, sometimes family, sometimes solitude, at the end of the day.

And then to write. For whom? For those who believe in me, for Carol who encouraged me with fellow inspirators and intellectuals, for my mother, for my grandfather who was so proud of me for being no one more than I am, and who I miss so dearly, for my grandmother who has a way with words but will never remember now, for my distant father, for my two cousins so I might guide and inspire them, for my friends so I might fill and arouse in my role. For myself. For future lovers. For humans. Writing for the very sake of writing, because it heals and opens, souls and wounds. 

And just to be. 

20 May 2009

gpoyw. {blue}

I wish I had time to tell a tale.
Something about la Méditerranée.
I would share a short story
Translated last year in a course taught by a good man
An inspiring man
A fellow wanderer
And poet and writer
Who someday wishes to sail away
And live on his boat
And settle for a moment

The story is called 

La Vague et Le Rocher


Hélé Béji


The Wave and The Rock.

I think it is about friendship

14 May 2009

wish it were sold here

Everyday life
Characters and personalities manifested
Fascinate me.

The worlds I perceive as charming enough to wish I were in them. 
Always that certain photographic quality that attracts. 
That gaze, that font, that layout. 

Merci Montmartre.

gpoyw. of sorts.

07 May 2009

Poetry for Breakfast or A Breakfast of Champions

Something to keep in mind as graduation looms and dreams get lofty.


To remember

Upon graduation.

If I were to speak at commencement, perhaps I would say these words written by Dallas Clayton



Be a famous musician.

Be a famous actor.

Be a famous writer.

Be a famous basketball player.

Be famous.


There is nothing more nourishing than waking up with words running through the mind, your first gesture toward the carved wood cylinder filled with the lead that will draw the first symbols of the day onto smooth, cream paper between pale blue unsubstantial covers bound by a black fragile spine. 

The fragility kills and enlivens me. The narrow escape from boredom, which is nothing more than mindlessness, a lack of inspiration, a loss of play. The constant wavering on fine line of choice leading to experience, leading to possible moments of catharsis. Not only are our bodies ready to break apart at any given moment—not to mention our psyche—ruptured by loss or love or physical object. The euphoric moments, whether clam silent loud deafening subdued, are perhaps even more delicate than ourselves. They seem to be more easily missed than grasped, breakable as they are and so dependent on context within and without. Like a collage, they are sealed into our souls, sewn into the very fabric of our being. And so, in those moments when we are in need of a quilt to wrap tightly our tired bodies, our precarious minds, we’ve this patchwork mosaic of wool linen cotton hemp {I hope few polyester patches, some leftover from a less sophisticated perspicacity} to reach for.

Tuesday night was one of those serendipitous encounters, a chance of choice, and organic unfolding of and ascending toward happiness—always hoped for but elusive and thus unexpected. One of those evening-turning-toward-nights wherein I think nothing of the approaching early hour of obligatory waking, and if I do can only crack a teeth-bearing smile because I’ve found what makes such a dread obsolete, deaden: Life, simply. When the present moment outweighs and contributes to what follows. The heartening, sustaining, nourishing ways to begin and end a day. Uninhibited play grounded in brilliant talent—plus a dash of wisdom and understanding of course.

And the three who made the sound and the antics contributing to such a state. And now I am literally using the word swoon to describe not only the piano playing... but the piano player

Jukebox the Ghost

Plus Jenny Owen Youngs who came before, lovely in her own right and folkloricly comforting. This is not an afterthought. 

02 May 2009

not necessarily the light...

Feeling very calm today. I want to keep it for awhile, add up all the small things that moved me here, to rest if only for a moment. Perhaps it was this torte. Or this cake that indeed wins hearts and minds... and settled mine, and revealed a remembered sweet tooth. Perhaps it was an unexpected visit that took us to lunch here. And a mild, bright day where wandering produced contentment, simply. Or reconnecting with a friend and professor, who recently finished a book and never fails to bolster the present Self with her certainty in future possibility. 

Life gets better, the older you get. It really does. 

All of this, perhaps, but not for sure and not necessary to reach such a state-of-mind. Only a shift in consciousness, only a widened vision, only some perspective. 

It has been days, now, since I was so moved as to fill this space with spirited effusions not satiated by telling those present around me. 

First two photos my own; third photo via here; fourth photo via here

27 April 2009

a case for creating, regardless

"Scenario work shows that the future is usually a combination off all the stories you can construct to anticipate it." 

Just a little something gleaned from studying on an otherwise dreary and bright Monday morning while trudging through ideas I wish I had more time and space to explore. 
Even though I should be doing so now.
Or maybe we are 
without realizing it.
Yes, I think so.

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon--instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside of our windows today."


"Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings."

10 April 2009


Thinking again about the optimism of existentialism. Of the Saphir-Whorf hypothesis, of systems theory. 
And about transitions, the distinctly muddy spaces of the in-between, filled with change and pain and death of once cultural figures and  re-framing of the self in a certain context. 
Like the salon culture of the Enlightenment, moving people to cultivate their individuality. 
Away from hierarchy of the royal few. 
Coinciding with the death of Madame de Pompadour. 
And welcoming the day-to-day--the artistic possibility of apple placed by human hand on simple platter on thick, worn, wood table.
I wonder what she would think now, of this life. 
In my communication theory course this spring I have a particularly vibrant professor who would rather the cognizant beings before her be called 'scholars in residence' than 'students.'
 Exiting this primary foray into academia, I'm simultaneously pushed away by such forces and pulled by those on the other side of sidewalk fissures operating as boundary between theory and practice. Though perhaps it shouldn't be so, this boundary. 
The lithograph, Escher's Bond of Union, was dramatically and proudly unveiled as encapsulating this professor's--or rather, scholar's-- theory of communication. 
Very, very apt.
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