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* A new day is a better day. These holidays are fucking painfully painful. Thanks for the encouraging and heartfelt comments yesterday - means more than you guys can know. It's such a rawness, this wounding.

* Tomorrow should be interesting! Kidling1 and I are driving the two hours to the City so that she can look at a few apartments! She needs to have a move-in date of August 1st, so we need to get this done and out of the way. I've been learning a lot about her anxiety levels and what adds and what subtracts. I don't have anxiety like that, so I try very hard to be empathetic to her and The Viking. It's an autism thing. It's become obvious that housing is hanging over her head, so let's just remove that dangling anvil. It's been strange, in our daily CL search we've discovered an old Art Deco walk-up apartment I lived in back in the mid-80's but it went fast. VERY sentimental to see the building and the pictures of my place. Back then the rent was $225 a month, now it's $1400. And today, a studio just the floor above the one she lived in before Law School has come available...and she's interested.

* Went down to the creek a few weekends back. Cold but beautiful -

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* Not reading a damned thing. I need recs! I should attempt my bi-yearly re-read of Byatt's "Possession". That always makes me happy.

* What are all of you up to? Almost officially SUMMERTIME!

tiny check-in

* Summer has arrived rather abruptly. 100 degree days down in the valley are slowly but steadily heating up the mountain. We usually maintain about a ten to fifteen degree difference but that's shrinking before the Solstice has even gotten here. We are still seeing some of the classic cooler overcast mountain-type days but fewer and farther between the swelter now. I am such a hardcore Autumn and Winter type but this year I'm welcoming the sun and the warmth and the loooooooooong days with every single atom of my being.

* Might be interesting to spend some time with Hades/Persephone in this new mindset of wanting to be drenched in sunshine. Hmmmm.

* Speaking of writing. The poetry workshop finished up last week and out of that eight-week intensive I got ten poems and some deep introspective work done. It was worthwhile. Now I need to get back into prose, longer writing, more clarity, character and plot. It's not proving as effortless as it used to be. Is anyone else writing? Is anyone else anticipating Idol beginning in September?

* What on earth has happened to LJ? Even the diehards have grown weary.

* FINALLY finished The last three seasons of The Office. In real time, it had become..not funny, so we stopped. But decided we might as well work through it and it was worthwhile. There were some high tones and some very low bars. But overall, I would say it was as satisfying as it could be. Now we need a new show. Watched The Departed last night because it's so damned good. Leo truly is one of the talented ones.

* So very very sad to read Charles Krauthammer's goodbye letter. A scholar and a gentleman. A fierce intellect. I will miss him.
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D's niece got hitched the last weekend in April. I always bring the big Nikon with the mighty 85/1.4 lens to these sorts of invites just in case I can get some arty shots. I was happy with this one and sent them a canvas prints of it.

I like soft focus shots with emotion and this one just tickles me. Not sure what others feel/think about this sort of work, but I believe it offers an alternative pov for the couple. And dates less quickly than many posed shots.

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* Speaking of weddings, my parent's 55th anniversary was yesterday. Very very difficult. My mother is still in NY, so my sister kept her busy with yard sales and estate sales and talking. The pain is still so raw and so unbelievably close to the surface. It's like a burn wound that just keeps breaking open and open and weeping. She will be returning on Tuesday and we will be back to the routine we've been slowly and steadily building since January. It's a good thing. She likes routine, she likes depending on events and dates. She says that my sense of humour makes her laugh and that right now laughter is, actually, the best salve.

* Kidling1 is so insanely consumed by her bar study that she won't be able to join my mother and me on our regular thrift store shopping. Nor do I think she'll be able to come down and spend the night. But that's okay, too. She probably needs some solitary time, as well. I will be the only one not getting any alone time and I'm good with that. Come August...things will be back to just D and I.

* The poetry workshop ends this weekend. It WAS good. I really did enjoy it. I found a new poet - Stanley Kunitz and heartily recommend the gorgeous memoir he dictated in his 90's - The Wild Braid. A gorgeous heartfelt thing full of wise thoughts and beautiful poetry. I wept. But it was a cathartic crying.

Here's a poem I wrote in the workshop, one of the first things I've written in these past six long months. My focus word was "hubris" but the teacher suggested something more positive, she suggested I work with "find"  -


I want to find the spring
Buried beneath the winter

I want to find the waking
Dreaming in the sleeping

I want to find the knit edges
Closing the gaping of the wounding

I want to find the answer
To the unanswerable question

I want to return to all the days
Lived before the catechism

The Terror is a TRIUMPH!

I leapt to my feet, off the sofa, and applauded wildly. THIS FINALE. THIS SHOW.


There is only a handful of serialized tv that has elicited this response from me:  True Detective, the Sopranos, True Blood, Deadwood and the second season of Hannibal. And now above and beyond and before all of those is The Terror. What a finale, but in order to gift that astonishing finale to the viewers, the show had to have all the episodes before, the costuming, the acting, the dialogue, the sets, and the overall committment to telling a truly harrowing fable based on history and steeped in Jungian psychology. The Hero's journey, the tension of internal war with Self that becomes outer war with Others resulting in symbiotic relationship between the wild and the tamed, the cultured and the uncouth, the mad and the sane. There is also an undeniable Biblical interpretation. God and the Devil and man tug-a-warred betwixt the two.

I have been sparked to write a fic. Origin of the tuunbaq. Because obviously.

The cinematography and the costuming and the sets elevate this already brilliantly scripted and cast and acted story into its otherworldliness, descends it into a universal unconsciousness.

Harris stuns. His abilitiy to pull both disdain and absolute admiration out of the viewer is nothing short of fearfully skilled. He brings the pedestrian captain down the terrible corkscrewing of his journey to a place of damnation only to reject that punishment and rise rise rise, not to the level of saint or beyond to that of angel but rather to the extraoridnary inner den of his exceptional heart where he finds his heart's love, his tribe, his pack. The final image, as the camera pulls out and out and out and leaves our wolfen brethren behind to his own new life is shattering and right. That's what this show is - it's RIGHT.

Goodsir, Jopson, Lady Silence, the tuunbaq, Hickey. Astonishing performances and utterly moving characterizations of archetypes.

Anyone want to discuss? I've read the first chapter of the sizeable novel but am going to let the show gel first now and then delve into Simmon's words. Then I think I'll do a rewatch. 

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* Finally beginning to recover from our trip. Looking very forward to the weekend when we can all catch our breath, too. Kidling1 is settling in. We've set her up an "apartment" out in the poolhouse. So, she has her stuff and some privacy, but D's office is upstairs in the loft, and she has to use headphones for her computer study program when she's in there. She's been moving from dining room to an upstairs small office back to the poolhouse. Seems to be working. I'm serving up heaps of healthy food and making her take three walks a day. We can do this.

* The Terror!!! What an astonishing accomplishment of a show. We are riveted. Apparently next week is the finale...and surely that must be the end. You can watch the episodes on the link, so why aren't you??? It's so so so good. The sets, costuming, cinematography, the cast...but the DIALOGUE is what's got me hooked. Oh, an my endless lust for Jared Harris and his endearing Captain. The character has shown so much growth in nine episodes and I tremble to think what hand fate is going to deal him in the finale. Evil Hickey. A true Jungian fable. The symbolism is haunting, the dire situation thought-provoking, and the reaction of each archetypal character telling. I LOVE THIS SHOW. Not a misstep yet. I noticed last night that there are 28 fics on A03 but I am going to wait to jump in to the ficcy goodness because I don't want to be spoiled. I do hope some of my favourite BNFs of seafaring fic (astolat) have jumped in. I also am waiting the arrival of the novel into my mailbox. My dad would have loved this show.

* I know, I know. It is reassuring to see that a handful of my flist are still here and posting regularly. I used to be one of you.

* therealljidol is returning for a "kid" season. So if you have a young writer in your life, PLEASE click over to the comm and check it out! spotzle, I'm thinking of you here. We're hearing whispers on the wind that a Season 11 is in the works....

* ryl recced me the most amazing book. I love love love when a rec becomes one of your desert island thangs. This book is that. It's a fast read, I couldn't put it down, so I finished it in four hours. It's gorgeous and haunting and disturbing. It's SouthernGoth at its finest and Cormac and Mr. Faulkner would be proud. Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks. This is a writer whom I hope beyond hope continues to work at her gift. And she is gifted. The story is dark and religious and thought-provoking, her characters unique and archetypally drawn. I LOVED THIS NOVEL.

* So much love for The Terror and Legion. And the tv series The Missing which is older but riveting despite it's far-fetchedness.

* Poetry workshop seems to be opening me up again and that's good. I am writing. Poetry. Lines. But for myself. I am taking a long look back over older poems....and wondering if I should pursue more poetry than prose. I took an older piece of lyrical prose and broke it down into stanzas...and it works as a poem, so that was a thing. I may share some of that here, just to show you how I'm approaching words lately.

* Spring is fully sprung, no more woodstove fires, the doors and windows are flung open, and the birds are very busy.

* I've been taking longer and longer walks in the woods. Nature has been calling to me in a new voice. A body-kindred voice. It's sprinkling outside and I decided to go and walk in the rain. Just lovely.

* So, tomorrow the poetry workshop begins. I would like to get up early and approach it from a place of quiet solitude. I'm looking at word docs of my poetry, squinting at the words, trying to remember that they emanated from me. I continue to return to this - hubris. Perhaps that's the way in, the threshold that needs to be crossed over.

* Trying, really, to find my way back here. Back to a community that is connected primarily via creativity. That's what LJ is for me, always has been. But each time I open a tab to post from, my mouth goes dry and I have to stand up quickly and find some sort of truly menial busy work. Washing all the windows in the house, washing the cupboards, spening 15 minutes decluttering, standing on the edge of the deck looking out into the woods, the trees blurry with grief. Who knew that grief would demand so much cleanliness? Not I. This week has been very bad. Easter. And the promise of spring's renewal at the end of every tree branch, beneath the ground, in the courtship song of the robins. It's wrecked me. I actually hyperventilated this morning driving back home from a night at my mother's house. Had to pull the car over and try to remind my body of the mechanics of breathing. Terrible. I'm not sleeping but I can't seem to read, so it's lying awake in the night sifting through memories as sharp as photographs. Strange.

* One thing I'm learning about loss. There's no sense in ripping yourself open. There are no words of comfort and there is no healing to be found in tears. There is only this - "Do not walk away in sorrow. Do not be consoled."

* But April is the month of poetry, and I've forced myself to enroll in a poetry workshop. I think this is a step forward even if it feels a bit like falling into the abyss. We shall see.

* I bought two old electric typewriters at the thrift store last week and they are quite amusing! Typing class in highschool was like learning a new language and we had the machines that had unmarked keys. It's impressive how much the modern keyboard is an improvement over the old clickety clacking.

* D and I are watching The Terror. I was giddy to discover that my celebrity crush - Jared Harris - is in the cast. I just absolutely adore his face and his teeth and the lispy way he has of talking. I love him. Not quite sure about the show yet. Hope it begins to fall into place.

* James Baldwin -

Life is tragic simply because the earth turns, and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, which is the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death – ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible to life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return, […] (“Down at the Cross,” in The Fire Next Time.)

Sad to hear that these two kids broke up. Recognitions is their last album. But it's glorious.

thanks, Dad

When I was 23 years old I lived in a very cool walkup with a ragtag band of "mods". My room, which was the coolest with a floor to ceiling window that opened to allow you to walk out onto the metal roof of the downstairs porch, looked out over the next door neighbor's backyard. Tucked into the corner of that downtown Sac lot, up against the chainlink that fronted the alley, was a late 60's Lincoln Continental. With suicide doors. I fell madly in love from afar with that car. MADLY. HELPLESSLY. This was back before the internet and the only way one could obsess over a thing was to do the research. So I went to the library and checked out books, I went next door to Tower Books where I worked at Records, and borrowed all their coffee table books featuring a suicide door Lincoln. (Yes, we allowed employees to borrow whatever they so desired.) I harrassed Lincoln owners any time I encountered them, which wasn't often. And I got it into my head that I could no longer go on sucking oxygen unless I owned a Lincoln Continental with suicide doors. I explained this to my father and two weeks later he called me and said he found one.

I drove home (my parents house will always be "home") and he and I drove to the trailer park where a senior citizen had a 1965 champagne blue with champagne blue leather interior Lincoln parked in her overflow space with a plastic For Sale signed taped into the rear window. It was flawless. And had 60,000 miles on it. And tricked out insane Thunderbird rims. My dad handed her $2,000 and I drove this automotive behometh back to Sac. I paid my parents $100 a month for this dream come true.

Here it is, fifteen years later, the day I sold it. *weeps* It looks white, but it's the craziest shade of blue. Lincoln does refer to this as "champagne."


I cannot express how much I loved this car. How it completed me in ways that non-car lovers simply don't understand. Me. And this car.

D and I used this for our "Just Married" car and I wish I could find my wedding album to show you the pictures. We brought Kidling1 home in it. I drove it for years. It did get flooded in a storm drain backup issue and the insurance company "totalled" it. We made the hard decision to sell it and its parts car when we moved into the mountains. But as most of you know, D bought me another one a few years back  -

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Same color but newer model. It is slick.

Today I read this!!!! -

Lincoln Continental bringing back 'suicide' doors