CXIII.

Posted in Uncategorized on 9 May 2010 by ms. v

My house is the center of a wheel with a few spokes extending out into Brooklyn, maybe beyond. One down 4th Ave. to my school, where I spend 50 hours a week, sometimes more, occasionally less. I don’t resent it because I’m doing good work, we’re doing good work. It’s all-consuming but worth it, right now. And time put in now could, possibly, be an investment in making next year easier.

Another spoke goes to Franklin Ave., where someone lives whom I’ve come to love and spend frighteningly large amounts of time with, and so far, despite the little voices that warn that we all need balance, it feels great.

Some weeks that’s all, a slice of Brooklyn defined by three points and a cluster of day-to-day stopping points between them.

There are other connections that have started to feel tenuous, to my old life in Washington Hts. and teaching in the Bronx and to the people I was friends with then. I know that connection is still there but I know I need to give it more of my energy, travel that path more often.

People’s lives are changing and it is drawing them away from me. I want and don’t want to let them go; I want and don’t want to draw back closer to them. At times in the past this same circumstance has felt like an abyss, made me feel suffocated by loneliness. Right now, I just think it is what it is. Change.

CXII.

Posted in Uncategorized on 30 March 2010 by ms. v

There is little I love more than drinking a glass of wine while cooking something fancy and listening to Ella or the radio or a TED talk and waiting for friends to arrive. Very, very little.

CXI.

Posted in Uncategorized on 30 March 2010 by ms. v

The older I get, the more I like just being by myself. At the same time, I desperately need other people.

CX.

Posted in Uncategorized on 14 March 2010 by ms. v

It used to be the way I breathed, the way I breathed wrong when I was talking, that hurt me. Talking all day while breathing wrong left me hoarse. At first it was just for a few hours in the evening, then it started to accumulate, the absence of my voice, until weekends came when I didn’t get better and started Monday unable to speak. The doctor told me I was breathing wrong and prescribed weekly visits to a specialist. I thought about taking singing lessons instead. I had time for neither and luckily the problem went away when I learned to do my job while actually continuing to breathe. Apparently I had not been breathing at all, my chest felt that tight.

Now it is my posture. I’ve been complimented on my posture, at times. In high school, I stood too upright when I skied to be any good at skating (it was perfect for classical). Or sometimes I’ll sit a certain way and someone will comment. But I have been leaning forward for years, I’m told, and my muscles tired of fighting gravity, and tightened and hardened in resignation at the job of holding me up.

I look down on people. I look down on my computer. I look down as I walk, especially as I walk down stairs. I fell badly once, and am slightly, residually afraid of stairs. I catch myself in this fear every once in a while, when I try to look up and find my eyes darting back towards the ground.

Also, I sit wrong. I sit with one leg tucked under me, usually the right one.

Now if I exercise or carry too much or just have a bad day, my right arm and right leg and right side of my neck will feel knotted and on fire, will keep me awake unable to find any position that feels comfortable. I have a doctor who tries to knead and shift and press it out of me, and that hurts, too.

I miss exercising. I don’t really know how to change how I sit or stand. I’m tired. All the time.

CIX.

Posted in Uncategorized on 20 February 2010 by ms. v

Then I saw Inaki’s sword raised higher than prudence or musketeer movies would advise and I saw his opponent’s sword advance until its point was a fraction of an inch from Inaki’s heart, and I think, though it can’t be, that I saw Inaki turn pale and I heard Quima say my God, or something like that, and I saw Pina flick his cigarette far away, toward the hill, and I saw that there was no one on the hill anymore, not the woman or the car, and then the other guy abruptly drew back the point of his sword and Inaki stepped forward and struck him with the flat of his blade on the shoulder, in revenge for the fright he’d given him, I think, and Quima sighed and I sighed and blew smoke rings into the tainted air of that hideous beach and the wind whipped the rings away instantly, before there was time for anything, and Inaki and his opponent kept going at it like two stupid children.

-from The Savage Detectives, by Roberto Bolano

CVIII.

Posted in Uncategorized on 20 February 2010 by ms. v

I am back from a trip and missing the heightened sense of everything.¬†Wish I were sleeping, but I’m not. Here’s something from a friend:

…and within fifteen minutes of arriving home, your newly-empty-nester parents dance the fox trot in the kitchen for no particular reason, and they look so weird and so perfect…

CVII.

Posted in Uncategorized on 6 February 2010 by ms. v

People holding warm drinks thought warmer, more positive thoughts about someone new than people holding cold drinks. Our reactions and emotions are coded in our physical bodies, embodied. Starting the day with coffee now seems like a good way to love middle schoolers. We lean towards the future. Heavier clipboards led people to give things more weight – literally and metaphorically – in a survey.

And also, memories are stored in the body, even when consciously pushed out of the mind or forgotten. All of a sudden things come back that were thought gone. We try to let go but the metaphor of holding on is more true, maybe.

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