Archive for August, 2009

LXXV.

Posted in Uncategorized on 26 August 2009 by ms. v

This is what bone-tired means: enough energy to eat, or cook, but not both. When you put your feet up, your calves knot and jump your legs off the tabletop. And so you are drawn downwards, to the couch, to your back, to your back on the floorboards. Tired in the arches and calves, in the thousand angles that make up the musculature of the shoulders, in the sides of the fingers, tired even in the web of flesh between pinkie and ring, tired in the smooth soft dime behind the ears.

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LXXIV.

Posted in Uncategorized on 23 August 2009 by ms. v

Effortless. Beautiful. Interesting. Approaching what I want (in my head it’s more like walking through a room filled with shifting filaments that slide around you as you explore). Moment after fascinating moment.

LXXIII.

Posted in Uncategorized on 20 August 2009 by ms. v

Here’s to the bums with their backs against the windowless brick wall of the ConEd plant, who asked for a quarter and assured me that it wouldn’t rain tonight. You don’t need your umbrella.

Here’s to the hunched old man who took the socially inappropriate seat on the bench next to me when other benches were empty, and waited five minutes before he asked what I thought the outdoor air temperature was right then. Were you sitting in the park in the heat of the day?

Here’s to the drummer I never saw, to the saxophonist playing to empty benches, to the families who brought their children outside in the thick summer air to picnic on a blanket on the paving stones in the dark. And here’s to the runaways asleep on the grass, soft-bodied in the grass, soft in their grubby asexual black jean cut-offs. To the blond dewy girls leaning arched against the metal bars of sidewalk scaffolds, saying beep-beep from the sidewalk as men passed. Beep-beep.

LXXII.

Posted in Uncategorized on 19 August 2009 by ms. v

More and more, the famous people who are dying are people I’ve heard of, or whose contributions mean something to me even if their names don’t. And not just the obvious ones, the sort-of famous, too, which is what makes it noticeable.

LXXI.

Posted in Uncategorized on 16 August 2009 by ms. v

For months there were no words, just getting through the day, and days and days of crying and hating myself for crying. But there was also a sharpening, a fierce flaking away of what was not necessary. A sense that whatever time was still mine should be spent, lavishly, on what mattered most, walks and conversations and meals shared. There didn’t seem to be much need to see anyone who wasn’t an old friend or a good one, or to be seen anyplace or to be able to say I did this or did that or was there.

LXX.

Posted in Uncategorized on 15 August 2009 by ms. v

The first lines of Lady Chatterley’s Lover:

Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.

And later:

Out in the open world, out in the forests of the morning, with lusty and splendid throated young fellows, free to do as they liked, and above all, to say what they liked. It was the talk that mattered supremely: the impassioned interchange of talk. Love was only a minor accompaniment.

But a woman could yield to a man without yielding her inner, free self. That the poets and talkers about sex did not seem to have taken sufficiently into account. A woman could take a man, without really giving herself away. Certainly she could take him without giving herself into his power.

LXIX.

Posted in Uncategorized on 13 August 2009 by ms. v

“It’s always important to distinguish between chastity and impotence.” – Mae Jemison quoting molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Sydney Brenner

Jemison’s TED talk is only okay: she’s focused on big ideas, integrating art and science, breaking down the false dichotomy of analytical versus intuitive. But I wanted more specifics. What’s her vision for how to do this?

Better is Elizabeth Gilbert on the nature of genius and a new (old) way of looking at creativity.

And that led me to three videos from the UK that investigate kids’ ideas about creativity: do they see themselves as creative, what advice do they have for adults about creativity, and then – teachers, this time, not kids – how can we help adults nurture their own creativity?