Archive for February, 2010

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.

CVI.

Posted in Uncategorized on 3 February 2010 by ms. v

Be Stupid, Diesel says, in big block letters all over the subway campaigns.

A little more investigation yields a manifesto:

Smart critiques.
Stupid creates.

The fact is
if we didnt have stupid thoughts
we’d have no interesting thoughts at all

To be stupid
is to be brave

Stupid isn’t afraid to fail.

The point is valid; some parts of our society, some authorities, expect everyone to make safe choices, to conform. The creative people who take risks, break unwritten rules, and come up with brilliant new ideas: I respect them. We stick labels on things, stupid, smart. I get it.

But then, why give these things new labels, as though that changes anything? Turning “smart” and “stupid” on their heads seems a little obvious… ooh, rebellion against authority! People in their underwear, climbing fences, flashing security cameras. A little who cares? and a lot of that’s what you meant by creative?

And all this to sell jeans.

CV.

Posted in Uncategorized on 1 February 2010 by ms. v

How can you let go of trying to make your life tell a particular story enough to find out where it all goes?

I read this book once by Michael Crichton, a strange book not like his others, sort of a memoir of his encounters with weird stuff. He tried spoonbending once. It was a party full of people trying to get metal to warp through just thinking about it. He said that when it happened it took the kind of concentration that you have when you’re walking with a full cup of tea, that wire-thin balance between totally focused and totally relaxed, half-watching out of the corner of your eye but not really looking. Maybe life is best lived like that?

Also, what is the right amount of honesty? Why do some people make me feel like their interest will scrape me clean, leaving nothing, and others make me feel like there is everything in the world to say, and that it will be heard and given back and we will both be more for it?

CIV.

Posted in Uncategorized on 1 February 2010 by ms. v

Do you learn the steps first, right-left-rightright-kick, the shapes you must move your body in and out of, the beat 2 3 4, five six seven turn? Or do you learn the mood first, the meaning it will all take on, this is a sexy dance, a seduction, here’s how it must feel to your body?