Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the other night we sat around the fire with the neighbours.

and of course I had my camera. battered and worn though it is, it is my almost constant companion. the first ten pictures or so were taken by my eight year old daughter, who's seen me doing similar things before; she slung the camera around her neck and painted with it, her face glowing, happy to be sitting up at night with the grownups.

I have the idea to print out some of these pictures and combine them somehow. when I see them one after another I see the places they could fit together, and if they were printed on paper that I could draw on, well. imagine what could result.

and if after all that time spent, nothing of any use or beauty was realized, well again. it's the pursuit of the idea that thrills. any product along the way is just encouragement to continue searching for an ultimate meaning and my own small purpose, whatever it might be, whatever I might choose it to be.

a friend is coming by to take me for a walk around the lake.

and it's a good thing, too, because I've been so housebound lately. this is entirely my own fault/choice, the smallness of my days. I've been so sad the last little while, feeling pointless and disconnected from the people who love me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

more about titles, possibly. or the post could go in another direction entirely.

because they do that, the posts. at the best of times they write themselves. if I was a religious sort of person I'd say sometimes I had visions; but I'm not, so what are my options then? what explains the feeling of being only a door something else passes through? and it's not that I believe these are pearls of wisdom -

see, pauline? now here I am, pondering pearls of wisdom. thinking of the nature of pearls, the few I've seen (natural and not), the way they're made, the levels of symbolism there, the meaning. that's the stumbling block, the meanings of things, or the lack of meaning but oh here we go again, merrily or not so merrily off on another tangent, dizzy and lost somewhere between the clouds and the dirt.

visions, though. that's what I was going on about. or magical thinking or madness or who knows what? I don't know. I decided the other day that I preferred to believe that life has meaning, that the pointlessness I feel sometimes or the significance I feel other times are both just part of something I will never fully understand. so I'm going to go pet the cat and listen to the birds and write down sentences and pictures that come unbidden into my head and just not worry so much about the state of my mind for the moment. all this self-awareness is exhausting, however still the outside of the container might look. today I will be an empty pot and whatever gets put in there will just have to be good enough.

Monday, September 22, 2008

titles. sometimes they come to me, sometimes not.

so after writing and deleting three, I thought oh to hell with it. what's a title but a bit of a sentence stuck up there by itself. how important is it, really. and it occurs to me that the unnecessary nature of what I do makes it even less important what my posts are titled, and even if they're titled at all.

it's a good morning for deleting.

I was just reading (after posting a reply to the kind comments made on the last post) about handwriting, the benefits of it, the way the typewriter and computer have pushed it aside. a lost art, I suppose, or almost lost, like making homemade jam or any manner of things people used to do by hand and now can do by machine. can do so easily by machine that the process loses all its joy, all its purpose in the push to have a finished and easily digestible product.

I have bread baking at the moment, but it's a loaf of frozen dough bought from the grocery store, so it gives the illusion of being made by hand. I've made bread from scratch before (I keep meaning to look that expression up, every time I use it) but it didn't turn out so well, more doorstop than delicate. maybe this winter I'll try again.

the sky's lightening now, but very slowly, softly, like veils being drawn away. I don't expect we'll see the sun today, but the rain is making the moss sparkle, and I'm quite fond of moss. it's so unassuming and quiet, growing slowly and completely capable of bearing long periods of inattention. I'd carpet the house with it, if I could.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I downloaded a podcast from npr about bobolinks.

so of course it just happened to be the right thing to go with these pictures, even if it isn't exactly right. I'd do it quite differently if I was to do it again, and it's possible I will do it again, or a million times, and sometimes it won't look a bit different. the pictures weren't even about birds, they were about leaves, but then again, there you go. the two go together, birds and leaves.

but what I meant to say was that it was used quite without permission. I'd send the birds an apology for violating their copyright but they're flighty things. no idea where the bobolinks in question are now.

and I've decided just today how obvious it is, the pattern I've been looking for. at the time, anyway. it's nests, birds. I'll explain it all later, unless I get off on some other topic. I do that. I've decided to consider it part of my charm, the same way I have decided to refer to all future difficult days as just part of the romantic and melancholy legend that will grow up around me someday. of course I'm not serious, life's too uncertain for too much of that, and oh but it's such a relief, just to write. and not to worry so much about whether it makes sense or not, is right or realistic or connects enough dots to make a recognizable picture because someday it will all wind itself together into one big thing or it won't. and then, what then, who knows? but now.

today I painted and wrote poetry in the shed, with the sunshine and breeze perfect for a late summer early fall day, and the girls were at school so everything was quiet but the sound of the quiet itself, full of birds and grasses drying, dying, moving, the traffic down the road softened through the trees, and power tools somewhere, and old jazz on cheap speakers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

sitting down to write with no particular subject or inspiration in mind.

but you know sometimes you just can't wait for inspiration to strike. strike, what a funny choice of words, like the gift (gift? curse? both I suspect) of that flash of idea, like the

oh whatever. I was going to go on about the way the fish were jumping at the riverbeach the other day at sunset, and almost everyone had gone home but we were still there building a castle or something anyway. right at the edge of the water where the waves kept washing away everything we built but that didn't deter us any. it's all a matter of perspective, the dissolution of the made thing, distance and time but what lasts forever? certainly not a sandcastle.

I won a prize once, building, at a different beach in another country entirely. I don't remember the castle or the prize or the day, really, but the sand I remember, and the lake so many years ago, and the way we used to have to take a boat over to the other side of the lake to get to the sand dunes and how they were like another world. now there's a wide mowed path through the reeds, and it makes it easier to get there but it's not the same. and of course it's not the same, why should it be, why would you want it to be, just for comfort I suppose, for the illusion of permanence.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


it's been a fascination for some time, drawing with the camera while the fireworks setting is on. traffic lights, candlelight, firelight, anything at all. the illuminated gauges in the car, the full moon, the lit tip of an incense stick. once you click the button and start waving the camera around, the oddest things can happen, and while the fire didn't give up any secrets, it did sing for a few minutes.