Tuesday, September 29, 2009

happy new year...?

I'm a total secret Jew. this time of year always feels like a time for new beginnings. I don't know why, given the fact that the world is dying and retreating into itself in anticipation of winter -- and here in the midwest the death of fall is dramatic and the winter we are headed towards will be bitter. Maybe it's because someone decided the school year should start at this time of year and i was programmed for 16 years (about half my life) to start anew around now, when the frenetic summertime is over, when harvesting is rampant and the work of putting away food for the winter (whether by canning and preserving or by fattening up for hibernation) is immanent, that now is the time for beginning the real work that will occupy me for the winter.
Too bad i only have the skecthiest idea of what to do with myself for the next 6 months. I usually have a better plan by this time of year. 4 years ago it was to tie up loose ends and prepare to move to seattle. 3 years ago it was to take classes (actual classes) in acting and ASL, 2 years ago it was to research Kurt Cobain and gender identity (mine and his), 1 year ago it was to get Hollow Earth Radio non-profit status and start a story to imagine a life for myself in the future.
This year...
traveling to collect others' stories about how they live their lives and to accumulate experiences of ways and places to live in order to figure out what my next life will look like. Cuz I'm secretly a homebody. when I visit people I want to cook dinner with them and do the dishes. When I don't have a place to sleep (aside from a patch of ground somewhere) I get very focused on the meals of the day, using them as an anchor, a way of having a home without a place. Sharing a meal is where the heart is. for me. Eating alone is when I feel the most homeless and hard-up.
I guess I'm really just out to learn the many definitions of home. And to share 'home' with as many people I love as possible. Maybe I need to start asking everyone I stay with the question: what is home to you?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

first blog entry of the rest of your life

Never fails, put me in a moving vehicle and gimme music to listen to on headphones, and my mind starts to come alive. I've felt scattered and mute all summer. I dunno what that's about. But now it's fall and it's time to buckle down and T.C.B.

This is the time of year that i set out curricula for myself, i make up "classes" out of my artistic goals, give myself assignments to complete. I'm most prolific in the fall. Thinking back, most of my sizable works of fiction or research projects were attacked with vigor starting in the fall. Including that really depressing one set to sigur ros and elliot smith from 2003 that got lost when my laptop crashed...

I wonder if it's because all my favorite music is very fall in color and tone. Last year, right after moving into H is for House, I found the Fleet Foxes and started a story on my typewriter that i wish i could revisit right now...it was so clear and bright. Like September in Seattle--golden and sweet.

I know what it is, this is something i learned in China. When you are stationary and have no barrier between yourself and what is happening around you, you just have to live life where you are and figure out how to be in it and survive. When you can be in motion, and/or have something like headphones or a camera lens between yourself and what you are witnessing, everything is just removed enough to take a good look at. You can put a frame around your life and reflect on it--give it context and meaning. I haven't been taking myself out of my life enough to know what's happening with it. I haven't been able to tell stories about it because I haven't been looking at it as something with beginnings and endings, with a narrative arch. I have actually been meditating to try to shut off my narrator. Which is also helpful, but there is a time and a place for everything.

Here and Now is a great beginning.

Here is sitting next to Luka on a bus to Minneapolis.
Now is halfway through the Fleet foxes self-titled album at 9:30am on a saturday morning.

Now is punctuated by tambourine and a half-asleep bum, the vibration and subtle pull of a motorized vehicle traveling at 60mph, the taste of tortilla chips (breakfast) still in my mouth.

Here includes Luka's half open mouth and hands wrapped around an ipod, the sun breaking through clouds onto constantly retreating cornfields and misty woods, seated folks in their own worlds all around, the lady across the aisle on her laptop, one sparkly earring dangling in my view.

I'm grateful for all of it. For the love and sadness in my parents' eyes as they said goodbye once more at the bus station, for the uncertainty of what the winter holds for me, for the single oak tree in the middle of that cornfield out the window...

"oh, don't get careless, I'm sure it'll be fine, i love you, i love you, oh brother of mine."

For the Fleet Foxes and Dee Jordan, our bus driver, carrying me into my future.