“Aren’t there enough words flowing in your veins to keep you going.” ~ Margaret Atwood from “The Shadow”
Wednesday, early evening. Sunny and in the 60’s. Two hours ago it was almost 80.
Thunderstorms rolled through a little while ago, and the temperature dropped, but before that, it was an absolutely beautiful day, warm, blooms everywhere, pink Dogwoods, songbirds. I saw my first Cardinal. So it truly is spring.
I went outside to close the sunroof in the Rodeo before the rain, and Tillie thought that it was time to play, so she ran out the door. I need to take her back out now that the storms have passed, but I thought that I’d try to begin this post before doing so. I’m not sure how far I’m going to get as this computer (in Eamonn’s room) is just plain slow, and it keeps locking up on me. I swear that by the end of April, I will have my computer fixed and set up in my room.
Yesterday I got an invitation in the mail from one of Alexis’s friends who is giving her a baby shower in May. I’m going to give her a shower in June. The May one is for her close friends and Mike’s family who will be in from out of town that weekend for a family wedding. My shower will be for relatives and family friends. Lex is starting to get excited now that the doctors have declared that all is well. My mother is already buying baby clothes. Admittedly, I’ve stopped myself from buying anything yet, even though it’s so tempting.
I can tell that Alexis is getting excited as she’s starting to worry over silly things—Will the baby have a receding hairline like Mike? Will the baby come out with Filipino eyes and white skin? Will people think she’s adopted? (Trust me, that’s actually not a silly thing as you wouldn’t believe the number of people who—rudely, I might add—asked me if Alexis was adopted or if my kids had different fathers (since two look Filipino, and one decidedly does not)). She’s also getting to the point at which her belly is beginning to get in the way. I told her that it’s not movable.
So, family excitement looming.
“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date . . . You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.” ~ Margaret Atwood, from The Blind Assassin
I read The Blind Assassin (above quote) years ago. As with all of Margaret Atwood, I loved it, but for the life of me I cannot remember what it was about. Suppose it’s time for a reread. Not that that is such an easy thing to do with my books packed up and in various places (the shed, the garage). As soon as I fill another box, Corey stuffs it somewhere. He used to think that I didn’t know what I have boxed, that is until I started requesting titles. Fortunately, he’s pretty good about remembering where the boxes are.
Oh for built-in bookcases.
My definition of bliss: a room with built-in bookcases on three walls, a window seat with lots of cushions and pillows for reading, a Bose Sound Wave machine, and my workspace, which would include a wide desk with lots of drawers, a place for my computer, and a place for my IBM Selectric. Such a thing would be perfect. Such a thing would be lovely. Such a thing would be a dream realized.
Anyway, today is a Margaret Atwood kind of day. Hence, the quotes and the poem . . .
“We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.” ~ Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
This is how boring my life is at the moment: I’ve discovered a new source for music, the show “Being Human” on SyFy (not to be confused with the show by the same name on BBC America). Some shows on television are just great about using newer and underrated artists on their soundtracks, like “Bones” and “House.” I have a site that I visit (Heard on TV) when I’ve heard a song on a television program that I don’t recognize; it’s a great source, especially if you’re like me, and you like to find new artists who aren’t necessarily being played on the radio.
Brett tells me that in June (I think) the copyright law for the Internet goes into effect with some pretty radical changes in what is considered an offense and penalties for said offenses. This means that I need to download all of my music from YouTube before that new law goes into effect. I’m not talking about pirating, but rather, taking that which I’ve created into a playlist and converting to MP3s and saving to move to my computer once it has been fixed.
I don’t have a personal MP3 player. I may, one day, but for now, I listen to my music via my computer or on the old car stereo. Having said that, I need to clarify: I’m a big believer in copyright. I try to use materials that are open source or under a creative commons license so that I am adhering to copyright laws. I ask people who want to use things from my site to please ask for permission, and so far, I’ve been lucky. This is not to say that I have not inadvertently infringed on someone’s copyright, and when called to my attention, I fixed it immediately.
But I agree with Brett in that the statistics bear out the contention that most people who download something, almost always do so to try it before purchase. If they like the game or the movie or whatever, they almost always purchase it. If they don’t like it, they delete it, so I believe that the music industry, for one, benefits from people having the ability to listen to things before purchasing. My favorite music store (no longer in business) had a listening island that allowed customers to listen to CDs before purchasing, and that ability kept me from buying some duds but also allowed me to talk myself into purchasing way more music than I should have.
“Everyone thinks writers must know more about the inside of the human head, but that is wrong. They know less, that’s why they write. Trying to find out what everyone else takes for granted.” ~Margaret Atwood, from “Lives of the Poets”
Took a break there to clean the floors, rid them of the doggie tumbleweeds, and now I’m on Brett’s computer. I was kicked out of Eamonn’s room as he’s home now. He and Ryanne are making Chicken Parmesan for dinner. Since Corey has been gone, we’ve all been taking turns making dinner, and it’s working out well, most of the time.
I think that the spring cleaning that I mentioned is on tap for this weekend, that is if my back holds up. I’m going to at least attempt to clean all of the ceiling fans and light fixtures, rid them of that winter dust that gets blown out via the air ducts. I know that our house is in serious need of new duct work, but that’s coupled with the central air installation, which is coupled with the new windows. If anyone deserves a home makeover, it’s me, but I just can’t seem to win any of those stupid contests.
I seriously wonder if anyone wins those contests, if the sweepstakes and surveys actually do put an extra thousand dollars in someone’s pockets, if some lucky family somewhere does get a new bathroom renovation. I also wonder who has time to enter those contests. This is where my mind goes when it is in a seriously creatively deprived state, which it has been for well over a week now, which is why my posts have been,well, yawn. I know.
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” ~Margaret Atwood
Anyway, when I thought about today’s post, and I realized that I really didn’t have anything insightful or interesting to say, I considered another fluff post, you know, an excerpt, or a definition, or a picture, but then I began thinking too much about what my fluff piece should be, and I realized that with all of the effort I was putting into thinking about my fluff post, I could put just as much effort into writing a post about nothing.
So here we are. At the end of the post, at the end of the day, at the end of the light outside the window.
The room is slowly getting darker. I just killed a mosquito that landed on my hand. It must have been full and lethargic for me to be able to kill it so easily. If I inhale deeply, I can smell the chicken cooking, the candle that I left lit in the living room, my dog Shakes, and the underlying smell of floor cleaner. Why mention this? I think perhaps it’s because I’m writing blind: I don’t have my glasses on, and I’m sitting far enough away from the screen that the only thing that I see is a blur of black emerging across the page. I can discern no particular letters or words, just this moving blur, sort of like the long scroll of ink that Atwood referred to above.
Writing, for me, is a whole body experience, which is why I am too often caught up in the pain and unable to immerse myself in the words. I have always written this way, though, well, always for as long as I have used a keyboard to write. Once I figured out where everything was on a typewriter, I have typed by touch. When the only computer in the house was in the corner of the dining room, I used to unnerve those unaccustomed to my habits by looking out into the living room as I wrote. I wasn’t looking at anything in particular, just letting my mind and my eyes wander.
I write these words for no one and for everyone, for myself alone. They are mine, the outpouring of a mind adrift. They are not mine as they cease to belong to me the moment my fingers touch the keys. The question, really, is this: Who owns the words?
I’m thinking about you. What else can I say?
The palm trees on the reverse
are a delusion; so is the pink sand.
What we have are the usual
fractured coke bottles and the smell
of backed-up drains, too sweet,
like a mango on the verge
of rot, which we have also.
The air clear sweat, mosquitoes
& their tracks; birds & elusive.
Time comes in waves here, a sickness, one
day after the other rolling on;
I move up, it’s called
awake, then down into the uneasy
nights but never
forward. The roosters crow
for hours before dawn, and a prodded
child howls & howls
on the pocked road to school.
In the hold with the baggage
there are two prisoners,
their heads shaved by bayonets, & ten crates
of queasy chicks. Each spring
there’s race of cripples, from the store
to the church. This is the sort of junk
I carry with me; and a clipping
about democracy from the local paper.
Outside the window
they’re building the damn hotel,
nail by nail, someone’s
crumbling dream. A universe that includes you
can’t be all bad, but
does it? At this distance
you’re a mirage, a glossy image
fixed in the posture
of the last time I saw you.
Turn you over, there’s the place
for the address. Wish you were
here. Love comes
in waves like the ocean, a sickness which goes on
& on, a hollow cave
in the head, filling & pounding, a kicked ear.