Friday, May 27, 2016


May 26, 2016

Rose at 4:30, when the world was wondrous still. Even the frogs–two of them now– were silent in the pond. Most amazing, actually, as if a blanket had been lowered on the world. Drove three hours to Charlotte Douglas for an interview for the Global Entry Program, which lasted four minutes and began with, “I have already approved you–.“ I tried to anticipate the things that would disqualify me in the eyes of the TSA– turns out there were none. My hatred of them is apparently not mutual. All was well. I got a coffee drunk and some writing done even in the vast ticket lobby. Moreover, I was filled with the desire to travel, and soon. I decided to make the day a test of whether I can or not, checking stamina and all that. The airport gave off a happy and non-panicked vibration, despite recent stories to the contrary. The woman before me in the interview line was blond and voluble and has a house in Chimney Rock. The interviewer looked alike a movie star. Returning, I pulled over in Morganton, having chosen randomly among potential visitation sites. I’d been in Morganton once in the dark of night to sing with the Choral Society 33 years ago, but never since. I strolled around in the sun that was, finally, hot, visited the Jail House art gallery (expecting worse) and roamed the few streets, having a salad here, a glass of wine there, realizing I was in full explorer mode, going about the streets of Morganton exactly as I would about the streets of Rome, except for not being loomed over in my cafĂ© chair by thousand year old Santa Somebody. It was happy and good, except I was worn out and sagged into bed when I got home, and did not fully recover for the rest of the evening. What to do about this? The consult people have not called.

At the choir get-together, MM defined for me my problem with Edward Albee. M said, “Albee transports Absurdist situations into realistic environments.” That’s exactly right, and it is a breach of decorum I cannot find it in myself to forgive. It violates both parents in a bastard child who can be, at his absolute best, merely a magniloquent smart aleck.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


May 25, 2016

When the furnace guy showed me how to use the upstairs gas heater, he left it on, so the study was a blast furnace when I walked into it today. Always to the left or the right, never dead center.

Videos of the Cantaria concert. Despite actual numbers, the sound is top heavy. Maybe it has to do with the placing of the mics. My shirt collar sat awkwardly outside my coat; my shoulders were too sore for me to reach up and change it, and nobody helped me.

Baked regular cookies this AM for the choir party tonight. Took cookies, of both kinds, to Stephen, who had given me the magic butter. Made a few strokes on a painting and clambered down the stairs, exhausted. This isn’t getting better, or isn’t getting better fast.

May 24, 2016

Baked the magic cookies. I didn’t actually eat one, relying on the finger-licking and bowl-licking that goes on naturally a such a time to get me across the rainbow bridge. The experience is much less weighty than it was in Amsterdam, a caress rather than a right cross. Ostentatious and unnecessary moving of shoulders. . . .

Monday, May 23, 2016


May 23, 2016

 Sweet cool spring day, a blue agate.
   
Cantaria concert triumphant, according to everybody. It did have a swift and smooth feel while it was happening around me. Party afterwards which I survived just fine. Talked with folks with whom, I think, I had never had a conversation. Now the task is to get “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady” out of my head.
   
Rose and attended a workshop on Mindfulness in the Classroom at the strikingly beautiful Sherrill Center, which was useful, if not what I was expecting. Here is the take-away: some men talk too much; women in general talk too much. I bet they blame us. I bet they say, “We have to say twenty things to make sure one or two get through.” I’m not sure that’s untrue, but it does not seem the most efficient approach to the problem, for a man might say in return, “I don’t listen because you say twenty things for every two that are really important.” Nevertheless, I come away with ideas for my classroom this fall. Another take-away: nothing leads to distraction quicker than the discussion of Mindfulness. Met an ebullient Turk. Did a little gardening, after which I had to sleep a two hour sleep-of-the-dead. The medication is not working, or is going very slow. Napped in the backyard, in a white lawn chair, with the wind chime whispering gently at my back. Each time I opened my eyes, a pair of cowbirds gleaned a different portion of the grass.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


May 22, 2016

Winter/spring continues. I shuffle to the thermostat to turn the furnace on. Managed to man my studio for three or four hours of the studio stroll yesterday. I thought my effort might be rewarded with a sale or at least an intelligent comment, but when I tottered down the winding cement steps at the end, neither of those things had happened. Sweet Stephen gave me marijuana butter to bake into cookies, which I will do, probably Tuesday, when the things for which I must be alert are, for a while, at an end. I have already mentioned the irony– or maybe it’s not ironic if it’s to be expected–that the medications I take to relieve the pain in my joints are probably what caused the bleeding that caused the anemia. Though nobody knows anything for sure. On that front, I seem to be getting stronger, but by no means at a lightning pace. The hours at the studio were a good sign, though I slept heroically afterward. Still reminded that the blood cannot carry its normal load of oxygen. Next goal: get through the Cantaria concert. Meeting at school tomorrow is early, and I’m usually good early. Stabbed with agonizing leg cramps at random times for no reason at all, I look at the gray sky and murmur, “I really hate you.” Where is the record of the saint praying, “Lord, allow me to love you”?
   
I think I may be writing a play about a tiger.

Friday, May 20, 2016


May 20, 2016

Walking up the stairs and keeping my breath made me think that the iron was kicking in a little, though now I am so sleepy I could lay my head down on the keyboard and be gone. Very odd night. In a dream I went to a restaurant, and though I forget what I ordered, I was served a little dog sitting up in a pan. It was scorched and obviously in pain, and they said, “He’s not quite done, but you can start in anyhow.” I fled the restaurant, but all night the dreams were of wounded and cooked dogs, of servers running after one with the horrible things in their hands. DJ and I had eaten at Avenue M after the concert, but neither of us had had dog.
   
The concert was six or seven times better than we anticipated. Tiny, appreciative audience. Ruth commented on my smiling happy face, and I didn’t want to disillusion her by saying it was a rictus: by the end of the concert my back hurt, my feet hurt, I’d had the remarkable experience of cramps in my throat and the back of my neck, and I was staggering with exhaustion. But, I think I made it through, and never dropped the bass line. Despite all that it will linger in my mind as a good experience.
   
Showed Tom the pond. We couldn’t find the frog that had been singing the night before. I suppose that’s how he likes it.
   
Much thinking and research about 9/11.  Maybe it’s my next big play. That it was an inside job, that it was not as reported to the American people, is a conclusion made inevitable by any degree of research. That we will enter the middle of the century with the conviction that Dick Cheney is the worst person in American history seems plausible to me. Somebody was a traitor, anyway. Maybe a whole lot of somebodies.
   
Who knows why the mid and the curiosity go where they go?
   
Are the worst people the ones who cover their tracks? Or the ones so arrogant their attempts to cover their tracks are contemptuous and half-assed?
   
Memories of watching Daniel Boone on Sunday mornings with George.

May 19, 2016

Sleep most of the day. Last night, my first frog trilled from the pond-- a leopard, I think. I was very happy. Began Tiger sitting over coffee in the High Five.