Friday, June 24, 2016


June 24, 2016

Flabbergasted that the UK voted to leave the European Union. It’s a terrible decision, with no material benefit except to allow a feeling, “Britishness,” that some people missed. Same people here will vote for Trump– shows the power perception has over fact. Stocks are going to take a dive today.
   
Hoo-ha at the studio, Celia claiming to be bullied by Stephen. Celia is an obnoxious, almost impossible neighbor.  I time my visits to the studio when I suppose she won't be there, but am not always successful. There have been times when I had to stop painting and leave because of her: she is loud, her voice is loud, her music is loud (and hideous); she is a deeply inconsiderate dog owner, closing them in the studio while she goes about other business, where they bark and bark. It's hardly better when she's there, for they bark and she yells at them, and then they bark, and then she yells, and there is no end to it. I have not heard Stephen and Celia interact, but if my strategy were simply not to leave, I suspect our interaction would be similar. I don't think Stephen is being cruel; I think he's struggling to keep the Library a place where someone can get some work done. In any case, Celia’s cry that she is being “bullied” points to why I am typically suspicious when someone claims to have been bullied. Never in my experience –I emphasize In My Experience– has the “bullying” been more than a legitimate response to their own bad behavior, which they forgot, or never noticed on their own. It is a strategy to win points, to win an argument rather than the outcry of a wounded spirit. I suppose some people really are legitimately bullied. Not this time.
   
Absurdly turned-on by the shapely masculinity at rehearsal. Somebody should write a play–
   
I think I heard nine or ten raindrops in the night. . . .

Thursday, June 23, 2016


June 23, 2016

Lazy day. Did some major hauling of objects made possible by the restoration of my strength. Brief visit to the studio, to finish one unfinished project. Watered the garden. Studied my songs, that went so badly Tuesday night. Wondering how to order my days better than I seem to have done. Reached out to Y, who reached back in the most tentative of ways. Enough, though. The 23rd of each month seems propitious to me.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


June 22, 2016

Not yet 10 AM and I feel hugely accomplished. The big news is that I ran a mile on the elliptical at the Racquet Club without growing faint, without even breathing any harder than I ought, which means I am recovered from the shadow of anemia. Sat down in the cafĂ© afterwards and began Don Quixote, which I assigned for my fall fiction class. Ten pages in I was weeping– yes, it was funny, but I wasn’t weeping over that, but rather because it was perfect and beautiful, and that kind of beauty affects me like grief. I am Don Quixote, of course, which gives an additional blessing, which is perspective. The life of absurdity is rather dearer and sweeter than one might have thought. It also allows others the opportunity for patience and charity.
   
Watered the gasping garden. Fed the gold streaks in the water. Turned the hose on a female towhee, who wanted it, who stood in the stream and shook her feathers.
   
Did badly at rehearsal last night. My tendency to rush became a sort of tidal wave.
   
Oh, speaking of absurdity, the great and hilarious one is that on the ride back from Waynesville I admitted to myself that I had fallen in love, grievously, catastrophically, like a boy of twenty, like a river swollen with hurricanes, like a burning city. It is altogether ludicrous and, for the moment, altogether outside of my control. God must be slapping his knee and holding his gut. He is the perfect man–for me– or would have been when the doors were yet open: dark Irish, beautiful in the eyes, brooding and kind in the soul, stunning to look at, friendly and loving, artlessly poetic and so far from the appropriate that even the kindly angels must laugh: thirty years too young, newly wed to a beautiful wife. . .  I am trying to make this seem funny–and it is–but I wept the forty minutes through the mountains and then wept myself to sleep, for the hopeless absurdity, when after all this time I thought I had been hopeless and absurd often enough and grievously enough to satisfy the Lord. Who is, apparently, insatiable. It is not without its sweetness, but neither is a battlefield amid which grows one rose.
   
So of course I begin Don Quixote on that very morning.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


June 21, 2016

Rainless heat.
   
Handsome boys in the cast, which is a pleasure. One is an Irishman named, improbably, Y. I knew he is a Dubliner by his accent and subtleties of his demeanor, and we know a lot of the same places in Dublin. We talked about THE Yeats. He said, “Oh, he was a great man and all, but a pervert.” Me: “How was he a pervert?’ Him: “He stalked this one woman for forty years and then married her daughter.” I set him straight on that. Amazing the bits of information we carry around with us, about half of it wrong. I wonder if Google and the immediate availability of, at least, data, if not truth, helps with that. Yates’ favorite painting is JB Yeats’ The Ring.

Visited DJ, saw my old backyard at 62 grown into a jungle, the trees I had planted or allowed grown spindly and tall with the competing shade. I sort of like it, actually. White moons of the hydrangeas I planted. The volunteer  pine that I allowed from a sapling as high now as my collarbone.
   
Cut the seed wands of the lupines and spread them over the bit of derelict land between the two streets. I have to fight the lupine off from taking over in my garden; they could take over there and everyone would be the happier.

June 20, 2016
Holy Solstice.
    Blocking rehearsal. I am popular in this show. Enjoying it. Even the kids talk to me.  Drove home from Waynesville under the round pale golden solstice moon. Parallel to the life I lead visibly is a whole world of symbols, by which I live intimately but of which I almost never speak. Round pale golden solstice moon.

Monday, June 20, 2016


June 19, 2016

Unusually good morning at the studio. Working a landscape the way I know I ought, but seldom do. It takes time, but the time is repaid. Need to remember that. There needs to be a ratchet for the mind, that important things do not escape.

Sunday, June 19, 2016


June 18, 2016

Went back to the studio and was happy. The drought is so long-lasting that I need to make the rounds with the hose every day. The wilty ones get it twice a day. Still smarting from the ruin of my wild garden. Villages are put to the torch; civilizations crumble, and I mourn for my Queen Ann’s lace. Benefit at Avenue M last night for the victims of the Orlando massacre.