Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Twenty Things I LOVE LOVE LOVE about August 2010

1. These Books: Sloane Crosely’s How Did You Get This Number, Elna Baker’s The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, Chelsea Handler’s Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, Carolyn Parkhurst’s The Nobodies’ Album.
2. Family camping trip!
3. Especially sitting around reading with Shae.
4. Swimming in Lake Ontario with the Carters, with Shae saying “This! Is so! Great!” over and over.
5. Driving to Dover listening to Sleigh Bells, Miike Snow, Big Star, etc.
6. The Arcade Fire concert!
7. Celebrating my astonishing students at the Summer of Creativity Festival.
8. ESPECIALLY my youngest Summer Student, Supersophisticated 9 year old Miranda—most of the audience was there to see her.
9. Amazing birthday care package from my Sister-in-law and family.
10. Getting to spend more time with Amy, even if most of it is in the car.
11. An entire season of United States of Tara in like a day.
12. Listening to Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs every minute including right now.
13. Going out to look at art.
14. This: http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/ How do people come up with stuff?
15. New evening walks.
16. The times when all I wanted to do was watch baaaad TV with wifie: Thanks Big Brother.
17. The new season of Mad Men. Still can't wait for Sally’s spin-off.
18. Raising money for Gulf cleanup.
19. Radiolab, Sound Opinions, Risk, Too Beautiful to Live, and other podcasts.
20. Lots of morning glories and our first Philadelphia tomato.

Monday, August 30, 2010

August Resolution Check-in

This was a rough month. I keep remembering that when Gretchen Rubin began the original Happiness Project; she had, at most, minor ennui. Trying it as a depression-soother was a little bit crazy of me. But the thing is, it kind of works. Looking back at this month’s resolutions, I can see where I actually gained some ground.

I would like to transition over in the next few months to this being mostly an art and pop culture blog, but I think The Happiness Project is worth pursuing.

August Resolution #1: Make Friends With First and Second Gear

Huzzah! Thanks to joining Amy at her far-away job for the month, I’ve had LOTS of practice with the clutch and can report a significant reduction in driving-related pathos. Since we have to take 76 through the middle of Philly every morning, I’ve gotten more practiced and self-assured about lane changes, too. Amy still does the look-back when I change lanes and sometimes comments on what gear I should be in, but her backseat driving has eased a lot.

And having an hour and a half to drive and listen to music every morning is soooo pleasant. It’s kind of reformatting my soul.

But I still think driving is kind of a crazy thing for humans to do.

As for friendships, eh. Some are easy and going well, some I had to let go because I couldn’t stop clutching at them. Who knows how it’ll turn out.

August Resolution #2: Be More Out in Lots of Ways

I didn’t get as far with this as I wanted to—being in the middle of a shame-filled heartbreak punctuated by Facebook misunderstandings did not see my heart into a very adventurous mood. But I did realize, somewhat belatedly, that I have to be honest with myself and see my feelings for what they are. Being in love with someone can’t be solved by trying to express-route the person into friendship.

As Lady Gaga says: “I don’t want to be friends.” It’s at least part of the story.

I’m not sure I can save myself the next humiliation, the next crush, but the next time I find myself in love with a friend, I promise to tell him or her the truth (Unless he or she is a coworker. File under “Lesson Learned.”) as promptly and as graciously as possible, and find a way to accept whatever comes next.

August Resolution #3: Make Myself at Home

When Sarah Silverman was little, she told her dad that being depressed is like being homesick even when you’re at home.

I did try to notice when I feel at home, but it is really hard to get rid of the feeling that the rug could be pulled out from under me at any moment.

I think this is one I’ll have to come back to.

August Resolution #4: Get Some Money and Take Care of It

Well, we’re getting there. Working with Amy for August really helps, but we’re still kind of lost in a labyrinth of payment-agreements, shutoff notices, and unpleasant phone calls on our breaks. There’s no way out but through it.

August Resolution # 5: Find a Good, Fulfilling Job

Huzzah again! When the school-year begins, I will have four nice little jobs. I’ll be working at the library’s after school program ten hours a week, doing private poetry tutoring, and teaching two adult-ed courses.

AND taking math classes toward applying for teaching certification programs.

I never grew out of loving back-to-school.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't Forget to Check Your Horoscope!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Note Card from My Therapist

"Don't fight with yourself. Let yourself be wrong or even stupid."

She knew it was the right advice when I started laughing my ass off.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poetic License Horoscope for August 20-26

Spending Warm Summer Days Indoors, Like the Smiths

(July 24-Aug. 23): Once you pointed out that when the contestants on, say, The Next Food Network Star, are talking about how the camera makes them freeze up, they are, IN FACT talking to the camera, it kind of turned my world upside-down.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Make no mistake: Sometimes we are all just Mad Men secretaries, crying in a Pond’s focus group about the fleetingness of the muse’s attention. Nothing to do but wash your face, smash a vase, and wait.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): This week, inspired by the hack-bot that stole my email contacts, I am meditating on imperfection. Please take all implosions, sick days, and the way things are collapsing like an Inception cityscape as signs that the universe loves you and wants you to start fresh.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): Last weekend I went camping with my family. One of the highlights was sitting around reading with my little niece. She was reading an incredibly well-loved copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. Love something/someone so much that the pages come out, the edges furl, the binding unglues, but the story is still legible.

(Nov. 23-Dec. 22): From Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: “It is pretty clear that the creator itself did not know when to stop. There is not one pink flower, or even fifty pink flowers, but hundreds…this creator looks suspiciously like someone who just might send support for your creative ventures.”

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): In The New York Regional Mormon Singles Dance, Elna Baker hilariously weighs the dilemmas which arise between her secular self and her Mormon self. In the end, though, she can’t see the moon without saying “Hi, God.”

Aquarius (Jan. 21-Feb. 19): In Sloane Crosleys’ book I Was Told There’d Be Cake, she writes about working in the Museum of Natural History’s butterfly exhibit. Once, she didn’t check her coat well enough before clocking out—a tiny rare blue butterfly had ridden her lapel to freedom.

(Feb. 20-March 20): Feng Shui your life. Recycle you recyclables. Remove all old bosses, famous strangers, and nemeses from your email contacts. Return the stagnant Chi of unread library books.

Aries (March 21-April 18): Every time I watch The Real L Word, I think these three things: 1. This show is mostly about emptiness, and that’s okay. 2. I’m very grateful that my wife is accepted and loved as a member of my family. Shame on you, Tracy’s mom. 3. Natalie: run!

Taurus (April 19-May 18): One summer not too long ago, my friend Ty and I decided to fill plastic Easter eggs with various talismans: love notes, drawings, chess pieces, mini tarot cards, etc. We hid them all around the city of Syracuse, NY. Give random and unexpected gifts, preferably to strangers.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): My mom says that when she dreams about camping, it’s not the recreation, but the cooking. Try a new recipe for campfire eggs. Eat bacon out of a foil pan. Be flexible about what can be called coffee.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): Go to the stillest body of water you can find. Find some round, flat stones. Practice your skipping technique. Meditate on gravity, water, erosion.

Friday, August 20, 2010

To Celebrate Tonight's Gulf Benefit

An excerpt from 3rd Planet by Modest Mouse
The 3rd Planet is sure that they're being watched,
By an eye in the sky that can't be stopped,
When you get to the promised land,
You're gonna shake that eye's hand.

Your heart felt good.
It was drippin' pitch and made of wood.
And your hands and knees,
Felt cold and wet on the grass beneath,
While outside naked, shiverin', looking blue,
From the cold sunlight that's reflected off the moon
And baby cum angels fly around you,
Reminding you that we used to be three and not two,
And that's how the world began.
And that's how the world will end.

Well, the 3rd had just been made and we're swimming in the water.
Didn't know then, was it a son, was it a daughter?
And it occurred to me that the animals are swimming,
Around in the water in the oceans, in our bodies,
And another had been found, another ocean on the planet,
Given that our blood is just like the Atlantic, and how.
Well, the universe is shaped exactly like the earth;
If you go straight long enough you'll end up where you were.
And the universe is shaped exactly like the earth;
If you go straight long enough you'll end up where you were.
And the universe is shaped exactly like the earth...

Your heart felt good.
It was drippin' pitch and made of wood.
And your hands and knees,
Felt cold and wet on the grass beneath
While outside naked, shiverin', looking blue,
From the cold sunlight that's reflected off the moon
And baby cum angels fly around you,
Reminding you that we used to be three and not two,
And that's how the world began.
And that's how the world will end.

Well, the 3rd had just been made and we're swimming in the water.
Didn't know then, was it a son, was it a daughter?
And it occurred to me that the animals are swimming,
Around in the water in the oceans, in our bodies,
And another had been found, another ocean on the planet,
Given that our blood is just like the Atlantic, and how.
Well, the universe is shaped exactly like the earth;
If you go straight long enough you'll end up where you were.
And the universe is shaped exactly like the earth;
If you go straight long enough you'll end up where you were.
And the universe is shaped exactly like the earth...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Resolution #1: Make Friends With First and Second Gear

Amy suggested this one when we were stuck in traffic on the way to the beach. I was bawling simultaneously because I kept killing the car and because I was having trouble with new friendships.

The literal resolution is easy to work on: I’ve been doing some shifts at Amy’s bookstore in Dover, and whenever the traffic gets bad, there’s my opportunity to practice my shifting. I am getting better, I think, even if Ms. Backseat Driver pipes up every now and then.

As far as the actual making of friends goes, I think I need to stick to automatics for now. If I like someone a lot, I am not going to fake aloofness while they standoffishly splutter between gears, running hot and cold and ruining my heart’s clutch.

Thinking About Abundance

From Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way: “It is pretty clear that the creator itself did not know when to stop. There is not one pink flower, or even fifty pink flowers, but hundreds…this creator looks suspiciously like someone who just might send support for your creative ventures.”

This week my Unlocking Your Creativity Class is meditating on Abundance. It’s a good thing to think about if you’re trying to unblock or stay unblocked.

Anyone can get caught in the trap of seeing things in terms of scarcity and competition; if my friend has something, that must mean that I can’t have it. I think I’ve held myself back in life by this kind of thinking. Instead of asking my more successful friends for help, I’ve tended to avoid them and resent their success. It has cost me years with some very wonderful and wildly talented women.

It can be hard to retrain your mind to think there’s enough to go around, that you are going to be given what you need as an artist and a person. It would be wonderful to think of our fellow creatives as co-conspirators rather than competition. Towards that end, I had each poet in my class make a list of what reminds them of abundance, then post the list someplace prominent.

Things That Remind Me of Abundance (Besides Pink Flowers)

1. Going to the gourmet store and marveling at how many varieties of salt there are.
2. Buying notebooks 10 for a dollar.
3. Collecting seashells and pretty rocks.
4. Expanded horizons, literally and figuratively.
5. Children’s artwork—they’re so generous with it!
6. Poetry students rich with images.
7. Writing a detailed prose account of any given thing/day/experience- material is kind of infinite.
8. Libraries.
9. Blueberries: when I was little we had a family tradition of going to this huge abandoned blueberry farm, picking for hours and hours, acres and acres. It still seems like there was no end to those blueberries.
10. Morning glories vining the place up.
11. One of my first poems was about being a starving artist and wishing I could have some cake. Now whenever I make cupcakes I feel rich.
12. Shutting off the TV to read.
13. Making pancakes for visiting poets.
14. Swimming in the ocean.
15. We used to drive a Mazda Protégé and we loved it so much. Now whenever I see one, I think it’s my guardian angel.
16. The cheap art store.
17. The infinite amount of weird stuff you can learn from Radiolab podcasts. (and others)
18. Staying in bed all day with Amy. (mostly reading…)
19. My family.
20. Making pancakes for visiting poets. Thrift stores, vintage stores, flea markets, anyplace with random stuff.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spam and Chaos

Today I am Fend Shui-ing my email, starting a new address after my longtime address got hacked. The idea of all of those contacts (including not just trusted friends but also famous strangers, old bosses, new job contacts, etc) hearing from "me" over and over gives me the creeps.

I always have this fear that if I do anything wrong, even accidentally, that people will abandon me, so it's actually kind of soothing to get commiserating emails, to just remember that I don't have to be perfect or even close to it.

One such message, from Pat Cohee:
"You are surrounded by the Love of your many admirers and fans !
Don't let Hacking and Unpredictableness interfere with your destiny
as goddess of poetry." Thanks.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Come Pretty Far, I Guess

Well, today I met with my new therapist lady. After a brief flashback/panic upon seeing the ol' purple couch, I kind of settled in.

Hearing the treatment plan from before I went on the waiting list, I can see how far I've come. The days where I can't get out of bed are over, and the panics have gone down to a dull roar. There's still a lot I'd like to work on-- I'd love to be rid of being convinced everyone's forgetting me, have fewer times where the tears won't stop, etc. But I've regained a lot of energy and self since then, sometimes even a little hope.

Last weekend was the family camping trip. I loved the feeling of being relaxed, loved, of not worrying about being good enough. Of just BEING good enough. I'm grateful that I have a close family, that sometimes there's just peace.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Poetic License Horoscope

Horoscope for August 13-19

Your Horoscopist Is Kind of an Emo Girl

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): This week is my wife’s birthday. I would like to give her all of her wishes: a comma in the bank balance, a job closer to home, time to rest. She’ll have to settle for Wednesday shows, cheesecake, and a nice long letter.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): Here’s some very practical advice: never go on the Facebook when you are feeling fragile. Everything you scroll past will look like a party you weren’t invited to. Worst of all, you’ll get comment-itis.

(Sept. 24-Oct. 21): Look at all of the “Back to School” signs, all the emo commercials with mothers (always mothers) waving sadly at school busses. Take them as a sign that it’s time to purchase huge stacks of notebooks at discounted rates. I got my year’s worth, 10 for a dollar.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): All you can see are sunsets, the lavender tint in the sky, the filigree of light at the edges of the clouds. Go ahead and let this be the end of something. It’s the sun. It generally comes up again.

(Nov. 23-Dec. 22): “It’s too late to change your mind. You let loss be your guide.” say the Broken Bells. I guess it’s as good a guide as any, though.

Capricorn (Dec. 23-Jan. 20): You are like the Map Collection Room at the Philadelphia Free Library; hundreds of wide, flat drawers with every possible expanse and measurement. Find your longitude and latitude.

(Jan. 21-Feb. 19): I want to say once and for all that heartbreak is a terribly inefficient fuel for creativity. It burns up everything, bright and fast. It’s time find something more sustainable, if less sparky.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): An old pal of mine posted a picture of his massive, hot, sexy record collection. Beneath that, another friend had sent a link to an episode of Hoarders. Decide what’s riches and what’s trash, before you get swallowed up.

Aries (March 21-April 18): The stars are taking requests this week, Aries. What would you like? Concert tickets? An opulent stroll through Longwood Gardens? An ill-advised dinner with an old flame? It’s up to you, and it’s all yours.

(April 19-May 18): Remember the episode of The Office where they’re all at the beach for some reason, and Pam does the firewalk? The adrenaline rush and burnt feet give her the courage to call out Jim in front of everybody for ignoring her. She kind of gives everyone the what for. Be like that.

(May 19-June 21): In her wonderful writing book Bird by Bird, Annie Lamott says “After a few days at the desk, telling the truth in an interesting way turns out to be as easy and pleasurable as bathing a cat.” But do it, no mater how much the truth wriggles and spits.

Cancer (June 22-July 23): You said my answering machine is a bad audience, but go ahead and tell it everything. I want to hear about the catch in your voice, the stitches in your chest, the wine under the bed. But I hope I have the phone on next time.

Friday the 13th is Forgiveness Day

I made it up one day 12 years ago in the midst of an argument with my on-again off-again girlfriend at the time. I wrote her a violet-scented letter proposing that that day and every subsequent Friday the 13th should be the day you have to forgive yourself and others.

I was pretty much trying to convince her to forget what a jerk I was being, but still. Every Friday the 13th I try to forgive myself my mistakes, forgive others, wipe the slate clean. I also try to do this every haircut.

To celebrate, please enjoy this Big Star song.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10 Nice Things to Do for Amy

Well, it's my sweet wifie's birthday. So here's a list for her:

1. On Sunday nights at ten, watch Iron Chef instead of Mad Men.
2. Always make her mix first.
3. Practice the gift of spousal silence.
4. Write her elaborate letters.
5. Take her to see The Kids Are All Right.
6. Take out the garbage sometimes.
7. Do nothing with her.
8. Take care of the garden with her.
9. Have supper ready when I can.
10. One million hugs and kisses.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Book-Review Epiphany

The other day when Amy and I were driving home from Delaware, we were listening to an episode of Studio 360, a podcast about creativity and pop culture. We were on Lincoln Drive, alongside the Wissahickon, almost home, listening to an interview with James Hannaham, author of God Says No, a novel about a preacher’s attempt to become ex-gay.

To illustrate the story, they played some audio of a southern church ceremony wherein the congregation was working together to “cast out the homosexual demon” from some poor churchgoer. They were talking o the demon, calling it names, trying to draw it out. A woman explained that homosexuals were welcome to come to their church, as long as they submit to this process.

As that little vignette sunk in, we were on the last curve of Lincoln drive before home. As we turned up toward Germantown, I had an epiphany.

All these past 5 years, ever since I re-came out as bi, I’ve been thinking there’d be some moment where I’d come to some magical conclusion, some magical point where my love for Amy would cause me to turn into a lesbian, shut off the desire for men. I’d been half-hoping that I could configure my life, my self, my thinking in the right way, that I would come to peace and not be bi anymore.

But that idea is as ludicrous and dehumanizing as trying to call out some gay demon. That moment is never going to come. I’m going to be like this my whole life.

People have always found some way or another to encourage me to overcome my attraction to men. They give me meaningful glares whenever Amy is particularly awesome, as if I don’t know. As if I haven’t walked around all these years feeling like I don’t deserve her.

I can see, too, that people feel like I would be emotionally safer to be around if I was not sort of available. I wish I could feel as self-righteously angry about that as I do about homophobia.

How am I almost 36 years old and just now coming to terms with my sexuality? Where do I go from here? I think this epiphany is a good start.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Health Update/ This Week's Horoscope

Readers of this blog might be interested/relieved to know that I've found a new psychologist and will be returning to the couch on August 16. Here's hoping it will be productive.

Horoscope for August 6-12

Starring Arcade Fire, Dancing Sufis, and Don Draper

Leo (July 24-Aug. 23): This is your time to rest. Turn the volume down on your chattering spouse. Put aside all talk of revenue and email lists. Listen to the soft hum of fans, the murmur of televised baseball.

Virgo (Aug. 24-Sept. 23): You don’t have to be inspired every single minute. Relax. Reread old novels. Get caught up on your history. Take a nap in the blank spaces, you’ll be busy soon enough.

Libra (Sept. 24-Oct. 21): When I told one of my most favorite Libras that I was sad not to be at the National Poetry Slam this week, he told me he’d call my voice mail with disappointing poems so I’d feel less left out. It did make me feel better, but I still wish I was at Nationals.

Scorpio (Oct. 22-Nov. 22): The Arcade Fire song “Keep the Car Running” is a wonderfully paranoid song about always being vigilant, but as I continue my decades-long struggle to learn the clutch, the song sounds to me like a struggle-and-determination anthem/pep talk. “It’s coming but when/is it coming/ keep the car running.”

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 22): The House on the Rock, outside Madison, WI not only contains the most berserk collection of calliopes, musical machines, models ships, crazy-looking Santa Clauses and so much more, it is also a labyrinth you can’t easily leave if you get claustrophobic. Stay calm and avoid the Doll Carousel. Just trust me.

(Dec. 23-Jan. 20) : You’ve been collecting sea monsters, and why shouldn’t you? I thought of you last month when I was photographed next to a giant squid. As we learned in the movie Inception, the unconscious is hard to control, least of all yours.

(Jan. 21-Feb. 19): The other night while I was blissfully whoh-oh-ohing with thousands of fans at the Arcade Fire concert, I though of my Aquarius friend who’s visiting Istanbul right now, trying to get tickets to watch the Sufis dance, about how empathic experience helps keep life from becoming claustrophobic, just like having a well-traveled friend does.

Pisces (Feb. 20-March 20): In Nick Hornby’s book How to Be Good, the protagonist has the following epiphany: “The plain state of being human is dramatic enough for anyone; you don’t need to be a heroin addict or a performance poet to experience extremity. You just have to love someone.”

Aries (March 21-April 18): Last summer I worked at a summer camp. Every morning we had a singing and dancing time called Harambee (Swahili for “all together) during which no one was allowed to be shy. I thought this was unfair to introverts so I tried to add a meditation, quite unsuccessfully. But this week, be like those sing-alongs—belt it out, dance your heart out, never mind who might be laughing.

Taurus (April 19-May 18): It’s August, but on Mad Men, it’s Christmas. Mix yourself a holiday martini, pass an orange from chin to chin, engage in some secretarial role play. Walk around with you archetypal armload of gifts. Spare no expense.

Gemini (May 19-June 21): “Children wake up, hold your mistake up, before they turn the summer into dust.” says Arcade Fire. Mistakes can either disappear in the rearview or crack you open. Let’s confess and move onto the next thing, shall we?

Cancer (June 22-July 23): The beginning of this summer broiled my garden. The only flourishing things were the tenting spiders who seemed to be eating all the flowers. When the weather broke, though, everything started blooming again—now there are lobelias, red butterfly flowers, zinnias, and two Carefree Delight roses I can smell from inside.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Say Hello to Gladys

I like people who give names to their depression. In his awesomeawesomeawesome memoir The Big Rewind, Nathan Rabin calls his "Vice Admiral Phinneas Cummerbund." Another friend of mine calls hers "The Situation.--no relation to the Jersey Shore guy.

I think I'll call mine Gladys.

Resolution # 2: Be More Out in Lots of Ways

For my adult life, I really didn’t give a lot of thought at all to being bi—I fell madly for whoever I fell for and didn’t concern myself with gender I believed the romantic idea that a bi person would just kind of develop a gender-preference upon falling in love.(Whereas I’m realizing just how many gender preferences are available…) After all, my relationship with Amy started after a marathon of Clerks: The Animated Series made me feel like I could do without dudes for a while.

The itch started in 2004 when the Red Sox were playing the Yankees in the World Series. Back before Johnny Damon became a Yankee, he was a shaggy haired hottie. I had a dream where I couldn’t believe I was getting to pal around with him, where I just kept keeping with him from place to place.

These days, it’s Mad Men making me go to bed kind of straight. Funny how I’m superpissed at anyone chauvinistic, but Don’s secretary-assignations drive me swoony.

Anyway, when I started feeling attracted to men again, I panicked. I kept having these dreams of almost kissing guys. I tried to make artistic metaphors for these, but sometimes kissing is just kissing. I fell for my guy friends, got crushes that panicked my soul. I thought I would have to get divorced.

Amy is very well loved. I definitely do not want to get divorced. She loves me so wholeheartedly, so loyally, and I’ve known that we’re soulmates all along. Our second date was a meteor shower, for crying out loud.


It’s very frustrating and claustrophobic to have this side of me that is not expressed.

So we made a compromise—if I meet someone who I think is worth it, I can date him. It’s been like that for—5 years? I’ve met a few people I would take that risk for, but they’ve turned out to be unrequited. They turned into prolonged (sometimes years-long) crushes that were very fruitful in terms of yielding poems and paintings, and too many friends-locked LiveJournal posts to count.

The trouble is, I think, I’m pretty monogamous for a polyamorist. Even when I am with that person who is driving me to distraction, I can’t stop talking about Amy. If I go out without her, to be all free and meet new people, I miss her.

But there is a part of me that is not being expressed. It’s not the thing itself that’s missing, but it’s something. Is there a limit to how much sublimation a person can do in a lifetime? Probably not.

This spring I had kind of an interim therapist. She pretended to be all understanding, but in the end, she kind of threw me under the monogamy bus. She said , “You can’t live in two cites at once.” But I can visit. Or I can live in Philly and still miss Orange county. It’s a bad metaphor—plane tickets are pretty easy to save up for…

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Arcade Fire and Collective Effervescence

I've been thinking about what makes us go to concerts, the ecstatic feeling of being together with that many people who love the same thing, who know the words, who are moved to belt out the whoh-oh-oh parts together.

Collective effervescence (as coined by Emile Durkheim) is the spiritual change in energy we feel when experiencing strong emotions in a group. Durkheim said "god and society are one of the same…the god of the clan…can be none other than the clan itself, but the clan transfigured and imagined in the physical form of a plant or animal that serves as a totem."

Or in the physical form of ebullient xylophone players, a dancing girly girl accordion player, bright, elaborate lighting...

This is exactly what we're looking for, I think. Or at least what I'm looking for. It's finally enough love.

Lyrics to Wake Up :
Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’,
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little god’s causin rain storms turnin’ every good thing to rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’ to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’
With my lighnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am go-goin’

You better look out below!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August Resolutions

Today’s resolutions were made at Saylor Grove. When I say “Meet me at the little wetland,” that’s where I mean. It’s right at the intersection of Rittenhouse St. and Lincoln Drive. Wetlands strain the toxins out of water, and this particular one has strained a fair amount of toxins out of me.

Here are August’s resolutions. They’re kind of more earthy than the previous months’ because I’m finding myself in need of some tangible progress, some solid ground:

1.Make friends with first and second gear, literally and metaphorically. (Though I of course prefer highway driving…)
2.Be more out in lots of ways.
3.Make myself at home.
4.Get some money and take care of it.
5.Find a good, fulfilling job.