I potentially have mere minutes to write until mr. T wakes up from his nap. I am solo parenting for the whole week, yikes!
how about a list?
what i am doing these days
…preparing for going back to Troy in two weeks.
…just finished a visual essay for the Penguin blog. I’ll let you know when it’s posted. It’s something I’ve not done too much of before, a personal piece. I’d like to do more like it. To be frank, I’m very proud to share it with you.
really excited about/interested in…
…david foster wallace, reading a great excerpt, and this video from the penguin blog. I am very excited about his new novel which was found just after he passed away.
…cy twombly. not new to me but i’m re-investigating with new eyes.
…(related to above) thinking about time, movement, accidents, absence, happenstance.
…for all my readers in the Netherlands (you are the greatest, thank you for all the wonderful letters which I don’t have the time to respond to right now sadly), the American Book Center in Amsterdam just reported that they have received a large shipment of “This is NOT a book”! There is a rumor that they might be doing another window display. that would be really really great. I love them right back.
…working on a interview for ink on my fingers. very very flattered. susannah is really amazing!
…nick drake. in particular the song black eyed dog.
…I felt a bit teary when I learned that I have been added to wikipedia. I giggled when I saw it is filed under “American writer”. *cough* Canadian.
…I have a lovely new penpal, her name is Rubi and she is 10.
…I am taking a minivacation to Burlington VT for my 5th wedding anniversary. If we like it too much we may just stay forever.
…did I tell you how much I love my new book yet? yes? I forgot. I’m sorry, I can’t help it. it almost feels like someone else did it since I finished writing it almost a year ago now. I just get excited about people seeing it.
…oh, i almost forgot, I am also proud to announce that the iphone development team has an adfree blog! The wrote to offer their personal support (and to see if my server could handle the extra traffic). That is some great stuff.
I am really happy right now!
don’t you love that blue interior? I could eat that blue. I’ve been into this color for quite a while now. can’t seem to get enough of it.
it is difficult to talk about this one, it must been experienced. but it is quite a wonderful object. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
I judge my own work successful if I create something that I would have to take home with me if I saw it out in the world. something that made me feel a bit giddy. this one hits the mark. I keep walking by it and picking it up. I want to take it out on a date.
i begin to write here and end up stopping for some reason. my mind does not think or reach outwardly these days. parenting has been rather insular for me. i was at a christmas party last december and i had a short but intense conversation with the local yoga teacher. she related to me that she experienced a huge kind of ‘pulling inward’ during her early parenting years. she said she found it very difficult to socialize during this time, in part because her energy was so concentrated on her child. but she also felt something had changed in her which was hard to put into words. she felt, not very “present”. just hearing her say that made me feel extremely relieved and understood as I had been feeling the EXACT same thing, but had not spoken of it to anyone. i felt my eyes get wide and my insides taking a deep breath. part of me felt like I was malfunctioning in some way. right now I feel pulled in many directions but unable to connect. I go out to social events and feel a bit awkward for the first time in my life, i feel strange not being able to put myself fully into conversations (as my child is trying to climb up the side of a building). me, who used to be the last to leave any party.
this person looked at me and said, “it’s perfectly normal. you are in a new and very intense phase of your life. there’s no need to resist it.”
damn, i really needed to hear that.
i mention this in case there may be others out there who are experiencing the same thing.
i am not the kind of person to follow a trend. i don’t often feel pressured to jump on any bandwagon no matter who is at the helm. i like to do things my own way, and that means making things up as I go. I find trends do not make for interesting work. there is often not a lot of ingenuity or thought happening once they take hold. I like to see people pushing the limits, or using things in unexpected ways. or taking an old medium and shifting the context, giving it a new meaning. i will use technology when it seems useful to me, but there is not a lot of it that I feel ‘adds to’ my life. these are just tools after all, not things that alter the shape of your life. i want to have technology serve me, not the other way around. less is more. i don’t want to read manuals, i have much better things to do with my time. i see the use of a lot of new technology driven by the need to be competitive, or compatible or “edgy”. but competitive, compatible or “edgy” doesn’t necessarily mean ‘works well’, or good use of materials and time. and it certainly doesn’t involve things that come from the gut. competitive, compatible or “edgy” are driven by a need to compare ourselves to others, a need to impress, or feel like we are “in the game”. these things are not real in the long run and they infect our psyche without our really knowing it. “so and so is doing that, so I should do it too.” do we stop to think about whether we respond to the particular medium at hand? do we stop to ask ourselves how this new invention will affect our perception of the world? of ourselves? shouldn’t we? do the new technologies bring our best parts to the forefront? do they make us feel good? or do they sap us of energy and steal away large chunks of time that could be better spent in the world? I would never criticize the shifting of media power to the individual as in the case of some instant technologies. but how many of us are living up to that potential, sharing information that would be otherwise lost? some yes. many no. how do we know when our use of technology is successful? do we rely on feedback from others? are social mediums really helping us to feel connected? or do they actually rely on creating a lack of intimacy among individuals? texting not talking. do we really need to accessible 24 hours a day? do your readers need to know where you are every ten minutes? why the need to follow someone? and what ever happened to ‘winging it?’ just choose a salad dressing, it’s okay if your wife doesn’t like it. maybe it’s meant to be. what ever happened to happenstance? wandering. drifting. taking a risk. taking a wrong direction. making a mistake. living in the moment. spending time alone. with just yourself. daydreaming. no iphone. no camera. no text.
when it gets right down to it the individuals that are really doing interesting things and changing the world don’t seem to paying much attention to the cutting edge technologies. they’re too busy conducting experiments, spending time alone, making mistakes, dreaming up new ideas, sitting in the midst of uncertainty… embracing mystery.