March 21st, 2006
on a train with gary snyder

an open bag of dried apricots sit on my desk, they are painfully tart, like sour candy. just how I like them.
nearby a pink shoelace lies in a heap, found in a junk store, i had thoughts of using it to make tags for things, or to wrap small gifts to friends.
a lone piece of green gum, unchewed.
a green apple of the pipin variety, my current favourite.
tepid tea in a mustard yellow cup. lion mountain keemun.
a japanese postcard with a red elephant on it that you can cut out and assemble, which I will do shortly. a gift from a friend that came in the mail yesterday.
two books, “no nature” by Gary Snyder, and “independence day” by Richard Ford. the snyder has a page marked with a folded down corner, a poem entitled ‘what you should know to be a poet’ which is actually a list that includes…
the names of trees and flowers and weeds.
names of stars, and the movements of the planets and the moon.
your own six senses, with a watchful and elegant mind.
at least one kind of traditional magic.
comic books.
i spent the weekend by the ocean again, smelling the eucalyptus in muir woods and listening to the rain. breakfast by a fire in stinson beach.
this morning i search the depths of myself for a small piece of motivation that will somehow get me to start work. I might rather take mr. snyder with me onto a train headed along the coast of california for some unknown destination. I could sit reading on a train for days.
watching the world through a window.
but the phone rings.

Mar 21 2006
12:09 pm
Jennifer writes:

I read your post beside a window. The sky has finally stopped spitting snowflakes this afternoon. Michigan is as stubborn as Ohio when it comes to being spring.
Your words made me sigh and feel melty and sleepy, which is, in my case, a nice feeling.
I sat on the floor of the library in front of a copier an hour ago reading “Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson. I listened to the machine make copies for the class I’m teaching today while I did my own thing. It felt good.
If I were on a train right now, I’d get out of Michigan, take Gilead with me, and re-read Robinson’s “Housekeeping” as well, because it is so lovely. Thank YOU for a lovely post.

Mar 21 2006
12:46 pm
Summer writes:

I’ve spent many hours on trains, going up and down the coast of California, through New England, and even in Europe. As Audre Lorde says, a woman can sort her life out on a train. I know this to be very true.

Mar 21 2006
2:12 pm
amy writes:

Gary Snyder is always good company for an adventure. Whenever I feel uninspired, I pull one his books down from my shelf and he shows me a new path.

Mar 21 2006
2:36 pm
Yansen writes:

I have read all of his books… my favourite author :)…

Mar 21 2006
3:22 pm
tracey writes:

I only just found your website recently and I am so glad for whatever path led me here! Your writing, drawing and collages are so inspiring to me. Thank your for what you do and for sharing pieces of yourself with those lucky enough to find you.

Mar 21 2006
3:24 pm
sarai writes:

your post reminds me of one of my favorite paintings…

Mar 21 2006
4:32 pm
vegasandvenice writes:

Wow! Such an evocative post!

Mar 21 2006
8:39 pm
~Jodi Lynn writes:

I’m getting ready to take a thirty-seven hour train trip to Seattle/Port Townsend (for Artfest) — I am so looking forward to it…something meditative about train travel that I am going to benefit from immensely.
As usual, your post is more than slightly synchronistic for me!
(: kind regards ~ Jodi Lynn

Mar 21 2006
9:50 pm
Viv writes:

First time commenter. Gary Snyder was a huge inspiration to me as a young adult and I have had the pleasure of meeting him. Good companionship! Thanks for *your* inspiring blog.

Mar 22 2006
2:03 am
Marieke writes:

My bag is packed for today I am taking the train from Amsterdam to London, passing through Holland, Belgium and France. Three books in my bag, but I never get much reading done in these trips, because like you I watch the world go by through a window.
Your piece made me calm (my usual pre-holiday jitters). Thank you.

Mar 22 2006
4:03 am
Gina writes:

what a writer.

Mar 22 2006
5:00 am
katie writes:

don’t answer the phone

Mar 22 2006
7:57 am
Holly writes:

I have your book and was delighted this morning when I stumbled upon your blog. I love your ideas, very nice touch.

Mar 22 2006
2:54 pm
aphazia writes:

it is four a.m here in the Philippines and I am browsing your blog, as always, looking for inspirational bits here and there…
there are stampmarks on my skin, recently kissed by hellokitty stampers from mcdo in the wee hours of morning.
hello, i would like to be your friend.:D

Mar 22 2006
4:19 pm
frida writes:

I love No Nature. Your entry is a poem too.

Mar 23 2006
9:41 am
herhimnbryn writes:

dear keri, as someone said earlier, don’t answer the phone!
Get on the train.
Journey well.
Look (as you always do).
Thankyou so much for this post. It has brought calmness after a hectic day.

Mar 23 2006
2:36 pm
Sharon writes:

keri, please show us the Japanese postcard when you assemble it.

Mar 23 2006
3:49 pm
pixie writes:

get on that train and come to my mountain! or linger in big sur for days. i will live vicariously through you if you do it. XOXOXOXO

Mar 23 2006
5:39 pm
Monica writes:

There’s something about motion both within and without–the world through a window, the world through a book.
I’m with Pixie…go visit the Henry Miller museum!

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