Category Archives: Nonfiction

‘Is anything really surreal anymore?’: April and May notes

Dandelion closed, robin’s egg open. 4 May.

φ  Nature — outdoors — as a sink for emotion, like an electrical ground is, the way the whole Earth is for extra electricity. [5 Apr. 2022]

φ  I like snippets of text (such as opening a book at what I first see, or overheard words, or words partially visible after a fold — as in Trout Fishing in America, page 41). I’d thought of the pocket pages idea — notes as a basic self-sufficient textual unit. But a “snippet” is more fundamental, less formal, less needing to justify itself. I was also thinking of a local-farmer’s diary from early 1890s, how it’s informal. How it’s just words about, well, nonfiction whatever. This loose-unit of text interests me as an incompletist. I wrote this morning in home journal that I like incomplete texts, informal texts, cut-off texts, understandable-mistake texts (semi-intentional weirdnesses, eccentricies). I don’t appreiciate only smooth, conventional texts. [5 Apr.]

φ  I don’t need to define myself as a writer of snippets, unfinished, unpolished texts, but sometimes thinking this frees me from feeling I should be more conventional. [5 April] (and 1st hour 4/6, I saw on my Exquisite Corpse display in the hallway outside my classroom: “Meanings are just a dictionary.”)

Jerry Seinfeld’s bounced check, from “The Little Jerry” episode, s8 ep11.

φ  “Exactly the same” is a common phrase — but what would “exactly different” mean? [12 Apr.]

φ  My ideas, impressions, words — these are inside (my mind) and not outside (in physical and social world/realm) until I write or say them. [13 April]

Closeup on two tulips, 8 May.

φ “Is anything really surreal anymore?” M, my wife, said, citing COVID, her mom’s aneurysm and death, the Russian war in Ukraine. M said this after ABC News anchor Cecilia Vega said there was a “surreal” scene in China of people being dragged out of their homes to create a COVID quarantine area, I guess. [15 April 2022]

φ  “What are you, high?” That line is sometimes used in comedies to mock a confused person, but it’s not funny when it’s true or could be true — then it’s just sobering. Being in the situation, one has to respect the others there and not condemn them from a distance, an outsider perspective. [20 Apr.]

φ  If hearing a certain song “takes you back,” then not hearing anything but the sounds around you “keeps you now”? [20 April]

Birch tree catkins, 7 May.

φ  What to publish to paper? What are the texts (of mine own) that I’d like to see again, refer to, as I look back at certain Richard Brautigan texts at times? Via radio I play while driving, I hear a small number of pop songs repetitively — and I get sick of that. I’d like to like to get a far wider set of songs — and once I’ve heard a song, put it away for months or more! [21,23 April]

φ  M said, “You’re constantly saying things that are like: ‘O.K.,'” as in, that would be her response to my comments during tonight’s “Wheel of Fortune.” I was trying to think up silent examples for each letter the contestants called out: “D” as in “Djibouti,” “T” as in “tsar,” etc. [23 April]

φ  My making a narrative yesterday in email to school deans after I sent student out of class. As I was still leading the class, living life, I had to stop to write brief narrative of what had happened. [26-27 April]

Daffodil/jonquil/narcissus (I’m not sure which), 24 April.

φ  It’s nice for there to be beauty in the world — a private experience of beauty. [5 May 2022]

φ  I’ve gotten better at just not sticking to a topic, but following whims. Say, maybe I describe something and a strange (unexpected, atypical) image comes to mind and I simply follow it rather than dismissing it — and I don’t fret it. I’m pretty sure this is how other really-creative people write their weird, striking images — or one authentic way (w/o trying too hard to be self-consciously weird). [6 May 2022]

Goldfinches camouflaged by dandelions. 8 May.

φ  It’s weirdly fascinating when I complete artworks and the world doesn’t react. I mean, I have an experience of having made something cool — others wouldn’t care much (even if I published) — I’m bemused by the disconnect. [5,6 May 2022]

φ  My lawn keeps trying to make vetch happen. [6 May]

Collage of grass and dandelion parts. 4 May.

φ  There’s a metaphor there: cardinals fighting with their own images in my neighbor’s windows. [11 May]

φ  The culture I might try to describe is only in my head! My body’s in this car, on this road. [11 May]

φ  Any individual’s experience (as a text) should matter more than any general-history text (and there can be wrong info in each). [16 May]

Snow on hyacinths, 18 April 2022.

φ  My journals as my mental realm — as if my readers are not seeing the world through my eyes but a world I’ve (consciously and/or unconsciously) shaped. (The social realm is a negotiable realm?) My texts’ readers get only my text — not my eyesight (a world to compare my words to). (I shape my world unconsciously because of my moods, background beliefs, etc.) I don’t need to dramatize my experiences, make them seem more significant or more surreal — but if a weird (uncommon) association comes to mind, why not write it? (I wrote some of this section above on the way to school today. If I had a clear idea, I’d probably already have used fewer words.) [17 May]

Ominous morning clouds, 13 May 2022.

φ  My windshield wipers are off. I had them on minutes ago and don’t recall turning them off. There can’t be history (I can’t record it) when even I don’t recall my own actions. [18 May]

φ  “He ‘Green Acre’-d me,” M said of my taking her from city to live in rural area. [18 May]

φ  Every generalization statement I make about something in the world beyond my mind says more about me and my mind than it does about the world (including this morning’s journals about society and politics). Also: I got annoyed at a driver in front of me using a turn signal only at the last second. I judged that driver by my expectations (yes, which included the law, but still). Then I thought that having these expectations of what people should do is risking self-righteousness, an old-people’s affliction I want to avoid. So don’t judge, just learn — don’t fret who’s following rules. Learn how others drive and protect yourself, be a better driver. [18 May]

Folded violet, with open blooms behind. 8 May.

φ  Even books sell an image — book covers — as much as advertisements and TV shows and movies also sell an image. But if I’m not selling my books, then I need no cover, no image. I could put any of my texts in a plain cover! [22 May]

φ  If people are basically not rational, but emotional, how should I treat them? One idea: Politely, of course. [23 May]

φ  What would a Zen-like approach to history look like? I’m thinking of Zen as freedom from story (nonattachment to views) and history as story. [23 May]

φ  Ancient lawn values? For whatever reasons, my neighbors value tidy lawns. Their aesthetic reasons go back in tradition, probably, even to royal gardens, maybe. [24,26 May 2022]

Some prairie plant at my stepdad’s prairie plot. 23 May.

Freeing myself from having to know: March notes

Corn crib that had been more vertical just a few days before this picture was taken on 10 March 2022.

View east along Holcomb Road of flipped corn crib, 10 March.

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My mind as I paid bills this morning — why was it accurate (even when my brain’s tired and stressed)? I make mistakes sometimes, sure, but the general accuracy is impressive and mysterious. [1 March 2022]

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The (or “a”) story of one’s own life (or of any nonfiction…?) can be told in any way! … I could tell my life-story in many different ways. I could just tell random moments, say (I could pick out only “key” life moments or events, but who’s to say what moments are most important?). My judgments of what matters are not unimportant, but they’re also not necessary. Over lunch, I read at LitHub a piece about Marcel Duchamp where it says he moved to Munich: “He spoke no German, and all he said about his stay was that ‘Munich had a lot of style in those days. I never met a soul and had a great time.’” And I was struck by how easily one can joke around and seem glib and dismissive by summarizing a whole period of time, ignoring the particulars of one’s experiences. I’m not interested in being glib. I’m not seeking cleverness. I want not to write every moment of my living down, but when I do write, I want to be honest (though still there is some shaping to stories, to what I say, almost unconsciously). And I wrote during 4-5 period journals today that my journal writings are mostly written in real time. And the “10 Best Structured Movies” video I showed twice recently suggests that chronological stories are causal stories — and I don’t need causes! (No need to make causes prominent — just show random moments! It’s the implication that “this moment is meaningful because I included it here” that makes things seem too precious.) [2 March 2022]

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Lovers become family. Not all lovers, of course, but I’m pointing out that a new couple, a first-years couple, has the love and the lust, but once we’ve been married for several years, M is more my family than just a lover. It’s a relationship more about relying on a person rather than merely fancying that person. [2-3 March]

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Random is not equal to arbitrary. It’s arbitrary (motivated by feelings, customs, conventions, etc.) for me to choose moments of my experience to share as a life story. Randomly chosen moments aren’t deliberately chosen — but are legitimately not human-influenced. [4 March]

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Freeing myself from having to know, to be right, or be wise or be entertaining! Feeling freed by this idea of using continuous writings, not needing to make points. … Blue sky, bare tree limb — I saw these things on north side of Holcomb Road as I realized I felt free. [4 March]

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Sitting outside Byron library for just a few minutes this morning, I thought how little human interpretations matter to nature (to the physical world). [5 March, 9 a.m.-ish]

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If you live long enough, you’ll see some sh*t. Being alive overwhelms some (and it overwhelms me — my situation does at times). [11 March]

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A decades-long career is made of moments — like the body of my writings is made of daily writing moments. … The remembered moments are too many of think of as a sum. [14-15 March]

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Writing from within my life about my life (as I understand it) — novelists make idyllic (simple) worlds and they seem to do it from outside of their own lives. [17 March 2022]

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I have ideas and publish them. I’m not sure what I or others are supposed to do (if anything) with them. [17 March]

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Could I write without making “of course” (obvious) statements? Of course, “obvious” statements might not always be obvious to every reader. [18 March]

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Rain patterns on cooling towers, Byron nuclear reactor, view from northeast on 18 March 2022

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Of course there’s no meaning in seeing things I drive past. Meaning comes from my mind. [29 March]

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Readers may not always want to face my writings — they aren’t escapist, aren’t easy. My writings (I’m thinking here of my blog posts of random journal bits) are open, are loose, are not hard-edged, are not bounded clearly. They’re clouds. [29 March]

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Feelings are sharp at first feeling them, even if later you can get distance, so don’t poo-poo the feelings. And when I feel well, I can relax. Feeling bad, I feel an urge to ease the bad feelings, so it seems harder to relax when I’m already depressed. (I feel better now than I did 20 minutes ago). [30 March]

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Male and female cardinals in my backyard, 27 March 2022.

Cardinals kissing blurrily. 27 March.

Witnessing the male-cardinal gaze. 27 March 2022.

The retreat of the ignorant

Why Bush so valuing of us/them, loyalty?

How dare they call names — it shuts down debate, conversation. It’s the retreat of the ignorant.

Or M: maybe Bush doesn’t have good reasons if he can only defend other side. If your argument makes sense, people likely to go along, and you can tolerate dissent. Bush resorts to ad hominem attack all the time. M: “It’s like he has no other tool.”

What’s amazing is how incompetent Bush and staff really are.

Seeing [Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”] movie reminded me of how absurd so many things have been the last four years — Ashcroft losing to dead guy and then getting appointed Attorney General. I’d forgotten (or gotten used to) them. Maybe one day we’ll look back and this will all seem absurd.

[From journal of Sunday, 27 June 2004, Journal 36, pg. 152]

This, too, can be sacred: Feb. 2022 notes

There’s something deeply satisfying in my letting go of thinking that I’m publishing writing for others (where I get disappointed if there’s not a big reaction), and, instead, I am starting to appreciate my blog as a reader, too (especially the older stuff I’d kinda forgotten making).  People who write for others (at websites, say) are paid to (in part) follow, work within, those familiar forms — so as to please, ease readers. But I’m doing my own style and I appreciate reading my writings and I am satisfied by writing these — the whole project is valuable to me! This is the overlap I mentioned! (in note dated 31 Jan. in previous notes post). [1 Feb. 2022]

The outdoors seldom demands much of me. There’s rain, cold, sure, and my body’s hunger, sure — but mostly it’s relaxing to go outside. [1 Feb.]

How fun my mind is (usually!). I like most (not all, but most) of my thoughts, observations, jokes. I just don’t need to tell others — that’s about my ego. I can just watch my own mind for, well, entertainment! (a deeper kind of watching?) I’ve had a thought like this one before — but I don’t think I was as pleased by this thought then as I am today. I’m not feeling needy (now!). I’m self-satisfied and self-sufficient!

[later the same morning] I’m not always an agent, one who acts, but I’m an experiencer — watching as a big part of being alive. Keep experiencing. [1 Feb.]

I make writings that interest me, for various reasons : recording, amusing, palate-cleansing, etc. [1 Feb.]

My Exquisite Corpse statements are not palate-cleansers but mind-treats! I have said for weeks, months, that I like those surprising statements for clearing my mind, my usual thinking patterns. Today, though, they seem like a treat to my mind, an entertainment! [1&2 Feb.]

We take in others’ ideas to forget ourselves. But what if it’s my own work from before — it’s new and not-new to me? [1 Feb.]

Intersection of Chana Road and Brick Road, Pine Rock Township, Ogle Co., Illinois, 13 Feb. 2022.

I’m not always able to watch/observe my mind’s voice, right? Say, if I’m feeling strongly or if I’m interacting with others (yes/no?)? And it’s not really me watching a tree, say, it’s me watching me watch tree? (Sounds Sartrean, with his self-awareness component to each bit of consciousness — I’m not saying he’s wrong — I’m also not saying I agree). The point of being alive is to watch my mind (?). [1 Feb.]

But why should others entertain me? (They do it — or offer to — for money.) “Entertain yourself,” adults tell bored kids. [1 Feb.]

RE: Watching my mind: Of course I’ve learned from others — allusions as memories of that. But also, repetitions (as songs on FM radio) and dumb messages (as from ads) — I’m tired of seeing common ideas (the limited range of ideas one usually hears) in common forms. [2 Feb.]

Driving, showering, dog-walking: These are partially engaging actions. My mind is not deeply engaged when doing these things. [2 Feb.]

I noticed yesterday that my Byfest posts contained moments (or descriptions of moments) of things I found silly, weird, and also, dumb. I used to think I was cynical (and I don’t want to always be looking for dumb things everywhere). But maybe there’s more to this: I expect things to be smarter or more aesthetically interesting than they often are? Maybe? But it’s not just disappointment that I note. I also note absurdities, like frog seeming to float over police department. I also seem to just write observations when I’m, say, writing at home or at a cafe. [2 Feb.]

I heard a DJ on an FM radio channel say, “There is such a thing as a time machine, and it’s not a DeLorean” — it’s repeats of Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown, DJ said. But then my journals are time-machines, too — they’re written at a point in time, showing the image of my mind at the time of the writing. [2 Feb.]

Looking north from Brick Road. 13 Feb. 2022.

I looked at leaves shaking in snow and thought how essays (like that E.B. White one about cabin) are artworks, are not trying to represent reality, are polished as artworks. There wouldn’t need to be a polished moment in lived experience — as if there were any polished moments in lived experience!

“My groin felt the chill of death” from “Once More to the Lake” essay — that’s the line that surprised me when I read it. Now, after seeing comments online about how essay compares E.B. White’s childhood to his son’s, I see the tidiness of conclusion — it’s tidy and not real, by which I don’t mean that E.B. White didn’t feel it. But in the essay, it’s too damned tidy, as if he wrote essay in his mind during this trip to the lake — which would be distracted, inauthentic, living. [3 Feb., 11:09 a.m., 5th hour]

Essays aren’t where writers work out their ideas — freewrites might be. I feel shock and joy at realizing a deeper truth — and the insufficiency, or, the false artifice, of a common definition or belief. Artifice in essays is false, but it’s also overly familiar (to me). I go artless (in my journals) to find new ideas. [4 Feb.]

Cat got so close to my face as I lay on couch last night that he looked like he had one eye — cyclops cat! [9 Feb.]

There’s the event (the Super Bowl, say), and the publication of stories and opinion articles about the event (a column about the Super Bowl) is another event. [14 Feb.]

I don’t write much about my time spent sleeping. [14 Feb.]

Sunset along Limerick Road, Ogle County, Illinois. 18 Feb. 2022

Photos don’t convey a consciousness (not like writing does). I look at the sun rising today — If I took a picture of it, viewers of that pic wouldn’t know that I feel different about it on different days. It annoys me today — I can’t appreciate it when I’m tired and stressed. [15 Feb. a.m.]

Traveling to see things is passive — I don’t have to go anywhere in order to have engaged, active experience. [18, 19 Feb.]

I’ve been seeing tree glints this morning as I drive east. Frozen water drips off tree, lots of mini-icicles. [23 Feb.]

This, too, can be sacred. It’s so easy to think that Midwest locations are on flat, farmable (useable) land so that no spot seems sacred. So it seems a bit of a revelation to realize, yes, that the Midwest too (not just the shore or the mountains or deserts) can have sacred spots. [28 Feb. 2022]

‘Work is like play except they run at wall’: Exquisite Corpse poems, Spring 2022

Here are this semester’s Creative Writing classes’ poems written in the Exquisite Corpse method.  What I love about these lines is how they were created almost randomly but have a kind of weird logic. I like how some of these seem almost brilliant, in an obtuse way. See here for previous semesters’ poems. Punctuation was added, but the words below appear in the order they were written in the Exquisite Corpse poems made in class recently.

I want to leave me alone now.

Today will not be fun times for all.

Motor in car is bad, rough, cruel, thunderous squirrels in the ocean.

I have to go shopping with a peach and an astronaut screaming help, help me, I am dying in the dark cave where the animal lives in the den.

Listen closely or else you’ll see the future.

The dinosaur trampled through the mouse.

Who doesn’t go to go to a game?

Now she yeets it over the river and through thick and thin Cheez-its.

Life can be annoying people.

Oops, I did it again. I ran a red by Taylor Swift.

The worst thing is, I don’t love Bad Bunny all day.

Kids over all just suck at being so cringe.

Quitting is so easy, but what about her, though?

Kim Kardashian – her name wasn’t Kim – will have another drink.

Life, it’s short, sad, to my heart’s content creators.

Work is like play except they run at wall.

Good night, my darling. Love cheese and ham donuts.

Today I turned 19 years ago.

We napped in early p.m.

We napped in early p.m. I had thoughts of finishing covers on the two text blocks under the heavy books to my left, but I didn’t, and it’s back to school and that’s fine, too. A nearly full moon again this morning. … I’m making rice. The crackles are getting quieter.

And I’m back after shutting off the crackles — off the stove burner, I mean. What about charging phone? (There was another deck pop — and here jingles the dog. It could have been a deck cold-pop that prompted him to seek refuge with me before.) Phone’s charged to 85%. Had thought yesterday that I could avoid writing about — critiquing — things I don’t like and could just write about things I do like (I’m back after getting Sam away from bedroom door — I think I heard him scratch at it — as if to seek refuge there.) Things I like, things I like — hmm. Well, yeah, this is an interesting (another deck pop — and dog’s on the move again. Deck pops didn’t used to bother him so much, even as of a few weeks ago, I thought.) I mean, I don’t think I want just a listing of things I like — though that could happen, too — but I actually feel freed from critique. Thinking about stating positive things feels like a thrilling new perspective (which is maybe a shame, but here I am).

Just now I thought about driving past Weld Park on my commutes. Even after all my family is dead, I’ll still have thoughts of Weld Park’s history — and of mom or someone showing me the flat spot — like a cut in the slope — that this show-er labeled as old wagon tracks. As I recall, they were north-south through the park, which would fit with what else I know about that route.

I heard M. open her door after dog scratched at it again. I said from her that dog seemed scared of deck pops, and I heard M talk sweetly to dog. 6:17 [a.m.]

[From journal of Mon., 10 Feb. 2020, Journal 317, pages 210-2]

How boring to write things that did or could happen: January notes

¶ Driving today, I heard NPR’s ATC introduce someone by saying they had made a movie (or, according to ATC rundown, “his latest film“) — the sense I got was that making a film was a dull act, a commercial act — completing a marketable-length work. It made me all the more eager to make noncommercial-length works! And maybe, it made me want to not even finish artworks! [6 Jan. 2022]

¶ Do I write like I am? Probably not — I may see or say more problems when I write. I might be more gentle in person. Or maybe not. [7 Jan.]

Justice Cat in our Christmas tree, 1 Jan. 2022.

C. Lindy told me my yearbook, the first one I’d been responsible for as advisor, looked like a yearbook. He was unimpressed. But he was sick. I felt disappointed, but today, years later, I realized that he was telling me that when you’re sick, not much else matters. What good is philosophy when you’re losing your mind? Or when you have moods? (Even mild moods? Rational philosophy doesn’t help much when we’re animals (partly, of course, but also fundamentally, we’re animals, we’re bodies)). Nietzsche left Basel in 1876-1877, so 32-33 years old. In Jan. 1889, Nietzsche collapsed, got demented — age 44 (maybe had a brain cancer, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy says). My point is, sure, do what you can while you live — and yet, all that philosophy did him no good once he lost his mind. So I think philosophy might not offer the full/holistic aspect (to our animal and mental natures)that, say, poetry does? Music? Something else that’s not fully rational?

¶ My writings and my favorite writings (by others?) as slippery spots, showing you things aren’t as solid as you might think. [13 Jan. 2022]

¶ Cobbler experiences the making of the shoes. I wrote in journal this morning the idea that cobbling (or any act of creation or doing) involves certain movements, acts, that the cobbler learned over time/practice and may not be aware of doing and so wouldn’t tell others he’s doing them. But the shoemaker has the experience of making the shoe (as cook has the experience of making food, as writers have of making texts). The wearer/eater/reader (customer) has the experience of wearing, eating, and reading. A maker isn’t just making for others — one is having the experience of making. [14 Jan.]

¶ The social aspect of author-voice in texts to others — the urge/motive to convince others and/or defend oneself. Any writing meant for others is caught up in one’s ego with respect to others. Writing for self (in journals, for example) is a way out of that social situation. [14 Jan.]

¶ How boring to write things that did or could happen, experiences I did or could have, when instead writings (like Exquisite Corpse lines, like journal fragments) can instead (and more interestingly) disrupt normal thoughts — not soothe or represent experience but operate at a level to confuse or confront the mind with something new, something that forces a mind out of the familiar ruts of known patterns. This ideas is at least partly inspired by the Hollander essay from yesterday and it connects what I’ve loved about Ex. Corpses with creation of poems and other texts — and does this connect, is this the reading analogue to the freewriting experience of being interrupted by new ideas? And interruption may be the fundamental experience (default setting) of consciousness more than holding a thought is? [14 Jan.]

¶ Publish only what’s weird (in whatever way)! This can be a guideline for me — that I don’t need to publish things that don’t surprise in some way (and, yes, my random journals may still surprise — I’m not sure — even slow-seeming journal bits are OK). But, yeah, Exquisite Corpse-level weirdness as a guideline, a goal? Eh, just publish whatever you want to — I like Thoreau’s journals, as simple as they are. [20 Jan.]

Sunrise on ice-encrusted snow. 9 Jan. 2022.

¶ The things that happen in a life, these surprises — just writing about these makes for interesting narrative? [22 Jan.]

¶ Seeking overlap of who you’re making art for and who’s reading it (me and me, in my recent writings). [31 Jan. 2022]

I called Sam ‘Lampbreaker’

I called Sam “Lampbreaker” (like “Kingslayer” from Game of the Throne) because he seemed to knock over the lamp with the three colored glass shades on the tiny oblong bulbs. Like a sitcom parent, I said, “What now?” exasperatedly when I was on floor to stretch and heard that.

So, yeah, I took notes on pocket page last night after I left mom’s. I didn’t, but slightly regret now, take a pic of the drive lane that heads north from Chana Road at Brick Road — it was in shade, in afternoon light. Ah, well. It’s not like I

M says she “dreamt that my mom got to come back.” “She got a blank slate and got to come back.” I know the science idea (Eagleman?) that we dream to keep visual brain active as we sleep — but why not just show shapes, designs? Why are there plots and characters in our dreams — and, hey, here’s a question: did dreams have plots before we humans had stories, before we had narrative cultural learning? On other hand, I’ve seen the dog whine and twitch his legs while he sleeps. He seems to dream events, not just images. Perhaps my mind is used to processing a world of experience, so it reflects that back to me in dreams. It’s not like my mind works at showing kaleidoscope images.

[From journal of Sat., 29 Jan. 2022, Journal 358, page 80-1]

What I saw was a red-striped paper shopping bag zoom from the stairs

Markson’s Vanishing Point: It’s this disjoint, well, not really — it’s mostly a set of facts, quotes, etc. And they aren’t random — yes, they relate to artists’ lives, and death, as the book jacket points out/describes it. I feel like there could be many different interpretations. Well, yes, duh. I feel like it’s a rich text, and I don’t yet know what to think, except that I like it as a model — in the sense not that I would copy it, imitate it, but it’s a model that shows there are many possibilities for arranging texts. …

M. accused me yesterday of wanting to keep the cat here so her dad would have to stay away. All he does when he comes to house is bring us more furniture we don’t want anyway, I said. M said something about herself being soft-hearted Nano when she picked up Justice (I think we should call him “Judge”) at courthouse last May.

11:16: Back inside at 11:12 after 24 minutes outside with dog. His spit froze in little globs on his coat.
Cat was hilarious — what I saw was a red-striped paper shopping bag zoom from the stairs across living room, around the Xmas tree, and back downstairs. Later I found the bag downstairs missing a twine handle and I found the cat behind some things downstairs with a twine handle and bag part around his middle.

[From journal of Tues., 3 Jan. 2012, Journal 152, pages 41-42]

When I get tired, depressed, my mind narrows

Dog’s been quiet but now barks at FedEx truck headed to [neighbor’s], so it seems. Sam seems to bark at FedEx and, after most single barks, he looks back toward me as I sit inside here.

I think what happens when I get tired, depressed (as maybe I was during that grumpy post last Sunday), is that my mind narrows. As I get tired and depressed, my mind gets more judgmental, more critical, less accepting, and that that’s why I shouldn’t try to edit when I’m tired. When I’m feeling better, I’m more accepting of many kinds of writing as interesting, and I’m less worried about impressing others.

Ah, ok, moving on. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s a Saturday morning in February. I’ve slept well — longer hours, especially — since last weekend. No Saturday Night Live tonight, so I’ll sleep well tonight, too. And it’s been sunnier this week, so that too helps my mood.

[From journal of Sat., 18 Feb. 2017, Journal 246, pages 243-44]