Category Archives: Uncategorized

M said, why don’t you admit it hurts?

7:56 A.M., Mountain Daylight Time — Well, here I am. Walked around the ring road through this corporate office park. I say “corporate” because these aren’t factories, but mostly these are small buildings. Only DirecTV is really big. And I had to pee really bad the whole time, well, almost the whole time. But I held it in. Walking downhill was worse than flat or uphill. And anyway here I am.

I’ve read the papers this week, but very little TV or NPR and no online news. It’s been pleasant that way. At least newspaper isn’t screaming at me. But these papers are better than the [Chicago Tribune] — the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post are both better papers than the Trib, more news, but also just more character, more personality in the features. And we went to Boulder yesterday and I bought a NYTimes on the Pearl Street Mall just because I could — because here it was, and I can’t normally buy it. So yeah, after MPs [morning page journals] yesterday, we picked up M’s dad at Marnie’s. M had cereal for breakfast; I had TicTacs [10/23/08: didn’t I also have an energy bar from Shell station?] and then got her mom at the nail store — her mom had swollen gum troubles. And M drove up to Boulder (by the way, I’m here at my table on the ground floor, looking out at the wedding tent and the concrete walk and the pond and golf course — and a staffer was outside a few minutes ago wearing a plastic glove on his left hand, taking cigarette butts out of the black sandy tray at top of garbage cannister and throwing the butts into the garbage can beneath. I didn’t know that was a job to be done, but I guess it does make it look nicer.).

So, yeah, I’ve been saying how Denver has an outdoor culture while Midwest doesn’t as much — also Chicago isn’t really as tourist-friendly. The IPass [“eye-pass”]: Having to stop to pay cash tolls is so tedious, it’s as though the state hates outsiders, or there are simply so few it doesn’t matter, but either way, it’s not a welcoming system for tourists. While out here in Denver, we drive all around the city and pay no tolls. We saw signs about the HOV lanes — high occupancy vehicle? — and how you could pay a toll there, but it was free if you had two or more people in car. Chicago doesn’t reward carpooling at all.

Anyway, M drove to Boulder. We went downtown. [Her dad] shouted to a biker, how do we get downtown? Take a left on Arapahoe (was it?), then 9th Street to downtown. M said if I gave directions, it’d be too much information (T.M.I., the saying goes). And I found my Clairefontaines — my only real quest of the trip — at Boulder Books, a neat store I didn’t have much time to explore because I was looking at various notebooks, but that’s OK. We were on Pearl Street, where [my friend D.] said he had been, but hadn’t had a good feeling at, a few weeks ago. To think that my friend lived there — anyway, lunch at Walnut Brewery, tasted their beer sampler while [M’s mom] started to cry while maintaining her tooth didn’t hurt. M said, why don’t you admit it hurts?

[From journal of Fri., 8 August 2008, Journal 103, page 353-5]

It’s juvenile to have the attitude that you have to overturn everything, push everything to see if it tips over.

It’s juvenile to have the attitude that you have to overturn everything, push everything to see if it tips over. Maybe that’s a necessary developmental step for teens and young adults, that “change the world” stage of life. One wants to know what are the reasons for the way things in the world are, and, yes, some of the reasons are arbitrary, not rational or purposeful, but traditional and/or arbitrary (say, school structure). But that’s how the world is, that’s how we find it, and frankly, why rail against these small things — say, silly laws, teacher licensing, etc.? Just go along with little stuff so you can pursue the bigger, higher-priority, stuff: being happy, raising kids, having good relationships, etc. I guess those are bigger things , although, I guess, I mean — when you have a good marriage, that seems so much more real, more important, than school regulations.

The world pales in comparison to those intimate moments with your spouse (or child, or friends, etc.). The simple pleasures, as they say. The lullaby “Baby of Mine” (from Dumbo movie?) comes to my mind, its image of mother-baby bonding. These little pleasures of being human, of being alive. These things that we don’t talk about much — it’s hard to talk about them, because they aren’t words. The joy of cuddling with M — it’s not an ecstatic joy. It’s just, well, nice. It’s something that has to be experienced. There are organizations promoting all manner of changing the world, but there are no groups promoting cuddling one’s spouse, frequent hugs, loving your kids, playing with your dog. These common pleasures — for me, writing in my journal — this, too, is not radically new to the world. All these things I’m describing — there’s no game so no winner, there’s no fame or money involved. It’s simply the pleasure of being alive, of not being alone. Why don’t we talk more about these things? Why is so much of our media talk about policies and issues and material wealth and so forth, all these abstractions, all these externals. We tend to downplay these joys that everyone (well, almost everyone — not those in comas, say) can experience, the things we’re already capable of. We don’t need to lose weight or make money or work hard to hug our spouses or play with the dogs.

And, look at you here, wanting to change the world to be more this way — let that go, too! I’m mature enough to recognize when I’m going down that “change the world” mindset — hey, there’s no reason to change the world! I mean, why resort to abstractions? You don’t need to prove the value or joys of cuddling — that’s the point of cuddling! These things you haven’t experienced as a 20-year-old, and as a 20-year-old, you believe those abstractions are important somehow.

(I looked up Lara Logan on Google yesterday, the CBS Iraq correspondent. Howard Kurtz, Washington Post media guy, said she had plenty of ambition. But she’s been living in and reporting from war zones for more than 5 years now — she’s 37 or so, I read — so much ambition. At times that seems exciting, to have this career path, be nationally known. But at other times, her life seems terrible to me — how can she live in a war zone and not have that affect her — stress levels, nightmares? Perhaps she’s one of those who burn bright and burn out, Roman candles, as the comparison goes. As Kelly ___ from Daily Illini, who reports from Middle East and Chechnya — a true believer, of sorts — a committed person).

See, it’s funny that I would say I want to change the world. The whole point is that these joys are, well, they don’t need promotion. They’re self-explanatory (sex is nice, even when our media takes it and perverts it, turns it into a game of f*cki*g attractive people, of “scoring” — not just the media, some people [do this too]).

The whole point is, I had to mature to the point where I could realize that I’m — that I’m alive, in this body. And all kinds of people have all kinds of ideas and goals and needs and views and — f*c*, this is more awkward than it needs to be.

When I was younger, in my early 20s, I thought that what reality was, was abstractions: living a unique life, being creative, changing the economic or cultural shape of the world. And as I get more mature, I can see those things don’t matter so much as I said they did, as I used to think they did. At age 20, I wanted to be Unique, Important, etc. At age 30, 34, I want cuddling. Well, see, it seems silly to even write it. Cuddling just is. It doesn’t need promotion. So many of the joys of life are so common as to be nearly universal. And yet we don’t talk about them. (I guess I’m saying these things should be talked about because then, as a 20-year old, I wouldn’t have been deceived — and yet, maybe this is something I had to learn on my own).

I can’t even write about this. It seems dumb and words are blocking the simple point — my life is basically unremarkable to others, but it’s pretty wonderful to me. In a sense, it’s a selfish thing, but in another sense, these things are wrapped up in consciousness, which is essentially private. It’s nice to experience cuddling, to experience conversation, to experience the “miracle of childbirth” — it’s a pretty common miracle, has happened billions of times, but it’s still miraculous to you. As a parent, you have created life, you’re witnessing a new life, the beginning of life (as it was also miraculous to witness Gracie’s death). These so-very-common experiences continue to be the most significant, the most profound, the most wonderful, sublime experiences. And they’re basically impossible to share, to tell others about. Even when people have both (each?) experienced these things, there’s just not much to say.

[From journal of Sun., 6 July 2008, Journal 103, page 20-3]

New dog ‘Sam’: ‘He’s cute and oddly tiny’

sam 2008 (3)

Puppy Sam, eyeing a gray cat, partially visible at lower right corner of photo. Both animals are near the door to my grandma’s goat-milking house. Late summer, 2008.

Some facts from trip [from here to Denver and back] — gas receipts: …

Totals: 83.52 gallons, $316.07, avg. price/gal = $316.07/83.52 = $3.78/gal avg.

Total miles: 2389.5 miles/83.52 gals = 28.61 mpg at avg. speed of 70-75 mph in 2008 Scion XB, with now just over 20,000 miles

Well, clearly, I’m burying the lede here — [We] got our new dog yesterday. We brought him home and sat under safety tree and [grandma] P. and [uncle] L. and [cousin] E. came and P. just says, “Sam.” So after we said the name the other day, and P. said it, unprompted, uninformed by our earlier discussion, we decided on “Sam.” He’s cute and oddly tiny — a runt, perhaps, or a little malnourished, what with the worms and all …

sam 2008 (4)

Puppy Sam, with his frequently used expression of concern.

And we had the puppy home in early afternoon and we walked him to quarry. Most of the way he walked himself. We joked that maybe he’s already 3 years old. He seems very smart and oddly proportionate. Most puppies are disproportionate. But his paws aren’t even very big, as [my grandpa] and M pointed out. “The World’s Smallest Lab,” I called him this morning.

He’s a biter. We had — I had, anyway — forgotten how bitey little dogs — puppies — are. And this morning I introduced him to [uncle] L’s dogs, who were barking at him as he was near [grandpa’s] pond as if he were a cat. I took him down there to L’s and he shivered a bit, and the other dogs were reluctant to meet him. Chester [a bloodhound] not too reluctant, but Sis [a hound] came within 10 feet and started to leave. I had to call her near, and Spuddy [hound-mix] was very leery, too, almost leaning sideways. … L came to his front door and said big dogs think little dogs are too needy. He said [his old dog] Rufus wouldn’t get near his own litter he fathered with Annie.

sam 2008 (1)

Neighboring bloodhound Chester meets Sammy dog as pup. Late summer, 2008.

I went to Byron and got film and stuff. M said while I was gone, Sammy was carrying around a piece of newspaper folded only once — and there was an ad for “Sam’s” something on it. He met Kiki and Beezus [my grandparents’ Lhasa Apsos], who had been going nuts inside the house but weren’t really all that interested once they met him — later, inside P’s house, he chewed on one of those other dogs’ beef bones, and neither dog scolded him. He stayed in P’s deck pen while we went to Rockford — Beef-A-Roo, Petco …, Farm & Fleet for pen and crate. We won’t force him into the crate as we did Gracie on her first night. And there was very little separation anxiety last night. We set up pen and crate and, pen around the crate, with crate door open and a blanket inside and a towel over … for dark. When he picked out his own spots to lie down, he was going behind the front door or under chairs — smaller, darker spots. But then [his seller] said she had him in a pen by himself at nights and let him out into the hallway (or something like) near the miniature horse during the daytime. She said he was smart, but she didn’t say, and we didn’t ask, what she meant by smart, how she could tell that.

He — he’s just so small. And it’s — suddenly there’s a dog’s presence in the apartment again. Really pretty easy, that was. We cried about Gracie last night after looking at dog foods at Petco. And how hard it seems to pick a good food, how we used to do that for Gracie, pick a food that was healthy and wouldn’t give her allergies. And how that was stressful and it felt a little stressful last night and then I thought, eh, it doesn’t need to be stressful. Don’t approach dog ownership like that, thinking it has to be stressful.

How small he is — his ears not much bigger than the width of my thumb, and he’s got that puppy swell — a touch acrid, a slight bit like a skunk, but not offensive. And so cute now — I took nearly 3 rolls [of film pictures] yesterday alone. I want to document the early cute stuff — he’ll soon not be that. Yet he doesn’t really have a personality yet as older (adult) dogs do.

Ah, well. We’re going to Sycamore, to court.

We handle dog rearing better now than we did with Gracie.

OK, I checked: his ears are more like both my thumbs together.

Swimming in quarry: he followed me in. He got feet wet, hesitated just a bit, then walked in, then swam. I didn’t even have to introduce him to it.

He just plows through things, going forward and over, not around, legs and things in his way.

sam 2008 (2)

Small Sammy!

[From journal of Weds., 13 Aug. 2008, Journal 103, pages 401-404. Pics of more-mature Sam here, here, and here]

‘Do you think there’s anything, you know, cosmically, that amounts from all this?’

Though I like the routine school (work) gives my life, I am liking the summer, too. I’m finally relaxed enough to take on new projects, like cleaning, and even if we barely have the energy to keep clean while I’m in school, at least if we do the big organizing projects during the summer, when I do have energy, that’s a good thing to do. …

Birds: I remember last summer thinking that it was fairly quiet in the morning long before the end of summer. And last Thursday, I saw a baby robin at Mom’s house and a baby oriole, both could fly, and [my grandma] last week shut the gray cat into the milk room to protect a baby robin somewhere in the yard. So the baby birds are about to leave the next, and then they’ll fly away — so maybe early-mid July is normally when birds start departing? You always notice the return of the birds in spring — their noises after the winter’s quiet. But you don’t notice their absence. It’s not as striking. Some birds hang on, etc.

D.M. and email — he asks, “Do you think there’s anything, you know, cosmically, that amounts from all this? Like energy we’re generating with emotions or anything? … It looks to me logically like we’re animals … is there anything behind any of this, in your opinion? Anything more? Or is it this, and then we die, and the billions grow and roll on.” Also … “Obviously, you don’t know — I mean, no one does, but I know you like to think about ideas and I’m curious about your idea on this — I don’t think I’ve heard your take on this for a long time. It’s true to pattern as we get older. I think we’re supposed to believe more and more there’s got to be something, right?”

A more in-depth reaction later, but first thoughts: I’m still figuring out how to get along in this life, let alone trying to figure out afterlife. … Where meaning?

8:20 AM, at Tranquility Cafe at Swedes [hospital]: M’s getting X-ray, then CT scan. I’m not waiting in the waiting room where she left me, but … does she … well, maybe I should be there to support her … but somehow I don’t feel I need to — it’s just X-ray and CT scan. I can’t even be in the room with her. Still …

[From journal of Wed., 9 July 2008, Journal 103, page 47-8]

I could use to nap

I could use to nap. I could also use to think less, do more, be less self-monitoring. But, then, I know that this, too, is a summer phenomenon. It can come and go, it’s OK, you’re OK. (S*it, now I’m between rules on the page; this line is narrow.)

Also — books: many of my books, I regard not merely as hunks of paper, of words on paper, but I tend to think of the associations of the books with their authors, their times. Brautigan and the hippie era, mystique, is part of my interest in his writing. Yet, that’s doomed to fail, of course, trying to return to an era — well, to my limited, narrow, arbitrary view of that era. Watching Little Big Man‘s scene at the drugstore, I thought how it maybe wasn’t all that different to be alive, to be conscious, to be a person and have a life, then in 1870s (approximately) as now.

Eh, don’t bother looking for answers. You’re basically just tired today. Bed about 11, but then M came in later. I had oatmeal for dinner last night — that doesn’t matter. Fu*k, it’s been another half-hour of writing. I’m gonna nap.

I got water and thought of yesterday’s thought: our well water runs cold after a couple minutes. But with city water from water tower, will it be warm in the summer? Or not? But we’ll also have cold water at the fridge supply. What I don’t yet know about town living.

[From journal of Sun., 5 June 2011, Journal 141, page 185-6]

Listening rather than talking: Notes from Feb. 2004

§ Listening to conversations, looking for assumptions, possibilities — You can’t advocate all is relative (because that’s not a relative-truth statement) but you can keep an open mind to multiple possible interpretations. Further: it’s not even that you have to be actively looking for things, observations, or even personal directions.

I’m learning you don’t have to be active, only open, receptive to the suggestions that appear in your mind — they’re a little bit subtle, not always obvious, so it helps to be open to them, listening rather than talking. [19 Feb. 2004]

§ Noticing T’s hands: If I had just noticed him and mentally said, “there’s T__,” I wouldn’t have looked closely enough to observe something new and unexpected about him. Saying “there’s T__” is, M said, a kind of prejudging, and to observe freely is an act of nonjudgment. [19 Feb. 2004]

§ A few days ago, when snow just beginning to melt, walking Gracie at night, melted spots looked like hieroglyphs painted on the snow, and walking around the edge of [my neighboring uncle]’s white pines, it didn’t seem there were trees there — there was the snow on left and a complete dark void on right. Walking Gracie this Monday morning, in dark, we tried to stick to high ground — water everywhere, but puddles and streams in low ground. [23 Feb. 2004]

§ Are students fundamentally passive, liking to be shown things, to be told a story (whether students are sitting down or involved in the demo)? Or is student passivity not fundamental but merely contextual or cultural — maybe in this culture, students are passive. The nature of schooling is external — being judged. [24 Feb. 2004]

§ “Controversial views are professionally sexy,” writes Jane Tompkins [here, I think, about college professors, I think]. I’m not sure what is professionally sexy about teaching high school — being a winning coach? [24 Feb. 2004]

§ Not only is there no privacy at school, there’s almost no time in the day to think by yourself. The way high school is set up, it’s relentlessly public and also relentlessly “productive,” or intentional. There’s no downtime for kids or teachers. You’re supposed to be busy all period, all day long, and only 25 minutes for lunch, so that too is a hurry. “Idle hands are the devil’s playground” or whatever the old-fashioned saying is. [26 Feb. 2004]

§ At first, it feels like a relief to be near the completion of the yearbook. But then I think, maybe it will even out my emotions, and my stress if I don’t make a big deal out of this. If getting done isn’t a big deal, then not having it done (earlier in year) won’t be big deals either. [27 Feb. 2004]

§ [One student’s name or another student’s name] or both said [colleague] C.S. said something in her class about me talking too much in our [teacher-education] class, something about when Hagemann starts talking, everyone sits back, puts down their pencil — apparently they’re settling in for my “dissertation.” I’m not saying that’s impossible for me, but I don’t recall doing that during those classes. Only a few times did I speak, and only once did I go on for more than a socially acceptable length, or so I thought. Although it is an interesting question — Mom and others accuse [a certain someone] of not reading signals and going on too long. [My grandpa] says I talk lots, but that’s because I enjoy conversing, not because I trap people who want to leave (I think, anyway). I’m not so blind to signals. “Mind Wide Open” guy on NPR last night said some people (autistic, but not only those) can’t read those people signals, but they can learn to do that. Listening to my comment, maybe this is what C.S. means: I don’t always just spit out my point. But I feel my points are a bit nuanced, require support, not just opinion. And anyway, why worry about what C.S. thinks of me? I didn’t think much of her comments, either, and I didn’t talk about her in my classes.  [27 Feb. 2004]

§ How it makes me nervous to have kids [students] with idle time — as if I’m just taking on the teacher personality attributes. [27 Feb. 2004]

§ Maybe it’s not that I say too much; maybe I’m just too intense? Just too much for some people — lots of these other teachers aren’t as interested in deep conversations as I am, M is, D is, C.L. was, etc. [29 Feb. 2004]

[Entries above from Pocket Page notebook #93, 18 Feb.-29 Feb. 2004]

Movies are specific things — conversations are so much more open than that

What else was I saying? Oh, that movies are specific things — unique, one-off entities — conversations are so much more open than that.

Telling M about finding the Gracie papers yesterday, I said if she had [word unclear], we wouldn’t have gotten the “little fool” Sam (I’m conscious of being a bit mean to him — then I recalled that he can’t read). And I don’t mean to be harsh on the boy. It’s just he’s more of a goof than Gracie was. I love the goof — Gracie was more devious.

See, and I’m off ideas and talking dog personalities — and that’s fine, fun. Conversations can veer from fun to serious and whatever. And blerg — this is the beauty of the journals — they can be anything, you know!

And that’s what I’m getting at. I’m not making some story that I’m claiming has some profound (mythic) power (of redemption, some idea of growth, or something). {And smart people like reading new ideas (like Eagleman’s book, like Borges) — for smart people, ideas are fun (to a point —  as [my uncle G.] said once when he was with me, we have plenty of ideas )} And I’m not claiming my ideas have theoretical power/value (ideas vs. conversations), and I’m not making some pre-planned work of art (movie or novel or whatever — anything intended, planned).

It’s just, it’s — I sorta don’t even want to call it a public text — rather than call attention to it publicly, I’d almost rather somebody find it accidentally. Say, hide my tests in a bookstore or library shelf or at a doctor’s office — something to disrupt expectations, well, but not overtly — subtly. I mean, if I give a reading, I’m calling attention to my text. Actually, I’m defining it as a public text, I’m claiming it’s a complete work — and there are theories and expectations people have for complete works that they may not have for found documents — texts whose contexts are unclear. (And I don’t mean this in a cleverness way — I wouldn’t try to be super-sneaky like Banksy, that whole cheesily simple mystery of his real identity.)

But I’m saying that such a practice, such a way of presenting my writing — such a format would allow me to not put an ending boundary on it. No sense of “this is done.” It might be more like a conversation, and I’d have a sense of not knowing if and where and when and by whom it was ever found and read. And yet, the fact that I’ve already had this idea means it’s sorta done already for me (I mean, I could do it, but it’s not a final answer. There is no final answer in art!) — onto new ideas!

I mean, I don’t really have any particular thing to say to anybody — no arguments to try to convince others, no story to tell — will people take this in the way I’d like them to? (Maybe that’s the challenge of all art for others?)

[From journal of Weds., 1 June 2011, Journal 141, page 126-8  ]

I’d like to show the fun of the creative mindset

Yeah — my book. I looked at Best American Essays 1999 in my classroom, in a box near the printer, last evening and thought that I don’t really want to be published in a book like that. I don’t want to be praised for a performance — a one-off essay feels like a performance. I prefer book-length format for myself, for my work, I think, to let my voice come across, my sensibility. I don’t really want to convince people of any idea. If anything, I’d like to show the fun of the creative mindset. But, I don’t know. I could be fun, but not relentlessly so. Whatever man — don’t fret this.

[From journal of Thurs., 17 Nov. 2016, Journal 239, pages 233]

I’m an idiot sometimes. Too much of the time, anyway

… She assured me she and all her people are real “achievement-oriented” people. Sure glad I’m not.

And that depressed me. I don’t want to talk newspapers all the damn weekend. I’m not a hyper journalist. Not that I don’t want to talk newspapers, I do, but not that seriously. Hell, even the coach said she wanted to stop talking shop and just go drink. That made me laugh in sympathy.

And that’s not even all. P__ came back today. She’d been to the office Monday, I guess, but I missed her. I don’t know — she got back from Guatemala. I haven’t seen her since we danced (fast style, you know — well, she and Ryan danced and I made an idiot of myself with athletic and clumsy gyrations). She came in and came to me sitting at the computer, and I wasn’t enthralled to see her. I just wasn’t, somehow. She was pretty and smiling and all, but she was just in to say hi, not to really talk, and she had short-haired Boy-O in tow, standing near the door looking bored while she talked to us (Boy-O could’ve been a brother, I don’t know). I wanted to tell her how it has sucked this summer …

But I know P____ doesn’t like me. We could never be a couple, because 1) she doesn’t love me, and 2) even if she did, the religion thing wouldn’t work out.

But I guess the biggest thing, and maybe the burr under my saddle that is the basis for the whole funk, is that I’m an idiot sometimes. Too much of the time, anyway. I just say dumb f***ing things — like to R__ about B____ Street being the crime center, and it was in his … police report and how crime is always on that street and I laughed and he just f***ing walked away, treating me like the biggest f***ing idiot, the social outcast who doesn’t know when to shut up, and suddenly my laugh sounded hollow and fake.

But it obviously isn’t just R__. I’ve been very judgmental lately, of others and myself. With others: I had all these opinions against [people from a certain college], and somehow felt I needed to share my judgments with others — which is the process of taking others into confidence, creating an “us” and opposing to us this “other.” This of course assumes the person I tell my thoughts to will think and judge as I do, will see the other as the odd one, not me — and will not see me as petty and negative. It isn’t the case that this is always true.

[From journal of Thurs., 27 July 1995, Journal 10, page 159-162]

All their peculiar, particular intimacies: May 2021 notes


Tree blossoms. Ogle Co., Ill. 7 May 2021.

⇒ I don’t seem to recall learning those skills I use the most often — tying shoes, etc. But also Google Classroom — I’m comfy with it now. A little surprised, I felt this morning, to think I used it a year ago, before I knew it as well as I do now. [4 May 2021]

⇒ “He solved Legos!” A puzzle can be solved — there’s one way the pieces fit together — but not Legos (that’s an infinite game?). No one right answer! [5 May 2021]

⇒ There’s no meaning in the setting, but there are examples (calm animals or calm (or tense) people) and attributes (sunny or foreboding) and associations (memories and ideas associated with certain settings). [5 May]

⇒ “Setting” — I have to travel through every inch of distance from house to my classroom. I’m always in a place. [6 May]

⇒ Listening to Steely Dan’s “Black Cow” and feeling a sense of ease from the lush arrangement. And that’s the feeling that professional-polish is supposed to give: a sense that experts are in charge, I can be passive and taken care of. Amateur art offers (or requires?) listener dis-ease. [6 May]


Baby catalpa tree leaf. Ogle Co., Illinois. 7 May 2021.

⇒ Illusion of independent living: We seldom live (at least, stereotypically) in multi-generational houses, but then parents get old and our filial ties mean we’re — not obligated to care for them, but if you like them, you take them in and care for them. And you realize that independence — your parents’, yours — doesn’t last forever. Maybe I was never all that independent at all, just an accident away from taking care or needing to be taken care of. [18 May]

⇒ Vague idea about how bad (childish, beginner’s) writing is too generalized, form-filling — not specific and detailed and weird enough. [20 May 2021]

⇒ We exist to perceive a tree with a certain shape in the wind? And then to look again and see that tree’s in an other shape. [20 May]

⇒ Playing Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good,” I thought of a fall evening, crisp breeze, at my mom’s family’s farm, feeling happy. And it’s cool a song can do that and I can experience the remembering and let it go and not try to hold onto (live forever in) that moment. [21 May]

⇒ Parents invite their children to live with them, see all their peculiar, particular intimacies. [21 May]