Archive for January, 2007

Of bike rides, and bad jobs

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Been wasting my life playing around at flickr. Between that and watching old documentaries that I download, I manage to stay up all night on my nights off, sleeping completely through my days off.

But I have to be at work tomorrow at 8:00 AM. It is now 2:00 AM.

I have six hours left of 2 days off. During this time I haven’t bought milk which I have needed–I’m putting old eggnog in my coffee. I haven’t bought bread, which I have also been out of. I haven’t written the letter of reference which my friend needs me to send to her potential college by February 1. This means I have to do it tomorrow night, or Thursday night–or more than likely, on both nights because I am a perfectionist–in order to send it in the mail on Friday.

During both days off, I have not been outside in sunlight at all; in fact I haven’t even been awake during sunlight for more than two hours total during both days off. Now that I think about it, I have avoided all face to face contact with people, and most of any other kind of contact as well. aloner

If, instead of getting up to go to work every day, I were riding my bike on a long journey (which I did once), then I would know what to do and when to do it. The ‘how’ of it I would figure out. I did, once. Actually, much more than once.

Engaged in the journey, I would have no qualms, no internal conflicts about my occupation, as I do now. I would, as I once did, face fears and challenges with aplomb. Now I respond to tedious fears and drudging challenges with sprays of venom in all directions; these days, I harbor a contempt for everything and it oozes from me like paint-stripping jelly onto every encounter I have.

I once knew the joy of every human encounter, every chance meeting on the bike road or the hiking trail. However, I have allowed this job, like a chafing shoe, to build callouses on me which now allow me to remain isolated amid the crowd; by the stagnation of these days, I have grown giant ugly scabs which rebuff those who would approach me without me ever needing to engage them.

I am missing something, and I do not know quite what it is.

Jail to the Chief

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

T-shirts on Tim Reed’s site.


Monday, January 8th, 2007

Testing the Gnome-blog panel applet, It seems a little light on configuration tweakability (which can be a good thing), but is otherwise very solid and stable.

When this post succeeds, it will become my regular tool for posting.

the moment’s touch

Saturday, January 6th, 2007

So, I have been thinking about rhythms, lately. Or the lack therof.

I recently finished reading the last year of the oldgreypoet. Problem is, it’s a daily journal, and now that I have caught up, I miss the rapid progress through the seasons and the events; the condensation of a year within a few weeks of reading; I miss getting re-acquainted with the last house, then its sale, then Graham and John’s move to the temporary caravan, then the new purchase, then settling in followed by Christmas, and finally arrival at the present. I loved the sense that all those events were immediately discoverable, that all the days that I had missed were available, though condensed in his writing, and I could drink them all in as fast as I liked, like a quart of eggnog all at one sitting. Rich, and sweet, and yummy.

Now I must settle for a trickle of days.

Over the course of my diaretical gluttony, I was introduced by the old grey poet to a UK television drama which he likes. And it does seem to be wildly popular over there, as judged by the proliferation of copies of it on peer to peer filesharing networks. Needless to say, I have, in less than a week, watched the first twelve episodes, again condensing a much more gradually paced rhythm into a gulping gallop. And again I am left looking for more.

What seems to be missing is a contentment with the rhythm. I seem to want to escape it, to assume a perspective outside of time, appearing to be superior to it, and in denial that I am in fact a subject which it describes.

The screen door slams outside my open window. Clouds blow through the sky, alternately muting the bright sunshine, then revealing their contours against this leafless scenery here below. The air is warm as spring and floats through the house like this were a lazy summer day and not January. I fry up some Genoa salami and eggs and eat them with a buttered, toasted bulkie roll. The moments trickle past, and classical music tiptoes through it all like sunlight through a shining stream.

I think at times that it is life I have feared, the kind of life my friends in recovery from alcoholism have lived; reckless and full, without regard for what others think, and wholly focussed on the sensation, the glory, the intensity and magnificence of each disastrous moment. I sometimes think that would scare me.

But when I finally touch this tender moment that is here nuzzling for my attention always, then I know what scares me. It is not the rowdy noise or the bawdy misbehavior that scares me. It is touch. It makes me cry–to touch this moment. I have chosen not to live loud in its evasion like my friends who drank; that seemed too obvious a deception to me. Instead, I have chosen at times to hurt this puppy-eyed companion in hopes that he might go away, and he does–for a while. But I am hurt all the more, for I cannot deny that in each moment, within the curl of each swirling mote of dust, and in each warm puff of air from the breath of a sunny day, within every single moment is love. It is as simple as that. Though I have always thought I was too far away, I guess I actually have always been too close to it, too close to the cliff edge, too close to the overwhelming terrifying magnificence, and that is the reason I hide so much.

It is through the touch of moments that I will be led to the hidden terror, a terror which I know is there because I left it there. And so I will visit these moments in a sparing way, like the lips of pilgrims once touched the Pieta before she had to be locked behind glass. I wonder if there are not many more besides me who touch this rarely; lovers who married because they once touched like this, who then spend their entire marriages waiting to touch like that again. Sculptors who wear their fingers to the bleeding bone persuing through stone that touch they once felt there, and seek to rediscover. Whole nations who collectively remember a trembling that once resounded through the foundations of their soul, from a moment when truths were held to be self-evident, who all still wait to touch that once again.

Perhaps I am not alone in this fear to touch the moment. And maybe I will go back two years, instead of just one, and read all that I have missed of the old grey poet’s days, until I have read them all, reaching finally up to this moment now. Again.


Saturday, January 6th, 2007

Trying out BloGtk, a blogging applet for Gnu/Linux. I like the ‘Blo’ part. 😉