Friday, February 29, 2008

Playing Tag

Since I am not the only one who's new to playing Tag, here's how you play:

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people. (post a link to blog/website)

Here's what was nearest:
"...leg's opening. That was so long ago and far away, but not so far as she finally ran when she could not stand it anymore, when the lust I made her feel got too wild, too uncivilized, too dangerous."
From Dorothy Allison's collection of stories, Trash

Since I'm not sure I know five people with blogs or websites I've been wondering how to involve anyone who might be reading... Follow the directions and post what you find in the comments. Wanna play? Yes? Yes.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

from a letter

...been thinking about you lately. and about reverent strange. i was given a photo of me from 1996 or so - I was about 19 and wanted so bad to be special. I was posing ridiculously with some Christmas lights. I know now that I am special but feel ordinary on the outside. Maybe when I am old I'll know I'm not ordinary, inside or out. Somehow I know that now but feel a grief I just can't seem to wrap my hands around - a grief related to photographs of me. I look at these pieces of film and wonder who are you? How did you get there? What fragment of you remains inside of me now? What seeds of who I am today are planted inside of you...?

Time. Let me vanish. Then what we seperate by our very presence can come together.

For JayBee and Cosmic Monkey

There are two photographs in the hallway of my apartment. The first is at the start of the hall, the second at the end, is in front of my bedroom door. When I look at each of them I experience two things simultaneously: A deep desire to know the person in the photograph and an incredible sense of wonder at knowing the person in the photograph.

The first is of my mother. She's twenty-two years old, working as a roof layer. She's a single mother of four. When I look at her in this photo there's no doubt she's absolutely the most self possessed person I've ever met.

The second is a drawing that I made based on a photograph of me at age six. In the photo I'm wearing one of my favorite dresses, my hair is very thin and I have dark circles under my eyes.

I have carried around an unnamed grief my entire adult life: I cannot remember the first six years of my life. How is it that I can look at this photograph of myself and not intimately recognize and know myself?

What seems to be driving this all home is a book I'm reading called The Time Traveler's Wife. One of the main characters is, you guessed it, a time traveler. One example from the book that I particularly enjoy is when he and his seven year old self spend the night at the Art Institute in Chicago. They look at cavemen dioramas, meteorites and a rare and exquisite version of Audubon's Birds of America. This book is enormous. I've actually seen it because I grew up in Chicago and spent many hours at this museum. This scene is one I can easily put myself and my young self in.

If I could, just for a moment, go to myself at six and experience myself as fundamentally part of who I am today... who knows? I might not have an extra heartbeat.

*Photo by my Grandfather Andres

Monday, February 18, 2008