Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wellspring Residency...

Just made my reservation for a weeklong writing residency at the Wellspring House in Ashfield, Massachusetts. When I look at the pics of the place, the grounds, the rooms, I almost cry for how quiet it looks (for those of you who know me and my living situation, quiet is an extinct creature in my life). I can't wait!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Magical Thinking and Magical Photos

The Joan Didion book I wept at the end of last night is the first matter at hand. I highly recommend it. The Year of Magical Thinking. I'm feeling struck dumb in terms of writing anything that will do it justice. It is just beautiful and moving and smart. Smart smart smart. Which is a strange adjective to use in describing a book that serves as a "model of consciousness" (I believe this term comes from poet Larry Levis) for grief. She somehow manages to reveal no more than I really want to know, but just enough to make me want to know more. The most captivating part of the book--which won the National Book Award and covers the year her husband of 40 years died of a heart attack and her adult daughter suffered from a serious neurological illness (and subsequently dies, though not during the writing of this book)--is her rendering of her marriage with writer John Gregory Dunne. It was an unusual, beautiful, and inspiring togetherness they had.

Also beautiful and inspiring are photographs by my new cyberfriend, Russ Taylor. Incredible pictures from around the world. Really amazing stuff. Check it out:
Russ Taylor's photo journal.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Where Have I Been?

So I was checking out the website for the Afro-Punk Festival in Brooklyn that has already come and gone this month (you'll find live clips, videos, and some great bands on the site), and came across P.O.S. (Pain of Salvation). I feel like I've arrived at Nirvana... rap, hip-hop, could you call it punk?, and pop...all together? Get out! I love this song, "P.O.S. Is Ruining My Life," so I share it, with the knowledge that it's totally old news. (If you're short on time, there's a nice 60-second stretch starting at about the :55-second mark.)

Tomorrow I will write about the book I just finished reading, Joan Didion's memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, which had me up at 2:00 am in its final pages weeping into my pillow. Jesus.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tether Free Vision: Who Knew?

Check it out. I'm quoted on a life coaching website. Right under Marianne Williamson. Left hand side. So weird.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

In the absence of inspiration

I'm re-reading this great spiritual book, Search for Serenity, from 1959, by a dude named Lewis F. Presnall. I love this book. I think the following is one of the best pedestrian descriptions of surrender that I've ever read (forgive the default masculine pronoun ... it was the Fifties after all):

"One who has the habit of success is like a man who walks down a corridor or hallway, along which there are doors on both sides ... If [a door] swings open, he can take a peek inside and see if it is the room he wishes to enter. But if he comes to a door which does not respond to a gentle push, he does not stand there and batter futilely at it with his fists. If it does not open easily, he knows it is either not the door that he should enter or it is not the time to go through it.

To take this attitude toward life, one must have a belief in the goodness of the universe ... The man who believes that he designs his own future in his own limited wisdom will never be content ... There must be the conviction that the purposes of one's life are best served when he is going along the lines of the mainstream of the universe. He must know that if he thinks right and stays relaxed, trying to do his best each day, that the universe will provide the best he is capable of receiving."