23 4 / 2014

The seeds in today’s apple were sprouting, which feels, as ever, like an omen of some kind. 

Allergies are happening to everyone; they’re happening to me. What’s the big deal, body? Stop being so prudish about flower-sex.

The seeds in today’s apple were sprouting, which feels, as ever, like an omen of some kind.

Allergies are happening to everyone; they’re happening to me. What’s the big deal, body? Stop being so prudish about flower-sex.

22 4 / 2014

theparisreview:

I crawled over the dark groundplanting squash, an owlover my shoulder, the moon
she throws back her head, stretchesher arms hands, ripple of muscleskin, the moon
clouds, shadowsbetween usthe ground mostly lighted
the flower first, fruitfull & roundedthe softest curve, ripple, moon
the laughter very soft
“I get crazy in the full moon”
—James Keller, from “Four Poems.”Art: Paul Gauguin.


So very nice. And apropos of a recent Aeon piece, “Moonstruck,” which investigates whether or what effect the lunar phases have on human (as they do animal) behavior.  

Pliny and his compatriots also argued that this lunar force – now known as gravity – pulls on the moisture in our bodies, within our watery brains.
…
The full moon’s link to romance, at least of the invertebrate kind, is evident along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where researchers and divers flock each austral spring to see the symphony of corals releasing their gametes at once, a few days after the full moon. The spectacle, people say, looks like drifting underwater snow, pink and yellow and white.

theparisreview:

I crawled over the dark ground
planting squash, an owl
over my shoulder, the moon

she throws back her head, stretches
her arms hands, ripple of muscle
skin, the moon

clouds, shadows
between us
the ground mostly lighted

the flower first, fruit
full & rounded
the softest curve, ripple, moon

the laughter very soft

“I get crazy in the full moon”

James Keller, from “Four Poems.”
Art: Paul Gauguin.

So very nice. And apropos of a recent Aeon piece, “Moonstruck,” which investigates whether or what effect the lunar phases have on human (as they do animal) behavior.  

Pliny and his compatriots also argued that this lunar force – now known as gravity – pulls on the moisture in our bodies, within our watery brains.

The full moon’s link to romance, at least of the invertebrate kind, is evident along Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, where researchers and divers flock each austral spring to see the symphony of corals releasing their gametes at once, a few days after the full moon. The spectacle, people say, looks like drifting underwater snow, pink and yellow and white.

21 4 / 2014

Yesterday I saw a beautiful girl doing yoga in the airport. She was so beautiful, in fact, that the scene was almost an affront. What a good idea, really (I’ve never been inside it, but the San Francisco airport has at least one yoga room), and yet, how dare this lithe creature be so flagrantly excellent in public? What an odd feeling to have, and nothing more than a disguise of envy. 

The girl was in first class, after all, but by then I’d identified and mostly talked myself out of the envy. I envy all my dearest friends, nearly everyone I love, to some degree. Just today, I got to see my friend S, an extraordinary person I have envied now for decades, and I found new things to envy about her (her muscles are toned, just like the air-yoga girl), and I love her more than ever. 

20 4 / 2014

Flying into New York can feel quite magical—as today, amid the rainbow glow of sunset, or in the brilliant coldness of a November night. Mr. Z and I sat in that remote first row of coach, for which you pay in class-envy what you gain in legroom.

The additional space let me lean over him to catch a better glimpse of the horizon and the mottled-glass, seemingly motionless ocean. We made out Prospect Park and considered the minute scale of our poor, waiting kitties.

The sky was a rainbow, the land twinkling green, the water like a skin; I was thinking about the swirling sunset, wondering if there was any truthful or useful way I could write about it.* 

Maybe not. But it did make me feel elated and just crazy about Mr. Z. I didn’t even mind that the flight attendant nudged me to straighten my seat-back, pulling my eyes away at the very instant of the sun’s final horizon dip. 

The motion of waves just began to appear as our craft dipped and tilted toward the water, which moved as one enormous body. The sky was sapphire; we descended right onto the tarmac, spilling out of our small plane on a little set of stairs, feeling (at least, I was feeling) like Beatles.  

*For some really neat bits about light and color, do as I did, upon returning home, and watch the 1994 series Connections², episode 2, “Sentimental Journeys.” In it, James Burke travels through history and through India. He is British, and has probably felt a tad Beatle-like at one time or another.

19 4 / 2014

Chicken honored in parade, 1951.

Chicken honored in parade, 1951.

18 4 / 2014

Grandma + horses. She is and seems to have always been a big fan of the babushka.

Grandma + horses. She is and seems to have always been a big fan of the babushka.

18 4 / 2014

Grandma, self portrait.

Grandma, self portrait.

18 4 / 2014

My grandma and her high school friend Virginia, from a wonderful box of old photos, my favorite sort of thing to dig through. My grandma still lives on the southern Iowa farm she grew up on. It will become a centennial farm next year.

My grandma and her high school friend Virginia, from a wonderful box of old photos, my favorite sort of thing to dig through. My grandma still lives on the southern Iowa farm she grew up on. It will become a centennial farm next year.

16 4 / 2014

I am in writer-love with Alice Dreger, who I found through the essay, “Leaning Out.” She conveys by counterexample (though from a place of significant accomplishment and plenty of lean-inliness) what seems so unbalanced and off-kilter about the “Lean In" attitude (as I secondhand understand it).

That is, the things you must sacrifice to lean-in completely (is that a 45-degree angle or just a straight line?) are the most important. Truthfully, I’m sure the Sandberg book has value and maybe particularly would have value for me. Perhaps I’ll see if Feminist Book Club wants to read it.

Back to new writer-hero Alice Dreger. This piece, about sex research and why it’s important, reminds me again that I need to tell you all about Thy Neighbor’s Wife. I have been reading it slowly, in between other things, which is fine because it is fascinating and brilliantly written.

From it I today learned that Alex Comfort, author of The Joy of Sex, had lost all digits but the thumb of his left hand. Talk about lean-inliness, tho: 

While the loss of the fingers initially depressed him and haunted him with “delusions of sin,’ and greatly limited his virtuosity at the piano, an instrument he nonetheless continued to play, it had little effect on his future career as an obstetrician, poet, novelist, husband, father, wartime anarcho-pacifist philosopher on the BBC, gerontologist, and participating sex researcher. 

In the ten years that followed the accident, in fact, he published ten books.

15 4 / 2014

Feelin blue from lack of sleep. Lacking sleep because I woke up in the middle of the night to peep at the lunar eclipse, of which I saw a sliver, in my coat and pajamas, wandering around the block. I encountered one guy, walking in the opposite direction, who actually said hello to me; I had an urge to ask him if he’d seen the moon (twas right behind him), but felt I felt it was too early and too strange to ask anything of this stranger. 

I didn’t have the energy to see the eclipse through to the point at which the moon turns red. Clouds cluttered it up, I felt sleepy and ridiculous, if a little giddy, and I went inside.

A melancholy mood, however tangibly pinpoint-able, is a seeping fog, spilling into everything, browning and tarnishing all that is probably perfectly fine.