Saturday, January 24, 2009

E and I will both be gone the next five days unless of course we decide to live here and sell coconuts by the sea shore.

It is a possibility.

Think of me and tell all birds to get the hell away from our airplane.

I miss the girls already and am driving E crazy with tears.

I will drink a pina colada for you and you, and you……

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Last night I had the reoccurring dream that I kept buying kittens and bringing them home and the eagles kept eating them from our ceiling.

If I dream that again tonight I’m not going to work tomorrow.
It is possible that my job is trying to kill me before I go on vacation. I had an awful day---I ended up quitting in tears today but I’m the Director so no one believed me or they didn’t have any idea what to do next. Either way, I have never cried at work before in my life but I feel sucked dry of everything and I just want to sit somewhere and write books and never talk to people.

True fact: I don’t like people on a full time basis.

Side note: the quote from this weekend that I wanted to write down was from the wedding I attended in Chicago…..”Here is the body of Christ and its gluten free.” It is the title of my next poem, short story, play or resignation letter.

(Happy news that didn't happen today because today sucked): E bought a 99 cent pocket size copy of cocktails for idiots to take to Mexico and I am going to work my way from A to Z.

I can't wait to walk up to the bar and order "A Red Headed Slut."

Monday, January 19, 2009

I’ve just spent the entire weekend traveling back and forth to Chicago by bus and reading the current Poets & Writers interview with Patti Smith, who I hung out with at a poetry festival before “she was all that”.

Smith says, the best advice she could give a young poet is to “take a road trip across the country.” I have to say I think I might agree. There is something about sticking people together who have never met each other before, different colors, origins and classes---what emerges is humanity.

That we are all alive and trying to be kind and we all want to just keep being and going….it is so simple really. What is important in writing and life is what binds us….

Well, that is what I think today after 16 hours on a bus. I’ll let ya know what happens when the fumes wear off!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Breaking Down The Body

In art school I was taught to break down the body, to use my pencil to find the length an arm, a thigh and that in between each of our eyes, lies another—the exact width and height. To draw the mouth, one must only mention the lip and the nose is nothing more than shadow. In art school one must be somewhat precise or suggest abstractly.

But the invisible line which runs down our middle, the one which claims that one shoulder is equal to the other does not exist. It is our humanity which makes one breast larger or curls the bottom lip to the side.

I ask my students to draw their world. Tell me what you believe, what you think is real. Shia is ten. Her page is blank and she tells me she believes in nothing, the whole world is a lie. It has been a lie for a very long time.

She is not being cynical. She is not coming from a desperately sad home nor has some secret I need to discover. After careful investigation and a room full of tell me mores, she believes she is in a giant play or T.V. show and after the episode is finished someone will rise from their chair, neither changed or satisfied and shut the television off and she will no longer continue. This is the truth of her world.

I tell her we are soul sisters. I want to say soul mates but believe that when she grows old that definition will grow perverted somehow. I want to explain to her how Plato split angels in two and that he said, we are meant to wander the world searching for our other half, to become whole. I want to tell her, she is one of my halves. She is a ten year old Korean girl and I am a tired forty year old woman. Together, we may be an angel.

I believe Shia will understand this, just as I understand the blank page but I am a teacher and I do not want to risk it. I tell her I know about the television show and then I begin to break down the body. I teach her to draw a man. How to measure the eight heads to the floor, how the body can be divided in two and that the outstretched hand is the same length of a face.

Lastly, I give her the eye---the one she has never seen that sleeps between the other two which are almost always open. I tell her this is where the third eye rests and only a few people know, just like only a few people understand the blank page. This is where we give them a home. We call them artists and this is the place where they live.

My Nonfiction Piece for Richard Terell tomorrow

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to work after two weeks of not being at work, in which time various people tried to call me and ask me work related crap which really does not add to the “vacation feel”. Today my boss, told me to cut my total program budget by 30% which if you take into account she has never given me any actual dollar number to make a program, it was pretty easily done. Invisible numbers are so easy to divide.

Looks like we are painting on cardboard people---

Art non profits are closing all over the place in Minneapolis or at least cutting the salaries to hourly wage. It should be an interesting year. In other news, Rock Bottom Brewery has named a beer after my school and has picked up one of my student’s designs as the logo. How cool is that?

I get to announce the beer at a Brewery Opening and take the first swig. Yep, in my school teachers drink beer after work.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

May the year be good

I’m not a big fan on New Year’s Day. It feels like everyone is trying to figure out how to live their lives differently or setting a numerical goal which will be forgotten by the 5th of January. I admire the intent but the expectations of change weigh on me.

Last night we had a quietly little party with good friends and the children. One of our friends toast was to a better year which of course made me think about last year at this time. How I had just returned from the hospital and the cancer ward. How we didn’t know if Nicole would live or die.

Now my niece is walking and talking. Whoever does not support stem cell research is an idiot. Each year leads to the next and it is this string of beads and if I regret or try to remove even a single one it will all unravel.

Sometimes the only thing the past tell us, is that is no longer the future.