"In the midst of winter I found in me an Invincible Summer." - Camus ...On exploring strength in its many forms:
strong people, strong writing, strong curiosity, obsessions, stances, and loves.
Strength as a concept wide enough to encompass fear, truth, vulnerability, and joy.
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Things I'm mild-to-excessively obsessed with currently:
The color orange. Specifically, International Orange, or the color of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Flags on display at the International Orange exhibit last month at Fort Mason
A faux-store of all International Orange things, from the same exhibit. Me want!!
Some StickyWords from under the bridge
And the newly repainted writing desk! Now in Daredevil Orange (thanks to three coats of Sherwin Williams this weekend). Much less clashy with the rest of the house now. Next project: corral those ugly looking cords on the side.
For about a year now, orange has been my new favorite color. It's just so dang happy looking.
It's a very local icon. You can spot it almost anywhere in the city, if it's not ensconced in fog, but it is so beautiful when it is ensconced. (Sorry, I also watched a bunch of Anne of Green Gables lately, so I'm all Lake of Shining Waters-y in my speech) I can see it from my front window and am trying to muster up enough courage to tackle this gigantic blank canvas that I got recently with a rendition of it.
My scale model
The view from Golden Gate Park
The view from the Mission, with awesome crazy fog rolling by
Ever since I read the book The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner a few years ago, I've been intent on getting to Iceland someday. So recently, I've started writing a story about it in order to create the perfect excuse to make sure I do get there someday. I've also been checking out all the non-travel books on Iceland I can find at the local library. There aren't many, so it's not a daunting list. Right now I'm really enjoying Meltdown Iceland by Roger Boyes. It's about the economic disaster of late, but Boyes has such a love and knowledge of Iceland, it overflows with excellent details and stories of the place (for instance: because of the way last names are passed down through the father's first names, the phone book is alphabetized by first names. In the words of Holden Caulfield--I'm also currently reading Catcher in the Rye--that stuff kills me).
I'm actually planning a trip there, hopefully this winter. As much as I'd love to enjoy it's endless Summer hours someday, I'm equally fascinated with all the darkness there in the winter, as well as I'm hoping for a chance at seeing the Northern Lights (check out this image on Iceland Express http://blog.icelandexpress.com/iceland/2007/12/08/chasing-aurora/ ). If you happen to know anyone in Iceland who would be interested in housing a writer for a week or so this winter, drop me a line! Or, if you've been and want to give me tips, I'd gladly collect those too.
And, well, the Kittens
We've had the kittens for one month now. They've each gained over a pound, and I've spent more time this month in various pet stores than I thought humanly possible. Someone asked me recently what I've been up to and I had to answer honestly: "I do have a life, really. It's just that right now all I really have are kittens."
Clue, posing with the cat tree. Yes, I've become one of those people who has a cat tree.
Can I help you with that email? The kittens routinely find buttons on my laptop that do things I didn't know my laptop could do.
Bellies begging to be petted.
When they aren't teaching each other how to be lionesses, they are snuggling.
That's a roundup of my current obsessions. What are you obsessing about these days?
I've been avoiding putting this together, because a part of me really doesn't want this year's Litquake festival to be over already. The other part of me is still cranky-tired, wandering around trying to get to all those projects I said I'd get to after Litquake, and feeling post-Christmas like. In short, this year's Litquake was AMAZING. Every year has been awesome, but this one was particularly special for me because I got to actually help plan the awesome. As a volunteer during the festival for the past several years, I definitely felt like I contributed to making each event I helped at awesome, but this year, being on the committee,* I got to witness the tremendous build up to the festival that happens the whole year prior. The amount of love, sweat and time that goes into it is incredible, and I'm not sure I've ever been part of something so cool. Which is not to say I'm not still cranky-tired and looking forward to feeling fully recovered.
“When I think about all that has to transpire to get from pregnancy to the birth, I am overwhelmed by time and the unknown. It’s not useful to contemplate. There is only today, and it is good.” I documented my move from ambivalence about parenting, to IVF, to motherhood, as well as all of Year One. I did it longhand because that’s what I did back then. So now, finally, I’m typing all those pages up, in part because of the great What If that living amid a pandemic creates. And I came across this yesterday and it is so true for the current moment, for this, the fifth week of Sheltering in Place. Ways this time is like pregnancy: It can make you fat. It will definitely make you crave near-constant meals and snacks. You will swing from feeling good to anxiety-laden, angry, irritable and back again several times a day. You will want to know how this will all unfold, how hard it will get, exactly how you and your life will be changed. You can’t know any of that. Ther
I promise to talk about less domestic things at some point, but I'm still in that critical nesting-the-place-up mode. And I just bought a desk! Now, I did have a writing desk in my old place. It was also my breakfast nook, dining room table and chopping block. It served its purposes well. It had been in my family's home as a kitchen work surface, then I adopted it when I lived in Chico (way back in '96-'99) and used it as a dining room table. Then it lived in my kind, former roommate's family's barn for a few years while I was away at Seminary, and she kindly gifted it back, complete with little mouse teeth nibble marks when I moved into San Francisco. That table and I had history. I wrote a memoir of all the homes I'd lived in on it, all of my MFA papers were written there, and the novel that I finished earlier this year was entirely drafted and re-crafted there. And given my proclivity to inanimate object loyalty (see The Blue Armchair ), I felt b