169 tagged with #daily

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quiet night thought

there's a trapezoid of light on the ground that looks like frost until i snap on the overhead light and blow it away. i know the shapes the sun makes here in the morning; to see the moon, i have to bend over, like a stooped elder, peering out through the long window past the long eaves into the long branches to greet the moon.

the roof shines white in the night. it's so warm out that i biked home in short sleeves, but i still remember the first poem i was taught to recite:



(tr, mine:)

moonlight pools before the bed
i mistook it for frost
to see the moon, i lift my head
lower it to remember home

---li bai

28 February 2018 22:59

the other seeing

when i work with my eyes closed, i don't always feel as if i have lost contact with the world; sometimes, it's the opposite. sometimes, it makes me acutely aware of space, of the distance between objects, of the sounds and smells they put out. and, most curiously, it allows me to enter a place in my head where the world seems infinitely large, where i can never run out of space to store thoughts and words and ideas and dreams.

this is a space that i can only reach with my eyes closed. someone pointed oput to me recently, that when i was thrown off track i rolled my eyes at the ceiling as if the answer was written there, then closed my eyes as if i was reaching back into my skull. in a sense, i was.

sometimes, i'll mix chemicals in the dark, using a three foot dowel rod to push sodium thiosulfate crustals around at the bottom of a five gallon tub of solution. i cannot tell what i am doing i fi look at it, only if i feel it with the extension of my body plunging down to the bottom.

when i'm tuning a piano, i often close my eyes so my brain isn't distracted by things that are not just the bibration of notes against the wood. sometimes, i can taste the tone on the back of my tongue, and if the taste becomes too overwhelming, i'll put a piece of chocolate in my mouth and let it melt. i typed this without looking at the screen; i typed this with my eyes closed, leaning back into my hod, letting my eyes reach towards the back of mu skull.

i assume it's riddled with typos.

27 February 2018 22:02


i'll wear glasses for a few hours at a time, when i need to look at lots of small things within an arm's reach away. slowly, the edges of the world feel like they are bowing less; i am astonished at the resiliency of my visual cortex.

i'm not convinced this is making my life better, yet; as an additional complication, though, the world seems duller when i take them off. is this because i'm now expecting sharper edges, fuller shapes, higher contrast, and cannot tolerate my previous fuzzy vision, or is this because my eyes are so used to processing the world through these asymmetric lenses?

26 February 2018 22:01


across from my sunroom window stands a line of dying hemlock trees. we call one of them the squirrel log, because the top is a gnawed point of trunk, the pale inner fibers sticking out like a splintered bone. a second branch hangs over where we would park a car if we kept a car here; sometimes, i'll see a squirrel on either side of the growing segment of split wood, each gnawing away, and i wonder if the one further out on the branch knows that it has the short end of the stick (so to speak).

there's a branch that hangs out in space, reaching over the sidewalk, on the property belonging to one of my neighbors. one day, i realized that the part of the branch reaching for the road is the part that used to be attached to the trunk, but that slow rot over the years had parted it from the rest of the tree. it remains locked in place by the entwined twigs that haven't yet crumbled. i always tell myself, 'you should just knock on their door and tell them about it, in case they don't know about their own personal widow-maker.'

but sometimes, i knock on people's doors, and they peer at me through the mail slot instead of opening the door and speaking to me unhindered. sometimes, i knock on people's doors, and they see me and scream, even though i'm just there to return their dog who i caught wandering half a mile away. people are suspicious of a person uninvited on their doorstep.

i've pitched my tent near trees that i could not trust, but couldn't find any flat spots that weren't near trees i could not trust. one night, when we knew there had been storms and erosion and landslides, i sat awake for a long time, listening to the crack of boulders loosened from the hillside not far enough in the distance. i have to remind myself that there's nothing i can do.

instead of knocking on my neighbor's door, i've been walking on the other side of the street.

25 February 2018 23:04


today is a day of thick skies and persistent rainfall. with memories of the sight of useless storm drains sending water further downhill, i picked a fallen branch from my neighbor's yard and searched for grates under the mud. cars slowed in confusion where i squatted in the streets; i knew where the drains should be, but couldn't see them.

i'd feel the mud give way all of a sudden, hear a distant splash as it drops down into the standing pool from yesterday's storm. the splash wasn't as distant as i wished; i pried up layers of greasy leaves and strips of plastic, rubber chunks, peeling tar, scraping it all down the holes i slowly made by chipping away at the layers that crusted over the grates.

it only takes a few minutes of dedicated work to clear enough so that daylight shone into the dark water below; what a difference that made. what an action in vain; ten minutes of downpour would sweep a street of trash over the grate again, and water would continue to skip the drain and feed into the river crashing into our neighbors downhill.

this makes me feel better.

24 February 2018 23:32

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