169 tagged with #daily

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these are the days when it's drizzling when i leave the house, building as i'm flying downhill, and blinding by the time i reach the bottom. by the time i get to my office, the skies are blank again.

i hung my pants in the film dryer.

23 February 2018 22:33

stream crossing tactics

flood alerts stack up four deep on the weather forecast; we've had rains and rains and rains and the ground is saturated. the driveway sinks into a pool of diseased hemlock needles and winter mud, a puddle the size of several parking spaces between my front door and the bike shed.

but i know how to look at water and move to the other side. the air even smells like wet evergreen; i balance on the curb, carefully, one hand against a flexing sapling for balance. there are low spots in the puddle, places where my foot landing will push the water aside briefly, and if i move quickly enough, i can leave that void before it comes rushing back in.

my pannier throws me off balance, but not as much as when i'm carrying three days of food and shelter on my back and tiptoing my way across the surface of a creek. over the years, my feet have learned these feelings.

i reach the curb on the other side, but it's overgrown with hedges. i push through them to get to the shed; my shins get wet, but the water sloughs off my slightly waterproof pants with a few shakes.

i have to mount my bicycle in the puddle, supporting myself with one hand on a tree as one foot leaves the dry curb to reach for a pedal. it's a game i know well, too; in the winter, i try not to dismount if i can help it, because i'm safer if i'm drier.

22 February 2018 20:14

house bones

the noise startled me as i pedaled by; a rattling, like cracked thunder, or an impossibly large snare drum. smells drifted, parting as i pushed through, raw sawdust and smoke. it was the house, the house that had been demolished months ago, and raised from scratch.

i had watched in disbelief as its feet were embedded under the soil even as i thought it was too cold for concrete work; the noise i heard was sheets of tyflec, stretched thin across the skeleton frame to protect fresh-placed plywood, vibrating in the strange late season winds.

my mother once read from a journal she kept when i was a child. "here, we went for a walk past a house under construction. i pointed at it and said, 'look, this house doesn't have windows yet!' and you said, 'it does have windows, they just haven't installed glass.'"

i don't remember that day, but i remember countless others: of when i snuck into incomplete houses to walk along the bare foundation, the earth a dozen feet below me; of when i crept through hanging forests of electrical wire and scattered power tools; of the racks of screw-gun bandoliers i stole to keep under my bed because i liked to twist the plastic; of climbing piles of excavated dirt, sometimes sinking, sometimes filling my shoes and socks and wondering if i could clean the tar off my clothes before my mother noticed.

i know what the inside of a house looks like, the space between the walls, the gaps between the floors. sometimes, the idea that we are separated just by being in different rooms seems a farce.

21 February 2018 22:05

heads in the dark

i circled the back of the outer gravel track, the one-kilometer loop that threaded out of the lit stadium area and traveled through mud and under trees and behind tennis courts. in the dark grassy area, i saw an orderly line of figures, what looked at first like several dozen people crouched down as if they were practicing sprinting out of blocks.

we didn't have trainer blocks to use when i was on the sprint team; we lined up against the soccer goals, pressing our feet back against the small rubber wheels they'd be tilted onto while getting rolled into place. the first time i was shown the ready position was the first time i understood why we'd done certain strength and balance training; barely barely barely, keeping your hands a hair behind the invisible line, pressing your body as far over this balance point as you could while maintaining control.

those weren't people practicing their block position; it was a herd of deer, quietly munching on an exceedingly unusual warm late-winter field of grass. in a t-shirt, i still sweat; we broke a previous temperature record by over 25 degrees.

the deer didn't stir when i rounded the bend. they didn't even flinch when i clapped my hands to spook them. they had better things to do than worry about me.

20 February 2018 23:15


sometimes, i am aware that there is a force in the world that insist upon moving an object into a certain position, and it seems that nothing i do can convince it to stop.

in the past, it was a camera stand that i would often find rotated so that it was in use backwards; i dutifully returned it to its original arrangement every time, only to find that it's been turned again the next week. one semester, i gave up arranging the magnets holding up signage on the door into what i believed was the optimal distribution, because i'd hear a clack-clack-clack once i was out of sight, from someone moving them back.

i cannot quite understand this semester's mystery; a lens, mounted into one of the enlarger, keeps becoming inverted, such that one cannot change the apertures or read its focal length. i am not sure what benefit there is to be gained by flipping the lens. i've flipped it back twice; it's the same enlarger, and i assume the same student.

19 February 2018 21:19

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