4 08 2008

yes, i’m home. been too busy the past couple days to even think about the writing down i said i’d start (how many writers a day, do you think, devote how many pages to writing about how they’re going to write about one thing or another?), so have another glancing blow, a stone’s skip instead of a sinking-in. i’ll get there, i will, i promise.

but i’m home. and back-ways-first, i’ve learned a few things. like they hand out co-cola in the welcome center to Mississippi, and put up bulletin boards misspelling the name of their own state to say “our children can’t read–shame on us.” i appreciated the co-cola–it was by far the nicest welcome center of any state we saw, and even came with rocking chairs if we wanted to set a spell–but maybe they should be handing out books instead. or, if that’s the trouble, really, collecting them. free co-cola for coming in, but a whole 2-liter if you leave us any literature in your car on your way through. i am completely rambling right now. little wonder i haven’t sat down to start this yet, innit.

since my return i have spent a lot of time carrying boxes and things-like-boxes, and putting them in and taking them out of my car. as paul says, “it’s moving season.” i keep finding bruises in odd places, like right that spot on your upper arm where a corner leans of a barnes-and-noble box full of books that you have to hold bruise-tight to hold onto at all.

i have also spent some time spending actual time with–and a lot of time stewing, pointlessly and existentially, about–annabel, whose baby-daddy left her (that’s all he gets to get called right now. i used to like that boy. i’m not going to even go so far as to say i know enough to know i don’t still like some things about him, but when your way of handling parenthood is to throw up your hands & quit your job & move back home with your mama to read books all day & leave the mother of your child (it isn’t “ren” because the conversations they’d had about him marrying her and adopting the older one hadn’t yet come to fruition) with 2 tiny mouths to feed and no clear way of going about it… yeah. you’re certainly not her boyfriend anymore, you’re not a friend, and you’re certainly not a collaborating parent. baby-daddy’s as good as it gets.) while i was away. we have a wednesday-night plan to bid farewell to the cable she can’t afford to keep by sitting up with ice cream the last night before it’s cut off to watch trash ’til it’s gone.

i don’t really want to delve into the stewing, but it has something to do with how worn down i get by watching good thing after good thing after good thing go shockingly, inexplicably, violently wrong–you just blink, and the whole world you thought you understood isn’t there anymore, and you’re left trying to rebuild structurally viable cities out of whatever’s at hand… mismatched legos and mini-marshmallows, maybe? and you cobble something together, and then you blink, and it happens again. and we wonder how we end up with insomnia.

enough of that for now–it’s a pretty one-directional train, & y’all who’ve ridden it already know where it goes, & the lucky few who haven’t & don’t will be happier if i shut up now & refuse to play tour guide. in utterly random news (countermeasures?)l_stboy offers this:

Interesting “top life tips” from a slightly annoying man who wrote a couple of interesting books: “Rules for Living from Nassim Taleb” here. I like #4, #6, #2, #9.

i like #1, too, but i’m not as good at applying it as i’d like to be. the part where i’ve been far too little skeptical of a few things that rate at best “small and aesthetic” on a more global scale keeps getting in my way. big believer in the virtue of “imperfect, foolish, and human” over here, but i do wonder sometimes when it stops biting one quite so hard in the ass. maybe the virtue of getting older & wider is that more padding dulls the impact?

clearly, i am tired, and still gloomy from last night’s unhappy dreaming, and should step away from the keys & go put the laundry away so i can find my bed so i can make my bed so i can lie in it literally instead of only metaphorically (which i think i might have done about enough of, actually).

oh, but one more thing. i should add, with no further embellishment, that i had an unexpected gift this weekend for which i am very, very grateful. to return for a moment to the land of metaphor: imagine that books were things you could only read once, and after you’d gotten to the end of each scene it disappeared forever. and imagine that you had a favorite book that you had once lingered on every scenes of trying not to turn the last pages til the last second, because you loved it so very much, but your reading of it was long, long ago, and you’d long since accepted that the story was over. and then imagine that you found, behind the couch, perhaps, a lost scene that had fallen out of it, one you’d never read, one that was a perfect scene for encapsulating the best parts of the story, with character-development and weighty glances and humor and vulnerability and intellectual stimulation, and just for that hour or two of lingering, you had the whole thing impossibly back in your head through the window in your hands. it was like that.

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16 responses

5 08 2008
reedrover

it has something to do with how worn down i get by watching good thing after good thing after good thing go shockingly, inexplicably, violently wrong
Don’t I know it. That happened to me this morning, again. And there’s nothing I can do to recreate a gleaming city out of the dust that is blowing away faster than I can blink the stinging out of my eyes.

5 08 2008
tyra

damn.
when it’s crappy stuff, i’d much rather be the only one than know it’s spread around! sorry you’ve got it too…

5 08 2008
quixotic_goat

HUGS X2, no X4, sounds more like a take 2 and call me in the morning situation /nod
Wish I could help somehow, or say it’ll definitely get better soon, but while it may not be today or tomorrow, but where the two of you are concerned, I so believe the goodness really will make some forward progress against the destructive chaos… it probably just doesn’t seem like it right now. Many sincere wishes that the shift from 1 step forward, 2 steps back to 2 steps forward, 1 step back does happen quickly…
In the meantime, since I’m stored up on love, hugs, and contentment at the moment, you’re both definitely welcome to some of my surplus. Keep it on loan as long as you need. I’ll come collect when I get back next year, and I won’t even charge interest ;P

5 08 2008
quixotic_goat

HUGS X2, no X4, sounds more like a take 2 and call me in the morning situation /nod
Wish I could help somehow, or say it’ll definitely get better soon, but while it may not be today or tomorrow, but where the two of you are concerned, I so believe the goodness really will make some forward progress against the destructive chaos… it probably just doesn’t seem like it right now. Many sincere wishes that the shift from 1 step forward, 2 steps back to 2 steps forward, 1 step back does happen quickly…
In the meantime, since I’m stored up on love, hugs, and contentment at the moment, you’re both definitely welcome to some of my surplus. Keep it on loan as long as you need. I’ll come collect when I get back next year, and I won’t even charge interest ;P

5 08 2008
tyra

damn.
when it’s crappy stuff, i’d much rather be the only one than know it’s spread around! sorry you’ve got it too…

5 08 2008
reedrover

it has something to do with how worn down i get by watching good thing after good thing after good thing go shockingly, inexplicably, violently wrong
Don’t I know it. That happened to me this morning, again. And there’s nothing I can do to recreate a gleaming city out of the dust that is blowing away faster than I can blink the stinging out of my eyes.

5 08 2008
l_stboy

That post is going to scroll off the Big Picture main page soon, the permanent link is here:
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/08/rules-for-livin.html
If I remember correctly, the Georgia welcome center on I-95 hands out peaches and pralines. I think if I were to make a Southern welcome center, it would be straw hats and mint juleps with whitewashed rocking chairs on a big porch under magnolias and red oak. I suppose the highway safety board would have an issue with this, but damnit, southerners have to be hospitable, it’s all they’ve got left.

5 08 2008
tyra

link amended in the real post too–thanks!
the little corner of georgia we went through didn’t have a welcome center, sadly–if it had, we would definitely know if there were peaches & pralines (although we got a free praline sample in a shop by the french market, so i don’t feel wholly bereft). no welcome center, but nonetheless a cracker barrel!
if you were to make a southern welcome center (“Welcome to the Whole Damn South–Set a Spell!”) i might just take up residence. i like the sound of it. think everybody’d be okay with that? i’d pick the fresh mint daily for the julips…

5 08 2008
tyra

link amended in the real post too–thanks!
the little corner of georgia we went through didn’t have a welcome center, sadly–if it had, we would definitely know if there were peaches & pralines (although we got a free praline sample in a shop by the french market, so i don’t feel wholly bereft). no welcome center, but nonetheless a cracker barrel!
if you were to make a southern welcome center (“Welcome to the Whole Damn South–Set a Spell!”) i might just take up residence. i like the sound of it. think everybody’d be okay with that? i’d pick the fresh mint daily for the julips…

5 08 2008
l_stboy

That post is going to scroll off the Big Picture main page soon, the permanent link is here:
http://bigpicture.typepad.com/comments/2008/08/rules-for-livin.html
If I remember correctly, the Georgia welcome center on I-95 hands out peaches and pralines. I think if I were to make a Southern welcome center, it would be straw hats and mint juleps with whitewashed rocking chairs on a big porch under magnolias and red oak. I suppose the highway safety board would have an issue with this, but damnit, southerners have to be hospitable, it’s all they’ve got left.

6 08 2008
metalmonkey

Good, Bad and Rambly
It’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts. :}

6 08 2008
metalmonkey

Good, Bad and Rambly
It’s always a pleasure to read your thoughts. :}

8 08 2008
mb_1978

So late
I feel pretty silly using this as a way to get a message to you, but, alas, it’s all I know to use right now.
I very much owe you a long, interesting note in answer to the beautiful card with delightful insides that you sent to me.
In short, my life has been nothing but uproar since the end of June, so though I have the greatest of intentions of sending you a long letter, it just hasn’t been able to happen as I had hoped.
Do trust me though when I say that your note was a bright spot for me in the midst of some hard times. I will write to you, sit down and get something beautiful to you, as soon as I have a cozy corner and some quiet to get it done.
In short, this is a very belated “thank you.” I’m sending very well wishes and love.

8 08 2008
tyra

Re: So late
you’re welcome.
:-*
i’d say “don’t worry about the letter, silly, you’re busy!” except i know that actually finding the quiet corner & sitting down & writing can be a wonderful thing to both look forward to and get to do, so feel free to keep me on your list! just make sure you’re taking care of you, too.

8 08 2008
tyra

Re: So late
you’re welcome.
:-*
i’d say “don’t worry about the letter, silly, you’re busy!” except i know that actually finding the quiet corner & sitting down & writing can be a wonderful thing to both look forward to and get to do, so feel free to keep me on your list! just make sure you’re taking care of you, too.

8 08 2008
mb_1978

So late
I feel pretty silly using this as a way to get a message to you, but, alas, it’s all I know to use right now.
I very much owe you a long, interesting note in answer to the beautiful card with delightful insides that you sent to me.
In short, my life has been nothing but uproar since the end of June, so though I have the greatest of intentions of sending you a long letter, it just hasn’t been able to happen as I had hoped.
Do trust me though when I say that your note was a bright spot for me in the midst of some hard times. I will write to you, sit down and get something beautiful to you, as soon as I have a cozy corner and some quiet to get it done.
In short, this is a very belated “thank you.” I’m sending very well wishes and love.

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