I Can Remember Where I Come From

I took a little break from this space.
I was out getting things done.

“Mother, the car is here.
Somebody, leave the light on.
Black chariot for the redhead,
dancing, dancing girl.

And when I dance for him,
Somebody, leave the light on,
just in, just in case I like the dancing.

I can remember where I come from.”
(Tori Amos, “Mother”)
via Sara Vandermeulen
I’ve done it.  I’ve dyed my hair red.  It is still so new and so strange, but there is a depth and an energy in it that I am ready for.
So many men’s heads turn…
I am still learning what this means for me–what I am creating through this.
I am creating a solidarity with myself.
Pictures will come, but Nathan’s been in San Francisco with the camera, so give me a minute.
I am putting The Brothers Karamazov, unfinished, back on the shelf.  Indefinitely.  I went to war with myself about the idea of quitting a book (I’ve only done it once before), but ultimately, after three-hundred pages and still nothing for me to grab a hold of, I started thinking about the other pages I could be delving into.
There are so many books to read.
So I suppose you could say Tolstoy wins.  My book club, The Gypsy Snipers, are reading Anna Karenina this month.
And as a side project, I’ve started Just Kids, by Patti Smith.
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Listening: Take to the Sky, Tori Amos

I’m dying my hair red today.
For all of these reasons:

 Fearless.  Strange.  Fighters.  Creators.  Misfits.  Lovers.  Dancers.  Leaders.
I am meant to be one of them.
Wish me luck.
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Finding Vivian Maier

So: Vivian Maier was a nanny in Chicago in the 1950s-60s. Five decades later, over 30,000 negatives have been found, revealing Ms. Maier to be one of the most talented street photographers…ever.

What a secret to keep.

Apparently there is a documentary in the works. Until then, see more of Vivian’s work here.

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Growing Pains

Reading: The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
Listening: Playlist–

Growing Pains
1.  When I Grow Up, Fever Ray
2.  Changes, David Bowie
3.  1979, The Smashing Pumpkins
4.  But I Might Die Tonight, Cat Stevens
5.  Sugar Mountain, Neil Young
6.  The Circle Game, Joni Mitchell
7.  At Seventeen, Janis Ian
8.  Winter, Tori Amos
9.  Sycamore, Bill Callahan
10.  Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
11. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

A friend of mine is reading The Catcher in the Rye for the first time, and I’m remembering my eighteen-year-old self, opening up to that first page, for the first time.  I’m thinking about what it’s like to be there, in between kid things and grown-up things.  Everything moves: too fast, or not fast enough.  Transition, fear, change–and everything is possible.
It’s a time for asking questions, and letting go, and holding on, and diving in.  Growing time.

“I don’t even know what I was running for – I guess I just felt like it.”

 “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me.  And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff  –I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That’s all I do all day.  I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”   

Most of the time I think I wouldn’t slip back into my teenaged-self for anything.  But I still am that person, with all the mountains, valleys, and deep ravines of learning to show for it.

“And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”
(David Bowie)
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Animal Tracks

Listening: Animal Tracks, Mountain Man
Reading: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard

This morning I skipped yoga, and went outside, to see what I could see.

“…beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them.  
The least we can do is try to be there.”
(Annie Dillard)
Images via Jamie Bird.
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Listening: If I Had a Heart, Fever Ray

Happy New Year!  I hope all your celebration, and champagne, and dancing, and fireworks-watching, and fireworks-making brought warm feelings for the year to come.  I spent the evening with good friends, laughing and loving.  We all unintentionally matched, somehow (great minds…), and the uniform was black lace, long hair, and the Snookie glasses Sarah’s Aunt’s friend made for her.  It was all very Jersey Shore/Gothic.

“We danced in graveyards with vampires ’til dawn.”


This is what I feel for all the humor, grace, and beauty offered to me by the company I keep.  
May there be more of this coming in 2011.

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Bonjour, 2011.

Listening: New Year’s Prayer, Jeff Buckley

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
(Rainer Maria Rilke)

An old year, a young year.  And we all carry on.
I am ready for more learning, more loving, more living.
This is going to be a beautiful one.

Images via.

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