Apartment 2

There’s a door,

a wide-open door I walk

into and through.

Its top is sliced by a gloriously paned

semicircle window that lets in the burning

orange of dawn.

Light breaks down this door every day,

little miracle semicircle reflections across beige walls.


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Apartment 1

There’s a window,

a wide-open window I walk

into and through.

It’s framed by a dismantled blind

not helped by a strange tapestry that doesn’t

even cover one square of the pane.

I see my reflection in the glass every

night. And I don’t know

what is being seen, by

the neighbors so close, a lit window

on either side.


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the i for the y

Dostoievsky, avec umlaut en Francaise (et cette avec cedille [et cette avec accent aigu]). Mais sans umlaut et cedille et accent aigu en cet blog.

To keep with my last post theme of books, I wanted to say that the other night, no joke, a certain book fell off my bookshelf. And you know that by “fell” I mean “flew.” It’s true, quite a distance into the room.

Dostoievsky’s L’Eternel Mari, 1967 editions Baudelaire. Text all in French. Bought on the street in front of its book store during my time in the Latin Quarter in Paris. L’Eternel Mari in a cardboard box on sale for francs right before the advent of the euro. Maybe I thought I had the ability to read it all in French like Le Petit Prince in high school. I’m sure I thought I could, I sometimes have grand ideas like this still. I just liked having it on my person. I kept it hidden away safe as a treasure at the bottom of my giant backpack that I lugged for a very very long time on a very very solo journey.

Its cover is truly unique, and I’m certain this is why I also bought it. My definition of beauty is oftentimes awkward.

This deep blue spine and what would be a painting of a sinister (or mysterious) man on its cover. Again, browned beautiful pages that once held the musty sexiness of its surroundings. Its inside front covers another tapestry of white latticework on that same deep blue.

I’m sure I also felt all avant-garde roaming around, having just seen Oscar Wilde’s gravesite with strange lipstick marks all over it, and dreaming of the bohemian writer’s life strolling my French-speaking twins through the eclectic passages of streets to get us all to the dance studio before mommy has to go back to the flat and finish her latest chapter while my husband works on his violin making and playing. After baking something divine from the market, of course, which would be wafting through everyone’s space. Always a nurturer.

Such opportunity came from selling my car for money—traveling and the writing program I attended—but moreso a complete belief in me. To read a whole book in French. To travel alone for so long, with absolute bravery and fulfillment. To dream up stories for my future self. To yearn. To become me.

And that brings me to my existential point of this book coming to my attention now. I have certainly become me but in entirely different ways than once imagined, and possibly only because I once imagined them can I be who I am.

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Chapter One: The sound of the shell

My sister gave me her original copy of Lord of the Flies, all tattered and browned and falling out of its spine. It’s beautiful. As is Piggy’s well-debated-by-me myopia.

These are the first words of William Golding’s first novel (1954):

“The boy with fair hair lowered himself down the last few feet of rock and began to pick his way toward the lagoon. Though he had taken off his school sweater and trailed it now from one hand, his grey shirt stuck to him and his hair was plastered to his forehead. All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. He was clambering heavily among the creepers and broken trunks when a bird, a vision of red and yellow, flashed upwards with a witch-like cry; and this cry was echoed by another.

“Hi!” it said. “Wait a minute!”

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hello to self

[For my nephew, with whom I share so many quirks.]

When I send myself an attachment via email, I write myself a note in that giant white space. I cannot just send it completely blank, hugely blank. But apparently I might be in the minority on that one. The few people I’ve admitted it to seem kindly amused.

The nature of my work often requires that I send documents to and fro my “home office” to my “real office” so that I can edit said documents nonstop. It cracks me up or at the very least makes me smile when I open the email to find me writing to me: finish this today ? have a good day ! remember your reason for doing this ! it’s a full moon !

Although I have to tell the truth that it might be related to what I call latent behaviors. While the spectrum of compulsive disorders in the universe is indeed grand and real and from which by the grace of god i do not suffer, I have a theory that all humans and quite possibly all animals have an innate wiring for compulsiveness (impulsiveness?) or mental malaise in general. Must be part of Darwinism. Thus given my familial history, it’s not surprising that I did not escape entirely untouched with strong tendencies toward oddities. (Add to that my belief in the spirit realm and the cosmos, and well, there’s a whole mix of glorious things in my thoughts, but I digress.)

For instance:

I have to write myself a note when e-mailing myself.

For as long as I can remember, choosing silverware (and by extension plates, glasses, mugs) has given me great pause. Growing up I had two particular forks I would have to use; luckily they didn’t match my mother’s actual set so no one wanted to use them anyhow. As an adult, I do not own a complete set of matching housewares and that is just fine by me, because I get to choose anew each day the one that suits that moment. I love beautiful dishes.

I need to tap my alarm clock, which is currently my cell phone, three times before going to bed.

If I put a hat on my bed (that’s a whole ‘nother blog about Italian omens) I have to hit my head with it four times then throw cursed hat to the floor. My son likes to taunt me by dangling hats over my bed.

I count/add numbers incessantly. So does my dad. License plates. Clocks. Rocks. Holes in the ceiling while waiting for doctors. It calms me.

I have been known to move my car or take a different route to find a “better” spot or a “safer” route. By better and safer I mean something inexplicable.

I believe if you cut your hair off you’re releasing/surrendering experiences that the hair might have “seen” and that this is healthy. I’ve always wanted to shave my head, just once.

On my way out of the house or office or anywhere, sometimes I have to touch things. Like water coolers or walls.

Animals in their natural environment are very intuitive, better to see two crows together than one alone, e.g.

I consider it completely normal to live in a world in which everything means something. But to remain balanced, some days I do try to remind myself that the naming of some things as important and others as not could be just a human construct.

At any rate, I bet people everywhere could create such a list of self-quirks, mine of which here is a mere sampling.

What’s yours?

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Twenty twelve has such a strong tone, such power there. Good. I usually say two thousand seven or two thousand eleven, but this year’s numbers seem to better roll off the tongue, out of the gut, as twenty twelve. Like these rocks, full of strength in gentle water.

Having recently banished and burned Worry and replaced it with Assurity, I was then told by a dear friend that she dreamed of/saw me writing on slips of tissue paper that flew all the way to the cosmos. That made me smile. I’ve done a lot of smiling throughout this weekend of the year transition, and I remain committed to the knowledge and fruition of my focus (however corny that sounds, I mean it).

The year of the dragon and Jupiter still in Taurus for some time, there is abundance at hand.

Go forth and prosper.


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I had forgotten how precious and pure is the process of putting a baby to bed. How very different it is from a school-age child whose words and fears and wants often strip the fairy tale of its wonder.

After changing and dressing and placing him in his crib, it wasn’t the modern, fancy gadgetry of the nursery that captured my awe but my instinctual rubbing of the forehead, watching his eyelids flutter, all cozy and warm and wrapped in blankets with a favorite stuffy.

I started to cry. Out of happiness. Out of remembrance. Out of hope. Then admittedly a touch out of sorrow that my first-born son perhaps never had this peace, certainly not the amenities or luxury of secure consistency.

But mostly I felt joy because in my heart of hearts I know that I will be blessed once (twice?) more with being given life from my own.

And what a woman never forgets, what her body’s memory carries (yearns for?) forever, is the gentle weight of her child resting on her hip from birth onward. It becomes simply a natural tendency to rock and sway even if she’s just standing by the copy machine long after the child has grown up.

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