I read The Artist's Way back in '96 and have kept up the habit of three longhand morning pages. Typically these are free-writes, brain-drain, not for sharing. These are some not too introspective excerpts.
I finished The Yacoubian Building--it ended abruptly, I thought, but then the Kindle said I had 5% left, when in fact most of that was glossary. Kind of like thinking there was another step at the bottom of the staircase, in the dark. A trick of the digital format. I loved that book; it could have been a third longer.
Page two. I am kind of drawing a blank, really. ZZZZZZZZZ. Just keep the pen moving!
I had an interesting conversation at the dog park yesterday with a guy who knew alot about service dogs in hospice, treatment of trauma (in both victims of gun violence or terrorism and in the first response teams). There's a program called No One Dies Alone that provides companion dogs for people with no family or community to support them through terminal illness. The man takes dogs to schools to help kids read. There are children whose reading scores have improved through reading with, and to, a companion dog. No judgement, no performance anxiety--the dog can even be asleep!
A mature, stable dog seems to lower stress, blood pressure, heart rate, etc even in patients who are comotose.
Milk's a little curdled today, that's just the kind of day it is!
I think my cursive is getting better, at least for the first half page of the journal each day. The key is trying to remember it is OK to write big. Let the letters be big and loopy instead of scrunched up and cramped.
(just stay put)
(just play it safe)
(these four walls)
(coffin or ash)
I think I have one, maybe two days left of this pen. I'm trying to stay closer to the line as I write--see if that gives more headroom to each stroke, and more room to spread out. SPREAD OUT.
I got bummed out yesterday printing EP jackets because my color mixing got off. I'm not really happy with the combinations--front and back--though I like all the fronts pretty well. I just sort of worked physically to the point where I wasn't thinking clearly. So I ended up with tangerine on the back of magenta. Maybe it will look better today. I'd like to put fire engine red on the back of the apple green batch but I have all this tangerine ink. Oh well.
Pablo is helping me this morning, sitting across from me here on the deck at our wire table. Page two. Birds are singing in the near and medium distance; cars whoosh by on Polk. A dog over on the next block is barking and Pablo is on alert with short, compact little barks.
I was thinking just now after reading Joe Posnanski's sarcastic tweet about trying to trade James Shields back for Wil Myers, that I write about baseball alot in here and feel embarrassed about it. But I like to write about baseball. It's what comes up when I pick up a pen. It's where the energy is sometimes. I love my Royals. LOVE. I'm not in college anymore so I don't have to be wary of love being at the core of the writing impulse.
Page two. Real tired this morning and finding it hard to write without face-planting in my over-sized coffee mug.
The Seven Veils of Seth is a really interesting metaphysical story. Hard to follow but I'm getting it. The tribe settles down and a true nomad comes to town, a real devil with different personae. The dialogue between those who settle and this avatar of nomadic life is cool. Really cosmic. Violence and mayhem ensue. Not a conversation our culture real has, explicitly, anymore. It's as if Old Testament culture is still at work in the book--"should we stay or should we go." Of all the books in my tour of Africa, this is the most out there. Now I can't find even one novel from Chad. What is going on with that?
I watched Barry Lyndon last night--what an incredible film! I was fully prepared not to like it, but the Kubrick eeriness was there, the gorgeous cinematography, the perfect rendering of a perfectly hollow man. A historical epic with nothing epic about it. It reminded me of another three-hour epic, Andrei Rublev. One film is about a cad, the other about enduring, creating, surviving in a profound, cosmic way. I love movies that are audaciously long and quiet, in which you can actually see whiskers growing.