> jumping into life.


yesterday, one of my mentors, Marcia, and i had a long conversation about the politics and spirituality of food. the increasing disconnect between the food in supermarkets and the land it grows on; between food and nourishment; between people and the food they buy. the act of eating can be holy, i think, the way sex is holy. it is a magnificent opportunity for reconnection - with your senses, your health, with the people you are eating with, the people who produced what you eat, and with the land from which it came. but we are so often eating hurriedly, and what we eat is often of poor quality and so processed as be unrecognizable as something made from component parts. who would guess that wonderbread came from wheat?

accordingly, today, on the most beautiful day we've seen in months, i ate: ginger tea with poison oak honey; a pear; the first radish from my garden; an artichoke; carrot-orange juice; raisins; blueberry yogurt; a sandwich of toasted sourdough, avocado, pepper-jack, Swiss, and incredible whole-seed mustard; and a mango with lime juice. i wasn't moving about much so i wasn't ever very hungry, and that all was more than enough for the day. all good food; all real food. it makes me feel good.


at the waiting room of the bloodlab the other morning, there was a man sitting across from me. he was probably at least 65, and was wearing a checkered beret and a bowtie. his distinguished brows were knitted over what must have been a very sensational article in sister to sister. i would have given my left leg for a camera. the man next to him puzzled over a blank space on his questionnaire for a few minutes before looking up plaintively at nobody in particular and stating, "i don't even know how to spell constipated." a woman with bright red shoes carried a local interest magazine around to most of the waiting room, informing them indignantly that, "this magazine is four months old! this magazine! is! four! months! old! it isn't even current!" i just sat with my hands folded and tried not to make any sudden movements.


it started because i painted a cigarbox black and then didn't want to be one of those people who paint cigar boxes. i put a collage on the lid - a picture out of national geographic of a lion taking down a gazelle, and a bit of text that went with it moreorless - but that didn't assauge my fear. i thought that maybe if i put something neat in the box, that would justify my black-painted-and-magazine-collaged trend. but what to put in the box? i wanted something that had a reason to be in the box, that wasn't just some neat thing that happened to be in a cigarbox. i decided to put a book in the box, because i've been meaning to put some of my poetry together, and that seemed neat.

but how to put the book in the box? if i just made a book and stuck it in the box, i wouldn't have really helped anything. i wanted to attach the book to the box somehow, but have it still be functional, easy to open and page through and read. afterall, a book isn't much good if you can't read it.

eventually, i punched out the back wall of the box, the one that the lid is hinged to, and decided to make that a hinge as well, so that the top could lie all the way flat, and attach the book to that part. but still, the logistics evaded me. at the library, i found a book to help me. it turns out that instead of using the back part of the box at all, i'm going to attach the lid and bottom of the book as the covers, and bind it with a coptic stich. i bought a ton of bookbinding supplies, an awl, a few pounds of handmade paper, and hemp, and spent two hours making a sewing cradle and a hole jig.

except now, i'm not sure if i want to put poetry in it, after all. anyone with any ideas for filling up a thirty-page-or-so book-in-a-box?


"You know what the bottom line is? If Bush was a doctor, he'd use the "get well soon" card to diagnose the illness." and also, "Complicated times call for simple language! How else do you justify being allies with Pakistan without your goddamn head exploding from cognitive dissonance?

my favorite cartoon. ever.

though they lost me just the littlest bit with the cats at the end there.


i'm afraid of leaving. again, still. time looms intractable and unavoidable and huge, and for all the things i want: to return to school, to be near you again; for all that i am looking forward to: independence, a room of my own; i am still afraid of leaving. it haunts me. i am happy here. i have found people and things and work that are satisfying and nurturing to me. there is the water, and the trees, and the fog and the sky. i drink tea and write and have long talks with my mother about polyfidelity and social justice. i am sometimes solitary and lonely but usually in a charmingly poetic sort of way, and more often connected and joyful. the crux: i'm afraid of losing that joy. i will almost certainly qualify for the monterey slam team, and i want to be here for the west coast championship. with a little more time i think i could be a manager at work, and i want to be here for my sister's senior year and another winter coming through the hills. but then comes my brother's senior year, and another winter, something else, i will always want to be here. i want another year, but what happens at the end of that one? i'm afraid of never going back to school now that i'm so comfortable out of it. at kickboxing last week i spoke with a girl who graduated the year before me about how the expense of college almost negates the supposed salary benefits of the education you now have to pay off. oh, but i want it, i want the learning, knowledge, the swirling of ideas, i do. i'm just afraid of change, it seems. i know joy is not so fragile, but i am loathe to leave it now that it has been found, and unconfident in the fact that it resides inside me and will travel with me whereever i go. (but where was it in the city? or what part of me was missing so that it could escape?)

there is also that i feel like i am unfolding here, learning new aspects of myself, and i'm afraid that i will lose them if i leave. like this place and these people are some careful laboratory condition and if it changes all that has been found will slip back into the void of unconcerned ignorance. at least i've got my melodrama.


i rearrange my room to make space for a new bookcase; before it even arrives, the books have taken over. they stand front and center, the first thing seen when entering the room, lined with careful haphazard grace in the single bookcase already in my room. it is merely two shelves, reaches hardly to my hip, but i add another two rows of books, one atop the case and one on the windowsill it sits beneath. they are largely my more recent aquisitions, with most my extensive adolescent collection of mercedes lackey novels still in a basket in the living room. also in the living room is another two shelves' worth, while the first bookcase i ever filled sits, still full but largely neglected, in my sister's room. i have five books in my car, including my spanish/english dictionary.

i feel that while my music collection is rather self-consioucly eclectic (i don't really have to put placido next to marilyn, but i like to), my literature is sincerely so. marquez and atwood and vonnegut and robbins, nabokov and aristophanes, dillard and angelou and cummings and borges and kingsolver. i truly and earnestly love them all. the new york public library's science desk reference sits next to mediations from a conversation with god and the oddesy; a collection of very adult stories from roald dahl lives in between the botany of desire and my organic gardening guide. i'm proud of it, my library, proud of my books. i'm still not quite sure where the new bookcase will fit.


i feel somehow as though if i lived alone my life would be more mine. i would eat better because the kitchen would be mine and i'd shop only at the farmer's market and whole foods, and since he'd be able to spend the night i'd be home more often in the evenings. i'd do yoga in the morning since there'd be no worry of my mom interrupting to borrow my black boots. i could walk around naked all day on my days off, if i wanted, and read my book without having to listen to my brother's jay-z or my sister's hysterics. for no good reason i think i'd write more, and better, that i'd be calmer without the energy of this house buzzing at me.

truly: i am grateful that my parents and i get along, that i can live here, at twenty-and-eleven-months without feeling usually caged or cloistered, that they let me back in. i can't afford rent in this county if i want to have any money left when i leave (or if i want to spend any of it on anything else while beforehand), and i'm probably just justifying the fact that i don't do the things i think i would if i left.

but i am, nonetheless, beginning to look forward to the leaving.


today, i got up at two twenty and had my grandmother to her doctor's appointment at two forty-five. i took her to the bank. i trained her dog to go into its crate. i went grocery shopping and added a mango to the cart, just for me. i designed a brochure for work and i did my taxes.

my plan for the day was to get up at four, drink some coffee, read the rest of lolita, have some lasagne, and go back to bed.

tomorrow i work both jobs - cafe until three, at the office until five, and then back to the cafe to close because although my boss is generally great, he doesn't always schedule things so well. there's a dj at the coffeeshop tomorrow night, and i plan to stay up way too late and maybe i can transplant today's plan to saturday, with the addition of a trip to the good old days for probably a minor jewelry splurge and some calamari. i miss calamari.

i've been feeling frenetic and thirsty all day today, and hopefully some sleep will prepare me for the weekend. my sleep cycle is pretty screwy right now - i've been alternating in-bed-at-ten-and-up-at-eight with stay-up-until-dawn-and-sleep-until-three, and my body doesn't quite know what to make of it, except to be a little tired all the time. when i went to the doctor last week, she asked me if i had a problem with fatigue. "no," i told her, "i have a problem with not sleeping enough." but between the cafe and the coffeeshop, i get pretty much all the free coffee i want, so i survive.