Sunday, March 30, 2008

the trouble with perfect

that lovely new dish gets chipped, there's a spot on the wall where the paint got can really get to you. a snag in a sweater, hole in your jeans, a scratch on the new leather shoes. a dent in your car, a stain on the bedspread.

the trouble with perfect is that we think we have to get a new one. or find a way to perfectly conceal the flaw.

but the flaw is a trace of our existence, our motion through life. our posessions are marked by our passage. and all things are in transition. all things will one day return to what they were made of. this is a natural process.


i am working on a table. it is a challenge to make a good table, and yet to be at peace with its imperfections.

there are scratches and stains on some of the pieces of wood. one board has paint drips on it, which i love. some of the smaller pieces had a former life as a dresser drawer before i claimed them.

i do want the table to rest solidly and quietly on its four legs. but the fact that it is a little bowlegged on one end because i carved a too-large chunk out of a leg...that is just part of its character now.


the difference between real wood and fake pressboard is in how it ages. real wood can look good even after 50 years. the weathering and scratches eventually give it real charm. but pressboard (like my ikea shelves) tends to end up on the side of the road after 5 years, and it doesn't have charm. it just looks bad. even if it looked perfect when you bought it.

i'll post a picture of the new table very soon.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

i definitely believe in picking a book by its cover. this one lived up to my expectations.

some excerpts:

"If you keep quiet, you die. If you speak, you die. So speak and die." -introduction

"How is it that some people always know what is best for others?" -p. 111

"His mother...was a refined woman--but not so refined that she couldn't eventually tell me so." p. 272

"Grandfather didn't have time to build anymore walls, he said that now everything was held together by factory cement, but if he ever built another wall he would do it his own way, and hold it together with what he called cunning." p. 41

"The worst burden in life is what others know about us. But maybe there is one burden even worse than this. It happens when they don't know about us, it is what they think about us when, in silence, they force us to be what they expect us to be. Even worse is how we become it, and I...had become it." p. 248

This isn't just a book about a gypsy life. It's about the life of a woman who suffers and wanders and sometimes speaks and sometimes keeps her own counsel.
do you see the wildness?

it sprouts, neglected, between
the rowhouses and the noisy tracks

in thick, tangled silence
it roars in another tongue

primal forest

it will never die, yet
it is caked with black exhaust
choked, choking
on the fumes of hurry and distraction.

hacked shackled shorn
taken bondage
an indomitable savage
with head held proudly.

do you see the wildness?

(this is the raw version. i'd like to work on it more.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i am so excited and inspired that barack obama is possibly going to be our next president. everything i learn about him wins my respect, and even inspires me to try to be a better citizen.

you can view his speech "a more perfect union" on you tube here.

i sense that he is an intellectual with integrity. and his campaign seems more like a generous act of leadership than a grab for power. thank you for running for president! i want to tell him.

Monday, March 17, 2008

i've been dreaming of gardening this year. reading this and crossing my fingers about a plot in a community garden nearby.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

can you wear your mistakes with frankness, without shame?

i wanted bangs, i was convinced they were my path to hipness, the hipness i'd always been missing. i delayed and delayed...and then took the plunge, and... they look pretty bad. not everyone says this. but my dear honest sis says that they hark back to the awkward highschool era. especially when they get super fluffy. why can't my bangs lay flat like everyone else's?

i guess the good thing is that i gave bangs a shot. and i know they're not really for me (unless i can re-invent them in a more flattering configuration, or start using styling product--which i won't).

so the little barette is back, and i'm pinning the bangs to one side until they grow out...a testament to trying something and being ok with it not being what you thought it would be.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

i'm renting a space! it has no electricity or light, except daylight that comes in the garage door, but it's cheap and close to my place. i will find a way to make it work with hand tools and battery powered tools. after all, i'm always talking about going off the grid.

now--to move the piles of scavenged wood, discarded furniture, and driftwood.