Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pillow Book 2: Gross Things

1.  hair in food
2.  when somebody spits mucus inside buildings (once I found it on the steps in University Hall)
3.  when the dog throws up
4.  when somebody spills a whole dairy drink inside the elevator or smears boogers on the doors of the elevator (yes, I saw this in East Hall.  Recently.)
5.  when somebody talks on the phone when they're using the bathroom (sometimes I hear them doing this in public bathrooms).  when somebody doesn't wash their hands after using the bathroom.
6.  when somebody doesn't flush the toilet
7.  food fights
8.  anything with Crisco shortening in it
9.  the sound our dog (Buddha) makes when he licks himself
10.  storebought bread with all the preservatives in it (like Wonder Bread, etc.).  Also those storebought English muffins which never go bad because they are full of preservatives.
11.  When leftovers go bad in the refrigerator. 
12.  Using spit to clean things

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pillow Book 1: Things to Look Forward to

Here's a good one for everybody who loves lists.  I've wanted to do a Pillow Book for some time.  Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book is described as "a collection of lists, gossip, poetry, observations, complaints and anyting else she found of interest during her years in court."  I have a copy of Shonagon's book floating around my house somewhere.  I need to find it.  I remember what I liked most were her lists.  Another name for this kind of book is a Zuihitsu.  I've ordered a Zuihitsu called Hōjōki


I like lists (particularly poetic lists) but find them a little difficult to do, so I think it will be a good excercize for me.  I want to generate at least five things each time.  I can also go back and add things as I think of them.  My first topic:

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

1.  Allen in the truck, waiting to take me home from work
2.  The first snow
3.  Settling into a hot bath
4.  Toads' songs, spring
5.  Return of buzzards to Ohio, spring
6.  Pączki

Here's a partial list from Shonagon's book that I found online.  I especially like the last one.

[From a list of "things that give you pleasure":]


  • You've read the first volume of a tale you hadn't come across before, and are longing to go on with it --- then you find the other volume. The rest of it can sometimes turn out to be disappointing, however....
  • It's also wonderfully pleasing when you're in a large company of people in the presence of someone great, and she's talking, either about something in the past or on a matter she's only just heard about, some topic of the moment, and as she speaks, it's you she singles out to look at.....
  • When a poem that you've composed for some event, or in a exchange of poems, is talked of by everyone and noted down when they hear it. This hasn't happened to me personally, but I can imagine how it would feel....
  • When someone you don't like meets with some misfortune, you're pleased even though you know this is wicked of you.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Haiku #385

yellow cat
walking tenderly
over the briars

Haiku #384

two lazy flies
loop-the-loop
Thanksgiving day

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Strange Hotel

This post is part of an ongoing effort to make sense of my dreams:

I was in a strange city, staying in a beautiful hotel.  My room was beautiful, but suddenly I had two roommates.  They were young women, and talkative.  I left the room to get some peace.  I went outside.  My husband and youngest son, Brian were there.  Brian was about twelve.  We all decided to go for a walk to a playground.  The playground was down a long gravel road.  We stopped short because we saw a baby crocodile walking up the road.  There was another animal in the bushes, very large.  In the dream we called it a badger, but I don't know what it was.  To the right were homes, and I heard a mother calling a young child.  I thought, what a dangerous place for children. 

The part that I left out:  When I first entered the room, there was a beautiful young African-American woman on my bed.  She was masturbating.  I shouldn't have left this part out, because I think it says something about vitality.  I was talking about vitality in one of my classes that day.  And, symbolically, sex is vitality. 

Also, I had shown The Power of Myth to my Imaginative Writing class.  Afterwards, my friend Sally and I had talked about mothering by example, showing children how to be compassionate in a world that is sometimes dangerous and cruel.  Sally and I had also talked about vitality.  About participating fully in the world, as Joseph Campbell discusses in Power of Myth. 

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Northwest Ohio, United States
"I was no better than dust, yet you cannot replace me. . . Take the soft dust in your hand--does it stir: does it sing? Has it lips and a heart? Does it open its eyes to the sun? Does it run, does it dream, does it burn with a secret, or tremble In terror of death? Or ache with tremendous decisions?. . ." --Conrad Aiken

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Fave Painting: Eden

Fave Painting:  Eden

Fave Painting: The Three Ages of Man and Death

Fave Painting:  The Three Ages of Man and Death
by Albrecht Dürer

From the First Chapter

The Secret of Hurricanes : That article in the Waterville Scout said it was Shake- spearean, all that fatalism that guides the Kennedys' lives. The likelihood of untimely death. Recently, another one died in his prime, John-John in an airplane. Not long before that, Bobby's boy. While playing football at high speeds on snow skis. Those Kennedys take some crazy chances. I prefer my own easy ways. Which isn't to say my life hasn't been Shake-spearean. By the time I was sixteen, my life was like the darkened stage at the end of Hamlet or Macbeth. All littered with corpses and treachery.

My Original Artwork: Triptych

My Original Artwork:  Triptych

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Looking Forward, Looking Back

Looking Forward, Looking Back
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