radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)
This November, finest of any year I can remember -- close pale-blue days with furry frost filaments embedded in the grass and roses still blooming in the public gardens (scraggly latecomer roses, but roses) -- feels like a long birthday present, except that then I suppose I'd have to perceive everything else that's happened in November everywhere in the world as a present, and I probably don't want that.

The good weather means solitary walks are possible and also pleasurable. I've been pointing my head south a lot this season, walking into Oak Bay.

I feel about these walks that they are research, but research into what? A certain mobile emotion, experienced through perambulation -- through stopping and starting, choosing between routes, doubling back to look at some Thing -- imagining, choosing, reaching a destination and then departing from it -- acheiving some end, usually fairly trivial and beside the point of most of the main goals of life maintenance -- acquisition of some library books I thought I wanted to read, or some harvest-gold flowers that look like, but are not, dahlias.

The walks are like the methodology for accomplishing a task cut loose from the task itself. A line with no hook, slithering through the air, dragging the water, casting again.

The imagination, fleeting, of lives lived in certain houses or gardens, views of the sea at the end of a road, unpursued. A gentle sense of questing.

I worry that they're a waste of time. They feel like my method for something, but do they achieve that thing? Or are they a diversion -- play-acting at investigations that would take much more focus?

The difference between the feeling of something and the thing itself.

I told a friend of mine I believed in something like authenticity -- not as an absolute statement of your True Being -- but in the form of honesty about whether a thing feels good to you or it doesn't. Yet this feeling about the thing, of course, is not actually evidence of the thing's value, and that's been troubling me ever since.

I was thinking in particular about gender identity and how weird and off it feels to me when someone gives a social reason for adopting an identity, rather than an internally felt one -- saying, for example, that they owed it to other people to perform a particular gender identity -- and I know, gender is constructed, it's a surface we believe to be an interior, etc., I know all that -- yet still my impulse is that identity should be about the feeling and not about an abstract social goal, however laudable the goal -- but maybe I am wrong. The feeling is not more true than the goal. Just more concrete -- and I guess inasmuch as I trust anything, I trust this organism that I am to send me signals about what is good for me, more than I trust other people, or even social movements whose goals I generally believe in, to do that. I feel like I owe my actions to the world, but not my sense of self -- wherever it came from, however constructed, it's mine now.

I believe that somatic/emotional experience has content, or rather I feel that I believe that somatic/emotional experience has content.

All of this from a conversation we had after the conference, before she had to travel home. I was tired by then and crashing post-paper.

I should write out the story of delivering the paper -- it's funny -- but I'm trying to work out how to do it thoughtfully.

{rf}
radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)
1

There would be a map here
Fold-line at Vancouver
And when the creased pages met
Whitehorse would kiss California

2

There would be a map here
A digital crystal of snow
Spinning over Calgary
Like a page that can't load

Secret feature: tap the edge
And the map flips over
the underside red
As the raw country under skin
The legend says: hellfire

* * * * * *

For context, the first poem comes above my analysis of Ivan Coyote's regional poetics and the second above my analysis of Rae Spoon's same, which include a violent evangelical home life.

{rf}
radfrac_archive: (dichotomy)
I want to keep up more regular posting here, but I've also finally started organizing/writing/creating the Other Blog, and that has left me drained. So here is -- some stuff.

Random Logistical Stuff

I still have not decided what the Next Thing is.

Everything is fine, except that everything about my life is about to be in need of repair and I don't have the funds, even the fake funds, to repair it.

From the ground up, off the top of my head: )

Meanwhile, I am a member of two reading groups now: )

Also am in magical working group and may join editorial collective of the online magazine I review for. Also am taking the film course and theoretically at least writing a conference paper for November. Oh,and taking the massive open online course through the Kelly Writers' House, ModPo (Modern American Poetry.)

Is that enough things? Probably, right? Oh, I have some reviews coming due now that the summer hiatus is over.

Also figuring out that Next Thing. Which is the only important thing in all of this, and the only thing I'm not doing, which I guess means I am doing it, passively. This thought, though, is depressing, so let's return to the immediate conditions of my life, which, as I have said are -- good.

For example: I spent most of yesterday reading in parks, which was as brilliant as it sounds. )

Today after the poetry group I went to the beach and had a very brief, very cold swim in the ocean. I wanted to have swum again before the end of the summer (which this only technically is.) Then a long walk not exactly home -- all along Beach Drive, through the golf course, where offshore (or: Offshore!) a red and white sailboat was struggling against fresh whitecaps under an enormous moon.

There was a complicated business involving urination and bushes and deceptively steep slopes and somewhere in there I lost my bamboo mat. but generally -- a good sort of day. That tends to mean walks and books and feats of extremely minor derring-do.

{rf}

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