Monthly Archives: March 2015

Before I get my running and pushing on, I have to amend the ending of the previous post. Not edit  it, because I want the confusion to ring out. But I also want to register what I think it means, even if it’s artificial and maybe wrong, otherwise it’s not a real exercise in finding out what I’m thinking.

I think there is a part of me that is being horrible and saying fuck you, I want you. Being an ape. Uga Buga Me Want. A Terrible Seamstress. Here’s a woman trying to untangle and here I am have more thread. Pumping into her wheel. Adding thread to her daemon. I won’t do that anymore.

Where will my thread have a chance not to be evil. Cuz seamstressing is not an evil thing. My thread is not evil. When…

when her dragon is untangled into heaps of assorted thread. And mine won’t be in the pile. Maybe some poisonous phantom of mine. Because mine I’ll have kept. It will not be in the dragon. I’ll give her then. Only then.

Scimitar and Thread

I just had a dream. It seemed completely meaningless. Then I started picking up patterns. What seemed like a random regurgitation of workplace anxiety was actually… Let me narrate the bits of dream first to help me think.

It was an office. So much organizing, cleaning, voices calling out for deadlines, decisions, office chatter… someone’s personal life things, secretaries complaining, a mess on the lowly executives’ lounge or meeting room… raucous. And I was running around fixing things, getting things done. But there was someone else. Someone actually calling the shots. Telling me what to fix and what to do. And I did it all. Diligently. That’s why when I woke up it felt like a random dream about fragments of the past with no meaning. That is how I function in office jobs. And office jobs can pop up anywhere. Even not in offices. I’ll unpack this in a minute. Let me go to the part of the dream that when I remembered, made me realize it was way more than that.

At one point she was carrying a whole rack of brooms to go clean something up and I was helping her balance the brooms. They started falling anyway, so I went to pick them up. I asked her, awkwardly: balance them yourself a minute because I have to puck up the ones that fell. I crawled under a table. The fallen brooms had become coloring pencils. That’s when, in the dream, I realized I was not calling the shots. Until that point in the dream, I was thinking that because everything around me was a mess and I was cleaning up that I was the hard worker and the one trying to keep things in control. But at that moment, I realized all of the fixing was something I believed in deeply and engaged in with a passion, but the idea never came from me. It always came from that other woman holding the brooms. It always came from someone else.

Very quickly… Another dream, mini dreams from tonight that I’m remembering while writing this. Going around in a tai cab with maybe my parents, maybe friends, maybe a mix. Looking for the event. THe event, as my brain gradually told me, was that at 8pm aliens were gonna make contact. We rode past the building where the contact was gonna take place. We drove on looking for a projection screen. We were now in a bus. STOP!! Someone else yelled when I said we should come down here. I saw the bus stop first. Just a block behind the screen. We got down. It was a bus again.

THen another dream. Just scenes of leaving. Packing for the airport. Weird little things going wrong. Talk of times and when to go. Cats. Logistics. I was going, but I wasn’t. It was this weird go and bounce back feel to it. It wasn’t a goodbye dream, even though I was definitely going.

Then back to the main dream because I remembered something else about it. Next scene, ice was spilled. By a kid maybe. How to pick it up? I wonder if the ice was also something the fallen brooms had turned into. I had an idea. Use the big lid of the blue pot. It was so big. the lid and the pot exit. They’re from somewhere in my life. Maybe they’re in my house right now. I don/t remember. But it was much larger than in real life. I turned the lid upside down to put the ice in it. Arm-fulls. The ice underneath was dirty. Some pop tune playing. Brazilian. The kid dancing. Her dad was there. Encouraging the dance.

That Ladino song is echoing in my head right now. Morenika…. Beautiful. Haunting. Safe.

Time to unpack. But it’s so fun just to tell!! But that’s why I’m here.

First I was afraid to write. I had promised a bit of quiet. Doesn’t this count as making noise? I checked who follows the blog. She doesn’t. At least… oh… maybe google emails don’t show… I don’t know. Fuck it. The decision was that I was gonna write anyway. I promised not to brandish my scimitar let’s hack some tangles. But I didn’t promis silence. I promised giving space, not giving myself up. I was gonna word it as not giving up, but then I self-censored.

Before unpacking. Another thing. The urge to read Byron. I… I like the fun Byron. ALways have. But the romantic crap? I always thought it was atrocious cliche. I mean, Don Juan rocks! Manfred is soo cool! But She Walks in Beauty? Huevon, go fuck yourself. But it’s there. So we’ll Go No More A Rovin started it. THe song version. SO beautiful. FOr the sword outwears the sheath. For the breath outwears the chest. He wrote it about feeling old. I’m craving it for feeling powerless. Here we go. Unpacking time.

Powerless. In the office dream. In the Byron craving. Patience. Follow. THat’s the thing. THe idea to blog this out is to understand how I’m so good at it when it’s work and so absolutely terrible at it when it’s people and feelings. I’m soo willing to serve in my professional persona. ANything you need. Need help? Here. Need me to suspend all of my best interest to help you meet a deadline? DOne. Need me my blood and sweat to execute your project? If I respect you, that’s a done deal. I use dto skip lunch to work on my first office job. Sign of weakness to stop working. A missiong given was a mission accomplished, to quote that.. I think it’s a popular aying, actually. That’s the sense. If I trusted the mission to be worthy, even if it was pragmatically office crap, I’d give every last drop. FOllow a vision. Make it happen.

From that behavior came my academic persona. DO it, do it, do it, do it later into the night than everyone. DO it harder.DO it longer. DO it better. Because the vision took over. I became the bitch of my vision.

ANd now I’m asked to wait. TO have no power to come in swinging and rescue the maiden. I’m supposed to know she and the dragon are sitting face to face and turn my back. SHe doesn’t want to kill the dragon, she wants to untangle it. THe dragon is huge. SHe’s overwhelmed. The Images we come up with. Untangling, weaving, rope making. Her hands must be exhausted. Not must. Are. That’s why I can’t bother her. SHe needs all her enery.

Why is this mission so hard to accept? I trust it. I trust her. WHy don’t I… Because it’s not about I. That’s why. THere’s nothng I can do. My thing with giving myself to the point of death is not selflessness, it’s self-centered. Not in the terrible meaning the word has come to have. But as in, it comes from having a self to give. I know I can, so I do. Here, I have to tke the I out of the equation and watch. Watch as this horrible dragon is slowly unwoven by her. And sh can barely move anymore. But I have to trust that that’s her process.

And she’s so good at telling people no, I won’t help you. Like that day when person texted asking for help and I wanted to jump in and she was like tell him to figure it out.

So we both want a solution that is self-centered. SHe has an easier time tellng me to keep out. I was like that too. Until I needed her help. I’m no longer the person to tell her to keep out. We did that to me.

Oh my. Here’d my dragon to unweave, untangle.

**THis was an utterly unsatisfying post. Left having no idea.**

After thinking of notes, bodies, Pythagoras, the other thought came back

So I’ll have to be a body while I make the vibrations of things that existed before. And bodies have to be a thing. But I don’t alter the things that came before. No sense changing the past in retrospect so it makes sense with what the body is that is making those sounds. I’ll change the body whichever way it needs to be done. But let things be dissonant with the past. Let them be the internal vibration.

Body, guitar, grief, nothing, things, waves, Pythagoras, notes everyone sings

We all have the same notes. If you’re anywhere in the post-Greek world, you’re under the Pythagorean measures for what notes and intervals are. No one actually sings those notes in those exact intervals unless they train for years, of course. But his standards are the closest to any way of talking about the different notes everyone sings. It’s nice to think of everyone going “hmmmmmm” the way I hear it in my head right now is humming somewhere around a C. Not exactly in the wavelengths required for it to be a precise C unless you are a singer trained in the Western traditions of singing. But close. Totally made up. C doesn’t exist, of course. But the actual notes people hit were not the big deal in the pythagorean scale. IT’s the intervals. That’s where it is. In the spaces between the vibrations we make with our bodies. How much to walk up and down and from where. Music is like a geography of the body. From here to here because that’s where you wanna go. The path is what you’re going.

The guitar–the same guitar–has been in my life for almost 20 years now (17-18). She’s like my own body. Not in a romanticized way. I mean like bodies actually feel: we hate them, we feel uncomfortable in them, they make us ache, they ware down, but they are you. The vibration, the physical vocabulary with which you make the vibrations to the outside world. That’s what a body does. My vocabulary with my guitar is enormous. I can play other instruments, make the notes, learn the intervals… but none of them is like my body like the guitar is. Even the drums are an expression of things I learned with the guitar.

I just changed the saddle bone and the nut in my guitar. They were the originals. They were from when I was 9. I got it because my grandpa had died. My mom talked to the music teacher. He’d said before that I was too little and I couldn’t handle the guitar, so he’d made me do keyboard instead. I remember walking out of the first guitar class. It was it. I understood why the keyboard had felt fake even though it was fun: it didn’t vibrate like wood and strings did. It wasn’t real. The guitar I could hold on my lap. I was so little I couldn’t wrap my arm around it. I played it laying it across my lap like a spaghetti western. I remember one day realizing I wanted to play like a grown up, so I straightened it.

I nearly destroyed it as a teenager. Just like my body. It came back to me like magic after I had abandoned it. Just like my body.

Longest relationship I’ve ever had.

I’ve been dreaming, two nights in a row: first that my mom had died, then my uncle. I’m afraid tonight it’s gonna be my dad. Even if I don’t dream it, I get the message. Things from my past are losing their bodies. Grandpa, grandma, somewhere in the next decade, very conceivably during my Ph.D., my parents. Who knows where my brother is going. My nationality, my religion (always ephemeral)… Whenever I do music, that’s the only chance for these things to exist again… in the vibrations that I make. Because vibrations are made by bodies, but they carry things that are not in bodies anymore.

I will need to be a thing other people are too if I want to be with someone. A religion. A country. But until then, while my body is making these vibrations that carry the disembodied things from before and the things from later, I can have the same notes we all make and vibrate things with them. Just like that song, AIde Jano. I think it says something like “let’s sell it all, let’s go dancing.” I can’t dance. But I’d play the song for people to dance to. I’m the provider of vibrations. A lone body amidst the movement of disembodied things. Things that I love.

The things to do that I thought of doing since ever

What did I want to be when I was little?  just read someone talking about her memories of that in such an interesting way that I thought I’d try it myself. Thanks Julie Dash and roller derby and a preface I left for reading last.

I remember, very hazily, like through fog, fish-eye camera, and muffled sound, a person asking me. Blond hair, long, curly, short shorts, white shirt “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” She was lowering herself to my height. She was just doing her job. She was trying to see if I could understand the question. “Pre-school. Are they sentient? Does my job make any sense?” Those were probably her thoughts. I was looking down at my paper. Only seeing her out of my peripheral, or maybe I saw her with full eye contact, then I looked down. There were coloring pictures, I think. “Like my mom,” I said. So she asked, maybe, what does she do… It wasn’t right… “Like my dad”… It wasn’t right. Dummy pre-school teacher. What other grown up could I possibly be aware of at that time?

Then I started having more to work with. So the first real “I wanna be this…” thought came up. I think I was at the kitchen table. Maybe. It might be a compound memory. “A knight.” I wanted to be a knight.

Then a superhero. My own. Martin was her name. She wore green. She had no superpowers. Shirtz was her villain. Played by my grandpa. Once my grandpa asked me if I had made up Martin myself. I said no. I had seen her on TV. I lied. She was too real to be made up. Or made up wasn’t a concept. I don’t know. But I know I knew I lied. I kinda wanna puke when I think about it. Shirtz had a soundtrack. On the keyboard. C-D-C,D-C-D-E(legato)-D-C. To the tempo of grandpa walking. Oh. It was a play. We walked from behind the curtains. “Rrrrespeitavel publico. Hoje nos vamos apresentar As Aventuras da Martin.”

From superhero to hero to rebel to soldier to martyr… Slowly fading as other ideas of what to be as a grownup crossfaded louder and louder.


Veterinarian, coroner, biologist, park ranger, veterinarian,…

(Musician. Still in the background. Never not been. Not gonna fade ever, I think. Just a constant hum)

Corpse. Memory.

Philosopher, professor, writer activist, cultural professor archivist protester activist job-having with Ph.D. in comp.lit..

Mother. Person with person to have physical contact.

A religion.

A dog. The oldest cat in the world and another with a graying muzzle.

Hmm. Dead with a good life. Where to be buried? Life after death? I’ll bury my parents. My uncle. Maybe even my brother. Maybe a wife.  In-laws.

There’s more open space than ever.