squillions of lonely ideas

octombrie 30, 2008

(h/t to yael and sonja)

– i don’t want october to end. it used to be „my month”, the golden time, the month i would’ve liked to be born in, (just because that would make me a libra instead of a cancer? maybe). and in october all things still look possible. the beauty (starting with the light and the leaves) is closer to splendor than decay. november is clear and harsh on the spirit. it does sound so good though .

– i love it (not) when in the middle of assignment deadline times a NEW idea for a new story, a totally unrelated, what’s-it-doing-there idea pops up and sticks in my head, but then when the deadline’s over becomes more immaterial, elusive and stubborn. this one is at the stage where it only shows up, for a few minutes, when i load dishes around noon. hmmm. what to do to coax it?

– it’s a cluster of happenings: hallowe’en – day of the dead – lukas’/elena’s b’day – elections. (i don’t want to count my thesis meeting in yet). i keep thinking. how important and lasting in my memory this time last year stands, although it never seemed so at that point. obviously.

– i think my restraint so far this autumn has been admirable, so now i get the right to say i HOPE they vote obama on tuesday. and i am scared.

– people apparently want me to write/submit/blah-blah. i get a feeling that my maureen class might take off to better feelings. and/but i’ve got so little time. it’s got to be one of these days, as always, when i say look, carmen, this is the plan. and i’ve got no words to formulate how scary that is.

– amazing anecdote, via maureen, from a flannery o’connor short story: there’s this philosopher lady living in the countryside, in this amazing landscape, but she notices nothing around herself because her life is so much just the ideas in her head. then something happens to her in the story, and at the end she looks and discovers there’s a stream flowing in front of her house. which she hadn’t noticed before. it made my day.

– i want to have a post exclusively on „parties and gatherings”, but it’s still a mystery for me how to approach it. the basic idea is my tendency to fix myself onto one person and make a whole dozens-of-people event about that one person and how wonderfully i interacted (flirted?) with that one person. a bit disquieting. really.

books, baby, books!

octombrie 17, 2008

i kept complaining that by the amount of books i’d collected you would have never known this is my 2nd year here. now you would.:) though i wonder if earning money has had any direct influence on spending on about 1 book (long wanted book at that!)/week, and yeah, i betcha! but last night was the crowning of all crownings: yael took me to a book sale at the „VPL” (i know it sounds fancy but it’s just the public library. looks good, though). it was absolutely overwhelming. if i didn’t have work (in about 5 mins), 2 deadlines coming on, and other worries about my writerly status, i’d still be gushing about the books i got from there, with 50 cents (i.e. less than 12 000) a piece. i have „slow man”, and looking at the cover only does ‘send a thrill up my leg’ or whatever; i have classics like munro, ondaatje, irving – things that i probably passed by so many times just because they’re so classic i supposed they’d be in any library anyway, although that meant i never got around to reading them. so now in my otherwise not very lively room, two tall stacks: i carried mine in a big plastic bag, yael needed a cardboard box for her dozen, we carried them in the rain. this, on the heels of one almost whole day in a booth at the rhizome „writing” (chewing my pen and swaying like a retard), is why i love vancouver. however rainy.and freakin’ cold.

the unbearable lilac scent in the fall

octombrie 8, 2008

it was yesterday night, and it looked like this: heavy raining, cold (i don’t want to forget one thing), i’d just  been to granville island and bought some old black-and-white postcards, so i came home and started tacking an assortment of postcards to my wall: a prague, a red hook, one that says „i do everything i want”, a raven one from tsimshian people, you know: make-believe. also, i am reading kundera, finally, and sometimes i’m irritated, sometimes totally taken. („‘pick me up’, is the message of someone who keeps falling”, he tells me. and i say yes, and i ask, so what’s the message of someone who watches you fall, and stands back, because he claims he trusts you to get up on your own? exactly! see how we agree?). also, i spent money i don’t have yet on ivan klima and on paula fox’s „desperate characters”. it’s this kind of time in my life. it’s good.

and elizabeth comes knocking on my door, saying „carmen, can i get in? a disaster happened”, in her not-really-ever-concerned voice. rachel was here (she still is, right now, sitting across from me, looking so great with her headphones and guitar, i’m gonna take a picture, wait! -) and because of that i perceived an extra-layer of excitement in the place, beside the fact that my feet were wet (rain damage) and my fever rocketing. elizabeth enters and brings in a trail of lilac scent and the purple shards of my perfume bottle, pur desir de lilas etc. etc. that i’d craved so much and got from sorina for my birthday. i just wanted to brush my teeth, she says, because she and rachel were going out to a concert. i get sad for like twenty seconds, but there’s this hysteria blooming around. fever. the bathroom tiles washed in yves rocher perfume. outside the rain, through the open big window. raining. i don’t know what else to say to describe this, except:

i realized whom (what kind of people, of friends) i could go and describe it to.

those are the people i really need, and this is the kind of test i can trust.

not that i didn’t know it all along, through my meandering days, my younger, most uncertain ones; not that i didn’t reject all the answers i got, which were no no no no all the time; when i shuddered and gasped after watching „A.I”; when i needed to visit a place; when i wanted to see my place while it was still lived in (spring, the harshest wind of march, i went up to 6th floor alone, looked at the door and ran away); when i was on the hospital consulting bed; when i was fallen deep in a hole; when i needed a person with me while waiting for the sincai job. just because people are there doesn’t mean they’re the right ones. but the fact that they’re the right ones does mean they will be somehow there. also:

this is what i was afraid to desire all along.

to be the sappiest me possible, knowing that to some kind of people it will still signify something. for you it might be a shrug – someone was careless and broke a bottle – if you’re not with me: with the strands of perfume, the gust of fresh october, rachel’s strings and foot stamping – and if you don’t SEE the fall and the break, the liberating break i’m trying to describe.

to be ‘artistic’ is surely not the requirement, i do know phonies when i see them, and a great dose of eastern-europenism and eye-rolling and bluntness and goofiness are still available to me for fending off stuff. the requirement is nuance and openness to apparent whimsicalities, as long as they can support themselves through a good story. so i can be free to worry about only if the story is good enough, but confident in my angle, my niche of perception.

i’ll never be X: non-hipness panic attack

octombrie 5, 2008

happens maybe once a month. last month it didn’t happen, because i was busy with other stuff, and also because, it being a new beginning kinda thing, just the walking on main or commercial offered me a taste of the illusion that i could become that. the X. maybe, this time around.

in july and august (i don’t remember) maybe i was busy wishing i was more of a good wife type. i don’t remember. maybe not, and i’m just being mean, or patterning. maybe again, that will slip out my mind now that i’m here, and just because it was not only unattainable: it was non-desirable, except for the one circumstance. and now it is entirely non-desirable, so rest in peace. back to the other neuroses.

in june, it was all „i’ll never be miranda july”. and now i’m revisiting it. i’ll never be julia, never be anja, or alex. (i am home alone, and eating nectarines, and trying to discover new music, pretty much blindly, and sobbing a bit. of course.) i even spelled „el beit” wrong, and all of a sudden, who would’ve guessed, it’s all back to „el beit”, and to how i could have (maybe) seen new york, but i saw nothing. no i’ll never be cool, never be attuned. i’ll always come to find out three months later what the joke was about – and usually it was exactly about this kind of situation. i could write my personal essay about this. since it’s been dragging on for years without a clear focus, or clear models, and how it’s all here aligned.

i mean after one year it’s kind of annoying to be still the fresh candid voice, occassionally useful in whipping THEM out of permanent smugness; and the rest of the time, oh, pretty much drooling.

(canadians who read this: it’s not even an interesting composite story. there is a story nevertheless. it’s my ‘american dream’, parts 1 and 2 :), including the miranda july story i’ve told some. but i do still think mj is emblematic for the core of this; because she extracts success out of potential defeat.

i did come here knowing nothing, expecting everything. expecting to absorb like a sponge things that are subtle, that are fad-ish, that are layered, in the absence of a style and personality that allows it. some people just are good at it, i told matt, and he agreed. i’m not. i’m slow. i care. i want it too bad. i can’t join in, with anything.i don’t have the time, i have nothing much to offer.

all that everyone else thinks is valuable in me, let’s get straight here: i don’t dispute it. probably there is something, mixed in with the weakness and embarrassment and whatever, and all these bovarisms. i just want to control it, instead of letting it get me into deep shit every time.

own your freaking power.

i’ll never be a hip writer. i’ll never be a hip teacher in whose class everyone fights to get. i’ll never be in with the „el beit” crowd, or whatever they call themselves these days. but what the fuck, someday the ones who matter  will want to be in with me.  i  ‘am’ a writer, and a kitchen help, and a friend, sorta, and a dependent daughter, and a rude classmate, and a weeping willow. somewhere here, and in the future,  and NOT in the first part of the paragraph, are all the damn answers, so there. done?