Whoops, looks like we forgot to hang this up back in December. Well, we're home now. But before anything starts, we need to unpack our gear and take a quick nap and grab a snack and then probably just have some "us" time to decompress because Lord knows how we get when we're cranky. But honestly right after that, this old blog'll be back in the tubes, which is, to say, the internet. You should've seen the marlin. Seriously majestic shit.
It all begins with a vibration. Mind the Texas City Disaster of 1947: the SS Grandcamp carried over 2000 tons of ammonium nitrate, both an explosive and a fertilizer, to be used as fertilizer in war-ravaged Europe. Somehow, the fertilizer became agitated in the cargo hold. When the Grandcamp landed, the longshoreman said the paper bags were warm to the touch. Before the explosion, the bags turned bright red, and the sides of the ship ballooned, the Gulf of Mexico boiling around the ship’s sides. At 9:12 A.M the ship exploded in a massive chain reaction riling up a fifteen-foot wave. We didn’t heed the signs. The Grandcamp’s two-ton acre anchor soared a mile and a half through the air before landing in a ten-foot crater.
Nature is more or less a long-lost concept of romantic poetry. There are times in our lives where we should take a long walk to a rocky precipice and stand at its all-powerful edge like a shadowy figure in a David Casper Fredrick painting. What we are up against now is not so easily defied by gravity. Alongside our technology we have complicated the concept of the abyss, making it abstract, unattainable. There are ways to experience the sublime nature of human existence on earth, but it will take the broadened perspective that we now are the ones responsible, beyond gravity, for our fall.
Whalers had to wait for the precise moment to drop their anchor. We often think that dropping the anchor gives us a sense of security, but when whalers drop the anchor, they are making the choice to spear, kill and chop up the beast in the tumultuous rush of sea. For months, maybe years, these brave souls wait upon the ship for the moment when their lives will be put on the line for their livelihood. Did you know that whaling became irrelevant on a large scale with the discovery of petroleum? And in a moment’s notice, without any time to tie one’s shoe or catch one’s breath, the beast appears. You are set into motion. Drop the anchor; fight the fight or be sunk.
What's five foot four, loves leather goods, has two green thumbs, and gardened his childhood away?
Spoiler: It's me.
As a boy, the days spent mid-calf in fertilizer, pruning my tomato flock amongst the high crests of sunflower, burned at both ends. You might as well've called me "James," as in, "He of the Giant Peach." Suffice it to say, friends, that I've seen, and dealt with, my fair share of weeds. When I moved to the big city, however, I thought the creepy green stuff was out of my life, and I mean for good, but this week, as I'm sure you've heard, they're back, and making headlines.
My American Revolution by Robert Sullivan
“What a trip!” –Sam Robert, The New York fucking Times
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
“A novel may be full of opinions, but it must never be a sermon.” –Hillary Kelly, The New Republic
Where on Earth by Ursula K. Le Guin
“Anyone who makes the old accusation that sci-fi authors "just can't write" should have this collection put in his hands, as Ms. Le Guin would do, kindly but firmly. Many sci-fi authors, we know, are as clever and tricky as so many Coyotes. Ms. Le Guin, though, has matured from the vividness and imagination she had from the beginning into wisdom and a clearsightedness that reaches past sympathy.” –Tom Shippey, The Wall Street Journal
Hello, or should I say, mull-o! ;) my dearest quirky crafties!!! I hope everyone is enjoying the last flutters of this autumn season as much as I am. The air is crispy and the leaves are falling from their branched perches into the earthen soil, only to be born anew next spring. Sorry, the end of autumn just makes me feel graceful and poetic ;)
One of my favorite things about autumn is the smells. Cinnamon, cloves, apples, pumpkin (the fake flavor, NOT the real thing, ew)… The season is full of warm, cozy, luxurious scents for us to indulge in! And, since they are food smells, there’s no better place to indulge in these scents than the kitchen!!!!!
You have found yourself in a competitive eating competition, and while you don’t classify eating as a sport, the table is decorated as a football stadium, and you are wearing the player’s codified polyester and spandex. There is an associated shame with such an act. It is often inevitable that we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations—motivated by pride, or sex, or competitive will. We find ourselves trying too hard. The most humiliating moment comes when you stuff your face with hot dogs, eyeing your opponent’s heap against your own, feeling the expansion of your throat, swallowing with the aid of water. Your cheeks flush as you realize the waste of your pursuit, the punishable gluttony. Push through, try to reflect and then forget.
The process of making words is physical. Words create safe passage over raging rivers. Words are walls to keep out the cold. Words are chimneys that send smoke up and not out into the living room. Words are foundational, and they may or may not create the most seamless journey this week. Be aware of the way that what you say has earthly consequences. What comes out cannot be easily shut away again, just as trash cannot be easily reused. It builds up. It creates immense landfill wastelands that will outlive humanity. Be cautious about what you expel.
You have lost yourself in the best way possible. There are times our minds connect with something—another person, an idea or transcendent concept—where we suddenly sweep up into the cosmic readiness and sense the whole mesh illuminated. It is a lovely time of levity. Do not let this message interrupt you. Do not let it sweep you out into too much self-awareness. Stay as long as you can un-centered. For so long we have emphasized the center, but enjoy this time on a more important plane: the edge.
I thought we lived in a world, in a country, where the free were free. Free to live. To love. To learn. To practice martial arts. To die. To snack.
The "government," however, says otherwise.
Forget the environment, forget foreign policy, forget our economy, forget those elections.
What elections? See? Done.
Because it's time to seriously nose-to-the-grindstone chat about the issues. Issue. The issue.
Do not envy the person who makes the jokes. In your envy, you may in fact feel deep admiration, even love. You may admire the joker so much that you lend a large chunk of yourself to the desire to be the joker. What you really desire is that someone pays attention to you—likely someone who is laughing at the joker’s jokes and not yours. Whatever misdirected attention you seek, remember that you will not gain admirers through resentment. Be your flawed raw self, and be so without reservation and with deep generosity.
You’re sitting on the train feeling the crusty edges of some new deficit when you see the billboard that reads: SURVIVORS BLOOM. The text is bedded in different colored pink carnations. Suddenly, the pink in the sky grows highlighted, and you open your hands to look at your palms. You will become aware of your essential vitality this week. In whatever large or small way, you are surviving. No matter how you look at it, survival itself is grace.
It’s unknown how you got to this point, naked in a bed of tall grass in a gravel road ditch. You ingested something that drugged you, and thus places you at a distance from yourself. This creates new boundaries and destroys others. To people around you, you may seem particularly vulnerable right now, even neurotic. But in this new sun, you will wake as you haven’t woken in a long time, and this is something to record and know.
We did everything we could: canvassed; campaigned; repeatedly uprooted the Obama sign in Deborah's front yard. So I don't know what to say. First, maybe, that I'm afraid. I don't cry, usually, more than four or five times a month. But this November? Jeez. If I had a nickel, right? I’d have like eight.
My dad, bless his probably turtle-shaped soul, tried to cheer me up on Wednesday morning with one of our favorite jokes. The one about the wolf. But I wasn't in the mood for wisecracks. Things just aren't going to be the same in America. Gardens and gay people will start running rampant before the turn of December. Weeds and marriage, I just can't believe it.
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