Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday, November 2, 2014

JOURNAL: HAPPY BIRTHDAY NORTH DAKOTA FROM OUTER SPACE + A NOTE ABOUT ASPHALT

Today is my dear North Dakota's 125th Anniversary of statehood. In honor, you must listen to our state National Guard singing the state hymn:

Click here to listen to the North Dakota State Hymn

I'd had a meteor shower on the dance floor by this point so you don't get the effect of my asteroid. 

Many thanks are due to Elise for her clever whit and Janna for her sewing my arms in and all the other many, many things my lovely housemates do for me.

DEAR NORTH DAKOTA,
Even dressed as Outer Space for Halloween I felt a tether from the center of my heart to the folds of your dark earth and strange, beautiful streets. The Sheyenne River twists around my ankles, my knees are made of blizzards, mosquitos buzz in my brain, my eyes are full of Canada geese, and on each shoulder are little hairy bison with their melting brown eyes. Thank heavens for thee.

ASPHALT,
Yesterday I went to a yoga class for the first time in forever and after an arm collapsingly glorious session, while lying on my back with my eyes closed I realized it has been just over ten years since my cross country coach died. I thought of his gruff old voice, his patience, and the miles of asphalt I ran at his command. May those miles never leave me.


My heart is full.

Friday, October 31, 2014

JOURNAL: SPILT BRAIN ON SPLIT LIP*

"Anyone lived in a pretty how town" says e e cummings. In sixth grade I tried to write my name on my papers in a lower case letters. I don't think I knew much of e e cummings poetry, I definitely wasn't much of a poetry fan in those days, but I knew of him and his small e's. My teacher asked me if my name wasn't a proper noun. Proper noun. What a strange term. I went back to capitalizing my name. 

There is another term, ambiguity tolerance, that in the context in which I learned it refers to how well you handle broad instructions on an assignment. Do you prefer itemized rubrics asking for a personal essay that's five pages long, single-spaced, Times New Roman 12 point font, making sure to cover the points of your birth, most embarrassing moment, graduation from high school, and how good you are at sticking to a grocery list? Or do you prefer the looseness of being asked to write a personal essay, taking as long as necessary to fully explain your thoughts?

Or, outside of the classroom, does your heart feel at peace when you read:

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Or, how frustrated do you become with my blog?

My ambiguity tolerance in liberal arts and the kitchen is usually very high. For instance, my ideas for Halloween costumes this year have been: The Beatles' "Revolution #9," Light as a feather/Stiff as a board, or a constellation which was such a concrete idea it quickly transmuted into Outer Space. (Which, in reality, just looks like I'm wearing a giant navy blue mumu and trying to be a wizard.) However, situations that are typically classified as straightforward are highly foggy to me. Like biology and this goals/performance review worksheet I'm to do for work. I've an email here with a list of questions to help me come up with goals. "What career goals do you have? What sorts of training do you need to get there?" Within the confines of the job I'm at now, because they require temps to participate as well, these questions seem the height of ambiguity and therefore must each require three pages of conjecture. Instead, I have a spreadsheet to fill in. This is a part of business that confuses me. "Here, human, tell me your hopes and dreams but in a succinct enough matter that it will fit in these 4 merged spreadsheet cells but compelling enough that we promote you, give you health insurance, and treat you like a human being."

Have I been dropped in an unfamiliar sea? In a place where the sun casts its light so evenly there's no telling cardinal directions and what land awaits me who knows where? Never mind, New Sea, I don't worry, I can swim.

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.
   

*from The Woman Who Laughed on Calgary by Heather McHugh
anyone lived in a pretty how town by e e cummings

Friday, October 17, 2014

Thursday, October 9, 2014