29 Apr 2010, 4:50pm

Easy and Complex

Easy from the top and complex sinking towards the bottom of the post.
scrubber duckie love graffitti
Scrubber duckie, you’re the one.
And gotta love Ottawa graffiti. Self-absorbed or tranquil, I’m not sure which more.

legs of the wall tulip beds
De vine on de calves of balusters.
Beds of tulips show how sunning is done.

I’m disadvantaged by my own attention and interests. Partly written is the architecture lecture from last month, and the lecture from Netherlands bike business last week. Loads of little bits from writers fest and 1000 photos from those 5 days and half a notebook of notes.

More life accumulates. I could take it all in original order in the queue but out of order is sometimes more orderly.

Information is more useful when there is too much provided it comes over a long time. In one time it all gets lost in the shuffle.

Information feels most correct and trustworthy when it conflicts with itself. If there’s one story there’s only a tiny part of the picture. I feel shut out when it’s an open-shut narrative. Life is messy. One narrative arc is only for comic strips.

I don’t mind a cluttered answer. I rather am fond of tangential asides. Questions are not always their surface meaning. If your answer cuts to the chase, time is saved. if you misjudge and read between lines where there is no text, time is unnecessarily lost. A funny game this verbal communication.

The one definitive answer can be a comic foil. I don’t like just two answers because that smacks of banned binary thinking. Perhaps this is just making things unnecessarily difficult for myself but it’s cultural adoption.

I think that the love of the nuanced, flawed main character or anti-hero may be a cultural reflex. It is the result of lessons of the last century and its glorious leaders. To want someone more of a regular Jane is a self-protection against the central leader or dictators. We know how those stories went.

Even down to the level of conversation we want assurances that we aren’t dealing with selfish uppity power.

The love of humble or self-deprecation may come from fear of lording powers that inspire to do wrong. if we continually cut our feet out from under ourselves then we can’t run after idealized figures. We dethrone our gods to save ourselves from excesses of corrupted worship.

I once had the charge leveled that I enjoy asking questions in order to avoid answering. It was wrong then and I think I’ve figured out why I think so. Questions narrow in on things. Answers widen out possibilities and give more things to ask more questions of and are best a means of manufacturing more useful questions. Questions are a form of listening, a way of engaging as you observe, bringing someone along with you rather than hurtling past on presumptions. People who just want answers are like people who sit on panel discussions bored until the highlight– their chance to speak, and usually long and rambling, taking up the wealth of group time while ignoring others incidentally sharing stage.

I like the adage: If both of us agree one of us is redundant, or lying. Not that disagreeableness is ideal. Far from it. The least bit of sourness and resistance suggests closed mind and inutility of speech at all, even tho I’ve witnessed family talk overtop of one another in disagreement and at the end espouse the opposite person’s view, in a way gaining nothing, in a way gaining something.

Quote: “It takes time to save time.” ~ Joe Taylor

25 Apr 2010, 10:21pm
General Glad Game


Riding some sort of randomly distributed good karmic wave all day.
Sunset Rideau Canal
Some days just work, start to finish. (That would be towards the finish.)

Awoke alert rather than bleary.

Dreams odd, but a memorable, traceable shuffle. Like the mini whippets that were transformed with their eager lurches on leashes into night cinema to whippets on rocking horses, under moonlight a grid of hundreds.

Happened across who I meant to get the email address of en route. Another pleasant chat.

Ambled over in good time. Arrived not late. No heart-pounding haste. No object forgotten.

One of those leave-you-sailing-happy sort of panels with fascinating writers, articulate, considered, well-spoken with good stories. (Paula Butturini, Tom Jokinen, Amir Gutfreund and Susan Juby.) A panelist, Tom Jokinen, with the skill to interlace previous speakers, picking up what they said within his patter. People with journalist-backgrounds consistently seem to be the most skilled communicators.

Upon realizing that who I sat beside was tied inside her cellphone drama, I elected to change seats to get better camera angle and found myself beside a delightful person who strained the tensile strength of his chair while laughing, fully enjoying the speakers and who was amiable to chat with anyone.

Some time to breeze thru email and upload pictures and catch up with hubby then we assembled the summer patio furniture and went for a cycle. Perfect weather.

Passing parks with people playing catch, people reading on towels, sun soaking, talking in circles. An accordion player busking. A few person punk-dressed folk-like band. A Hara Krisha procession of families drumming and chanting. The canal refilled for the season. Ducks in the river eating among the algae bloom.

For the first time, in any festival or conference, I went until satisfied, no strain to fit one more thing in, not regretting what speculatively could have been a Not To Miss, not obliging myself to cram full until the diminishing returns was too much unconscionable abuse of the body.

Speaking of which, the relenting of cold. A sunny day, warmer, and stocking up in long sleeve, sweater, jacket and scarf and being warm. A relief.

Lots of things worth taking note of and of taking notes on.

Seeing people I know, or didn’t know, and getting small chats in.

The talk of the afternoon of The Age of Persuasion which was completely sold out. How odd to see a radio host in person. Reintergrating the disembodied with a body.

Curiously Nabokov was quoted from 3 separate authors independently over the last 2 days.

Two more days of writers festival to go.

Quote: “A person hears only what they understand.” ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

24 Apr 2010, 1:58pm
Comments Off on Writers Festival Underway

Writers Festival Underway

The OIWF panel for the Writing Life: Character Studies was last night hosting by Sean Wilson at podium. (L to R) Michael Helm, finalist for the Giller Prize, reading from Cities of Refuge, Joan Thomas follows her Commonwealth Prize with Curiosity, Gale Zoë Garnett with Savage Adoration and Adam Lewis Schroeder makes his Festival debut with In The Fabled East.

Links: Schedule, Flickr Pool of OIWF and discussion boards of the festival.

Quote: “I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.” ~ Samuel Johnson

21 Apr 2010, 6:48pm
Books Glad Game Link Dump Photos

5 things, 5 People

The parallels continue between Chris and I as she talks of Poetry month. Incidentally she says nearly verbatim what rob said in the last workshop.

Way, way back, poetry was an aid to memory, the repository for heritage, ancestry, and the lineage of one’s cattle. Professional rememberers knew the formulas for oral poetry and could recite the story of a people’s creation, battles won and lost, the coming of animals into the world.

What niches do poetry fill now? Still memoirs even if not oral myth and history bard. A medium for message question is often worth considering.

Circle Award Thanks to Chris of At My Soiree for the appreciation Award. The meme originally asked for 10 things about self, or 5 things you enjoy or 5 things you love, and to pass it on saying why you love and would recommend these other blogs. It has been going around crafter blogs since 2008 and sometime late last year it started spreading out. So…

Glad Game: 5 things I like:
1. Spring. Lilacs are nearly blooming. It is pleasant to be outside, lie on the grass, look at the clouds except that makes pollen fall directly into face in a new expanded allergy season. Apparently my body is off the blocks already.

peekaboo, water fountain
2. Playing peekaboo with water fountains. The boxes are coming off. People have been rollerblading for weeks and some tulips are done but still most of the water fountains are still under cover.

signs in the home
3. How relaxation can be as simple as touch by fingers.

Ottawa writers festival
4. Writers festival starting tomorrow. It has a group blog where I may post some things over festival. Saturday evening and Monday night will have the poetry at the Mayfair Theatre on Bank St.

201013_L 5. And lastly, a sudden upsurge in the amount of Joseph Massey…he interviews Rae Armantrout and has two new chapbooks coincidentally coming out at the same time Exit North from BookThug and Mock Orange from Longhouse.

5 blogging folks I’d recommend reading:
In no particular order…

1. Colleen Redman for her look into the world at Floyd. She makes a quiet restful space from what she photographs of the small beauties in an arts community that thrives, thanks in part to her years of involvement, nurturing the information flow in the community thru her interest and her newsletter.

2. rob mclennan for how he continually turns out from his information hub new, interesting things like Kaufman’s Waterproof Bible, a call for Glosas, this Shearsman title I’d run across word of but hadn’t seen yet, this interview series of small press, such as Tente of Angela Carr called ” a collapsible, feminist poetry and poetics press, a small, collective intervention.” The blog can be wikipedia-level sticky.

3. Brian Pirie who has rolled the best of his ergonomics and design blog into a static ideas page of Sketchbook Pro, Velib, interaction design, but now has also launched his site of sites done. (I’ll admit I’m biased but it’s gorgeous.)

4. Joseph Harker who has been doing a poem a day at a high levels for as long as I can remember. Amazing output and sustained higher than usual quality.

5. Figleaf who poses interesting questions, such as What is sex was mundane exercise but hot soup was taboo? or why is eroticized female nudity ubiquitous but males are rarely anything but clothed in ads and calling out the mess when feminism is accused of or falls to misandry “I think a strong case can be made that the “stay angry” phenomenon is an embarrassing but necessary stage in the maturation progress of any movement or field of social research fueled by its own subjects. ”

Quote: “The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.” ~ Hubert H. Humphrey at QB

19 Apr 2010, 7:46pm

Weekend Frame of Mind

I was a bad babysitter to myself last night. Late night movie and got hopped up on ice cream so by the time it came to sleep, instead I got hours of watching shadows on the ceiling.

I presumed the brain fog would clear eventually and it did when I kept slogging along. I feel perfectly clear again.

I must say I don’t understand the logging industry in this town. The parking meter is marked to be clear cut right beside the stump of the last one. (I do like the mottos of the cyclist tho.)

Forsythia blooms.

Beautiful metaphor…a dream (as in night cinema) as drawing a picture on your own back to guess what it is.

The weekend was full of good. I made it out to 1.3 of the 4 things I thought I might go to. (0.3 being arriving 2/3rds of the way thru one thing. Oops.) Marnie Woodrow really impressed as a presentation coach, communicator and as a person. Ah, so many gears to get my act into and so many of them low-gears.

If I were a state and if my state were to have a slogan it would be laugh free or die.

Quote: “Some people drink deeply from the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.” ~ Grant M. Bright at Quotations Book which has a daily subscription option

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