13 Aug 2014, 2:37pm

To Do without Dally

Much on the to-do list again but it’s all doable and in motion incrementally. I even made a hot lunch. Good for the cold rain.

A poem woke me at 5 a.m. Finished it at the standing desk. (Since studying Spanish my pronouns are toast. Dropped everywhere by default. We don’t need most of them in English.)

In the early blue,

heavy rain–
first dawn chirp

Wobbly eventually I went back to sleep. By yellower later light,

waking again.
maybe first birdsong
was protest.

By noon’s mix of rain and sun, I return to the poem. Not that above, another long thing.

Light of day can be harsh but it’s not bad. The first 4 lines can continue intact. Perhaps they are not the start. The ending is a bit stuttering. I’m missing some key word. Or something. There’s a hitch in its step. Does it need more living to complete itself, or dreaming? or breathing?

morning glory will use any opening of sun
The morning glory will go for any break towards sun.

Will it be bound into unblossoming, hogtied, or tear its own leaf to open? So much suspense in gardening.

Look at the metamorphosis: caterpillars, commas & question marks.

When the door opens, the cat will race out then brake hard realizing it is still raining.

Up on the pillar is more sheltered than under a slat-table.

Even still she came in with her head dry and tail soaked.

Tails are used for counterbalance. How are cats so reliably unaware of what’s happening back there? It’s as if their tails are the embodiment of their unconsciousness.

12 Aug 2014, 3:27pm

Sleep Rhythms

In our world, the smallest cat makes the loudest snore.

She has finally stopped biting my ankles by which she means to communicate, if you can’t turn off the rain in the back yard could you at least turn off the rain the front yard? I’m bored. And it strikes me that the song lyrics “you can’t stop the rain by complaining” was written dedicated to the songwriter’s cat. Had to be.

The rainspout courses. At least a week has elapsed even as I blink.


It’s rather nice not to have to scramble for quotes at each post. It was a thorn because most quotes are by men. Any given time isn’t a bugaboo but the skew got aggravating. Nice to let oneself move away from a burr.

falling water over stone
Water is soft and gentle but can cut stone.

What other manufactured goals do I reach for out of habit instead of need?

Chocolate comes to mind, as it tends to. I’m eating it because there’s a time of day I eat it. That means I cease to taste it or consider. If I want any in my system, have to eat it before 3pm or it will interrupt sleep.

Autopilot is useful. It saves decision-energy of needing to evaluate all the minutiae constantly. What do I miss out of on if I don’t Do That Thing?

I’m a little buzzy-headed. Which is not surprising considering I went to bed at An Insensibly Late Hour because I Was Doing Stuff. Then, once settled into bed, a picture frame spontaneously fell off the wall, breaking the frame and glass and later some meowing in night of cat locked out of to our minds unswept glass to her mind, her night watchtower viewing window. Then my body woke me Obscenely Early.

Why when I go to bed very early does my body sleep in extra and when I go to bed late, it wakes me extra early?

I’d say when busy, I work later and sleep anxious so less deeply except I sleep more when anxious. Puppet strings cut. When relaxed I sleep deeply and long.

No matter, we got off for an early walk before the tidal level rains (of 20mm or so) come, and now we have plums. I ate enough to plant an orchard.

And I’m getting a new idea underway. People ask if they can subscribe. So I’ll make a the monthly or so newsletter. If you want to be on my mailing lists about my publishing and blogging things sign up here. Now, maybe I’ll take a siesta. Or more likely get back to reading what I said I would.

11 Aug 2014, 11:26am

Byways & New or Underused Routes

Under quiet of tree cover, the thoughts can quiet down. Birds, cicadas… and wondering how far I’d have to drive to not hear traffic.

To not be traffic. How to convince industries that it is a positive value to make silence and dimness instead of sound competition?

What about a priority to quiet car engines, plane engines. To not have a backup beep that you can hear from 3 blocks away. To not have cars beep reminders of this or the other.

Such a frenetic soundstorm it’s like watching individual snowflakes. Even in Algonquin Park there was the hum of traffic and the rumble of lumber trucks.

How far to go back a century in time to what everyone used to experience? How far out to go before there’s dark sky so you can actually see the beauty of stars as exciting rather than underwhelming compared to internet?

I’m reading, as you may have seen at pesbo and how striking it is the distances we can travel except in China in the 1700s there was a depth of history and landscape. Who’s his favorite poet? And he reaches a millennia back.

Trees are a vertical habitat, an extension of property upwards. We are all squatters on land except some of us to mark our territory go thru a small gymnastics of taxes.

The bean plant has more invested stake in ground than those with legs. Our neighbhour sprays pesticides but doesn’t pick weeds. Lets them blossom then cuts the long grass, the flowers going to seed. Why does he think that if you cut a blossom before it seeds that it won’t seed. Plants aren’t quite like us.

Supercat rests in the shade. She doesn’t worry her head about such things. Amoral or pre-moral, she harasses cicadas and calls it a day.

Why is it that people want to talk about nothing? To share beauty os more useful to the body than to share inactionable things.

Is there anything new on the internet? No? More people wanting to talk and engage but not wanting to disclose anything of themselves so more quizzes of which book, comic character, 18th century novelist, renaissance thinker, colour, personality type, city, house appliance, shape of dust bunny, or word you are. Or, to not be trivial, relay photos of dead people.

The interview [at link] with Jacob Wren about his new book Polyamorous Love Song is interesting. What would happen if instead of all songs being dedicated to one true love, (and I’d add a “you” that is easily substituted for one true god and made into prayer), all songs were sung to many loves? What would that shift in cultural jenga? What if real things were at stake not just made for entertainment?

To be content creators rather than relayers of already popularly media news, this seems useful.

Some things have the same outward shape but different spirit. Farmer’s Markets for example. The Byword Market and Parkdale Market function the same, to sell things daily. The smaller weekly ones have a different spirit. The one in Little Italy, the Beechwood Market and the McDonalds Corner’s Market feel more like community than commercial.

McDonald’s Corners farmer’s market,
They sell the same sort of goods but there’s more of sense of coming out of a desire to make an improved world. Is it purely the time structure, or the people involved? Is small batch necessarily more global-minded and local-tied whereas large scale is its own multinational kind of floater. There’s not the investment in here. If not here, somewhere else is just as interchangeable?

To loop back to the car idea, we’ve been 8 years carfree after a decade with a gas-electric hybrid. Going to awkward places by transit tends to get stored up until we need to rent a car to see out-of-town family and then any errand time cuts into family time and is is subtracted from energies. $50 a day or so for a car to drive a couple hours and sit the rest of the time. Awkward. Trains don’t go where we need them to. Busses I have done but the Greyhound still only loops a half hour drive away from destination. But Vrtucar is pretty cheap at drop in rate. Instant bookings. Cheaper than a taxi. Cheaper than a rental car for an hour or two. It’s an elegant solution to plans made overly complex by the distances social ties are spread over.

5 Aug 2014, 10:40am

Garden Walk

For Our World Tuesday a walk in the yard. It’s amazing how fertile the earth is on Ottawa’s scrape of sand, rock and clay; continual crops of weeds. The term “grounded” didn’t come by accident. How restful to take one kind of plant away. Not sure what to do about the carrots. I left thinning too late and it looks like a 70s shag carpet there. I thinned some. Need to thin more.

It seems harsh to cut the roses but where I cut them back, they blossomed. Where I let be, they didn’t. Counterintuitive. But a lesson there about choices and editing on a biological model.

There are so many species under our noses, surviving us. I also saw a beetle the size and shape of a ladybug but uniformly gold. And a long beetle iridescent as a grackle.

No bird, insect or mammal wants to eat these. Surely someone must. They went from ruby to this deep purple and are starting to fall.

cucumber coming
No one’s eaten these but us and for that I feel lucky. We’ve eaten 5 out of the garden so far. Amazing how fast they decay once picked compared to whatever they do to grocery store cukes.

cucumber pyramid
More coming.

It’s a risky world for the small. The beautiful cicada was found in the mouth of the cat. Drop it! Drop it!

Then I put the cicada up somewhere safe. His or her one leg didn’t look well. But once rested from that nasty turn after a 7 year wait to fly, he or she flew again.

In other news, pesbo lists my latest couple finished-reading lists.

4 Aug 2014, 12:28pm
Personal Growth Ponderings


The bust which I bought from my aunt’s estate auction has sat on my desk or nearby since the mid-80s. She lived at my aunt’s house which was full of art. Glass tables supported by elephants. Gilded framed of fox hunt. A mantle clock with brassy people who turned a dance at the hour. Side tables stacked with National Geographic and travel magazines. Dressers full of lace, buttons, craft materials. A black and white photo on the wall was of her in nurse uniform after WWII. Another photo was of one of her husbands. That was revealed to me in a hushed tone as if there was something wrong with remarrying. She once was a divorcee.

Her cupboards that were empty except for fancy plates, decorative cups and, occasionally, a box of crackers and a box of tea. She ate out every meal. The fridge was empty every time except for root beer or pink cream soda which she bought for the occasion of my visit.

aunt aunt
I don’t have much memory of my first 20 years. Mom’s photo album had this of my aunt hugging me. The only picture I know where I’m being hugged by family.

I remember that aunt dying while I was in primary school but apparently there’s fuzz on my memory. Her estate auction after she was hospitalized with strokes causing paralysis and aphasia in a city a couple hours away. Dad couldn’t bear hospitals, or elevators, or upper floors and this was all 3. He got bad panic attacks. He’s go all waxy and shaky. When we did see her he’d make it upstairs then need to bail to a lawn where he could breathe.

Funny, all the years we were in our parallel panic attacks and private depressive funks. We could have talked, helped each other. But we were both in shame and hiding such “weakness”.

“We should have noticed
the field under
winter’s abundance”
Fernand Ouelette, Hours (Guernica Editions)

I don’t know how to set down the burdens of guilt of all the help I omitted to give him. When he was kicked by a cow, his leg swollen, purpled o-shape on his shin, the bone bruised, did I even offer to shovel out the barn? Why didn’t I insist and take over so at least he could rest or so we could do it faster together?

The barn was his solitude time, and I didn’t want to intrude. I wanted my dignity of privacy for my down cycles and wanted to give him his. And he was emphatic that I was not to associate with farming life. He wanted to push me past him to an easier life. People can only get ahead if they have an advantage passed on from the generation before. He didn’t want me to lose the advantage by throwing his savings down a money pit of agriculture.

8 years ago I put a slideshow of him. Why didn’t I record his voice? He waved off the camera. His outside jarred against his idea of himself.

I had to shoot it furtively, and cut out the sharp looks of is that thing pointed at me? Somehow image becomes word and past becomes present becomes past.

Still, what did I miss out on? If there’s a lesson, it’s that I should be less polite, press myself towards those I am fond of while people are still around.

Why didn’t I ask more questions? He’d get gruff and flustered and mad. He was painfully shy at times. He seemed to want to not contaminate me with himself and his ideas. He was frustrated that he couldn’t shake off ideas he was told in his youth but thought ideas should die with him. Like orangeism. He even had an ambiguous relationship to god. He secretly read a prayerbook for the last couple years, returning to the faith of his youth that he never spoke of.

I was in my own vortexes. Can I say I accept that I did what I could with what I had to work with at the time? He knew some of what I knew. We had no animosity between us.

I think I think in a medium of words but most of the time we spent together was in silence. We played rummy, checkers or parallel solitaire on Saturday nights. He drank his 5 star slowly, I drank cola until it was flat. We saw if we could eat a third of a gallon of ice cream or more, me getting more of the proportion of chocolate in Neapolitan and him getting more of a proportion of the strawberry that he preferred. We went halves on the vanilla that neither of us much cared for. Mom sat in the corner reading her harlequin in conscientious objection to the presence of cards and alcohol. A few times a year she might be persuaded to join a game of snakes and ladders.

There is no analogous thing to family. Friends are family you choose but they often aren’t integrated. They are special events. Unless you live in a commune you see them rarely. They aren’t in the orbit of daily. You don’t get the thick data of their private selves. It is a jerky slideshow more than a plotless ambient movie.

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