Dinner, Authors, and Book Recommendation #2

Geek Love

Well Blog Land, a lot has happened since last I wrote. A friend of mine needed help at work. I went to help cover for her at a home near Tisdale Lake. Her boss needed to move boxes of books from his home to the garage. It seemed like an easy job, so I agreed to go. I am trying to save up for a camera and loans.

So I get there and it turns out, this boss of hers is a pretty prolific and well known writer who happens to teach at Cal. Not only that, but he lives in this cute place which is pretty much my dream home. Small house overlooking some water (at a safe distance in case of a tsunami, my second biggest fear btw). The house is small but big enough for love and life. There were book cases everywhere, and tall pointy Dutch ceilings. I walked in and instantly wanted to sit down and write.  I need to find my own space, I thought to myself.

He gives me a quick tour. He tells me a poet used to live there, and proceeds to introduce me to his multiple libraries around his home. It was the most incredible collection of books I had ever seen in a single home.   Needless to say he was getting rid of some of his babies (books) because of remodeling and changes to the house. I could tell he was having trouble parting with them, but I made sure to give him time. He pulled down the ones he wanted to keep while I collected the ones he left standing to put in boxes. The books ranged from critical theory to science fiction. He had an incredible fiction collection, including Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.

I had a small break between my hours, and as he handed me some carrot juice all I could think was, man … what I wouldn’t do to be in your shoes. Seeing his lifestyle and his care for his babies reinforced the idea in me that without being well read you will not be very good at writing at all. There is a reason why this man is published and hangs out with amazing artists. He puts in the time. It was a small job in the end, but I walked away with a free book (compliments of the author) and a hunger for my own cottage in the woods someday.

Later on that evening I went to a dinner party. I was surprised to learn that a poet from South America was going to join us. Blog Land, you could not even imagine how stupid I looked all night. I could not stop smiling!  At the dinner party I ended up eating and talking with amazing dancers, artists, and writers. We talked about politics, being women, the power of art and how it can change society. All I kept thinking was, wow…this is my life right now and it’s pretty amazing.

I can’t wait to keep on learning more things from this town and its people. I wonder what amazing things await in my future.

 

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Midnight Post 5

The winds are blowing hard on this small cottage here in Berkeley. Downstairs, the two dogs I live with are enjoying themselves by the fire. Their owners sleep on an inflatable mattress, and I am awake … editing and organizing my thoughts for the next few weeks. It’s November. It’s November…how did that happen?

I realized my body automatically shifted to the holiday spirit when I found myself reaching for the cinnamon burst candle at a store yesterday. I brought it up to my face and said to myself, “It smells like Christmas.”   It’s November! Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened yet and already I’m fantasizing about Christmas.

Lately, I’ve been writing my general thoughts in a journal or jotting down the small details I can remember about my dreams. It’s been a great way to keep track of my thoughts and my imagination, whether they are conscious or unconscious. There’s been a lot going through my mind. There are a lot of changes happening around me too. I am looking for a new place to live in January, and the transition to Berkeley has been…smooth, but at times, overwhelming. Work I thought I’d not find in this community has manifested. Work I actually enjoy and like. I shouldn’t brag, or pat myself on the back too much. It’s still a beginning.

Yet, here I sit. On the bedside wondering if I should read another Cesár Vallejo poem, or if I should just lie down and attempt to fall asleep.

Inspiration can drown out sleep sometimes. Even on nights like these…when I’m so very very tired.

Broken, Burned, and Bolted

I was walking back to my friend’s apartment, ready to call it a day, when all of a sudden I see a strange looking building to my right. It was gated and there was a distinct darkness looming around it. I take out my camera and snap some pictures.

UNSAFE.

With half of the roof missing, and upside down dark circles left behind by burning flames, the building was a sad thing to behold. It was a deserted. It reminded me of horror films, or tragic stories. Like Nancy Drew books with places that housed people or objects with their own sense of character. I pretend this place used to be majestic in the 1940’s. But I don’t know anything about architecture. That’s what research is for, right? I did no such research of this building. Instead I took pictures and used my imagination to ask some questions.

How many countless students must have walked in and out of the front doors? And now that she was standing with a missing top, how many of those students could recognize her? Would they want to? Is she an unwanted thing now? How sad.

By one broken window, a shelf full of books sat unharmed. Some burnt and some looked perfectly fine.

Buildings have character too. They age like people, they house memories like a brain, and they can also die. This one is getting demolished in a few weeks. It’s not livable. Although, I did see a sleeping bag out in front of the building, I suspect it must be toxic to be in her. Poor toxic building, I think to myself.

Like a character, this house is broken down, burned, and bolted —- and desperately waiting to be reborn.