Saturday, December 27, 2008

end of the year

Okay. I'll make a deal. I'll never use the word "finally" again... (see prev. post) Poems and changing my mind are excluded, btw.

Well this has been one heck of a 5 months. Life is *just starting* to calm down a little bit since the frenetic summer and that's just because school is over.

I don't know about you, but it seems that things, a.k.a. my semester, didn't really get back to normal until after the election was over. It just took all the energy "out of the room" as they say. Meanwhile, it has been getting better and I am settling into the new school and my old homestead. I missed Brooklyn!

Backtracking and Recapping is boring but bear with me, I feel a little guilt!

I spent the most awesome Fourth of July at Naropa this year sitting on a blanket with Anne Waldman watching the fireworks of UC Boulder in the distance with Buddhists. This was right after an anti-war reading at NU. It was almost a precursor celebration as the Dem convention was in Colorado as y'all know. I wrote this whole thing about it, forgot to post it with my crazy traveling and now it's kinda dated. Wonderful experience though!

London was amazing and I even got over my weather issues. (I just stopped expecting to see the sun at all this summer and it worked!) Met some lovely folks and finished my article for boundary 2 that should be coming out eventually. Also got a chance to meet the great Stuart Hall at a gathering in his honor. I hung out with my buddy Carole and ran into one of my old-scromies, Kodwo Eshun and that was looong overdue. I miss my people, including Roger Robinson, in London that I haven't seen in about 10 years. Time is a'flying...

Australia was great. Since it is on the other side of earth from me, it was winter there and I still got no sun summer but I was ready because of England. I have been around the world's block a few times but I gotta say, that Australia jetlag is no joke! It wasn't too bad -- the 21 hour flight: yes that's each way -- but I was really trying to make sure that I was conscious at the proper time. I'm a good catnapper but that trip did test me. Besides that minor whining, it was an amazing visit: Met great folks -- and the Polynesian performers roll deep! as they (used to) say: gorgeous, groovy folks -- and the locals are really nice too. Very down-to-earth people with great senses of humor. Melbourne is a super hip city and the shopping is to die for. The festival itself was gigantic so I just did my thing and saw some stuff here and there. Way too much to take in. The wildlife of the country, even at the zoo, is just revelatory: unique and beautiful, the work of a very much *not* mad scientist, and just pretty. Kangaroos are cool but wombats rock the house. I hope to see more of that part of the world. Nothing like a visit to Oz to make a Brooklyn girl feel like a hick.

After I got back from lovely England and wonderful Australia, it was full-drive back into the surrealist world of academe. Art school is very different from other schools and has its own rhythm. The students are great, like all students, and I'm always awestruck by how strong a personality each class, as a collective has. It's really interesting to get a sense of a grop mind at work. (Sorry, new-agey phrasing is the best way I can put it.) It's really like seeing a gem glistening in light. Not that each student doesn't have their own personality but there's also a group thing going on. I love it. Only rarely have I thought: "more individuality please, less gangness" but that just makes me appreciate these performative dynamics more.

Did my little best to help out with the national electoral goings-on, in and out, in my own way. And am happy things worked out as they did, to be honest. I'm sure the folks who know me are shocked -- shocked -- by that little revelation!

Also did some more gigging with my band this fall in New York and Philadelphia. It was great. We're still working on the concept but I was happy to see folks there and I got some amazing support from the attendees...Be forewarned, this'll just encourage me!

I'm getting more into the meditation mode nowadays, (I'd say I was propelled into it, at this point in my lil old life) started minding the food intake some more, etc. Those of you who read this know I'm already a bit mindful but improvement is always available. Working on it.

Settling in also allows me/people to catch up with old friends and I've come across quite a few via Facebook. I must add though that it is a bit overwhelming. Seems like folks practically *live* on the networking sites and I don't know how they find the time! I can barely deal with the emails, yo.

Speaking of being in touch, I do miss some things about Michigan besides "the kids" (as I horribly call my students): the big unobstructed sky, old-school family values thing (I'm not a conservative but I am old-fashioned) and the prices of stuff. The Trader Joe's in Brooklyn is good for that last part but it's not the same as the rent there! And don't let anyone lie to you: the food quality is *much* better in Michigan. Fresher ingredients make up for NYC all-night delivery anyday.

I am back to being home but I can't say I don't like the Piston state! -- even learned a sports reference!

Blah, blah, blah. Here's a poem below. Will post again next year. (See how I'm setting realistic sights for myself?) I don't like the cold but I do have to give it props. Winter is a humbling thing.

Happy Happy,

As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII [Blow, blow, thou winter wind]
by William Shakespeare

Lord Amiens, a musician, sings before Duke Senior's company:

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That does not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remembered not.
Heigh-ho! sing . . .