Passing it off as your own

If you have no light of your own
You might, like the moon,
Conclude
that a surface is meant to reflect.
You might spin for millions of years,
sipping up someone else’s light
and passing it off as your own.

Then one day, in fear of being found
By the watchers on earth
You’ll begin to polish yourself away
You’ll begin to search for your very best self
passing on someone else’s light
the great mirror moon.

The audience

I stand and I sing and I ask you
why, in a song, should a song be sung?
There’s a song between moon and sun,
and the sun is the singer,
   but who is the moon?
And who are you, who listen to me,
as I play and you wonder:
   who am I, who might I be without you?
We live between the moon and the sun,
ears and eyes,
one with the other, the other with us,
all glory and all repetition.

Come alive at the count of five

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Union

We are talking
And you push me
inexorably
Into the cracks of the conversation
The smallest spaces in which a thought can reside

I tear at the edges with my fingertips
But my blood excites you
And you push me deeper
So that perhaps I never can escape
And we find a cramped union
That I must have been seeking
In error?

Pick yourself up

So, obviously I took a little break from blogging this week.  I had been hoping to continue writing every day, but things didn’t work out quite as planned this week.  But: it was a great opportunity to think some more about whether I even want to be doing this, and if so, whether I want to write the way I’ve been writing or in some other way.

The issue really has to do with audience; there has really been none so far, which makes this blog either an exercise or a joke (for now I am going to say the former).  I haven’t pursued an audience so it’s not like there was some kind of breakdown in my plan.  But, it won’t make any sense to keep doing this without pursuing an audience.  The audience I had several years ago when I was blogging ended up being very rewarding, and I suppose I could pursue that kind of situation again.  But there are several things making it more difficult now.  For one thing, the paragraph-or-two length that I’ve been doing doesn’t seem to be a popular format these days… it’s either shorter tweet/status update length things, or longer, well staged article sized chunks.  The truth is I could probably just get a lot more concise and do the former, but what I want to do is more like the latter.  Another problem is that I don’t know where to find the kind of audience I had before; it’s not like those people were friends I already had.  The smallish (but high quality) audience I had before developed organically through my reading, writing about, and connecting with other people, who were either like minded politically, or shared interests, or were simply early practitioners of this emergintg medium.   But now the medium is past its prime, or at least past its golden age.  Finally there is the fact that I myself have changed a lot since I wrote before; my interests are different, my writing has declined, and I’m ambivalent about this project in a way I wasn’t before.  The searching questions of why I even want or need an audience often prevail in my mind over even the question of what I want to write about.

At any rate, the past few silent days have given me time to think but haven’t brought any answers.  I don’t intend to turn this blog into a constant search for a reason for being, but if I do decide to write tomorrow and beyond, I at least want it to be clear what some of the issues have been for me.  I do know that I want to push further in the direction of creative work, although I’m not sure whether I want that to happen here or just on my hard drive.  I do know that the post in which I mentioned the Faustian piano tuning plot renewed my interest in that project, so in a real sense those creative urges come out of this blog, the thinking it’s pushed me to at least record, and the sense of power gained from at least setting words down, from in that very small way taking action.  Maybe that is the most important piece of all.

UPDATE: And now I’m thinking about that idea of a blog that’s only purpose is to determine why it exists, and what a metaphor for our own experience of meaninglessness that would be.  Maybe a poem or a story would be better than a blog, though.  Or maybe the whole idea is just masturbatory lit crit crap.

Ride

The latest big idea is a devolution of another idea I have been mulling for a while… and in fact, “idea” hardly does it justice, because it has been an ambition of mine for a couple years now to bicycle around Lake Michigan.  I always set grand, unachievable goals.  I have always imagined the trip around Lake Michigan as a two week affair with my friend John, who is a more serious biker than I am but who nevertheless has done nothing approaching this magnitude.  In any case: instead of going around the lake, the big idea (or actually, slightly smaller idea) for now is to bike to Indianapolis from Chicago one weekend this summer.  If I haven’t recorded it elsewhere here, I am originally from Indianapolis, so going there makes some sense both nostalgically and logistically — since I can potentially get a ride home.  The plan is to spend three days and two nights on the road, finding hotels in Hebron and Logansport.

Slaw

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I’ve been kind of obsessed with this improvised Sriracha slaw lately.  It has tons of flavor and it goes well with a lot of things.  It reminds me a lot of my mom because it’s the kind of thing she would have loved, even though I doubt she ever had Sriracha.

No recipe because I’ve been improvising it, but essentially it’s a slaw of shredded cabbage, grated carrots, and julienned red bell pepper with a dressing of mayo, Sriracha, honey, rice vinegar, ground ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  Topped with sesame seeds (black ones if you care about how it looks).

 

Elsewhere and otherwise

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Making pies today, among other things.  Right now it’s strawberry rhubarb, which is probably my favorite, but as the summer goes on I hope to do raspberry apricot, blueberry, etc.  The photo above isn’t from today; I took it on a similar day a couple years ago for a post to Mostly from Scratch, our short lived and underutilized family food blog.  That blog sits on a URL that my mother asked me to obtain for her so she could do a recipe site, but that never came into being before she died.  It’s too bad, because I would appreciate having access to her recipes now.  I think she would have loved the easy availability of recipes online.  She taught me how to make pie, of course.

I have been working on some things behind the scenes.  The old locussolus blog, apart from the index page, is back online, with styling even, so that old permalinks to it should work again.  I intend to get a directory for those together soon.

Static

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Butterfly in the sky

Upon reading my idea for a kickstarter campaign to create vegetarian sausage, a friend forwarded this WaPo takedown of the Reading Rainbow kickstarter campaign.  And I have to say, I am not surprised at all that Reading Rainbow is not the most efficient way to improve reading skills in 2014 America. But, I also think (and admittedly, the article acknowledges this) that most of the Reading Rainbow supporters are probably less interested in public policy and more interested in massaging their own nostalgia. And if you look at it that way, isn’t Reading Rainbow is a pretty awesome investment?

I personally think there is room for a common core/phonics based approach to reading as well as a television program/app that puts reading in a more adventurous, imaginative light.  The two approaches might well complement each other, or even appeal to different kinds of kids.  But if it’s public policy change you seek, I wonder if the best approach here isn’t to get in touch with LeVar Burton, who from what I can tell is an absolutely awesome person, and talk to him about how Reading Rainbow can be transformed into something even more effective at promoting the goals that he obviously cares very deeply about.  I mean, rather then knocking a title that has such impressive nostalgic appeal to a whole generation of potential stakeholders.