Saturday, December 22, 2007


I'm going to have to mothball my blog. Life is good. I'm looking forward to some very exciting developments, but not writing-writing, so off I go.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wrestling with this ...

OK ... Does God want us to "wrestle" with Him?
I've been in chuches where the feel is ... subdued. (Not so Wild at Heart.) Everyone murmurs reverent hellos, sits stock still, takes copious sermon notes.
Then, I experience God-as-lion with his paw suddenly, squarely on my life -- terrifying. Whatever it was, it impressed on me His holiness and sovereignty.
However, I still see Job "calling God out," and David's crying out, and Jacob actualy wrestling, physically, with God's representative, at least.

When I was a wee lass, my dad asked me, if there was a hole all the way through earth and a person fell in, would he go all the way to China? Yes, Dad. Duh! (Roll eyes.)
And my kung-fu teacher ... Sifu couldn't walk by without setting up for some sort of attack. Which was scary, because he was there to teach, which meant he was going to hit me. But ... he was there to teach. And he always had "twinkling" eyes under his fiercely knitted brows.

But I love and respect my dad who had the power to, in the later years, withhold car keys. And I respected sifu, of course, who had the ability to break my elbow.
So ... to wrestle with God? To vigorously, energetically, "engage" Him? To say, for instance, "Hey! I've sorrowed overmuch! It's 99.9% because of something I did/might still do, but ... can I have some relief?? Hey!" (Though I have no right to ask.)

Then, to sense Him step back, consider, raise eyebrows (twinkle eyes?), and say, "You think you can 'go' with me?"
I actually had this conversation with Him yesterday, and was led straight to James (in the Message) where it says, "You ask, but you know you have no right to ask because you ask selfishly."
"I know. I've been extremely selfish. But I'm trying my best. Can I get some relief?" :)
"A miracle? And even more grace??"

Friday, December 07, 2007

Saturday morning, the chirp of a bird

I don't know how to write this without it being all ephemeral, non-specific and non-concrete -- basically, horrible writing. (Probably why Jesus used parables, and the mystics warned us not to describe the Tao. They were concerned for our writing style.)

Blogging might help crystalize some thoughts, though. So, here goes.

I finished 3 books on Thanksgiving: Truth in Comedy by Del Close and Charna Halpern (on improv comedy), Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (on writing) and Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell (Christianity). All, freakishly, about the same thing: authenticity and ... I have no idea what to call it. I'll call it "Sumatra," because it's a sensation similar to good coffee (multiplied by infinity).

I do that nervous thinking, which is just sorting every conceivable thought into some pile or other, compartmentalizing EVERYTHING. So, this might be painfully obvious, and just my personal process of making things simple again but ...

"Authenticity" in art was an earlier epiphany.

In writing, you should say what's "true" to you (and true fairly broadly, even if it's leprechan cowboys rounding up a unicorn herd). Hemingway sought "one true thing" when he wrote, and I think fiction's "authenticity" gives it its power. Apparently, comedy's authenticity gives it power (Mark Twain said comedy plays close to the "big hot fire" that is truth), and the authenticity in a Christian life ...

The two art books, at least, were about getting into this "place" where you can sense that authenticity ("be still ..."), and then to joyously/energetically pursue it ("... with all your might"). Ahhh ... the Sumatra.

The fresh component for me, here, is "Sumatra's" similarity to love, as I know it, as a Christian.

It's fearless. A few months ago, I came across this sage improv master -- white beard, tortoise-rimmed glasses, Nazi officer’s uniform, the whole nine yards (we were in the Sound of Music) -- who told me: “Don’t judge it,” and “You can make no mistakes.” That was revolutionary.

Next, Sumatra involves all of you. Continously authentic. Spontaneously, harmoniously authentic -- all your facets/facilities working in concert toward an aim, which, for me, ultimately, would be desiring God. (That's what I want my chief desire to be.) While, at the same time, someday, creating powerful art. (I don't know which book in particular, maybe improv, impressed this on me; maybe it's some residual Zen thinking?)

And it's joyous*. Anne Lamott most-blatantly compared writing to love (my words). You do it because you just DO it, and you're pleased, ultimately, just to do it. Even if you never get published. (Heaven forbid.)

*Joy or rage? Passion? Something of that intensity, vibrancy ... I will call this new nebulous idea Ethiopian Harrar.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It's Wednesday Again, and I'm in the Coffee House

Writing, but not writing what I should be writing, so I should just go home.
With the pseudonym "Tangeline," my life should be much more exciting.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It's Wednesday and I'm in a Coffee House

Writing, but not writing-writing, so I need to stop it and go home.
I just needed to change my blog to keep weird music out of J. Nicholas's head.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I heard the voice of Gilbert Gottfried say

It didn’t matter back when all I wanted to do was make a racket. The more sensational, etc. the better. Lions roaring! The trumpets of the Valrikies!
But I want to speak "authentically" now, to people I care about. However, it sounds like I’m in a library, hoarse-whispering with the voice of Gilbert Gottfried. I am gears grinding, hydraulics tapping the Dumpster against the side of a truck. “I’ve never heard you like this, Sara!” A gentle chide. Hm. Well, that’s probably why you’re still reading my blog.
There was a cat food commercial once with these sped-film kittens streaking around to the roar of stock cars. A kitten close-up: his mouth says "mew! mew!" but the speakers scream, "VROOM! VROOM!"
I'm speaking kittens: "I like you," or, "I'm sorry," and it's coming out Camaro engines. Must work on delivery.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Glint of Fathom

(With props to my computer’s thesaurus)

Think smart.
Select, and reject alternatives,
with the mind
Mind over matter
Open your mind
Never mind
To have someone in mind
Put it out of your mind

Do not be alone.
You don’t want to be susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm.
Or you can stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until
something else happens.
Remain in readiness for some purpose.
But while looking up the origin (French, origine)
of some word for some poem (Latin, poema)
I glimpsed fathom

in him,
belonging or relating uniquely to a particular subject,
an intermittent shine, briefly and partially,
extending not far
from the top or surface. Glimmer.
Fathom: faethm: original sense, something that embraces,
the outstretched arms, hence a unit of measurement based
on the span of outstretched arms.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

It's Not Thanksgiving Yet

But my phone switched over to daylight savings time automatically Sunday, and I got an extra hour of sleep without knowing it.
I accidentally dropped the espresso shot glass in the trash last night and, while it will hurtle to the very bottom like a ship's lost anchor, I reached right in and found it. (And washed it.)
The last two times I got in the car and switched on a new random radio station, I heard two obscure favorites I haven't heard in more than 100 years. I won't assuage any curiosities with the first, but the second was Duran Duran's New Moon on Monday.
I am loving me some The Cars lately, and they're everywhere. In the car, on the Muzak, in the sushi restaurant after work. "She's taking a swipe; at fun."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When I Find the One that Likes Me Too

Instead of hours, on and on,
over pints, or through the park
about my Past,
I’ll take you to SkateLand, where we will couple’s skate,
skirting the fallen, popular tweens, one standing, the other,
a half-circle Sit-N-Spin on the seat of jeans

We will go to the Air and Space Museum
to pulverize astronaut ice cream like florist-foam, brown
and pink. There, a shy girl-nerd studies the suspended
Cold War jet, the IMAX marquee, various capsules,
diesel Blue Birds idling in line,
vehemently ignored,
by nerdy, high-school boys

We’ll go to a symphony at a conservative religious university
and hold hands. No longer library staff, I will
not police the stacks for stolen kisses.
We’ll instead pretend to look up Ezra Pound and,
between the shelves, I’ll take your lapels,
a mix of permission-asking and desire,
and kiss you, there, myself

Sit on the couch,
at dark 5-o’-clock while I write
and the dim light shows up ghosts. You
won’t see them, but you’ll believe, for me,
and I won’t be afraid, with you.
And that’s all you’ll need to know.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What I’ve been reading. What I’ve been hearing.

Salt, by Jeremy Page
This man is a master of, I’m going to have to say, “motif.”
It’s one of those stories about generations clashing, the woes they pass down via genetics or weird-parenting, set in an English seaside-marsh starting in World War I. The matriarch can (possibly) read the future in the clouds.
So, clouds loom throughout. They’re full, literally, of symbol, foreshadowing, hark-backwards-ing, whimsy, myth, family myths, beauty, theme, etc. etc. The idea is gorgeous. So are his details (characters, setting). The clouds, though, fogged the story’s progression for me near the end. Maybe he wanted the story to dissipate?

Pictures of the Gone World, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
I do not have the words to describe this poetry. Actually, I have way too many words.

Paste Magazine
What? A magazine? Yes. I was appreciating the magazine very much this month. I’m in the middle, reading the dozenth review on a tiny indie band (that I will probably never ever encounter in any way) when I realized, inductively, that this little band is part of a bigger discussion about Art. Check this blurb on Janis Ian (I’m in the Oct. issue), “I’ve never heard a record more bitter and forlorn than Between the Lines. It’s nuts how brutally upset she seems, and brilliant how well she translates it to music.” Janis Ian, but also art + life, for me.
Then, art + life + sin + grace in “Listening to My Life: Saints, Sinners and the Honky-Tonk Gospel,” by Andy Whitman. (Pondering the faith, addictions, incarcerations, music of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, etc.) “There’s nothing neat and tidy about it. It’s an unholy mess. It’s music and it’s life, bound inextricably together, and the glory and the wonder of is in the tension. It’s some of the best music America has ever produced.” And all the hipsters said, "Duh."

Over the Rhine
I must first confess a dark love for novelty rock, hooks, neo-Appalachia’s ballads of dead babies, The Cure’s angst, punk “rage,” Stephen Merritt’s gorgeous, mellifluous melodrama, Dragonforce’s fight against dragon oppression.
But I sat before bluesy, indie, Over the Rhine, last week, and felt my face heat, no lie, like I’d just eaten taco salad sluiced with Texas Pete. An amazing feat when I’m moved by happy music.

9Tail Fox, Jon Courtenay Grimwood
And, finally, I read a man’s book this week.
Calibers, car engines and the inner-workings of the San Francisco PD.
And ... celestial foxes, and Chinatown, and street people, and people who wake up from comas after 20 years, and how Russian hit-men get offed, themselves. Loved it. (He even jabs at people who believe Evanescence is “real goth.”)
The dust-jacket blurbs: “the only real heavyweight ... in orientalist post-cyberpunk fiction.” Beware, squeamish, it’s guy-fiction (with all it’s expected accouterments) but also great fiction.

Monday, October 22, 2007


It's cool and rainy, but at least I'm writing.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hey! Uh-Oh! Let's go!

I retract the blog, a few posts ago, concerning improv. Because that is just not the spirit. (And this is not the spirit, either, but after this I will stop apologizing and explaining for good. I really will.)
These hippie guys in the coffee house the other night were telling me all about their band, asked my name, etc. I went back to our kitchen hippie and said, "Why would hippie guys flirt with me?" He said, "Well, you seem like a nice, laid-back hippie girl." Really? "Well, I never really thought of myself as a hippie."
He said, "Well, what do you want to be? A punk?" with the hippiest tone of tolerance and acceptance.
Maybe! Aside from the tendency to punch things and to pierce with pins, there's something pleasantly up-front about punk.
"This is what I am. And if you don't like it (expletive)." How refreshing!
I'm just going to have a good time. And if anyone doesn't like it, they know what they can do.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

yellow steps at morning

I'm back on the porch.
It's October-cool, but a yellow jacket scribbles near the lip of my coffee cup.
A grey squirrell ripples like a goosebump on the surface of my street. Everything's a gentle yellow and quiet (except for Modern English in my earphones). The school buses have already tunneled under the tree limbs to school, and the walking moms are back inside for another cup of coffee.
And I am blogging so I don't have to start any more ambitious projects. So I need to stop blogging.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

pink sky at night

It's 7:30 p.m., and I'm on my front porch with my laptop.
Tolkien had this word for how the stars looked through the tree-branches, and I'm waiting around for the first one to show. (He loved those words. He had words for everything.) I'm partial to the first star of night, as it has a special meaning (to me).
It's almost getting too dark to keep typing without adjusting the brightness of the screen, but I'll wait a little while before I head inside to non-blog write.
Inside ... I don't really know where, in the house, my TV is. I've wanted to experience the solitude of my house; to kind of "man-up" and take it. It feels a little more organic that way. The quiet gets so bad, the tension of it propels me out in search of real people and real conversation. Then, having been with real people, I'm more content to crawl back into the quiet of books and words.
It's still a little creepy, though, the quiet of books and words. I made myself write at home, tonight, instead of going to the library or Barnes and Noble, because I'm afraid my home is becoming a kind of "wild." (Hm. Re: Isaiah's wilderness.) Like I'm abandoning it. Abandonment. I've gotten to the point where the cat sits on my purse protesting me leaving (again) and I feel this huge pity, like ... Well, I've written on my front porch, tonight, with tea and some muscadine grapes. And it's been really nice.
Now, if the star would just show up, I could go inside to the quiet and be content.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Blood and havoc!

I'm going to write a book now, after years of just thinking about it. I will finish Oct. 1, 2008.

(I know only Jason, Cindy and Emily will ever read this -- a shout-out to my peeps! -- but a "public" announcement still feels enboldenig. :)

I'm going to stop trying to tame all the ravens of unresting thought, blacking the sky of my mind, and just get down to some other thought-business. I'm going to have to take my eyes off a raven pepper-small above me, because my eyes alone can't call him to my window, and I have nothing to tempt him but an empty hand.

My story's not going to be anything overtly practical. Nothing about South Carolina ghosts or saving the planet, but I'm in love with a monster that's come to mind (and it's habitat!) so it is my own personal quest to write it. Or die! Blood and havoc!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Patience with other Christians, when their bite seems the most dirty, infectious. "They'll know us," though, by our love of that: other Christians.
No details neccessary. Everyone knows what Christians do at their worst. (Every Depeche Mode song's a veiled reference.)

There's still the human capacity for evil, now amplified, I believe, by pride (I do GOOD, now!), repulsively contrasting with the purity of Christ and what He wants us to do. I think it's an agony to the world, which is physically hungry, suffering, lonely, spiritually hungry. They need bread, we tease them with a hope that there just actually might be "bread," and then give them a stone. Or a snake.

I need to love other Christians patiently, gently, truth-speakingly, "calling out" wrongs, etc., getting angry and/or shaking dust off my shoes and moving on but still lovingly. I have been the evil Christian.
To keep hate from settling in, killing the spiritual heart, or killing our own desire to live out Christ and to identify with Him. God, help me! I have been so discouraged.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's the Thing.

I just finished three weekends, eight performances, of the Sound of Music. My tan is gone, as well as five pounds (probably of muscle, since I stopped going to the gym -- though I scarfed McDonald's at @ 11:30 every night), and am now enboldened, in polite company, to make weird faces.
I did/had more antics and revelations backstage than on-stage as Nun 25 in a nun chorus of 30, but ... it was great.
Something I'd wanted to try a long time, prompted now by a need to get out of the house (and out of my own head).
The day before the audition, I was frothing milk and doubting the theater itself (two counties away) and my own leaden, melancholy soul, when this puckish, curly-haired girl danced out from behind the espresso machine. (A coffee customer. Maybe one of the art school teens.)
"What's your story?" A saucy boldness.
Puckish girl: "You look like the art-type. Are you in theater?"
Me: "Hm. Why do you think that?"
Puckish girl: "Your face, it's very subtle but ..."
... latent obnoxiousness! The cold mercilessness to inflict it on you, or anyone else nearby, hapless victims!
A cruelty un-honed by training or talent, but amplified by uncouth, stupid audacity. However, I've learned that it's forgiven, and even encouraged, backstage! ( ::villanous laughter!:: )

Thursday, September 13, 2007

... then again, miracles do happen

... though I always seem to convince myself otherwise. Like ... I'm single and, since that's my state now, I believe, somehow, that's the only state I can be sure of. So, it's the "default." So, I try to steel myself for a lifetime of it.

It's magnitude, though, is huge. People choose lifelong celibacy after much, much prayer and consideration because its magnitude is fairly HUGE. And I just assume it. I "bravely" convince myself of it; disregard desire and hope; actually try to strangle desire and hope; and grieve and grieve and grieve ... It isn't something I give, it's something I feel like I've lost.

(Not to attack a beloved classic but -- did "Passion and Purity" do this to us?)

I'm training myself to think, "This guy won't want me." And "That guy isn't going to want me." Which seems like it would guard a heart against disappointment -- to not hope. (My kinsman redeemer woke up, smiled sadly, regretfully and did not want me.) But rehearsing something that isn't (necessarily) true seems like ... believing delusions (madness). It's not logical to think, because something is the way it is now, there's a 98% chance it'll stay like that for the rest of my life.

I don't want to disregard the Variable. We pray to God, who loves us and is good, and can work changes among the mysteries of free will and His plan. So ... hope "Godwardly?" Desire God first, and then the other good things in the way. So if something I desire drops out, I'm still wanting Godwardly, and satisfied. Easier said, though ... unfinished thoughts.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Proof there's a God ...

... and He wants me to be happy:

Yes! But also, if I may be confessional: I love talking about thoughts, though I'm no philosopher, and I have these conversations almost constantly. If I'm trapped in an elevator with one other person, it'll be a Taoist. The young guy at the end of the coffee bar Wednesday, a Guinness pint blacking the middle circle of his face, read a paperback Jung.

If God is sending me in to "sic'em," He's chosing the most ineffectual attack dog, philosphically, of the universal litter-at-large. I approach, eyes bright with delight. "What are you reading?" His eyes, brightening, "Symbols!" and so it ensues.

Whatever I contribute, it's from a Christian brain/heart, so ... it's the most joyous, organic "evangelism" I do.

With unquantifiable results. Only God knows where that person is in their thinking. It's a light yoke to just enjoy, speak honestly, and let God do the soul-work of soul-winning.

I'm the least-schooled of the litter. There are wizards of minuitae -- dates, systems, terminology. I dig the philosophers' macro-visions, their bird's-eye views of life/existence/meaning-etc. The nutshells the thinkers honed their ideas into before they keeled over. Which means, I'm flush with broad simplicities -- but isn't that what matters most? (To Christians and Taoists. :)

I really don't know how to say this but, there's a specific Walk with God that I want more than anything else in the world. (And it does have something to do with the nebulous "love-of-thinking" and a few other elements.) I guess I'm blogging about it because I'm coming to new conclusions, concerning it.

For one it's overwhelming, because God's re-energizing this dream in the midst of ... my rampant imperfections. I've also realized, lately, that it may mean I won't get married (though God could miraculously find me a kindred spirit). I just want this more than marriage, or anything. Doing what I truly enjoy, "partnered" with God, the spring of joy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Not too swift

For some reason, I gravitate towards "quick" activities, while my brain moves as fast as an ent. More "hoom, hoom" than zoom, zoom.
In kung-fu, I'd finally gotten into the habit of "stepping up" when challenged (since, in my style you interdict quickly, act on the absolute very-first opportunity to strike, it being designed for smaller fighters), so I'd step up and ... just stand there. "You think too much!" Sifu would say, pummeling me about the eyes and nose. Hypothetically blinded and broken, I'd slouch back against the wall to ponder this.
But, I already know this about myself. I work in a coffee house now because it's Zen-like -- spontaneous, external, physical, rewarding with the pleasures of skill, etc. When I started, though, I was overwhelmed by the multitude of minutae: dust on the brass lamps, fetch more espresso, stock the Red Bulls, make more iced latte for the lunch-folk ... Where do I start! Frozen, I ponder, where do I start? Well, just start. And my mantra now: Just be quick.
Still, skill plays a huge part, right? If I'd ever become proficient in kung-fu, I would have had an army of techniques burned into my muscle memory, flowing from me naturally in a fight. I've got pretty good coffee shop-skills, after three years, and do "flow" around the counter. (I think the same applies with Christian living, having Scripture so absorbed that when an occassion arises, we at least hear that truth via the Spirit).
The thing is, now, though, I'm trying to "figure out how to do" improv comedy. It's been @ three weeks, and while I've had moments of ludacris lunacy, I've also stood there like a (too long! I'm taking too long to decide what I've "stood there like") ... doofus. (Yawn.)
So ... where does skill fit in with this? Do I actually try to "quantify" some of the random characters I like to pretend to be out in the real world? (I am a freak!) (But even our kitchen guy has a "character." Trouser Troll. And you WOULD laugh until iced latte came out your nose, if you ever saw it.) We'll see. I'll just start and see where it takes me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Martial Arts + Writing II

One more quick book review: "American Shaolin" (Matthew Polly) = exceedingly, exceedingly good, renewing my faith in martial artist/writers. (Pen and Sword! The name of the magazine I'll launch to cover this budding literary genre.)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The hills are alive with the sound of nuns

I am Nun No. 6 in the nun chorus in a local production of the Sound of Music. The nun (backstory) whose left femur was shattered by an angry dairy cow, making her gait ungainly and her prospect of marriage not-likely. She arrived at the abby the next Monday, clutching a battered case.
Her domestic chore at the abby was to darn habits, which was her passion, though it strained her already-weak eyes into severe squints. Still, tears squeezed freely the day Mother Superior pried the needle from No. 6's iron-vice pinch. Sewing duties passed to the more charismatic and talented Maria (who would make a stylish wardrobe for six children out of curtains).
Nun 6 was re-assignmed to the VonTrapp mansion -- where she fell for the baron. Her physical disabilities, however, prevented her from twirling in meadows and climbing trees to wave at trains (and might have eventually slowed down the entire family enough to be caught by the Nazis). She just "wasn't working out."
Watching from afar as the baron wooed Maria, No. 6 yanked down the abby parlor's lace curtains one night and stitched a diaphanous white gown, which she wears at night through the empty halls.
It's one of the most challenging roles I've ever tackled. Oh, the complexities! The dragging of the left leg and the squint will be a piece of cake, but the madness! I must -- though it be extremely avant garde -- wrest control of the musical mid-performance and shriek out mad despair the Baron and Maria's love. It would cause an emotional sensation never to be recreated. Art!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Tire Fire of the Heart

My Volkswagen Golf supposedly has tires that, if compromised, leak air in itty bitty incriments so if I'm blazing down the Autobahn at 200 mph I won't have a blow out, flip up into the air and down a picaresque Alpine mountainside.

However, as far as life's concerned, I usually shop at front-yard used-tire piles so when the going gets (too) fast, I careen around on rims, feet from precipitous edges. Note to self: build a big bonfire of bad mindsets, predjudices, fear and furies. Do whatever it takes to Think Right.

Monday, July 02, 2007

So tired of the straight life
where everywhere you turn
there's vultures and thieves at your back.


Friday, June 22, 2007

If you can make it (to) there!

That's what the song should be. If you can make it TO New York City, you can make it to anywhere -- you wouldn't need a head-hunter or real estate agent (or infinite on-line want ads) to get to the top of Mt. Everest.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Mishima's Sword

I have the audacity to review a book: Mishima's Sword by Christopher Ross. It might be the fever talking, but I just didn't like it.

I thought the idea was very worthy. A national icon committed ritualistic suicide and Christopher Ross recovers the sword (and story) decades later. It's a first-person investigative adventure of the heart (he's a martial artist, he's a writer).

The book bursts with Japan-icana: the traditional measure for sword-sharpness (the number of cadavers it could cut, at which joints of the body); the oils for rust; the legend of a "good" sword, how leaves on a stream evade the blade (while striking another) because the moral sword avoids unnecessary hurt.

The drawing of a human body, scored by 10 horizontal lines, the diagram for cadaver-cutting.

His writing is clear, hard, efficient -- sentences cutting clean and sharp, clean and sharp, with Japanese names, detailed rituals, history, etc. But I can't shake the idea that all these sharp sentences are just facts drawn quickly across a dead body.

"Mishima claimed that the feminine side of Japan, displayed in the arts of ikebana and the tea ceremony, in kimono design and the institution of geisha, in haiku and ceramics, had been deliberately stressed since the American occupation. But this side was not the whole of Japanese culture. There was also an immense historical and cultural investment in the arts and attitudes of the warrior: the sword needed to balance the chrysanthemum."

Christopher Ross is the book's only warm, living character, and I couldn't feel a pulse. Too much "steady hand and mind" as he faced the potentially bloody ritual of writing? Was he ashamed to share his true emotion? (And is that's why David Sederis is so powerful; because he tells everything? Shameless.)

The author admits he felt kind of victorious in befriending a true-life Japanese bartender. AND felt constricted on a plane ride! The factual evidence was all there -- Mishima is worthy of our consideration. But our passion? The author's passion? More chrystanthemum, less blade.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In Sickness and in Basements

Well, not-blogging didn't improve my not-writing situation, so I may as well fling more thoughts into the void from the Greenville Public Library.
The only thing going on right now is that I'm sick again.
I've been marking on my calendar when I jog, to make sure I'm actually going out more than once (which feels like three times, to me), and there are at least three gaps in the past two months, when I've suffered a thin, hot grizzly-drizzle. (And exhaustion.)
Now, more fodder for my morbid, fever-fueled fantasies: what if the apartment's making me sick? Like, with mold? It is a basement, with about three windows total. And sixty crickets (the spidery, cave-crickety sprickets), and slugs. SLUGS. I'm not kidding -- on the living room floor. So, it's pretty damp, too. (Why do you live there? It's $500 a month, and a mile from Main Street.)
One of my friends, a nurse, said, "I don't think you should live there at all, Sara. Not even for another week. Not even another day. So, what are your plans?" Ha, ha. But really, I don't know. Like, why didn't it strike all last year, while I lived there? Well, I lived in the room with the clothes dryer. Understandably a little less damp. ($500 a month, a mile from Main Street.)
However, the bottom line is that it sucks, being sick. The first day of my being sick, this time, I noticed a big, fleshy wood spider near my front door. Over-weary, I suffered it to live. The second day, like the discomfort in my gullet creeping from my sinuses to my throat, I realized it had stealthily moved from the front wall, to the side wall, above my dresser.
On the third day, as some thick substance resonated in my chest with each cough, I reached to answer my phone when The Sudden Spider! (an emotion in and of itself) It was on the curtain above my bed.
Unable to deal, I slept on the sofa.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Hey, faithful readers. I think I'm going to take a break from blogging for awhile. (To spend more time on other writing projects, hopefully.)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My windows are open

... now, and I'd like to write about dogs. No so much of a rant, than a rave?
My neighbor's dogs bark a barbershop quartet. There's a bass New Foundland, a spaniel, a tenor Corgie-mix and a pug, assaulting every tinctature of my eardrum. Actually, I'm not sure if the pug barks. He just kind of stands around and shakes the hypothetical tambourine.
A neighbor boy, 11 or so, though, sometimes just happens to walk his monsterous Great Dane past the yard. The New Foundland raises his dusty bulk, bounds toward the chain-links and roars masterful rage. That boy is my hero. The commotion is magnificent.
The subdivision I grew up in in New Jersey wasn't an ... airtight, treeless, taupe newcomer-depository (like we have around here, sorry), but I don't think I've ever lived in a real neighborhood until now. I look out my front door and see family-dogs-on-leashes. Terriers and greyhounds. Baby strollers. Greyhounds peering adorably into baby strollers. Tattooed neighbors, carrying babies. All waving, as I read on the porch. Even the dogs. (Which is kind of a dumb ending, but I was going for poignant, with a dab of mystic mystery, and came up empty. Maybe I'll try one more time ... )
I know I'm living in the perfect place, when I look out my open window under a full moon, and see the Corgie, the pug, the New Foundland, the Great Dane, the greyhounds, and the babies all dancing, paw-in hand-in-paw, in a great grand circle.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

bright salt

Woke up at @ 2:30 a.m., thinking that what I wrote wasn't expressed in the right spirit. (Confirmed by the intro to Colossians in The Message, which I just happened to be on this morning!)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

I Think ...

I'd like to write something without over-thought or merit. :) I'm making my own head hurt. But I don't know what to write! And I'm defeating the purpose because, right now, I'm thinking too hard.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ivan the Wonderful

My cat, Ivan, bites. I like to blame it on his declawing because it's a rabid pet peeve of mine, and I trash it at every opportunity. I think, mostly, though, he bites because he's a cat. I hate that he wants to bite my friends but, being a cat (which, to train, would take more thought than the brooding Jellicles'), I mainly ask people not to touch him, despite his fluffy body, bright, inquisitive eyes, etc.
He doesn't bite me. I stuff him in a tote bag when I take him to the vet. After a shot for athsma, once, he galloped down the examination table, smacking the vet's arm with inpotent paws. (Scared my vet to death! Guilty hilarity.) "Do you need help getting him back in that bag?" No, thank you. I just picked limp Ivan up, stuffed him in, zipped it.
All this to say, I'm coming to the realization I have an animal heart. Quick to bite, very hard to tame, wants to love slavishly, but surprised, hurt, bites. Fight, hide, survive.
I've called it by 100 self-flattering names, while leaving teeth marks in table legs. It's like, I mean what I say, in love, and usually don't regret it, I'm just sick of the words marching out fully armed, swords drawn, ready to kill or be killed ... Breaking it out of metaphor, I'm timidly quiet, often, in general, to muzzle a potential roar. (Oops. Back to metaphor.)
I'd rather lean more on Christ-love, growing like a spirit-fruit, saturating that part of my wierd, fearful heart. And not so fearfully aware of the fearful potentials of fear. I don't think the Spirit would bring it to my attention unless He could do it. To be tamed by Him, and tempered towards everyone else.
I liked this out of "Blue Like Jazz:" "We dream of Christ's love for His bride reading like Romeo and Juliet; two equals enflamed in liberal love. I think it is more like Lucentio's pursuit of Bianca in 'The Taming of the Shrew.' That is, the groom endearing the belligerent bride with kindness, patience and love." Amen.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

snip snip

I'm getting my hair cut in exactly 30 minutes!

Monday, February 05, 2007

my sin, oh the bliss, of that wonderous thought ...

... that it's gone, under Christ's blood.
We took communion Sunday after a few minutes to think about how we might be at odds with the Spirit. Sin, after sin, after sin came to mind. I confessed and confessed and confessed ... We sang a closing song, and they came back again. But this time, they were sweet. Sin, the opposite of sweet, flipped suddenly to sweet because I was realizing grace.
I came from a Christian community, where, I think they're afraid to admit sin to each other, or themselves. It's almost as if there's a superstitious dread of "getting it on them." What? Get what on them, that isn't already writhing in their own hearts? It wasn't until I felt almost crushed under the weight of my own sin, that I felt grace. The freedom of admitting sin, and the freedom of grace!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

bit part

I think I've done it! Moved from fantasy to the quest of an attainable dream.
First of all, let me innumerate my tragic assortment of paradoxical qualities. For one, I jabber without a single eye-blink before vast crowds (for better or for worse). Assigned a chapel seat "down front" in college, I realized, one morning, I was still standing when the organ cranked up the service. (Picture this in slow motion ...) I turned, looked behind me at five thousand of my peers, all looking my way. Whoo! Wow! I grinned, I waved, I finally sat down.
I also have a fair dose of audacity. And a ... secret longing for the theater. Enter the tragical paradoxical: I have a "tin ear" for acting. So, it's a pitiful whine of a longing, never to be fulfilled. (Though my parents were in plays, and took me to innumerable plays growing up.)
Auditions after auditions, from Cheaper by the Dozen in the tenth grade, to Into the Woods, a few months ago. So many, that the audition's kind of become "the thing." If an audition-reviewer had been there, this past summer, he'd most-definitely have noted my rousing rendition of "Rainbow High!" from Evita at the Little Theater.
This past Monday night would have been the pinnacle of my auditioning career -- to become my alter ego, Aldonza (Man of La Mancha). Aldonza, who sings, "kitchen slut!" and all manner of thrillingly despairing lines at the TOP of her beautiful lungs. The Aldonza I listened to as a child, over and over (my parents had the record). Doubtless, why I am so warped.
But I didn't go, Monday. Because, you know what? I think I actually, for real, might like a go at the stage. Just once. Which is hard to admit, because I have friends who are the real deal (maybe I'll sneak off to another state).
But just to taste it. Once. To get it out of my system. A few weeks in those mysterious shadows, behind the red curtains.
I may blaze with the fiery spirit of Aldonza! (ha!) but, with my ability, I wouldn't truly enjoy trying to play her on stage.
This year, 2007, I want to aspire to something real. A bit part. Which, to me, would be more thrilling than the breathless silence of an audience, just subjected to my heart-wrenching wail of a woman, "spawned in a ditch, by a mother who left her there; naked and hungry, and too cold to cry." (I can't say I blame her, I'm sure she left hoping that I'd have the good sense to die.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Deserved That

Hey, Christian folks -- read this blog. For one, I love the writing. Which makes the ripping-out of my guts all the more horrible. Don't read to agree or disagree -- just learn.
I wish the only thing he had to say about Christians was, "There was this guy at work who spent all Saturday helping me move."

Friday, January 12, 2007

Punk Write

I don't know if on-line guy-meeting is for me, because it involves writing. And writing's where I love to shout, rage, rave and basically, act the loon. I mean it! Everything I'm saying! With a world of thought and conviction! But the keyboard's still a 61-piece drum set, and I am the spiky-haired, tatted, two-drumstick-twirling punk. (Despite the limitations of my talent and skill.)
We're not entirely what we create, you know. I don't think Stephen King chats up the grocery clerk with, "Gray day outside! Kind of like the mottled coat of a ressurrected Yorkie." Monet wasn't a blurry smear of color; he didn't dash along hallways marking blurry smears, or smear YOU with blurry smears.
I once wrote to a guy I was just getting to know. A fellow creative. We ate supper one night, and the only thing I really remember him saying was a thin, dismissive: "weird." Which I've carried between my ribs since. Doubtless, something I'd written gave him that impression.
I have a few optional responses to my dilemma. Channel the inner Ritalin when it comes to the simple, communicative e-mail. Very good. Also, maybe I can do what the Apostle Paul couldn't even pull off: meld a mild personality with bold, vivid letter-writing.
I don't want to tame words, though. I want them to dance through a meadow like the townsfolk in the Safety Dance video. Give me a meldody -- a plot, a point -- and I'll crank it up as far as it'll go. Just be glad I'm not in your basement.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Something Like Shawshank Redemption

But not involving sewers (or emotionally gripping characters or situations). Independent filmmaker, I envision a cubicle, maybe seventh floor of your average office building. A woman, entombed in her gray box glances nervously right, left, before crouching and lifting a square of her carpet, cut with a razor. It resembles a hatch, a shaft, leading down so far the tiny square of light, shining like a diamond. A deep breath, one more glance, and she begins her descent.
Now, I think the hook to all this is: everyone really wants to see what's under the floor. Really. Literally, and what's between floors. Right? Cut carpet, wires, foam ceiling tiles, dust. Spiders. And what's at the bottom? You'll just have to wait for Sundance, or Cannes.

Friday, January 05, 2007

funky fonts

I think Christianity-in-postmodernism is all about Christian books and Bibles in funky fonts.