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2013/10/04

have I been in a situation with a person or persons where I was uncomfortable and not having fun and remained because I was afraid to say no, I don’t want to be in this situation?  It’s hard to believe it could still happen at my age.  It has weighed on me terribly this week, but I must let it go.  Because I’ve obsessed over this, it has been difficult to write.  However, fuck it.  I can’t let this make me not write.

So, I was at a yard sale last weekend and got a book–The Granta Book of the American Short Story, edited by Richard Ford.

This is the 1992 edition.  The first story I read was Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery. 

Certainly I have read this story before.  However, I’d forgotten it.  I only recognized it because I recognized the photo of Shirley Jackson when I looked it up.  According to wiki, it has been described as a “chilling tale of conformity gone mad”.  You definitely know something bad it going to happen early on.  What eventually happens is quite chilling.

I think went to the beginning of the anthology and started reading the stories in the order they are in the book.  I will list the name of the story and the authors I’ve read thus far.

A Day in the Open by Jane Bowles

A Distant Episode by Paul Bowles

Blackberry Winter by Robert Penn Warren

O City of Broken Dreams by John Cheever

The View from the Balcony by Wallace Stegner

No Place for You, My Love by Eudora Welty

The State of Grace by Harold Brodkey

The Magic Barrel by Bernard Malamud

I liked all of them.  None really knocked my socks off.  Blackberry Winter and No Place For You were visceral, you could feel the weather as it was described, which of course also set the mood.  I think my favorite was Brodkey’s State of Grace.  It was introspective.  The others definitely had an element of abstraction about them.  I also liked A Distant Episode.  It was interesting culturally, describing a life and culture that is anathema to me.

All of the stories so far take place mid 1940-s through early 1960’s.  The book has stories by some of my favorite writers, including John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates and Kurt Vonnegut.  I remember in high school I read a short story in textbook by John Updike.  That sparked my interest in him and his books.  I have no memory of the story from high school.

Well, that’s it for now.  Will keep you posted on the stories.  I love not only 20th century writing, but also biographies of the writers and other players, as you know.

 

 

 

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I’m busy in my job, as most of us are.  Where I work, it’s more a retirement center with assisted living, not a nursing home.  Thus, we have few patients in wheel chairs.  If they do have a wheel chair, they usually have a personal nurse.

On the rare occasion I push someone in their chair, I have to be more careful.  I run into things like door jambs, a potential problem for the resident.  Okay, just needed to remind myself because I was feeling dreadful about it.

I promise I will be careful and take my time.

I Want To Know

2010/02/17

I want to know about artists

and poets of the 20th century.

I want to know their personal

histories,

and their creative processes.

I want to study and write,

but have no time because I’m reading.

I want to feel creativity.

I do feel creativity, intuition.

Sometimes things seem blocked,

far way.

Other times they are very clear.

Sometimes I know a lot,

other times I know very little.

I want to know, have knowledge.

People fascinate me.

There are so many differences,

and so many similarities.

I’ve felt far from Spirit.

I want to feel Spirit in me again.

I know Spirit is there.

I’ve felt profound gratitude,

and always relate gratitude to Spirit,

so why have I not felt Spirit?

I’ve felt skeptical, judgemental,

disingenous, yet how can that be?

I try to be honest.

I try to be myself.

There are so many changes,

my sense of self is a bit rattled.

But how I love change.

Life would be so boring without it.

I’ve seen more hawks the past month

than I’d seen the past year.

I love my view.

Woods, a creek, birds, birds!

I love them in the wild.

I’ve seen Mr. & Mrs. Cardinal eating in a bush,

and Blue Jay bullying them away.

Mr. Cardinal fled first to the next tree,

and called loudly to the Mrs.

It was so sweet!

Life has been so different.

We’ve been in our own little world.

The weather and other things

have made us immobile.

Does that mean stuck?

I feel stuck, but I don’t.

I feel fluid, but I don’t.

I feel love all around me.

The breeze is my comfort

that life goes on.

The winter has affected me.

Last week I saw a gaggle of robins

cavorting on one bare piece of ground.

What a joy!

Catcher in the Rye

2010/01/29

I’ve thought some more about Holden Caulfield.  I don’t have a good memory for detail, but I remember feeling very relieved there was someone else who felt the way I did at 16.  By then depression had wrapped its ugly, gray, cloying fog around my skull, and I didn’t know what it was, or why I wanted to die, or anything.  Who knows anything at 16?  However, here was a guy who actually felt the way I did.  I know I wrote yesterday that Salinger didn’t get into the thoughts and feelings of some of his characters, but I see now that isn’t true.  He did evoke feeling in me.  Depression is a selfish disease.  All you think about is yourself, and it’s so easy to isolate yourself from others.  Or at least to compartmentalize it, so your friends may not see it, if you are an extrovert like myself.  I think depression is especially difficult for introverts, because then it is especially isolating. 

I wish I’d felt I had the freedom to act out the way Holden Caulfield did.  I was too afraid, though.  I’d have been in major trouble and I was quite terrified of authority.

So, I guess Salinger did give me a gift–the gift of knowing I wasn’t the only person who felt so bad they really wanted to not exist.  I’m thankful for all of the tools that exist now that didn’t then to help with this.  However, when you’re ‘in it’, those tools may as well not be there.

Well, back to my merry morning!

Salinger

2010/01/28

Wow.  For some reason I’m blown away.  J.D. Salinger is dead.  He was 91, for God’s sake.  I just feel shocked.  I don’t even know what he wrote, besides Catcher in the Rye.  I wonder if I would like it now as much as I liked it as a teenager.

Joyce Maynard wrote about him in her memoir.  It wasn’t very complimentary, but it was her truth, I believe.  I always felt like he was somewhat ruled by his Ego, because he was so noisy about his reclusiveness.  I have to admit I know very little about him, though, except he lived in New Hampshire (I think), and he didn’t like to be bothered by most people.  Beyond that, I only know what Maynard said about him because I read her memoir.

I guess it feels like the end of an era or something.  I don’t know.  It’s just weird.

I’ve been very busy moving, haven’t written much.  I have been reading, though.  Stephen King, Bag of Bones.  I’m loving it.  I used to read him all the time, everything up to It.   Then I wasn’t as interested.  about 9-10 years ago my hubby got the re-issued version of  The Stand, and I enjoyed that, but probably not as much as when I read it the 1st time.  My personal favorite has always been The Dead Zone.  Please don’t think of the film or movie, if there was a film.  Absolute BEST Stephen King film adaptation is Stand by Me, based on his novella The Body.

I turned my son, Andy, onto him about 5 years ago and he has enjoyed him a lot.  Andy got into the Dark Tower series which I just could not.  I think part of it is it feels so depressing.  The other-worldliness of it doesn’t have enough real world in it to hold my interest.  It doesn’t have as many pop cultural references as King’s earlier books do.  I also though perhaps it was very action/male oriented.  Then I realized what I was missing was the internal dialogue of the characters.  I realized that after I started reading Bag of Bones. 

I enjoy the way he can describe a feeling, whatever that feeling is–loss, fear, physical pain, emotional pain, sadness, joy, goofy, etc., so acutely.   It’s pretty long-708 pages.  I’ve been reading it in my down time since we’ve had no wireless internet, home telephone.  I have enjoyed it a lot, and it’s because of the depth of some of the characters.  I’m over half way finished and I’ve kept going back to it.

Someone just twittered this quote of Salinger’s:

“I’m sick of just liking people. I wish to God I could meet somebody I could respect.”

I think that’s a very arrogant thing to say, as if others are supposed to entertain him, he is not responsible for his own contentment.   He was misanthropic.   Of course, sometimes introversion can be mistaken as misanthropic, but this quote is definitely misanthropic.  I hope he didn’t act they way toward his family.

Okay, I guess that’s about it.  Feels good to be back on my blog.  Hopefully my heart will render some poetry soon.

at Visual Arts Center this Friday.  I plan to attend.  Looks like fun.  There’s also Open Studio going on via Art 180 at various locations today through Thursday.

I started becoming active again on sparkpeople.com.  It’s a great site to help with weight loss.  The biggest thing is recording what I’m eating every day, which helps me be accountable.  I hope I can lose some weight.  I’m going to the doctor this Friday after having my bloodwork done this past Friday, and I’m afraid about my cholesterol.  I know it’s going to be high.  So, I’m getting the head start before I get the lecture Friday.

I’m feeling really bothered & down because of something that happened.  I didn’t feel like I could talk about it because it has more to do with Tim than me.  It’s his business, but it is very upsetting to me.  He worked somewhere a few years ago for 5 years and was let go on awful terms.  They seemed really unfair at the time, continued to be unfair and illegal in not getting our Cobra insurance going, then when he requested the paperwork involving a supposed meeting with the company principles that put him on probation for a month,  it was obvious the paperwork was made after the request.  The meeting occurred but nothing was communicated regarding job performance.

It was just a big miscommunication regarding his job priorities and he was villified.  The accountant, who thought he was supposed to be reporting to her (he thought it was the principles, who had expressed nothing but satisfaction with his work), decided he had to go.  From the day he had this “warning” meeting that wasn’t a warning meeting, she kept copious notes about his every move & failing.  She then “tested” him with things to do, without indicating their priority, and used that to fault him for everything he didn’t do to her specifications.  She used the strongest, meanest language in denouncing him.  I just don’t understand the malice, or what feels like malice.   If they had just said, hey we have to let you go because of the economy or something.  But no, 1st they tried to deny him unemployment, telling the employment commission awful things about him that were not true.  Then they withheld our health insurance.   It was a difficult, painful situation to get through. 

Now, a friend who was a client of Tim’s and another person there had a meeting (finally, after over a year) with this person, and the first thing he did was apologize for Tim.  He then proceeded to gossip about us and our living arrangements.  She was shocked.  I wish she hadn’t told me.  At first I told her not to, I wish I’d stayed with it.

I don’t tend to be paranoid, and I try so hard not to be a victim.  One of my core values is that there are no vicitims, so what is our lesson?  What is my lesson?  I wish I knew.  I know it has something to do with letting go.  Let go, let God.  The feeling sucks, but I need to just let myself have it without feeilng sorry for myself or on behalf of Tim.  The lesson is Tim is a big boy who can fight his own battles.  THAT is the lesson.  I just wish it would end with this company.   It feels so awful, like they won’t leave us alone, and I know that response is not in proportion to what happened.  Let go, let go.  Let Tim fight his own battles.  He’s a big boy!!   A manly man!!  Let him deal with it.  It has nothing to do with me.  It just hurt to see him hurt.  At the time, he felt so betrayed, and it just seems to continue.

Okay, I’ve written about it.  Can I possibly let it go?  It already has claw marks on it!  I’m giving it to Spirit.  It’s more than I can handle.  I must sound crazy but I don’t care.  Whatever!