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Month: September 2010

Wafers of wrath

Samish Bay, September 2010

Having one of those days when everything I do irritates me. I have a fanatical, frantic dry itch crisscrossing my scalp and neck even though the humidity is at 100%. The wet atmosphere has released a spontaneous generation of bugs not known since the writings of Aristotle and  both are conspiring to ruin the huge batch of paper I just sized and hung in the garage to dry. Then there is this pervasive and stuffily languorous bitchiness about like a low-flying stink from cheap incense.  There is even a darkly vibrating fury available in the simple act of placing a dab of hummus atop a saltine, as the cracker breaks and the hummus lands on the keyboard.

Instincts fail me, so I’m making more coffee. I crave a cigarette so bad I can taste it even though I quit 7 years ago. This feels like a pivotal afternoon that could swing either way. A gateway emotion, like a gateway drug, an anger that leads to bigger anger, more satisfying anger. And so satisfying it is, addictive even. I’ve always had anger management issues. The problem is always the same- it feels good to be angry, and often I look for reasons to be angry, even if  the impetus is a mere trifle…or a cracker for godsake.

I’m not outwardly violent, so I usually just take this out on myself; as in a spirited half-minute of head mussing, scuffing and scratching… So I’m not sure if I’m pulling out beach images to calm me down or piss me off even more. I do know the act of writing about it hasn’t helped at all.


Excavator Tracks, Joyce Quadrangle, September 2010

Fall is in the air. The light is getting somewhat walleyed and the wind is lower, more earthbound somehow. The sound of it has changed, although the principles haven’t been altered. The sound I hear at 3am through the cracked bedroom window is what I hear in the late afternoons walking though the woods and there is so much in one and the memory of the other and yet not the reverse.  That it can cut through whatever bizarre dream I awake from or through the rampant distraction of clearcut forests and upturned earth surrounding an afternoon stroll tells much of its pervasiveness and the singularity of its note.

Then there are the boundary flags, strands of dayglo nylon tape tried to tree branches. Often the only thing moving deep beneath the canopy, even in high wind,  flailing like a primitive whirligig hex left behind at the frontier to try to protect the Balance. Having found the visual counterpart of the wind’s sound, one can’t help but start to look for philosophical ones.

I find I’m more consumed with these road and treeline interfaces  than I ever was with the sea and land. My meager guesses as to why so far involve only the simple digestion of it, and of course the topographical drama of society v. nature will always trump nature v. nature… But that still doesn’t begin to cover it.

on/off ins and outs

Alder treeline, Joyce Quadrangle, August 2010

Picking out some music for a day trip. Rolling Stones, Big Star, early Clash, Blind Willie McTell. Makes me realize how much I miss the impact of turning the ignition on a car and have music blast out immediately. All this waiting for things to boot up is a drag. Even gas pumps take 10 minutes to wake up. Can’t slam a phone anymore either. Much poetry of popular culture has been lost forever.  The gravitas of immediacy and impulse, of On or Off. All that’s left is the baggage of mass consumerism with none of the character.