Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the cutest petroglyph

I think he might be kind of confused. Vacantly confused and observant. Baffled but curious. Innocent. Possibly powerful.

Up and to the right of him there was a tiny antelope scratched into the rock. Perhaps he'd dreamt about antelopes the night before and was trying to figure out what the dream meant. He was big, the sweet button-face petroglyph, maybe about a yard across, and he was higher up than my head. Perhaps the artist had had a prophetic dream about the coming of buttons. Or he is a nature spirit, maybe-- he reminds me of the clicking nature spirits in some of Miyazaki's films. 

He was scratched onto the wall of the huge red rock canyon we camped in last weekend in Moab. When we scrambled up to the wall and discovered him, it was nearly sunset, and giant puffy thunderheads were gathered above us in the east. We'd seen petroglyphs earlier that day, smaller, on a smaller rock-- people with wings, snakes, rivers, and footprints. And then this.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

walk #23

glowing dress on Valencia Street

walk #17

purple-black succulent next to papery roses in the oakland hills

Friday, May 15, 2009

strong and sturdy with sufficient stamina, but friendly and out-going as well

1. Corgis. I don't know why. I've seen about five corgis out and about since rolling back into San Francisco on Tuesday. I was kind of flummoxed when I saw the fifth one last night, because I'd been just been thinking about how many corgis I'd seen in the past few days, and as if reading my mind a guy walks down the street with one one of the little guys grinning and trotting along at the end of a leash. It felt a bit over the top. But then more! Today a friend from work posts a picture of her new corgi pup on her Facebook page. The universe is trying to communicate with me in the form of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

2. Another rejection letter yesterday. That, though, is not a sign. That is a necessary part of my job. Do I get to pick and choose what might be a message or not? Yes, I think so. I'm in the rejection letter phase of my writing career. One must use discipline and not say things to oneself like, "I can take a hint, universe," or "this must mean I'm not supposed to (whatever.)" It means that I'm one letter closer to being out of the rejection letter phase of my career. It's tempting to let it be a sign that would get me off the hook. It would be kind of nice if the universe just told me to quit with the fiction writing business. Then I wouldn't have to endure all this cumbersome attempting and the ego-quashing not-achieving. I could shrug and say, "It wasn't meant to be." 

When I was in grad school I was talking to a councilor and I said, "I'm worried about the career I've chosen, it involves a lot of rejection and perseverance. And I'm a person who finds perseverance really challenging." She laughed and said, "Yeah, but isn't everybody? Isn't that the nature of perseverance?" ZZ Packer told us in workshop one day that she always had a story out, and was always waiting to hear back from some publication or residency. "I like to get mail," she said. 

Rejection letters, whatever. Corgis, though? I'm listening, Universe. Tell me more.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

kite hill after dinner

there's an open space hill near Chantal's place in the Castro. I went walking after dinner last night and found this little path up there.

I love how in this city you can go a different way every time and find something totally different

Melissa and I were talking, once, about how radical it is to veer from your course. How you're going along and you see an opportunity for adventure and you take it. Even if it's just going around the block in pursuit of some little tiny adventure your mind is suddenly different...

I used to think that San Francisco from a distance looked like barnacles clinging to a rock. All the buildings look white from afar.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the curve

I'm going to try and think of this picture when I imagine the learning curve. Dirty, slapped-together. All kinds of tidbits to play with.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


photo by Cat Palmer

I've also got saying yes on my mind. Over the last year I've noticed that the artists who say yes a lot move with exciting velocity.

My friend Cat Palmer is like that. She says yes to shows and opportunities left and right. She is always crazy busy, and her work has fabulous vitality. She is constantly in action, and I wonder if she is plagued by the stupid time-suck of overthinking. I think probably not.