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Monthly Archives: December 2013

Perfection(ist).

kc

You know Joyce kept writing Ulysses on the proofs, over and over again as they sent them for final corrections?

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Hey-aya-aya-aya-ya.

Enlightenment, understood in the widest sense as the advance of thought, has always aimed at liberating human beings from fear and installing them as masters. Yet the wholly enlightened earth is radiant with triumphant calamity.
Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become
       the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
       and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Revelation 11:15, New International Version

Still immersed in Fitzgerald for a paper drawn out long past the end of the semester, and I don’t mind at all. So good.

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Place.



I feel a little justified or vindicated in my hobbies ’cause both my grandfathers are serious amateur photographers. It’s in my blood: trees, photographs, and cities. Last time I was in Texas, I took this picture from the pile of things to trash. My mother’s father took it, at Puget Sound in the fifties or sixties or seventies. It’s so strange: Seattle is somewhere I go and love now, and I never pictured him there, but it looks exactly like a picture I’d take.

When I got home this summer, that watercolor was on my pillow. “Oh, yes — ” my mother said, “that was at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago and I kept looking at it and thinking I knew where it was, and Stacy said, ‘that’s the Spanish Steps!’ So I decided to get it for you. I hope it’s okay.” She didn’t know I’d spent several nights and afternoons on the Steps, thinking and praying and watching. I love the Spagna metro escalator very much.

So those two prints sit by each other on my bookshelf and desk, tying up Houston and Rome and Seattle.

.

Today Sarah quoted Sheila Hati at me: all of these people, she summarized, are so different and so interesting but observing them doesn’t tell me how I should be, because all their characteristics fit them so perfectly, and they are them.

I am an amalgam, too; I’m not like you. From Philadelphia nominally, but I think of myself as Texas and Minnesota and maybe Vancouver, and I am coffee in Austin and the green drives of Philadelphia and even bookstores in St. Louis and always the best at finding somewhere good to eat, drink, and read; and I am being, everywhere.

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Made whole.



We’re a houseful of bloggers these days, me and Sarah and Hannah bedding among nurses and other artists in one house. The two of them both have much more seen and to say than me. I’m in awe of them . . .

Last night, Sarah checked in on me in my room. I was sitting on the top of a bunk-bed frame, staring at nothing with my computer and a tall plastic mug of tea and a half-drunk beer and a pile of papers arrayed around me. Our mattresses were on the floor blocking the door, where they’ve been for the past two weeks because the bed’s so creaky. Startled by the scene, she asked how I was. I tried to answer, speaking very slowly, but I sobbed through my words anyway. And so she collapsed onto my mattress to look at me as I wiped my eyes raw.

It has been a perfectly all-right semester, but I’ve been pretty terrible throughout it. This fall, the depression had reappeared, incited by a rough summer. It chained me to my bed and in my empty head. I didn’t want to go anywhere, do anything, or see almost anyone. I was unkind and selfish and rude to the people I did see, fighting over whatever I could. It’s difficult to reach the end of the semester now and be so so sorry and so regretful and not know at all how or whether anything can be fixed.

Sarah talked, awhile. So well; so kindly. Later that evening she sent me a song to hear and read, and I thought of the Prodigal Son and all that meant to me and still does. It means a lot. Things will be okay.

I think coming up on Christmas is a good place to be; it will be a good several final days of Advent to think before the holiday once I get out of school. Things might, in the spring, be more okay then; will be more okay than I think.

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You shall.

Last fall, I wrote a piece on Jewish life at Penn, about Christianity and Judaism and about faith and religion. You can read it now online via Penn Filament: Hear, O Israel. Enjoy.

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