redemption song

me, talking

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Heh. None of y'all really needed to know this (brother! steer clear!), but, earlier today I considered forwarding this onion article to him and going, look, it's us! Heck, those people even look a little like us. Well, not really. Anyway, then I realized that that would be the other end of undiplomatic. Besides, we went & had dinner and hung out this evening, and I realized, you know? I'm not in love with the guy. He is not the center of my universe. But I really like being around him. I had a really hard day today, and being able to go and have dinner and talk with a friend (and have a lengthy argument about Paul, as in the Apostle) really improved my mood.

(yeah, so, today: skipped class for the first time because I woke up with a migraine, I ruined a batch of brownies, there was a fire drill in the dorm, I got yelled at for leaving my dishes on the counter, I found this wierd rash on my ankle, I tried to go to kickboxing but forgot to bring the right kind of shoes and felt like a dumbass, and my room is such a wreck that when I got back from the failed attempt at kickboxing I lay down on my bed and pulled the sheet over my head for a good hour so that I wouldn't have to think about it. The fact that this kid can put a happy end on that day speaks well for him.)


Monday, September 29, 2003

the opposite of morbid

(this will be a Rorschach - what do you see?)


The last entry looks a little whiney now. Oh well.

I've always envied the kind of people who keep these journals that record, sensibly and faithfully, the daily business of their lives. Those are the journals that read like narratives, neat and efficient within the boundaries of their pages. I do not keep records because I do not remember in narratives of time, perhaps. I could tell you what I did today - took my first difficult test, napped and dreamed of home, talked too much in Anthropology, made french toast and was stood up by a teacher - but there is still something fundamentally meaningless about that list, in my mind. Right now I'm watching the boys make a game of balancing on the stair rails, the kayaker showing up the daytrippers who barely stand then fall. The day has been beautiful and cold, the still-green mountains spotted under the clouds like the fur of a sleeping creature. I have a splitting headache, and probably pms, but luckily all my work is done, I think, and I can weasel by one more wasted evening.

This is not my room, and I envy these people their window, even though I'm glad it's not a permanent part of my day. From here you can see the courtyard, and all the people in it - now four people are playing hackysac. Two of them are dazed frizzy-haired types with sketchy nicknames, and there is the mad kayaker and my friend Anda, who had a bad weekend but who I have not talked to about it because I always feel that I'm imposing on some secret grief. I like this view, I like to be able to watch people from this distance. I like being able to have some idea of who they are when I'm removed from the picture, so I know what is them and what is me.

Doug with the Dreadlocks was bellowing out arias a moment ago. Today I have eaten nothing I did not cook - well, microwaved from components at the very least - and I'm wondering if my headache is some penalty for not making my sacrafice to the food-service gods.

And I just had an unlovely revelation which I will not reveal here until I'm no longer so grouchy. I always make wierd decisions when I'm in this sort of mood, which I then regret. So this one will wait around, I'm just noting for future reference.


Sunday, September 28, 2003

A conversation with an old friend just made me realize how far I've fallen in how I think about myself. I really don't feel loved or valued - or even wanted - right now, and talking to people who remember who I was when I felt those things brings that lack alive. I don't need someone to canonize me, I just need someone to value me in a way that I understand. When you've had friends like I had for some brief summertime, the rest of the world seems awfully alien.


A pretty, cold day, blasted into guitar shards by the block party in our courtyard. I love this dorm, this program, this school. I need to remember that I'm here for the school, no matter how engrossing my friends are.

I didn't do anything this weekend besides work on a paper and sleep. It's been nice. But I didn't go to church - I woke up at eleven thirty - and I'll feel the lack later.

I had a wonderful conversation with one of the Dreadlocked Ones in the lounge yesterday. You know the people who you look at and you know that they just might get it, whatever it is that people don't understand about you? Yeah, we were talking about dorm culture, and he went, do you smoke? Well, no. Do you drink. No. And he nodded and went, okay, and we talked about how hard it can be being a non-drinker in the youth culture today. And then we talked about politics, and how drugs are the death of politics but conversely seem to create new politics in their wake. It's nice to be able to discuss me vs. the world on something like that, because it so often feels like me vs. the world.

I went to a talk by William Rivers Pitt yesterday - he's the guy - and he made a very good point: our president has actually attacked the CIA as an institution. Watching the CIA fight back - for its survival, possibly - will be one of the major internal governmental conflicts of our time.

brr. I wouldn't want to piss off the CIA that directly. I wonder if they'll kill him.

For the record - I don't like Bush's decisions, but I don't want him dead, or even injured, even a little. I even felt bad about the damn pretzels. I just want him to stop making decisions for our country. I don't want to see the backlash that makes a hero-martyr out of him, either. I just want him to go away and live happily on his ranch and keep his family out of politics from now on.

I don't want to quit writing this because then I'd have to go do work & face the world etc. It's been a nice weekend, I think. Some later retrospect might show it as problematic.


Saturday, September 27, 2003

well, yes.

brother, definantly don't read this one.

so, leapt right into bed with someone I didn't know very well, and his physical prescence - often platonic, I slept in his room last night perfectly innocently - has become a regular feature of my life. This is someone I trust, whose company I enjoy, but aside from that I just don't know him very well. I'm getting to know him now, and we've been involved since about the first week of school. I can't decide if this is an interesting reversal of the normal order, a transplanted example of the British dating system (get trashed & wake up in a relationship) or a recipe for certain doom. Whatever, I'm amused. The problem is, a combination of sleep deprivation and him -persuading me to do things like go to foreign policy lectures and old-time music jams is wreaking havoc on my paper-writing schedule. Oh well. C'est la vie.

probably being a little idiot,

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Outside they're playing some game involving throwing around a large duct-tape-wrapped stick. I just figured out that it's supposed to be a sword and if you don't catch it on the duct tape you can't use that hand anymore. The things bored hippie boys invent. pfft.

(understand that right now I am perfectly happy)

There's a kid from my school here, a deadhead red-eyed kid who never used to make much sense. He's happy here. I mean, I've never seen his face alive like it is here, I've never seen him walk so easily. I didn't know he had a chance, and he's loving his life. That's good to see. I feel some affection towards him because we went to the same high school, but moreover, I'm glad that he's going to make it. I want all of them to be happy, that's all.

Today we had a garden club meeting & looked at the plans for the student-built landscaping. We're going to have a little pond and a rock garden, fruit trees and vegetables. In other words, life will be really good here. That's cool. I want the world to get better behind me. I admit, though, that I am starting to feel again that wish that I wanted to be out there more than I want to be in here. And the fact is, I'm just more comfortable in here, looking out the window.

I am so worn out. I want to be saved the way they've all been saved, brought out of their isolation - and I think everyone here's known that isolation. I'm tired and I wish that the world was simple and I need to go work on my paper.


Things I did today:

Went to class & got the conversation so off-topic that we didn't have time to finish the documentary on Catholic environmentalism
cleaned up my room, including organizing my desk within an inch of its life
wrote two letters
put paragraph breaks in a paper
read the part of the Gospel According to Mark with the crucifixion. Am I the only one who sees a clear warning of the dangers of religious fundamentalism in those pages?
returned a Blockbuster video a day late: $3.00
seriously enjoyed some bean-burger goodness over in the cafeteria
the sad part is, I'm not being sarcastic, they've been out of bean burgers for two days
scrubbed the layer of dried chili gunk from my crockpot
went for the kind of walk in the woods where you don't see the woods but just think about your problems.

Notice nowhere here have I written "worked on papers that are due monday" or "studied for test".

Oh, on a happy note: yesterday I met another Witness for Peace kid! He's from the year before me. I was so happy I almost tackled him but I restrained myself to one of those hearty hand-clasps that everyone's doing these days. He walked back halfway with me and we talked about families ("Hector? Remember Hector?" "Uh... oh, Hector! Hector! I love Hector!") and where we stayed and all. It's such a relief. Such a relief, to have someone here who _knows_ about it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2003

little brother, you might want to skip this one.

So I go to the infirmary. I should explain that our school infirmary is staffed by the kind of women who wanted to be Christian Angels of Mercy, ministering to the sick and wounded. This can make things difficult when one wants, say, contraception, or to ask if it's really true that snorting percocet will cause your brain to hemorrage. For your information, I was asking about the percocet for one of my friends, really. Despite the ten-minute conversati on I just had about central american psychedelica, I don't do drugs.

Anyway, I have a cold, and it's gone past the sneezing and sore throat phase and into the head-is-full-of-cotton phase. It doesn't help that yesterday night I took three kava-kava ca psules and two nyquil before I went to sleep. Though it was interesting how I couldn't feel anything but my throbbing bad-cold nose after a few minutes.
All right, I don't do _illegal_ drugs.

Woo. Spinning. funny ceiling!

I'm sorry I'm so fragm ented, people. You would not _believe_ the amount of work I have to do. And it's all fascinating work of the sort that one really doesn't feel like skipping. I'm just glad I'm sick enough that the beautiful weather isn't seducing me out of the building li ke usual.

Oh, I learned the coolest thing yesterday! ZH, who is my fellow UU leader-person on campus, taught me the Top Secret UU Handshake. Heck yeah, we have one. This makes me inordinantly happy.

PS: why are all the cool people here male? I need girl friends! And I'm feeling sort of bad because my one fairly good female friend here is at war with her roommate, and yet I'm hanging out a lot with the roommate because she needs someone to talk to so badly. I can't help but think that I'm going to get caught in their conflict. Already, the chain-smoking romantics are, I think, getting tired of my - depending on who you ask - pragmaticism / cynicism. Next up I might well end up hanging with the Daytrippers, and hopefully I'll be as cheerfully resist ant to their pet chemicals as I was to the constant smoking.

We covered Plato's cave in history of literacy this morning - it's what the whole semester is about, how an image that is not reality can come to define reality. But I realized that the only place I'd ever really seen these kind of philisophical ideas before was in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and related works. One of the things that fascinates me most about modern entheogen use: in our culture, even our mystic experiences are chemically quantifiable and ultimately marketable. Empiricism wins again.

I need to go start working on one of three thousand things. I love you all, and have a nice evening.


Tuesday, September 23, 2003

It's so hard to stay put and study on a day like today! I went to do my laundry and got sucked right out the door of the laundry room onto the lawn under the bright bright windy trees and the blue sky. I had a revelation sitting in the woods trying to read my book and really staring out across the pond: I'm a pantheist again. When I touch the ground, I am touching the skin of something living, not a collection of clay and silt. The ground I walk on and the tree beside me are alive, not in that they contain living cells but alive in the same way I am, alive because some spirit moves through us. I have always thought like this, but it's being challenged, and so I give it a name.


Ah! New Years is the 10th anniversary of NAFTA and the Zapatista uprising! It's a little depressing that the most ambitious thing I'm planning is a round of letters to my representatives and putting an informational display up in the dorm, but it's gonna be one heck of an informational display! Any time I've got an excuse to spread information like this I get really happy.

I know there are flaws in any and all movements. But I read Zapatista writings (a world without doors or keys) and somethin g in me says yes, this is our world. These are our words. If there is to be hope -
There must be a world without doors or keys.


Monday, September 22, 2003

It's been brought to my attention that no one can make much sense of my life out of what I've been posting lately. This has a variety of causes: first, my life is coming in fragments now, all rush and quick glimpses. second, my little brother reads this thing. ::waves to gb::. But still, in the interests of clarity, here are some facts about what's going on:

There is a Boy who kind of fell into my life & I am now in a relationship, well, more or less, without being sure how I got here. The whole thing, while fun, is very confusing and I'm not really comfortable talking about it here, so there will not be much news on that front.

I have four classes, all of which have snappy, obscure names. These are they, with more relevant titles: History of Literacy, Cultural Anthropology, Politics & the Environment, and Sustainable Development. I am making A's on every assignment, so far, which for some reason really worries me. I can't decide whether I didn't choose a challenging enough curriculum or the other shoe is poised to drop.

My friends are not hippies (despite the whole dorm being hippies) but a motley collection of romanticist chain-smokers who hang out on the front steps and obsess about their love lives. I like these people very much, though I find their endless romantic obsessions wearying, as I believe that you should either do something about it or stop complaining.

I go in shifts between eating junk food and eating next to nothing. I'm worried about what several more months of 800-calorie days will do to me, but I figure I have mass to spare right now. Today I ate two bowls of granola and soymilk for breakfast and a cafeteria bean burger for lunch.

I am dealing with a lot of conflicts between my personal values and the values of the culture. Specifically, my personal values are a little more conservative in terms of how you should act and much more liberal in terms of what you can get away with without it reflecting badly on you. So I find myself censoring opinions a lot, and also getting really mad at people over the way they judge each other.

and with that, here's some fragmented impressionism, written in cultural anthropology:

It is raining and cold-windy, pouring in sheets between me and the mountains. I walked up here in a t-shirt and hempen skirt, in the grateful pause between storms. I came from our group presentation - ah, our group. History of Literacy. An organic formation of ideas - Hellen Keller jokes, very offensive, Neanderthal skits, and breakdancing phonemes. Giddy, everyone pouring ideas in, getting so worked up with their suggestions that Ly had to yell for silence every few minutes. Breakdancing teenagers with phonemes on their backs under bright stage lights. That's just the way we do things here.


Sunday, September 21, 2003

My church is my solid ground. My church is my wings. My life is my faith. This is what I was thinking, walking back this morning. Guide my feet, oh ye saints of secularism, you mystics and manics and readers of the early paper, you strange and scientific schemers. I am in the middle of some difficult and joyous things, but / and my church is there for me.


ps. on a different topic: hah hah hah. Email me, y'all.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

It's okay. I'm glad it was now, here, this way.

The campus is filled with parents going to the football game. I spent the morning away, tabling about sustainable development at the local Farm Heritage day. Which means I spent the morning sitting in a lawn chair handing out brochures.

I'm glad.

Friday, September 19, 2003

"it's about being drunk and doing skateboard tricks in the road and throwing beer cans at cars and listening to nofx and plotting the revolution."

my friend, on what the punk scene should be.
I love my friends. And will not say anything about the dangers of drunken skateboarding. really.

love to all,

I wonder if anyone who knew me in real life would recognize me from this blog. The logistics, yes, the where and the when of it all. But the who? I was thinking about journals that express things in loosely the same way I do here, and I wondered if I would get along with the people who wrote like that. Is the person presented in this, essentially my diary, different from - what shall I call it? my stage personality, out in the world.

Anyway, I'm sick, and I just spent $13 on various kinds of -quils. Is it a bad thing that I aimed for the highest DMT content even though I don't have a cough? Look, I want to be knocked out until I feel better, which had better be by 8:05 tomorrow, because that's when my midterm project starts in Sustainable Development.

It is also worth noting that, except for last weekend when I was headed home, I have been sick every single Friday. Anyone know a good cure for psychosomatic stress-letdown type illnesses?

all my germy love,

I'm feeling in the mood for some spiritual tourism. I need to invent a road trip, something with a catchy name, and forget the cathedrals and monestaries (though I'm up for one or two stained-glass-and-statuary locations) I want to run up mountainsides, sleep in church basements, find the rusting ruins of Drop City, yoga/yogurt my way through every back-alley co-op left in America, end up in Oakland for a Techno Cosmic Mass, turn around and do the whole thing back. Burn out all this dull mouthing of prayer with a desperate summer fling with the idea of communion.

I should. If not in these next few years, when?


Thursday, September 18, 2003

Hurricane blowing in. Running through the woods at midday, the rhododendron thick with kids in ROTC uniforms. This evening I walked to the top of the bluff with Ces and watched, out across the valley the football players and last shred of the sun. Ran back against the wind, lying alone in the courtyard watching aquamarine black clouds, the occasional shard of rain sharp through the wind. The wind so powerful makes a fluting noise against the pipes of the railing, against the wires of the bicycle wheels. The chime of the bells down across the stream sounded a little frantic against that endless note of wind. Howling. Or singing. I tried to forget everything - even the impression of forgetting everything - to being small and cold on the sidewalk, a block to the wind, a buffer to the rain. You don't understand, maybe, what it is to be nothing but cold and rain. But I remember.

clouds green-storm-black. This is a hurricane. I love it as much as I regret the consequences.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

I may regret this later and remove this post, but I was thinking today and I realized that I have a revelation - one neatly encapsulatable in a sentance or two - every couple of months. In order, here are the ones I remember:

1999: All is one
2000: Things don't always work out
2001: I don't have to choose to be unhappy
2002: Life should feel like something / God is awfully quiet.
2002, October: God is Love.
2003: Nature will try to kill me.

There it is. If you want to know what's shaped my worldview since I was 14, that's about it. Just add in some politics and tofu.


You know, I'm burned out on Iraq, and admitting it makes me cringe. I was never very passionate about it to begin with - there were never actual issues to grab ahold of, it has started and it will end as a clash of ideologies backed by explosives. It's one long, angry polemic.

I should write about today - we went for a long hike, my program and I, or rather most of them played frisbee on the lawn while I headed for the hills. I will remember the moon over the meadow, if pressed, but also the uncomfortable manicured spill of millponds, too lawn-like and delicate to soothe the need for forest. I should also write that today I discovered that I have been slacking. Today I had my first assignment due that I just... forgot. Also, I got an anthropology quiz back (100%) and an expressive paper from History of Literacy (no corrections except that I need to space my paragraphs differently.) Does this illustrate something of my academic charecter? I suspect so.


Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Incidentally, from Earth Island Journal:

My father rode a camel. I drive a truck. My son flies a fighter jet. His son will ride a camel.
- Saudi proverb

The sidewalk lamps in the main campus just came on, and down in the rotunda the university breakdance club is practicing. The hills are starting to redden, a little beneath the green. And I did not see him today.


Monday, September 15, 2003

(if it doesn't matter now/
then it never really did)


Sunday, September 14, 2003

Another drive, this one in the dark, full of second-hand smoke and too-loud music. Three of my friends got very drunk this weekend and got unfortunate peircings. I have stuff due that's not going to get done because I need to sleep. My head hurts. But it's really good to be back.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

I was going to go home & sleep. But then various friends got wind that I was in town and the sleeping ended up happening around eleven this morning. Well, there was that hour or two on the floor of my church with people snoring in my ears and kicking me in their sleep, but that doesn't count.

I'd forgotten how lonely you can feel, in a church at midnight. I walked out behind the building, down the long path to the boulder where ashes are strewn, alone in the dark without a flashlight but with the milky white city-light of the sky shining dully against the silhouettes of trees. I climbed up the rocks by feel and sat looking out into the little valley, into the blue and silver dark, and sang the kind of songs that roll from your breath, in church or in silence in the forest. Let them die away with the breath into the sound of the crickets and the wind answering. I think I believe again, a bit. I think I can breathe again.


Friday, September 12, 2003

Rushing down the highway - admittedly Pink Floyd playing and with a bit of a contact high - the sun was spiraling down behind us, the sky spiraling down around us, the whole of the world pushing the car forward, forward into the bank of storm across the flat golden earth. Felt for the first time that fabled youthful arrogance, I think, looking across and up at the old couple in the Ford - you drive and drive and grimace and plan and the sun isn't spiraling down around your head, the earth that you drive through is not made radiant.

home. call me.


My program has these mid-afternoon meetings, Chatauquas, I guess. It's a peer presentation, a game or a play, and the thing that I like best about this program is how they never waste my time. The notable thing, though, was us all spilling out of the auditorium across the main campus, two hundred hippies in a line, all headed back to our dorm and our weekend.

I'm going home. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003


How does one balance the need to live without doubt with the reality of the possibility of getting hurt? All those cautions & I-shouldn't keep us from really living, the middle-aged philosophers say - well, there's a reason the people who are middle-aged are cautious. they're the ones that got that far.

and why do I always have to come at these questions from the opposite side of the rest of my culture?


Today, I think I had my entire worldview demolished by one of my professors. A good day.


Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Wow. My first time on a computer all day. This is unusual.

It's not like I've had any kind of high-powered, super-focused day here. I went to class, went for a walk in the woods, ate two lunches, one of them out of a vending machine, played cards with Jess and Matt, cleaned my room, talked to a friend from CH who lives in my dorm, went for a walk in the woods again because of a fire drill, vacuumed, and now I'm here. It has been a really good day. Of course, now I've got to get all the stuff done that I didn't do while I was walking & talking & playing Death Uno. But first, I'm going to go to the vending machine and have a Twix, because it's just that kind of day.


Monday, September 08, 2003

I have nothing to say. For lunch I had junk food in the food court instead of eating alone in the veggie section, and I still have the taste of Sourpatch Kids clinging to my teeth. Yesterday the sky was spread downy with those folds of clouds that lay one atop the other, and I looked out across into the cold wind (so cold here!) and thought, to do something for the sake of the beauty in it. That's enough.

This morning we discussed the s ex lives on Neanderthals in History of Literacy (we're reading The Inheritors, it's not as random as it sounds). The girl who sits next to me had already had a minor fit over the idea that people had smells (the French attitude towards deodorant almost did her in) and once we got into primate polygamy I thought she was going to keel over. I got to feel superior and liberal, until we got as far as cultural attitudes towards ince st, and then I was right there with her squirming and going, ew, ew, under my breath. Heh.

And speaking of getting to feel superior and liberal, I am now counseling my ex-boyfriend on his love life. The details aren't mine to divulge, but I am feeling pretty damn progressive these days. I know that there are fundamental differences in culture and personality and the fact that I think I'm right about anything indicates straight off how wrong I probably am. But, within the cultural matrix of the liberal religious youth culture I consider myself a part of, I'm doing a good job of being a sane, fair human being. That's cool.


Sunday, September 07, 2003

On the presidential address:

I don't get it. We abandoned Afghanistan with no aid money. That was bad. We gave them aid money. That's bad too. (The economy! The economy!) Now we're trying to rebuild Iraq. Yes, we bombed it. Yes, our idea of rebuilding is sinking immense amounts of money into US companies who will basically embezzle it and screw over the natives. But dammit, we can't leave now, we have to do something. And yes, the Bush regime should get over its masturbatory preoccupation with US power and let the UN run things. Still. We can't just leave. We can't go, all right, we've made your country nice and level so that you can start from scratch. No.

The interesting thing in this president's speeches - the information is scrubbed & sanitized & plasticized, you learn no information at all. In fact, you loose information listening to him. But the way he says things and the ideology he establishes is interesting. I wish, though - I mean, I can feel the truth being bent until it screams whenever I listen to any kind of official speech. It hurts. Bleh.

good night,

The main campus is very quiet on Sundays. I'll have to remember that; it's a good place to go and be alone. I'll be glad when classes start up again tomorrow. Too much free time is a bad thing.

Well, I was going to post something very dour about how people who are being manipulated tend to know it and let it go on anyway. Then I realized that, right now, I'm having fun, and I don't give a damn. See?

So I woke up at three this afternoon (so much for church) with a splitting headache. I have all my work done, I think, except for some flyer-ing that I need to do for the campus ministry potluck. Which I was supposed to _last_ week. Crud. But I'm okay. I think I'm okay.


Saturday, September 06, 2003

Well, I don't know if the food at the health food store is all it's cracked up to be, but the 5-mile round trip walk to get there is probably beneficial.

I'm doing good, right now at least. I'm kind of in this place where I don't want to think too hard about any of it because to even consider any of the three thousand things I'm stressed about would be to plunge me back over again. Yesterday night, after hours of stomach troubles and a complete unwillingness to leave my room set in, I started eating kava-kava capsules like popcorn, and let me tell you, it is a wonderful feeling when those things kick in & you suddenly plummet from panicked to calm. From now on I think I'll be taking those before I sleep.

Things are okay, really. I'm just worrying about too much. There's not a single place I can go and have it all be familiar, and that's terrifying. But it's okay. I'm going to be okay.

This whole entry sounds like rising panic, and it's not. Things are alright. Besides a paper I have to revise before Wednesday, I'm almost totally done with my work for the weekend. He's making a real effort to include me in things in a friendly way, and I'm flattered, if still, of course, obsessive and anxious. I now have enough tortillas and soy cheeze that I won't be going dinnerless this week, and today before anyone was up (elevenish) Francesca and I mapped out the ground by the stairs for a garden. It's okay.

I told you it was a bad idea to talk about it. Off for more kava tabs. I will get through this, and I will do it without an ulcer or a shooting spree. I just wish I was a bit more easygoing about things like this.


Friday, September 05, 2003

Today in History of Literacy we had a guest lecturer on Neanderthals. He's from the same department & program as our two primary professors in that class, and they kept getting off on these tangents where they'd sit & discuss things - not argue, it was probably the best example of academic discussion I've ever seen - and they were so happy doing that, disagreeing and backing up and laying the facts bare. I watched them and I realized, this is their work. The whole of academia is a constant ongoing conversation, a polite debate, that's what academics do. That's what college is for, to turn us into little academics whose work, wherever we are, is this constant exercise of the brain and mouth.

That's fine. It's interesting. I'm glad they have that calling. To tell the truth, I'm as happy slinging gravel as arguing about evolution. Happier. I am not an academic. An interesting revelation.

That said, I have thought many times while living in various college towns that the classical college campus should be the model for most communities. Think about it: most transportation happens on foot or on bike, though there are parking lots availible to store a car for longer trips. Residences are shared, conserving power and space, and even semi-private residences are compact. There is a great deal of public greenspace. The work of the community is very near the homes of the community, and also near theatres and libraries and galleries. Could people be persuaded to give up some privacy? Well, we were persuaded once, which is how a fourth of us ended up in these big boxes o' hippies for four years of our lives.

Anyway. Going back to bed now, going to wake up tonight & find something to do.


Thursday, September 04, 2003

I know that entries have been fragmented and obscure lately. Partially that's because that's how my life has been feeling, and partially that's because I treat this as a personal journal that happens to be readable by the whole internet, not a document written for the whole internet that's in the form of a personal journal. So much time passes in every day right now. I look back ten entries and half the stuff I'm referring to seems to be years back. So much changes so fast. I'm happy here, now, and I have people to talk to here and long-distance, but I'm getting much less work done because I'm on the edge of having a love life and that's unfamiliar territory. I'm very confused with my life, and that's a good thing. I don't know how to navigate these waters - using an ATM, understanding the secret of getting clothes clean in the laundry room, figuring out what the hell the opposite gender is thinking - but in all aspects of my life, my confusion, if frustrating, is novel, and good. I am glad to be in a strange land these days.


It's not going to happen again, is it.

Maybe I should use my speech after all.


I wrote a poem.

Keep in mind how wary I am of poetry-writing, or admitting to it. At risk of insulting some very dear friends, every teenager I know writes poetry, and most of it doesn't do much for me. Perhaps it is some elitist vision of the written word that I've absorbed throughout the years, but I like poems that are written in books, by famous people. Please don't hate me for this. But hesitant as I am to add to the glut of teenage poetry on the internet, I wrote a poem while hiking, and I wan t to put it up. And I want to note, by the way, that there is something that tunes into the world when I am sitting with a notebook in my hand. Instead of wavering behind a screen of everything I'm thinking and feeling, the trees and the sun and each blad e of grass becomes distinct. Transformative. Very nice.

the poem:

The cicadas speak of summer,
lined, shaking off September rains.
windy. rasping out
their desperation in blossoming.

sept 04 2003

it was a beautifu l day.


God, it's beautiful here today. It stinging-cold-rained all morning and now the sky is clean and bright and blue. I am about to go outside to slog around in the woods and get muddy.

Today is Barbara Ehrenreich day on campus. She was our keynote speaker at convocation this morning and she's doing several other events locally in the next two days. I talked to her briefly (me & my friends invited her over for spaghetti, but she had other plans) and she was really a very very nice person. I'm probably going to her reading this evening, and she might stop by the dorm (imagine racing up and down the halls: Barbara Ehrenreich is coming, Barbara Ehrenreich is coming!) to chat with us. Really, she said she'd try to. I might miss her though, in favor of spending some time with the woods in this weather.


It really sucks that all the meetings here happen at 6 pm and my classes don't get out until 6:30. I don't think I'm going to manage to join much of anything, and the NAACP was the one I really wanted to join, too.

He wasn't in yesterday. Which means that I've had more time to prepare the Speech. Ha ha, the Speech. Can y'all tell that I'm in over my head?


Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Well. Uh. That was wierd.

working up the nerve to go knock on his door. Wish me luck.


I forgot to write - last night Blogger wouldn't let me on, but I was going to write about how nice it is to spend hours talking to friends, is all. How glorious it is to have those friends to talk to.


My internal world is getting a little claustrophobic. Here's how my schedule has gone today:

8:30: up to grab shower before roommates can
9:00: breakfast: cereal in lounge
9:30: leave for first class
10:00: First Class: History of Literacy
12:00: first class ends, go to cafeteria to eat lonely lunch with book, then go to post office
12:30: head across campus back to dorm to brush teeth & switch books
1:00: My program has a presentation on the history and cultural significance of barbecue. Not making this up. Good presentation.
2:00: Cultural Anthropology. A few minutes late as is a ten-minute walk from the auditorium
3:15: class ends, back across campus to dorm for grounds planning meeting with permaculture professor (arrive 3:30 and out of breath)
4:00 - 4:30: catch up with roommate, who I haven't actually talked to in days
4:30 - 4:50: check email, update blog (hello)
5:00 - 6:15: Environmental Politics class. Oh crap. He's in this class & I haven't seen him in three days.
6:30: potluck at church, which is a twenty minute walk away. Hmm.

Thank God I have tomorrow more or less off. Thank God.


Tuesday, September 02, 2003

I am posting less frequently, to my mind at least, because I am now obsessing into a notebook. It seemed prudent to shift some things off the public forum, though I keep leaving the damn notebook lying around in the lounge and all. Not. Good.

Today was unexceptional. I managed to eat three meals, totaling probably less then a thousand calories but oh well. I got out of bed & went to class despite having been unable to find the reading on the library website. The professor passed out cherry tomatoes from the student farm - I hate fresh tomatoes, I have to cook them, but this one was sweet and pungent like that wonderful smell that comes from the vines, and I kept trying and failing to eat it. I had a bean burger (clearly out of a package, but good) for lunch, despite having no interest in food. I think I can go down another ten pounds before I have to worry, but loosing it as fast as I have been hurts. I'm going to ask my farmer friend if she wants to try to organize a dinner co-op, because I'm sick of eating microwaved food alone. I went back to my room and wrote a paper.

I spent a lot of time staring into space. When I think about him I can't breathe.


Kinda manic. I spent last night watching immature movies (Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back) with the wonderfully insane girls across the hall, and then I slept for a full-fledged eight hours. Haha, eight hours. Yay. And I've eaten two meals already today; the problem is, I know I'm hungry, but I'm in that stage where I don't need food, I don't need anything, I just keep going. Despite the shakes. Yeah. But really, despite that, everything is looking brighter today. I'm going to go work on my paper and I've gained a feeling of general distance from my personal life. Which is good. yep.


Monday, September 01, 2003

Today I just got totally overwhelmed. Too much, all at once, for me to deal with. I'm going to try to get some homework done and busily ignore everything else. No, I'm not waiting for him to call. Dammit. Really.

for the sake of it,

You know, it's actually a challenge to keep myself fed here? I don't think I've been this hungry in a long time. I'm going to make biscuits today; the oil and soy flour tends to up the calorie count. It's wierd to know that I'm not getting enough to eat. Usually I'm just trying to negotiate between too much and way too much food.


Review: less slobbery. Hmm.

dammit, I'm going to sleep at 3 am again.
and dammit, it's too cold in these dorms this time of night. All right, anywhere will be cold at three - no, wait, four - a.m, but this degree of rampant air conditioning is unnecessary.

and by the way, I now sympathize with all the teenies that I bitched at for poor communication. it's so wierd being outside the UU rules. I expected them to be there, and the fact is just 'cause I was raised with 'em...

dammit, world conversion, for the sake of my love life. Because it's just a good idea.


He came by to invite me to go watch a movie in Anthony-from-Asheville's room. He's not as bad looking as my initial paranoid backlash had indicated; in fact, he's good-looking, if toothy. Huh.

I'm tired. I'm going back to bed. Y'all have a nice night.