August 15, 2006

Various & Sundry

  
Lingers that fresh July, the days spent frisking the tail of the kite-sun while ‘80s songs burned off an iPod cuff as I attended gardenly duties. The songs, stolen between plantings, spurted with the shock of nostalgic surprise.

Lingers too the bike ride to Mexico, or the local Mexican grocery whichever came first. On the same ride I later didst gape at the local historic district, like it was Colonial Williamsburg or the Smithsonian, for that church, that school really existed and were once filled with the now dead, in a culture long dead, filled with odd music and books and general foreignness -- all in a place so near.
 
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Sea Monkeys!
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Via the brilliant Camassia, a New Yorker piece on writer's block.
...many of the writers of that [19th] century, or at least the novelists, were monsters of productivity. Scott, Balzac, Hugo, Dickens, Trollope: these men published as if they couldn’t stop, and they were proud of it...In former times, too, art forthrightly answered the audience’s emotional needs: tell me a story, sing me a song. Modernism, in refusing to do that duty, may have a lot to answer for in the development of artistic neurosis. If art wasn’t going to address the audience’s basic needs, then presumably it was doing something finer, more mysterious...
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"Catholic guilt" is something of a cliche but we come by it honesty I suppose, via our mother religion. My roommate post-college was Jewish and he said "Jewish guilt" was redundant. Recently I felt it keenly while soaking in 1 Corinthians 4 whereby Paul explains how he was thought of as scum and had not a creature comfort to save his life, so persecuted and poor was he. Of course, guilt is probably more universal than I give credit. An Episocopalian minister writes: “My children have always maintained that I need a minimum of two weeks – preferably four – as a vacation. They say that it takes the first 5 days of my vacation before I’m absolutely convinced that it’s okay with God that I’m not working. It takes the next five days for me to finally relax. I have discovered that they are absolutely correct. And, very, very wise.”
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As Mark Shea would say, new blog!.
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The good neighbor across the street, steady as the day is long, meticulously cleans his car. I clean my car every other year and he does every weekend. I’m impressed by his work ethic, which I have trouble putting together with his penchant for marijuana. I thought that stuff was supposed to make you mellow and lazy? (I’ve never tried it, and thank God, because I’m mellow and lazy enough.) He spends 95% of the summer in his driveway and front yard, not a bad place to spend 95% of your summer. I generally spend 95% in the backyard except when I’m shooting baskets. We are most scrupulous in waving; I’ve never not caught his eye as I drive off in a car or on bike and he’ll wave even if he almost wrecks his riding mower. Same here of course--not breaking the streak of waving to the neighbor takes priority over double-checking for coming traffic. I like his flower boxes under his windows. Very European.

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