Excerpt from my Letter to Kimber, 21 December 2006

"...in spite of the rhetoric, nothing's any cheerier because of these ridiculous holidays. In my experience, everything just gets that much more complicated and tiresome. My families are all emotionally riotous. Dealing with people in general takes five times as much energy and time to get anything done. People drive around in a hypercaffeinated panic, ruthlessly poaching parking spots in their grim quests for Christmas baubles. Just about the only thing I do enjoy about this time of year is the weather.

Bracing, palpable cold! Watching cheeks flush, feeling the atmosphere countervail my usually burdensome body heat when I'm cycling up the long hills or navigating the clumsy car traffic. Misting breath punctuating animated conversation. The panoply of functional accessories; scarves and gloves, hats and coats lending dignity, and a calmer mystique, to the roiling sexuality of fashion (it's so much more erotic to imagine what might be underneath, as opposed to seeing everything at first glance). Economy of movement and exposure means that a lot of things are more considered and deliberate; the frivolous stay indoors and wait for warmer weather. And so then sunlight is more precious, more noticeably appreciable. When the sun does go down, it's blankets and coffee, a world that hoards and savors warmth..."




Dispatch from the Longship of Glory

Truly epic weather has descended upon Portland. These days, my commute typically encompasses me on my bike, descending the long slope of Hawthorne Blvd. into the river and across the bridge, and then ascending the long-buried watercourses that Portland's downtown core has long since stratified into a grid of asphalt streets and paving bricks.

Tonight, Odin the All-Father thought best to send a mother of a storm from over the seas, lashing the bridges with 60 mph winds and rain that bites with chainsaw-teeth. There are streetlights that toss on the wind like ribbon right now. Stormclouds are rolling across the skies. Trees are swaying exultantly. Walking indoors with soaking raiment and helmet emblazoned with soaked leaves and twig-scratches, it's like disembarking from the longship of glory.

Recently I realized that a lot of my friends process things verbally, and I don't necessarily do so, and that this might be why I constantly feel as though I put more energy into my friendships (paradoxically enough) than I get from them. Usually this is okay, but I must needs be careful to avoid the habitual resentment and frustration that seeps into things whenever I usually feel as though I'm being taken advantage of (damn chauvinist pride won't let me suck it up and be a chump every once in a while). (Point being that it's important to recognize the friendships I choose, and that the personal cost of friendship is a choice I must own.)

The whole time I was fighting and climbing against the wind and rain, I could not stop smiling. I hope this weather lasts a good long while.




As part of my ongoing expedition to Master All Trades, I'm now a barista for a luxury chocolate cafe here in Portland. We're opening a shop in the downtown mall, which will be new for me. Since I've experience wrestling drunks and staring down cops at the local drunk tank, and also appeasing unruly patrons at the Library, and wielding puppets in Idaho, I'm rather looking forward to mastering the intricacies of high quality chocolate truffles and meticulously composed lattes fifty feet away from the Santa Claus kiosk. For a change.




I know, O gentle reader. I failed miserably in my attempt at National Blog Posting Month. I just wasn't good enough, and I entirely misjudged my resolve to post every day. I am a bad, bad polyformer.

But it was not for lack of trying; my screwy-ass laptop is still in the shop. My scattered-ass life is still remarkably scattered. I remain skating adroitly along the seams of insolvency.

I wish I could write that I've moved farther along from the benighted territories that I've been travelogue-ing for so long here on Polyform, but I haven't. I'm still here, lost in the tall grass, ploughing away at the dark, rich, fecund and somewhat smelly earth that is the substance of me. (Perhaps I've gotten more obtuse.)

There is enough pride and joy on a day-to-day basis to keep me going; there is more than enough shame and anxiety, when it comes to the larger picture, to give me pause. I could narrate details for you, but I reckon it would be tedious and repetitive, and it wouldn't necessarily do any good.

What gets me through, what makes it all better on balance, are the quiet moments I spend on my bike in the middle of the night, commuting home, or (and I know how crazy this sounds) the enforced silence of commuting by car, when I'm stuck in traffic and I can't do anything else but turn up or turn down the radio and wait for the logjam of cars in front of me to break. It's the moments in-between, the pauses and the in-breaths, that get me through. They tell me that everything else, all the other little anguishes and the little delights are but as those same moments before, and that somehow everything always leads to something else, one way or another, sooner or later.

Books I'm Reading:

Caesar's Gallic Wars
"The Sea" by John Banville
"Erotism" by Georges Bataille
"The Radicalism of the American Revolution" by Gordon S. Wood
"Romeo and Juliet" by Wild Bill Shakespeare

Listening to:

"Swordfish Trombones," Tom Waits
"Half the Perfect World," Madeleine Peyroux
Baz Luhrman's R & J soundtrack


Stumptown Coffee.