work for it

So Beck released a record a while ago, except he didn’t. He just released it as sheet music. As a songbook.

The pieces were interpreted by other artists. This is Jack White, doing the brilliant “Down”.

“learn to love what you can’t get rid of, before it gets rid of you”

different kinds of work

I am Squirrelbasing, neatening in my giant database. Running around, checking things, resolving questions. Digital herding. I am making space on my table and in my head for lists, sorting data into sets to see what/who/where/when.

I’m also making physical space for a lot of cartons of books, emailing and calling people, making sure everything is arriving on time. Incredible outflows of time management and money have replaced incredible outflows of writing and editing. Soon, in just two weeks, I reach the plateau of fulfillment; I will perhaps have arrived in the ephemeral, evaporative space in which I can die a hero, as opposed to a villain.

Dali, Apparition of the Visage of Aphrodite


I am dreaming of an unknown future, thinking of who, what.

Not wanting to leave anyone or anything out.


into tucson

Wow, just like that, home in Tucson, swimming in the lovely cool pool, kissing the lovely fluffy Fish, petting the reserved, handsome Simon, getting ready to ship books.

In ten days, I’m off to Dallas to teach and have a rock and roll weekend. Then back to Tucson to ship. Then back to Cambridge. This Southwestern whirl will last three weeks and some days…and today I’m spending cleaning house and garden (two months away during the monsoon season…stuff is crazy growy) and getting my head on straight.

Bill and the boys walked me to Harvard Square yesterday afternoon to catch the steamy train to the bus to the airport.

boys walking me to steamy train

If there was ever a day to taxi to Logan, it was yesterday, but I actually wasn’t that smart. I hear that although yesterday was 91 and steamy in Boston, the heat broke last night, summer is over, and today, it’s fall in New England.

This is what it looked like as I left; we flew around the storm that broke summer.

Big storm outside of Boston

The sun gleamed like fire on the water, and I recognized Castle Island, and the beaches that I loved in July and August… Pleasure Bay, Carson Beach, and then lands further that I plan to visit by ferry, later in the fall.

leaving Boston

When I return, it will be sweaters instead of sweaty…we will have company in town, and a big birthday party for Bill and the boys.

I won’t mind the fall weather this year. This has been a glorious summer in all respects.

september pool

Miss Fish and Simon are in fine fettle, healthy and happy. The garden is a riot.

Wild Fishstick II

The theme of wild young boys continued on my flight home to Tucson, as a particularly energetic example of about 2 years old flew in the seat behind me for four hours on a full flight. His parents were exhausted, as they had a crying newborn as well. He was yelling, kicking my seat, jumping up and down in his window where he had been corralled.

In the opposite row was a man with two small dogs, each of whom yipped and barked with every yell and scream of the boy and baby. However, I had HEADPHONES, the ultimate survival tool.

The sunset over the midwest looked like a 1970s album cover.

unretouched September sunset over the midwest

I watched Larry David, started a new piece of beadwork, refused to care about the crazed yips and squeals behind me, like background noise to the madness of Larry and Leon.

My taxi driver home was a woman who believed in staying the lane one would turn from, no matter how far away that turn might be. How strange. We travelled, nearly unbudgingly, in the right lane for something like 6 miles down Alvernon.

People have such odd freaks.

I’m going to catch up on films this week (Boyhood and A Five Star Life to start out) in the cracks, cut back the garden, kiss the cats, make the most of each day to the best of my ability. I haven’t seen Orangelina yet, but I did see one of her children at the lurk. So far this is the only lizard I’ve seen all day. It seems a bit warm still for them to have Gone Under, but gone under they may have done.

Desert Spiny Youngster

It’s been fun to have the whole family together. Here is Bri in Squirrel Mode, biting Bill on the shoulder as he holds up the roof of Cafe Pamplona in Harvard Square. Bill says, sentimentally, “This is how I want to be remembered.”

bill bri cafe pamplona

After the bounty of any four-block area of Boston, I was horrified when I asked my phone where the nearest Italian restaurant was from my perch near Harvard Square, and it only came up with eleven of them, with the closest almost a half-mile away. It’s not that I mind walking a half-mile for Italian food (in fact I prefer a mile to a half-mile by a factor of two) but the fact that they are so far away is, shall we say, a sign. There are more frat houses in rock-throwing range than places with serious Fra Diavolo sauces.

Despite the frat-to-Fra imbalance, the three months I am there in Cambridge will be fantastic – the boys are capable now, competent even. I will be a completely free woman, on the loose with a T pass and a lot of work under my belt. I am going to tear up the entire Eastern seaboard.

Tower Of Power II

Oddly, I don’t think of Cambridge at all when I think of MIT; it is its own space; occupying the liminal zone of the riverside, of Memorial Drive, a sparky layer between Boston and Cambridge. When I step onto campus, I feel I’ve entered a new land.


We moved to Cambridge yesterday, into an apartment that reminds me of my own school days; a modestly beat-up Victorian with old wooden floors, shotgun-style rooms. It’s smallish, but it’s just for the month of September, when I’m away in Tucson. When I come back at the end of the month, we’ll move upstairs in the same building to a larger apartment on the third floor, more room, more privacy.

Bri and I are charmed by the old place, Bill raises one eyebrow, it’s a big come-down from the gorgeous space in the South End. The boys, however, can walk to school, and after riding every train and bus in Boston, Evan and I realized how very important that was going to be. Kids come first this fall, that’s easy enough.

I miss the South End too, though, not just the beautiful flat, but the mellow vibe. Cambridge is mostly college students and academics, very different. I like it, but it’s not where I’d choose for myself.  I’m sure I will go into Boston often, to the South End to sit on the street and eat quiet lunches with a book at Petit Robert, to walk the long lines of brownstones. I’ll go downtown, to the fabulous buildings, out to the beaches, off to the islands.

Boston sunset 2

It’s been great to see so much of Bri, and especially to have seen the Constitution go out TWICE with her sails in play, and Bri high in the rigging, or up on the fighting top.  When we go on her final underway this October, the sails will be off, the fighting tops closed.

It’s been a real Moment In Time.

Many times in past months I have had that special, free-floating feeling of being in exactly a right place at exactly a right time; the weightless, bodiless sense I feel when I am in the vibrating center of my timeline. Perhaps you have stayed in the driver’s seat of a car, during an emissions test? Do you know that sweet feeling you get when you pull the RPMs of your engine exactly to the red line, and hold it? I enter a trance-like state at moments like that; they are perfect for me, immaculate, and I am released from physical time.

MIT Reading Room

I guess it’s a kind of balance. I can’t claim that I always felt like that this summer (who could?) but there were a stunning number of moments when all of the sights lined up, and resonances were established that let me feel my timeline, seeing what might be possible, smelling it for propitious directions.

It strikes me that anything, any idea, any insight, any person that is born into those moments will be born with elemental particles; with pathways and possibilities not available to those hatched into the Construct, into regular time. It would explain a great deal, honestly. I come from that interstitial space; I think that we probably all do, but not everyone gets hatched from the cracks, the crevices, the special slips in spacetime. Everyone can use them, but it is really hard to see or feel them if you don’t know them already. Why tribes had shamans, people with the dust of the universe singing in their blood.

Tower Of Power II

The boys started at the Cambridge high school this morning, what a place. Man! We all like it a lot. MIT started up today, too, and Bill is down there, nerding happily. Me, I’m finishing the spiffing of my mighty database, and getting the family comfortable. At the end of this week, I’ll pack up my summer dresses, and head for home.

It will be Fall when I come back, my work of making and shipping books will be done, and Bryan Ferry will be here to greet me. Piles of fabulous friends are coming in for the show, Doriot, for one.

It will have been two months gone when I fly in to kiss Miss Fish, who was so helpful in the writing of the book text. This is us, working on the Wings section.

Fish helping

I can’t wait to SQUEEZLE her. Bri is loaning us her kitten tonight, for a sleepover with Jasper, who misses Wyatt, who refused flatly to come with us. He is being tended to by cat-sitters, and we miss him dreadfully. Our first chance to visit him will be Bill, in October, unless I swing by on my way home from Tucson, and ask him again to come to Boston. He might be ready by then, bored, lonely. Or he might be zen.

Wyatt is not a cat who marks time.

I mark it, though, as I long for him. I’m not sure what Jasper feels. Confused, likely.

Dread Pirate Jasper and Wyatt Jan 2014

Hangman with Liam

With the missed letter “L”:

“Hang on. Give me five minutes to draw the head.”

Hangman with Liam

If I win, he draws the rest of the figure as a clown.

The executioner, and his dread lever… the crowd around the platform…. the folk song (unexpected!) as the answer.  100% Liam.

It’s whirlier

My experience of Boston is definitely whirlier, more crowded than in the lazy, bohemian days of July, when I had the city practically to myself, and I would walk the streets alone,  late at night, in beautiful gowns, puzzling the locals.

People say, “where are you from?”

boston boston

The weather has continued to be beautiful; a few hot days earlier this week, back to cool and lovely today.

distorted feelings

The boys and I are sunburned and tired but happy; we ended up staying out all day today, watching the U.S.S. Constitution go out (from the Navy Yard) and sail back in (we were on Fish Pier for that).

It was the first time I had raced a battleship in a taxi.

Constitution sailing

Above, the view from the pier, with the ship under sail. Bri is in her usual spot now, fore fighting top. The two photos below were taken by a Navy photographer from the deck of the ship, and posted on the Constitution’s Facebook page.

fighting top

Sea Cheese

From the ground at the Navy Yard, the people who were around us watching the ship go out were all exclaiming over the beauty of the day, of the ship, and commenting with delight on the top captains, up in the rigging. People were saying, “Look at that tall, strong girl on the fore top!”

When she waved down at us, and the boys waved back, they said, “Is that your SISTER?”

The photo below was on their way out of the harbor; Bri is pretty high up in the rigging above the foresail; you can see her climbing.

Bri Of The High Seas 3

This was the ship’s last sail until she comes out of dry dock in 2018. When we go out in October, the sails will be off.

Bill comes home from Italy this weekend, and we move to Cambridge on Sunday.

The lads and I got their school schedules finalized on Thursday. They each got exactly what they had hoped for, and we all loved the high school (Cambridge Rindge and Latin). It’s practically on the Harvard campus; sandwiched in between the cluster of museums and the main Cambridge Library. The kids and the teachers are friendly, open, intelligent, everyone seems free to be who they are. I really like that. Liam’s guidance counselor is fantastic. I’m sure that they are going to be in a good place this fall. I’m glad it’s all set.

I’m psyched to see Miss Fish next weekend, and spend a few weeks in Tucson, swimming, working, shipping books.

Happy. Tired. Sunburned.


My, what a time it’s been. It’s good to be feeling human again, find my own self in my skin. For so long now, I’ve been a machine, moving toward the goal. At some level, that’s still the case, but the creative work is no longer at the fore, its all admin until the shipping is finished. It’s still work, of course, but it doesn’t consume my consciousness.

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Like any type of birthing process, the travail of the final blaze of work in service of press and production of the CGB book set is fading from my consciousness, and now I’m just a squirrel, working in my database, agog at the many names and pre-orders for the book. I admit, I hadn’t really been keeping track in past months. And I don’t really think about books in terms of how many copies sell. I write odd little manuals, that’s fine with me.

However. There are rather a large number. I still don’t know exactly how many, I won’t have final counts until I finish the data entry; there are things to look up, things to check, to solve, new orders to add. My database is what I will live or die by in the shipping; one slip of a line could essentially destroy me. It sounds dramatic, however, the fact is that if I ship a thousand orders incorrectly, I will have no way to ship a thousand more in replacement or adjustment. This has turned out to be a project of a scope that I never would have tackled, had I any idea. That is both worrisome and thrilling.

I knew that if I kept a very conscious count of the numbers while the project went into overtime, they would floor me, and make it too difficult to imagine how to handle them all, or make me feel badly for taking so long. In fact, just thinking about how to successfully release the digital edition of Volume II before shipping is a bigger thought-ball than I can fit into my head. It is no longer possible to email large groups of people without getting a professional license. Which I am not doing, because I have no intention of emailing anyone, about anything, unless it’s a personal message or I am replying to a query.

Karen Beningfield and I have a plan, which I hope will work smoothly. I’ll put up a post on Monday morning with a link, here, on the Book Blog, and on our Facebook page.

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My bank account, after paying last week’s installment to the press and my own bills, is down to 54 cents, which is amazing, if not in the least surprising. It’s been an interesting couple of years.

I’ll be putting up delights in the Shop for the next month, Treasure Boxes, metalwork, one-of-a-kind pieces. The usual delights.  Have a peek if you like, there are three rather beautiful boxes in there now, plus of course the book pre-orders, fine art prints, and the Volume II Bead Assortment (which is all beads, no findings, and what beautiful beads they are…)

I am grateful for your support in all forms, past, present and future – love, links, orders, tomatoes, good wishes. You name it, I am thankful for it.

Anyway, if you’ve been thinking about a bead kit, a book, or a Treasure Box, or putting in your wholesale order, now is a rather nice time on this end. And remember, only the pre-orders of Volume II and the two-book set are going out of my studio, signed, with postcards. After that, shipping will be a bit less personal, done by Amazon, Helby, etc., so if you want the traditional package, please order before September 15th.

Love! And thank you, for everything.

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