visions and answers


I’ve been in somewhat of a dream state this past ten days since I left Boston and landed in Tucson. I’ve been becoming one with my Squirrelbase, accumulating shipping supplies, Japanese puzzle erasers, beads. I have kept working at all times, but in a meditative way; I stocked my kitchen with intoxicants, fresh juices, I was kind to myself today when I realized that Monday had melted into Wednesday and I forgot to notice Tuesday, and I leave tomorrow morning for Dallas.

Miss Fish and Simon have been delightful; affectionate, friendly, interested. I saw Orangelina yesterday; I was feeling uncertain about her, so was happy to see her, if confused that she wasn’t in her Lurk. When I saw that she was molting (lizards shed several times a year) I realized that she was in No Mood and so I left some worms on the wall, and tried to leave her alone. For me, “leaving her alone” still involved walking by her spot about 100 times, just to soak her in.

In grief over the flooding of the Shock’s Phoenix house and yard last week, I decided to clean up my own chaotic yard (and my modest pile of plastic bins) from top to bottom; it was Bulky Item Pickup this week at my house and it seemed like a sign from the government, if not the Heavens, to get busy.

Owl in Love

We had a lot of water from the recent Baja hurricane last week, and actually quite a few houses flooded (Tucson and Phoenix had over three inches of rain in one day last week). Even more flooding is expected again this week from Hurricane Odile, so it seemed more than time to tidy up the harbour, which is what my Back 40 will probably be by Thursday night. And better that the water go back there than collect in front. I made a pile of brush and bulky 2o feet long and 4 feet high; I sweated, swam, raked, I squirrelled in my data, made plans for how to pay all of the bills.

I meant to spend a week making metal; I want to. I do not seem to have done that. I’m not sure it was possible. But there is time for that later, and soon. Everything will see to itself, if I remain focused and keep working honestly and fully.

Solar LIghts in the B40

So. Instead of making profitable work to finance my project, I made a riverbed for the water that is expected tonight.

I widened the space in the path of the water’s choosing (it simply claimed my west driveway last time, and half of my back yard) to welcome it in and through the side yard, I raked out the channels, I made encouraging through-ways to the alley behind my house. We will see. There is certainly more that I could do, and it could be that I will pick up some sandbags today for the front door. And maybe dig a few more channels, when things get soft, and wet.

I am determinedly continuing in dream-time, remaining somewhat apart from the variety of disasters that could be at a variety of gates. I am in good shape but certainly many things could go awry.

My father used to tell me that most practical failures were simply failures of imagination. Of course things can and will tangle; my job is to imagine how they might, and learn to catch and release, better yet to avoid. Scaling is the best avoidance mechanism I know, but tricky to look directly at; it’s a deep current.

Systems management is a very practical martial art; although scale is the first constraint, it’s artificial. This is not secret knowledge but it is also not yet well understood. I read a few weeks ago that quantum theory has edged out a bit on that one, and come up with the idea that perhaps elemental particles have no scale default, programming, or constraint. That they assume scale, based on circumstance. I high-five them, from poolside. Yay science.

Beautiful colours in the garden

Lately my interest is in the edges of chaos, and how resultant resonances can be not only exploited, but how helpful bands of relative calm (with highly useful boundary areas where anything can be created) can be gently nudged into being by manipulation of chaos fields. Sometimes one must enter a field, or become one, to create the resonances, the bands, to do the work. The more interesting question is, “what is the work?” Then you move things around until the work happens.

Sometimes we just know a chaos field, and we can call it up, have it for tea, harvest the ripples. People do that with me, they involve with me, and then they are changed, and they take fruit from the field. They may not involve with me again, or they may seek me often, but as I am elemental, it hardly matters, I am everything, everywhere.

So are you.

nightlights 1

Working with resonance and chaos at whatever scale is more like sailing than anything else, I think. I say this as someone who has never sailed, but my sense of it is that the larger the ship, the longer the response time, and so one must anticipate not only where the ball will be (as in baseball) but where everything is likely to be, and what it would do if it were free.

It’s a kind of N-body problem that I have built myself to be a computer to see. Not solve. There is no solve. Just to see. And once I see where the lines and sails and spaces are, I can, as Fuller said, forget the helm and simply be the trimtab, the tiny piece that, when cleverly moved, can move the entire system into a new trajectory, or create changes in scale. It’s the sort of thing that it helps to close one’s eyes to see properly; also, I have to be in a space where I can see past the edges of things.

To enforce down time, and help my sarx recharge, and to see past my eyes, I’ve been going to movies, going to see Larry. I had a massage, I will have another one. Those are things to do that freeze me; my mind fully engages and I am not multi-tasking.

A wonderful thing is that the books are beautiful. And so everything will be fine. The content that it was my job to create is created. Everything after that is just a practical arrangement of matter and energy, time and space, paper and boxes.


I don’t know if we will be in the middle of a flood when we ship. Bill says, as if it were possible, “keep the books on tables in case your house floods” and I laugh. It’s a truck full of books.

I could belay delivery until the rain stops, if necessary, and that’s really all I need to know. It will not rain forever. I must only keep adjusting my ship so that it is sailing true; I cannot sweat the weather, or the fate of trucks on roads, or gargoyles that might fall on my head while walking down a city street. Or make metal spool out of my hands, into art.

Before the books arrive, I’m flying to Texas this weekend to lead a workshop; the talented Dallas beaders are bringing me in to get nerdy and nerdy I am GOING TO GET. I’m certainly rested. I must be. I have no idea what will happen to me, but I can’t wait to find out.

vintage birds

photo from the Etsy thrift shop Sparkles and Sass.

I bought a couple of vintage glass birds this week, for a couple of reasons. One to replace one given away, a few more to have, so I can do things like give people little vintage blown glass clip-on birds. I cherish them, and their tails of soft feathers, or, like these two, of spun glass. Did you know that is what those soft, odd brushes are? Spun glass. The birds are not expensive; they are priced like bottles of wine. One imagines that a great one would spur the release of a Franklin, but good ones can be had for $10-$20, acceptable examples for $5-$10.

I found out the reason that my knee has been giving me shocks of pain; I’ve torn it, it’s minor, I can be fixed in ten minutes with a sharp knife.  I thought about it for five minutes, and decided to do it next week, while I am still here with my beloved Knee Man. It might hurt a bit for a day or two, but the joy of supervising the mailing of the books (I have lots of clever, loving help) will distract me, not be a burden. My work is complete; the content is created, and the labels will be printed before I submit to his large, clever hands, his drugs to take my consciousness. I can lie on a pool float and it can still happen, and happen cleanly and cleverly. I have Sandy Tiss and A.J. Reardon on my team.

And what wonderful news, to hear “Structurally your knee is fantastic, you will live to be an old woman, running up hills,” instead of “You have a degenerative joint problem and your puppy days are over, my dear.”

Some things I need to think about for days, weeks, decades. For example, I don’t have even one tattoo at this time. I am still thinking. But that one, all I had to do was to imagine things for a few minutes, what a tiny tear might turn into with one wild dash across whatever, one wild swing from the rooftops, one mad jump off of a train. And I found I could not even fathom a world in which I did not swing, climb, jump or tumble off of or onto anything, if all I had to do was lay down once, and let that man fix me.

Ferry at Coachella

I am informed by sources that Bryan Ferry is making a “major announcement” on Tuesday (Doriot’s birthday) and the day the books come. I presume that he will be telling us that he is releasing his new album, and that the Major part (as Posh would say) is that he is finally changing out of that damned Louis Vuitton smoker.

It will be fun to see him again in just a few weeks; I like it that he has decided to play live as often as possible, both to stay relevant and to stay fit. It means that he is easy to find, and that any time I shop for a gown, I can credibly ask myself, I wonder if Ferry would like this?

Romance is delightful; people should not be such dullards about it, or make such heavy weather about it, or have such absurd expectations of others. All we have to do to take part in love is to open to it; it flows around us, like water, but would prefer to flow through us, like plasma, like light, like air, to fill us, to animate our cells.

And oddly, yet unsurprisingly, love reads exactly like music, which reads exactly like colour, and light, and the movement of water.

I feel very happy, very peaceful, and, most unusual… I feel slow.

Like silk.

That will end tomorrow, at around 5 pm, when I step off of an airplane into DALLAS.

I came into Dallas with the bright lights on my mind…

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.