end of year meditations

I saw Laurie Anderson’s new film, Heart of a Dog, this past Friday at the Loft Theater in Tucson.
The rain running down the windows and windshields in the movie felt like the kind of tears that come with deep grief; they come and go fairly constantly, and on their own schedule, washing the soul clean (or not).  They take you by surprise, they drop you in your tracks, they worry others.
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I found the film mesmerizing, emotional. I won’t say any more, because you might want to go see it yourself. Also, White Lily. This idea is important, the way time sometimes feels very slow and delicious, sometimes slow and impossible, and then sometimes feels like a reel, pulling me endlessly into the future.
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My days have accidentally started moving fast like this now, they are going by like sights through a moving train window, and I want to slow them down.  I am trying to manually do this but I am riding three rockets. I must take command, which I have been trying not to do as a point of principle (or more as a point of experiment) but I cannot accept the pace. I need to experience my life; this is usually more of a mindset than an actual set of problems.

My work is not the problem, but I can tell when my approach is off, like a pilot and a runway. I am distracted by others, and those others are not people with a lot of throughput or experience in the kind of high productivity I need to practice. The others are not the problem, just as my work is not the problem. The others, and the work, those are the good parts, the parts that are real. That must not be forgotten, but is easiest to forget.

I’ve been in the desert for something like a month, and in two weeks, I’ll leave it again to spend a Christmas in St. Louis and a month of winter in Boston. It’s crazy to think about from here but it’s all happening. When I return, it will be time for the Tucson shows, the house full of guests, the Ten Day Party, sleeping in the outdoor bed.

the best thing ever outdoor bed at cooper st

My month in Boston is the IAP session at MIT – and happily my classes are filling nicely. It’s like a dream come true, not just because it’s MIT (which is fabulous) and not just for the chance to work with Martin and Erik (which is fabulous) but because it’s exactly the kind of academic commitment I would dream up; one month a year, I teach what I want with no need to decide until 60 days before the term begins, and I can teach every day or just give one lecture, whatever I like.

I can propose anything; if there are takers, it happens.
All of life should ideally be like that; who knew that there was an academic option in there?
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