Monday, May 9, 2011

there's always nothing to look forward to

whenever i have a stretch of extremely busy days, good or bad, it feels like i’ve eaten a bunch of junk food and i need to flush all the grossness out of my system before i can be healthy again. the way to detox in this situation is by doing nothing. i eagerly anticipate nothing the way normal people anticipate...things.

here are a few of the things i’m recovering from right now.

work was busy the week before last because of the w.s. merwin reading on wednesday. i took photos during the reception. it amazed me how generous he was with himself--in conversation he gives you his full attention and peaceful concentration. the reading was wonderful. he laced his reading of poems with all kinds of personal stories and quotes from other works while he tried to explain his philosophies about ego and ecology and the role humans play in nature.

he wants people to “change the way we imagine ourselves in the world”--to see ourselves not as the most intelligent creatures on earth, or the most important or dominant, but as a species equal to other species cooperating as part of a system. i’m completely on board with that.

saturday night was laura’s bachelorette party. she asked me to sew wraps for her bridesmaids--we picked out the fabric together, purple crêpe-back satin with a black point d’esprit overlay. the dresses are black satin, and purple was one of her accent colors. they looked lovely.

for her bachelorette present i had planned to sew up a little “fun with bondage” set of restraints using the purple satin fabric scraps, but i ended up not having time to make or even buy her anything else. as i was rushing out the door i realized my present was not at all suitable for a bachelorette gift--no sex toys, nothing with genitals on i attempted to remedy the inadequacy with a really classy wrap job. i did some quick google image searches for boobs, penises, etc., printed random pictures and taped them to a plastic bag:

later that night we went to a strip club, a first for me. i felt like i was living the set-up to a joke: “so, a radical feminist walks into a strip club...” but it was surprisingly entertaining and thought provoking. not only was i super impressed by the talent and athleticism of some of the dancers, it was also interesting to observe peoples’ behavior and think about power relationships and exploitation, oppression, etc...things that i imagined as static turned out to be in constant flux, and i gained a richer understanding of why some people interpret pole dancing as empowering for the dancers. overall it’s just not as simple or straightforward as it seems. (don’t i sound like fun? don’t you want to hang out at a strip club with me while i sit quietly analyzing stuff?)

coincidentally, the next day i found myself at a pole dancing studio. i did a group interview of the members of red light variety show for an article. there’s a new wrinkle in my magazine writing: recently i was assigned “columns.” they’re not really columns, just regular articles, but in the spring and summer issues i write about anything related to gardening and/or food and in the fall and winter i write about the arts (plus photos to go with each article.) now i get to pick all my own subjects, which isn’t that much different from before except that i have full responsibility over generating ideas.

for my first arts article i wanted to write about rlvs. the interview was a lot of fun and yielded a ton of great quotes. i got to see a little behind the scenes of their next show, the twilight zone, which opens may 28:

What if you discovered our world was merely a tiny marble in a child's schoolyard game? What if a special channel on your television broadcast the future? The vastness of the unknown can be frightening. The Red Light Variety Show invites you to ponder the horror, the fascination, and the odd beauty of the Twilight Zone at their spring 2011 show. Experience the enchantment through movement-based mediums including ballet, burlesque, hooping, aerial spectacles, belly dance, tight wire promenades, pole acrobatics, and partner yoga.

monday evening i photographed a poetry reading. i helped edit this anthology of select pieces by students from a program that brings published authors to schools to teach writing. many of them are “at-risk” type high schools, like one for teenage mothers and one held inside a juvenile detention center. those kids write the best pieces by far. here’s one of my favorites, written by a high school-age refugee woman who brought her two children to the reading:

on the evening of the most beautiful day we’ve had so far this year i went with jeanne on an educational “wildflower walk” in the foothill trails behind idaho botanical gardens, with an expert who identified plants and taught us about native and invasive species. if i ever conquer the digital mountain of photos i have to edit right now i’ll post about it. jeanne did a fabulous write-up here.

this saturday was laura’s wedding. i met up with her at her hotel room to take “getting ready” photos.

the ceremony was lovely. they took a significant risk holding an outdoor wedding in boise in early may--it was threatening to rain all afternoon, everyone was knocking on wood, but thankfully it didn’t happen until later that night.

they’re off on their honeymoon now--i just got an email from her that they hung out in seattle for a while then took a clipper boat this morning to victoria, british columbia. they toured butchart gardens and are staying at a hotel with a beautiful view of the harbor. i can’t wait to see all the photos when she gets back.

yesterday was my first real day off in a couple weeks, and rather than catching up with everything like i planned, everything caught up with me. i practically spent the day in bed.

this week should be a lot more laid-back...although, i was feeling more optimistic about things before i got in a fender bender this morning. some guy rear-ended me at a stoplight on my way to work. no damage at all to my car, but he messed up the front of his shiny black suburban. the accident wasn’t a big deal but it helped put me back in kind of a prickly, non-social, FML kind of mood.

it’s supposed to be mid-seventies most of the week...i plan on neglecting all other responsibilities to take care of the work i need to do in the garden, and i’m eyeing thursday as a good day to start planting tomatoes. most of all i’m looking forward to mindless puttering, standing around watching things grow. puttering in the garden is my favorite form of nothing.


Potted Farm said...

You had quite the weekend!

GoneferalinID said...

Busy indeed! The strip club part made me chuckle. I had a similar experience in DC once and ended up buying a dancer a drink and asking her all about what she did and why she did it. The guys that dragged me in there were pretty bummed out that she wouldn't give them any attention.
Plant those tomatoes! It will be perfect weather. We put ours in saturday, but I need to take pics.

Bumble Lush (A Garden Blog) said...

You HAVE been busy! I lost it when I saw your classy gift wrapping with boob pictures on it. Ha! I fully support your idea to do nothing but petter. I wish I could make a living off of that. :)

Jessica said...

The Merwin reading sounds amazing and makes me want to read everything by him--especially because I have recently been thinking about human's assumed roles as producers of waste and consumers. I love that poem by the high-school student. And I would love to go to a strip club with you! I think it would be interesting to discuss power and gender in that setting. I am having a hard time with a friend who gets offended very easily to the point of seeming closed minded; whether you liked it or hated it, I respect that you were willing to try something different and think about it. Oh, and "ballet, burlesque, hooping, aerial spectacles, belly dance, tight wire promenades, pole acrobatics, and partner yoga," are you kidding me??? I want to go!

Resting Nomad said...

"puttering in the garden is my favorite form of nothing." Ditto. It is the best way to quite my mind completely and allow myself to be equal to the mushrooms and flowers.

the Knottie Knitta said...

Spoonay! you should text me cuz i dropped my phone in a toilet and fried it, losing all my numbers lol