Monday, April 30, 2012

report: from the end of the road

Way out where 128 runs into the ocean and the trains stop at the brink of the sea, there's an abandoned town.

An expedition was organized. Maps were consulted. Crêpes were made. We went.
http://www.thedacrons.com/eric/dogtown/visiting_dogtown_gloucester.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogtown,_Massachusetts

from the directions for finding the entrance to the park:
"There is a stone with the word "Dogtown" painted on it." 
 "Until 1989 Whale's Jaw looked like the head of a whale rearing out of the land to grasp an unwary hiker. But that year a fire was lit under the "jaw" and burned very hot for a long time. The bottom jaw broke off, leaving a somewhat less impressive sight. . ."
"and affording more surface for graffiti."
and when quarry workers leave graffiti, they really leave graffiti 
 Mr. Babson, he of Babson College, put together a privately funded mini-WPA to give jobs to out of work quarry workers. Because when you're unemployed what you really want to do is carve moralistic sayings into granite.


 Might as well label it.
[noun Geology] a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity
Dogtown Square
what fool painted it lavender?

yes, we found our way back out of the woods before the zombie squirrels came out to attack us

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the borders of domesticity

The previous night, after dinner, we had asked for stories while the adults clicked dominoes together. Had the alligators moved inland? Were there new children in the neighborhood? Had anyone gone missing? Who was the local crazy person? Because we knew that bad things could hide in the woods, and we wanted to make sure that our discovery wouldn't be half-rotten and haunt our dreams forevermore. We didn't really think anything was wrong, and I wasn't sure they would tell us even if it was, but we knew it was good to ask, especially to make sure about the alligators. Maybe they don't live in the woods. Maybe they do. I wanted to be absolutely certain that what looked like a mossy log really was a mossy log.

reading
The Prague cemetery / Umberto Eco

weather
lilacs?!?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

bits & bobs

A visit the NY Antiquarian Book Fair, added to which: lounging under flowering trees in Central Park, a side detour to the new near east wing at the Met. Stunning, stunning, stunning. Pictures below.

The Peabody Essex visit was postponed for reasons of sobriety (upcoming show on hats!), but the lobster roll was delicious, which followed a study of items at the Salem Athenaeum, all delightful, full of fold-out maps and colored plates.

Upcoming, a lecture by Christo, with gratitude to Smith College.
Upcoming, a 'closing' party for the paste paper show, again, at Smith (April 26).
Upcoming, a wallowing in fraternal devotion in the city thereof, hopefully lacking sobriety.
Upcoming, a bunny making workshop, because I can.





calligraphy on birch bark


enamel on blown glass

reading:

calligraphic knotwork footnotes

weather : dogwoods in bloom!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

a light under the door

Let me tell you a story. It is a story you have heard before, so very many times before, but perhaps you were not listening. Perhaps a cardinal flew by the window, a streak of red through the trees. Perhaps there was a shattering of glass or the noise of a train. Perhaps a kettle boiled or the phone rang, and you were distracted, always at the moment when you would have understood. But now here we are, alone, while the world sleeps, the house is silent, the windows are dark, and it is time to tell you a story, and it is time for you to hear my story.

Long ago, long before the birds had feathers, long before turtles had shells, long before fish flew through the air, long ago there was a child. The child lived alone in a cave, but he did not know he was alone, and he was not lonely. The cave spoke to him, in gurgles and whispers from deep within the caverns of the mountain, the sounds of water dripping into stalactites and the sounds of lava rumbling through chambers. The boy drew on the damp walls of the cave, he drew his hands, he drew the sun, he drew the ferns that surrounded him in the forest, he drew the monkeys that flew through the trees so quickly they weren't really there. The child slept, and grew, and drew, and listened to the mountain, and over the years, over many hundreds of years, he grew into a man.

reading
dealer list for the NY Antiquarian Book Fair, and timetable, and maps

weather
summer plans, in process

Thursday, April 5, 2012

this placeless place

There seems to be a path through the dried grasses, but was it there all along or is the moment of being seen by my gaze causing the path to form, to open before me: or is there any difference, if I am following the path or if I am forming the path? It cannot be important, for the truth, the fact, is that I am on the path, I become the path. I walk. My mind wanders, entranced by this place but not of this place, which is empty and foreign and without form.

I am a child, there is a tree, all trees then were high and mighty, not yet revealed to be weak, fragile things with lifespans like any human. The tree has pink feathers growing out of a profusion of branches; the leaves are shaped like fern leaves, although I have never seen a fern, as a child, it is only now that I assign the fern to the trees. I am very young, and in the tree I am invisible, and I am invincible. There is no creature of the earth or of the sky which can harm me. I am very, very young, I am too young to believe in fairy tales, I can only be afraid of material reality, things proven by my own experience to exist and to cause harm. In the tree, none of these things can harm me. None of these things exist except outside the canopy of pink feathers and ferns.

reading
True Grit / Charles Portis

weather
crisp clean tulips

Sunday, April 1, 2012

bogged in bureaucracy

Anyway, if this kid had been able to convince his mother to make the trip to the post office, none of this would have happened. But there he is, slouched right up at the counter, mumbling, and the box is held together more with packing tape and twine than with cardboard. There don't seem to be any holes punched in it for ventilation, but there's the line preventing me from really getting a clear look at the situation. The clerk has just finished the hazardous, perishable, liquid, or fragile prelude to the up-sell for confirmation, insurance, next day delivery when the first of the noises happens. It is a squeal, a cross between a piglet in unhappy circumstances and a car that needs new brakes, not wholly mechanical nor wholly biological in tone. Several people glance around towards the fire alarms, a man checks his phone, and the rest of us either assume tinnitus or pretend nothing happened.

reading
Angelmaker / by Nick Harkaway

weather
drizzle and drizzle to welcome the cruelest month