July 24th, 2012
Today is Karen’s birthday and we had chocolate cake, very good cake. I like getting up here and swimming every day. I feel supremely happy when I get into the pool in the morning. I wish I had a pool. I moved to Southern California to live in the land of pools. I have palm trees, an avocado tree and there is a blood orange tree in my back yard. Everyone has citrus trees, and we have a fig tree too. The palm trees sway very thin and tall. King palm trees and queen palm trees are shorter and have feathery fronds. Ours are tall and thin and echo tall darkness against the sunrise. But no pool.
Here in Nebraska, the pool is housed cool and long. Also very quiet in the morning. Today is Karen’s birthday and we will drink to her. I’m drinking white wine, I’m just not up to martinis yet.
The mornings here are thick with moisture and longing. No huge refuges of dry air like California. Everyone is writing and thinking.
Whooshing stories together like making and unmaking beds. Finding the folds, the possibilities, the hospital corners and the stories between sheets. Roll back on your heels and tell that story. Write that poem. Everyone’s tables stacked with books and ideas like dance movements invented on the street, like flash mobs and new drinks bartenders just invented one minute ago, like stars born in distant galaxies, We’re inventing here.
I am working on a screenplay, on new poetry, on reading Invisible by Paul Auster, I’m not actually writing here, I’m thinking, I’m spinning like a spider. I’m web spinning here and later, I’ll write it all down. Right now, I’m thinking a lot. Thinking is a good beginning.
I liked Pope Brock’s lecture on how to do interviews, Amy Hassinger and Fred Arroyo spoke about the book The Gift and about treasuring our gifts, Karen spoke about family stories. I liked Britt’s talk on Vonnegut and absurdism. The readings, the talks, the thick twilight all blend after a while and it seems like you’ve been here for a long time. In your room, watching the sun set. It’s nearly 9 pm here and still very light out and warm.
In an MFA program, you need enough time to be alone, enough time to sleep, enough time to be with people, enough time to prepare.
Red Hen is buzzing along back in Pasadena. Planning for our fall events at the Annenberg, the Broad, Boston Court. The preparation for the fall books. Those books are going off to print. There is no time when the flow of email and calls isn’t rolling. Which is good, it means that we’re in business.
On Sunday, Mark and I are celebrating our anniversary. Twelve years. Perfect years? Well, they weren’t boring. That’s a fact.