Monthly Archives: December 2007

Christmas cheer.

I had a very typical Christmas, as far as surprises go. Everything went as planned. The parents were happy with their presents, and my little brother was charming for a split second. Just kidding. He’s a good kid.

Meditation on Lagunitas

by Robert Hass

All the new thinking is about loss.
In this it resembles all the old thinking.
The idea, for example, that each particular erases
the luminous clarity of a general idea. That the clown-
faced woodpecker probing the dead sculpted trunk
of that black birch is, by his presence,
some tragic falling off from a first world
of undivided light. Or the other notion that,
because there is in this world no one thing
to which the bramble of blackberry corresponds,
a word is elegy to what it signifies.
We talked about it late last night and in the voice
of my friend, there was a thin wire of grief, a tone
almost querulous. After a while I understood that,
talking this way, everything dissolves: justice,
pine, hair, woman, you and I. There was a woman
I made love to and I remembered how, holding
her small shoulders in my hands sometimes,
I felt a violent wonder at her presence
like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river
with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat,
muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish
called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her.
Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances. I must have been the same to her.
But I remember so much, the way her hands dismantled bread,
the thing her father said that hurt her, what
she dreamed. There are moments when the body is as numinous
as words, days that are the good flesh continuing.
Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings,
saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.

I also love Dragonflies Mating and Faint Music. Lagunitas is a town in California.


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the development of something else.


After five or so hours of work.

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some more figure drawing and the beginnings of something else.

nude03.jpg Went to the university again. But this time, it’s actually all on one sheet of paper. I didn’t cut and paste via the computer.

The birdcage picture is sketched out. I actually drilled holes last night. But I am not making any progress. Hopefully winter break will get me motivated.

On another vein, when I was little I never understood why people stood outside in the cold and rang bells or sang carols to encourage people to donate, during Christmastime. It seems like a needless waste of time. If four people carol outside a store for 2 hours and make $200 dollars (which, I’m informed, is really good for 2 hours), then as long as each person makes $25 per hour, they can donate what money they make without standing out in the cold. (Of course, we have to factor in taxes, which I haven’t done.)

I understand that it is “the spirit of the holidays,” whatever that means. I guess people are willing to sacrifice warmth for spare change. I still don’t get ringing bells/caroling for the Salvation Army, or the other organizations that volunteers willingly endure freezing temperatures for.

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irony and Christmas shopping.

I went Christmas shopping for all my friends today. This year, almost everyone will receive books. Hopefully, Christmas break will give everyone enough time to read them. It took me about 4 hours total to get books for everyone (admittedly, I spent a lot of time browsing) because I placed a lot of thought and care into each choice.

Anyway, I thought it was really ironic that I found this in the “Marriage” section. Obviously someone had misplaced (maybe on purpose) the book from the “Photography” section, which was one aisle over.

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more figure drawings and a new project.

Last Saturday I went back to the university and did this:

Nude figure drawings 12/01/07 Beforehand, I was at the university to audition for the All State Orchestra. Happily, I made it in. I was extremely nervous, but I didn’t make any major mistakes (just rushed a little in half a measure).

I started a new project today. I’ve been stewing over the ideas for a couple weeks and have drawn several sketches. Today, I went to Home Depot and got some wood. Continue reading

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