volume 26 of in america: 2012-2013 november-june  work & days: a lifetime journal project  

















Part 1 begins the second year at Mesa Grande. Obama is re-elected. Part 2, winter on the mesa. Part 3 I finally buy a single-lens reflex HD video camera. In part 4 I count up what may be my remaining 5000 days and vow to work on something central on every one of those days. Begin recording audio. At the end of part 5 I leave my [college] job after 12 years.

During this time I continue to post on Here, a tumblr site about living on the mesa.

Notes: Strauss Four last songs, the US election, local birds, cosmogenesis, Lopez Resistance and About this life, California landscape painters, Jean Liedloff' Continuum concept, Beethoven String quartet #15 in A minor, Adrienne Rich, Walter Moore Schrödinger: life and work, the name Elfreda, Elton John Can you feel the love tonight, PBS Nova Origins: fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution, Kurt Schnaubelt The healing intelligence of essential oils, Ken Burns The national parks, Alice Sheldon / James Tiptree Up the walls of the world, Ursula Le Guin, Philip Dick The divine invasion, Julie Philips James Tiptree Jr: the double life of Alice B Sheldon, Jung The red book, AL Rees A history of experimental film and video, Abram Becoming animal, Synthesis of the elements in stars, Friday night lights, Dorsky Devotional cinema, Naomi Wolf Vagina, Ken Burns Dust bowl, Eric Tamm Brian Eno: his music and the vertical color of sound, Richard Brody Everything is cinema, Judy van der Veer My valley in the sky, Sweetgrass, Andrew Solomon Far from the tree, Wittgenstein after his Nachlass, Medea Benjamin, Tim Stephens Astral reflections.

Mentioned: Louie, Tom Fendler, Jerry Reznick, Rowen, Paul Kinsella, Paul Epp, Mary Epp, Leah Rosling, Leah Wiebe, David Beach, Dorothy Beach, Emilee Baum Trucks, Luke, Jim Maxwell, Annie Rowley, Barbara in the pie shop, Frank Doerksen, Janeen Postman, Ed Epp, Linda Dexter, Greg Morrison, Joaquin and Maria Ojeda, Norman Feigel, Bob Windrim, Peter Dyck, Jam Ismail, Anne and Alanson Burt, Keith Merrick, Angelo Mulla, Kat Harrison, Klea McKenna, Vee Lumpkin, Michael Voskamp, Isaac Newell, Olivia Howell, Jody Stoddard, Robert MacLean, Shirley/Tia, Don Carmichael, Stanley Escalier and Carol, Tony Gordon-Wilson, Josie Cook.

Ramona Starbucks, Santa Ysabel nature center, Julian, Borrego Springs, the Hacienda del Sol, 3663 Georgia St, Saint Joseph's Cathedral San Diego, Angel Mountain, Black Canyon, Black Mountain Road, Brawley, El Cajon, Salmon Arm, Don's Market, Ocean Beach Pier, Balboa Park lotus pond, Santa Ysabel Casino, Ramona K-Mart, Glorietta Canyon, Yaqui Pass, Dudley's Bakery, Mesa Grande Road, Paul Mitchell Salon in San Diego, Mayne Island.

Dia de los muertos at Santa Ysabel Mission, Barack Obama, Michele Obama, Malia Obama, David Axelrod, Jim Messina, Grand Theft Auto, Charles Fries Evening in Mesa Grande, Maurice Brown, Norman The bird artist, Minnaert Light and color in the open air, the Penn Club on Russell Square, Call the midwife, Grimaud and Sol Gabetta Duo, Judy van der Veer November grass, 5th Solvay Conference, To the lighthouse, Oberland, Pound, Wittgenstein, Winschluss Pinocchio, Dorris Hefron, Stan Brakhage, Mike Hoolboom, US presidential inauguration, David Brooks, Indesign, It is well with my soul, Varda Les glaneurs et la glaneuse, Daniel Schmidt Tosca's kiss, Final Cut Pro, Press Gang, Barry Lopez, John McFee, Tim Riggins, Eno Drums between the bells, Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey, Nikon D800, Mondays in the sun, Restrepo, Tim Hetherington, Eno's three variations on the Canon in D major of Johann Pachebel.

11 November 1012

About 5:30 just the narrow rim of sky along the mountains' cut is bright sweet yellow, only for a moment. While I turn on the heater, go into the dark cold bathroom and pee, make tea and rearrange the bed it pales and generalizes so the whole day shows up beyond the window.


Driving home from Santa Ysabel as it was getting dark, long gold bar across the west, over the ocean, a different sense of evening than among the trees, exhilarating in the way it makes the sky a broad far sea. I drove the loops and slopes below it feeling young, feeling thirty. It's partly when I wear jeans, my faded softened so well-fitting jeans. - Body, this fall you're better than you were.


Odd thing last night. I had drifted almost asleep and was woken sharply by what felt like an electric frisbee sweeping low over my head from the direction of my feet. It was the size of a frisbee and at the same time felt like an electric shock. I think there was a sound - like an accelerating sizzle? It was as if it swooped just over my head and then popped out of existence. I 'saw' it [sketch], something like that.


The three sunset photos. I looked up and saw the hills steeped in light the color of Roger's Golden Syrup. Rushed out with the camera and caught the last of it, and then the hot gold moment at the horizon just after the sun set, and then the Coulter pine against a glow of pink clouds. I brought them back to the big monitor and didn't think much of them because there's nothing special about the composition, but now that I have posted them I'm doting in the usual way. Local color, I said.

In Light from the coast there's a low altitude gauze of cloud between me and the tops of the mountains. It adds something, a sense of the air's substance.


I run the stove for a while every morning.

Asked the tea twins to send another pound of lapsang suchong. Have been making it with slices of ginger, salt, nutmeg and black pepper fresh ground. While I am making it first thing every morning, turn on the oven and put in a local pippin for an hour, till it's fluffy. Eat it for breakfast with almonds and cream.

Posted Small flames about the Dia de los Muertos this morning, with a bit about mast and a November moment on the iron chair.

3 December

Six in the morning, muddled porridge of fog alongside the mountains, otherwise clear, bit of yellow rim south of them. Oak black against slowly increasing pale blue. We're loping down to solstice.

Stove blowing.

Monday morning. The semester's done.


Monday morning, bit after 7. The sun is far enough south so it is slanting into this room and the kitchen from its first moment over the hill. Fingernail moon in pale blue next to the jiggling end of a branch. Sound of the heater a fluttering wind. Tea still hot.

At night, when I turn off the light and lie facing the window, if I stretch I can see Orion's feet just at the top corner of the window. It would be almost at zenith at midnight.


The sort of waking where I am lying talking to myself, realizing things, clear in a way that will be gone when I've begun moving around. This morning it was about the Notes in origin writing. What I saw was the way its thoughts were incomplete, I was still suspended in helpless inarticulation about for instance my mother's defeat, I was helplessly alluding to it without firming my sense of it. I got to that through thinking of how she'd been when I gave her Dorothy Richardson. The way she'd first skidded over it and then bitten down into it and seen what it was. She could still do that then. In there too something about how I could be the one who could give her that and still she had some way written me off. "You are no longer the one who ...." In there too thoughts about why the Here writing isn't interesting to people, it's not someone they want to be.


Smell of woodsmoke when I go out at night.

Last night at midnight I went out to look for the winter hexagon and there it was - Rigel, Sirius in Canis Major, Procyon in Canis Minor, Pollox in Gemini, Capella in Augiga, Aldebaron in Taurus - a big lozenge or shield.


Jody's email from the Penn Club on Russell Square says she's meeting Luke tomorrow.

What else to be excited about. SDGE tree-trimmers brought me pine branches I've made a Christmas tree bouquet of.

I'll be able to buy a camera now.


"I will personally scratch out the eyes of anybody who makes that man sad," she said.

It's cold, the fire doesn't keep up.


"He's got balanced curiosity and compassion, he's interested and interesting, deeply kind, well spoken, loves many things in generous measure, and if he's lonely it is because he is not one of the herd who clusters around a much shallower drinking hole in the gene pool."

Cosmic dust. Visualizing it not as particles but as little knot-patterns made of space, fluid little moiré knots.

Angelo's story of meeting his wife. I'll write it while I wait for vegetables to cook. "On our first date when she came to pick me up I was just finishing something. I heard the piano in the other room. She plays piano! Then she started to sing. She sings! I knew I was done."

Favor's letters from Sterling. Did I have something to do with getting her to where she can do that? Do you think? (Yes.) Jody's letters from London and Liverpool, same question. (Yes.)

I so much like the sound of rain falling from the corner of the eaves into the little hollow in the rock. It isn't describable. It's a gurgling and rings out in some sweet round way, makes me see little glinting rounded forms.

Beethoven these days, String quartet #15, A minor.

17 December

Was lying in the dark trying to see it. Curly tendrils, thick dark slashes, melting streaks with fine bright lines curving out of them, dabs. A section with corkscrew pea vine tips one next to the other. - All abstract, complex, sometimes plantlike with branches, changeable. Sometimes a little joyful human scurry in the midst. 1825, he's 54.

Today's two photos. Ugly but are they good.

Both of them do tell this season in a way I didn't last year, dark, cold, wet, shut down. I've ignored it, happily chasing the astronomy new in the last ten years, starting with Orion, going on to nebulae, then cosmic dust, then the new space observatories and deep field imaging. Mental energy all day, avidity.


It's the white clowns, white air close around the house.


Coldest it has been this morning, but there's sun. Twenty young turkeys pecking under the manzanita and jumping to reach pyracantha berries, ruby wattles against the light.

Yesterday was full of events. Joe the handyman was underfoot incompetently fixing things. A large black telephone repairman stood in the doorway for a moment. I drove to Julian in pissing rain and variable fog to get my library books and buy some washers for Joe.


Ice on the birds' water last two mornings.

25 San Diego

Saint Joseph's cathedral last night with Tom.

It was mainly about Tom, who this visit is a tall thin man with spiked hair, a good scarf, fine boots and a black windbreaker, who looks like an old rocker. He was sitting next to me absorbed, remote, quite real and lovely. It was the first time he'd been to mass since 1983, and that was only because of Joe. And before that in 1967.


What have I liked best this visit. Telling Tom a story because he asked - how did you meet Roy, and before that Oma's house. The Coulter pine branch-tree with lights and the two beeswax candles on the mantle. Watching four hours of Call the midwife snuggled up with Tom yesterday afternoon. Driving on four hard new tires and realizing I could feel the difference. Hitting freeway 15/163 last Friday feeling I know how, motor's strong steady thrum at 75. Wearing the black jacket over my black turtleneck and cashmere hoodie with the chalcedony earrings and green Uggs. Tom's remote thin short-jawed face beamed into the past next to me at the mass, the honourable priest's greeting at the St Joseph's door, Tom liking to hear me singing carols, the moment in the kitchen Saturday morning, when I stared bemused at his odd bony face and he gazed steadily back and said "We love each other" and I laughed and said we do.


And after that Tom crashed into rage. I started for home at 8? And drove back in the dark. Coming east there were towering clouds ahead of me, that here have their feet on the ground. House in the mist. I'm warming the bed. When I stopped at the gate the sky was open above, bright moon. I peed standing up.

It's almost midnight. How am I. My heart quaked until about Ramona?


The room is still cold. I woke at 5:30 and had to go get the red quilt to pile on top of already thick covers.

Last night heading down the ramp from 6th Ave to the 163 in the dark, blasted at heart and aware I'd have to pay good attention driving. New battery, new tires, my strong beast powering a shocked soul home.


I've backslidden from my best attitude in this    
I'm angry that my best didn't work    YES
You're talking about something like godly love    no
Warrior focus    
I don't know what to do    YES
I'm looking at crucified aloneness    no
Will you lead me    losses
Feel my losses    no
Which losses    of growth
Because I've been playing safe    
Wanting illusion    
I need what I want    
But I can't get it there    
And will never have it    no

This morning so extremely stressed by Tom's presence, solar quaking, chest tight, and still tight when I think of it. I couldn't touch him, didn't want to look at him. Is that called traumatized? I had driven through the dark that way, listening to Grimaud and Sol Gabetta over and over. By Ramona I felt it had eased. But then the moment he got into the jeep on the Dudley's parking lot yesterday it was back. It's a physical injury, like a bruise created invisibly by an explosion of bad rays. - I'm not doing what I usually do, making it worse by saying I will go away forever - though I feel a little pull that way. I feel stymied instead, like standing staring at a dead end.


Yesterday afternoon I glanced out the north window and saw it was beautifully snowing, large slow steady flakes.

Why are there four plastic chairs lined up in the pasture down near the road.


Linda stopped by and said there'll be fireworks later, and a fire, Feigels' grandkids I suppose. "Usually they have it up on Angel Mountain but the road is too bad." She was telling me so I wouldn't be alarmed, "so you wouldn't think it was wild Indians or something." "Or worse," I say, meaning let's not be racist.


New Years Eve. Fireworks. Carnations. The last of Angelo's port. Louie phoned. Beethoven's 131. Absent friends. The dead and the still living.

1st January 2013

So then I phoned my mom, who brightened when I said I remembered her knowing Orion.

The extraordinary 1920s - To the lighthouse the same year as the 5th Solvay, Oberland, Pound mid-cantos, Wittgenstein building a house - all in 1927. An era of such collective engagement, so much dispute and reformulation, with the whole of metaphysics at stake, furious popular resistance because it mattered.

Here's my wish, to work truly and deeply in something cutting-edge and significant for the rest of my life. To drop what's irrelevant and still have the resources to do that. To succeed and have a community in that work. To be good to my mammal self in support of it. To keep focus in it - to take proper care to keep focus in it.

It's something to do with granularity. It's scientific and mythic. I write in support of it.


Drove to Ramona yesterday after a morning with cosmic images. On 76 the mild sun and new grass felt like early spring, new loft in the day. On the way home I thought to chance Black Canyon Road, which I hadn't dared since the rain. It was euphoria, Black Mountain mauve over orange, the road recently graded so it seemed a carved shelf, plants at their year's minimum, a clear bare sense, and all in the sweet quiet warmth of sun halfway down in the west. Simple joy all the way. And then carrying in tangelos, green pippins, goat cheese, a Tuscan loaf, pastrami, thick Greek yogourt, organic carrots, a budded hyacinth. Unloading pellets into the garage glad I still can.

Many new calves with their mothers alongside the lane.


Rowen has been reading the first 6 months of his life in my journal and likes it, he says. "Delightfully mad." He had been reading bits to Michael. He was light and sweet, as he is, but his charm still always surprises me.

It's snowing in the dark, wet snow sticking to leaves, as I saw when I turned on an outside light.


[January dawn]


Dust & soul. I begin with the gigantic blooms of space. They are blooms made of dust. Rapturous. I will show the forces shaping hem, eddies, explosions, gravitational suck, vortical travel.


An icy wind began late this afternoon. Cumulous masses with bright edges striding forward from the west.


Sunday 9 in the morning. Very cold. Fire pushed many notches up the dial. Orange trees have been in danger. A freeze in Borrego Springs. Crops down in Brawley halted in the ground. There's ice in the hot water pipes, which are letting through only a thin stream.

Season of emerald carpets under the oaks.
On Angelo's sun-exposed roadbank narcissus blooming.
Early spring in this place coincides with deepest winter.


I think what changed, when I finally stopped to let the change happen, was my perception of how I work. Ellie Epp's advising style, advising sessions, and embodiment lectures profoundly changed how I perceive my own workings: time and again she has shown me what I'm doing, in a way that makes me finally understand why ballet dancers practice in front of mirrors. Ellie gave me words to understand myself and my situation. She gave me myself, in words - words I wrote, words she wrote, words that by some magic of literary echolocation pinned me within my place yet simultaneously offered me a removed perspective of myself. This perspective shift is why, in 2012, I can see myself pacing within my troubles like a caged beast, whereas in 2008 I was only the beast, and all I could see were my troubles.


I walked east along the road and sat for a while on the roadbank with my back against the boulder I'd been trying to photograph. I was facing out across the valley. There was a large oak overhead, that had dry leaves among the green on some of its lower branches to either side of me.

I had the sort of moment I often have when I think of settling down somewhere outside. It's almost fear, felt as an impulse to go back inside. This time I defied it, laid my head back against the rock and closed my eyes. There was more wind than usual, but an inconstant wind I began to picture as coming across the valley in fat strands tapered on both ends. With my eyes closed I began to hear it. There'd be a dark surf in one of the big-canopied oaks below but no sound above me. Then sometimes an intensifying surf towering overhead. Usually at the same time there'd be a dry delicate rattling nearby, to left and right - little scraping marks in close-up against the dense texture of the whole canopy's ... I'm looking for a word. It's a gigantic sustained strong exhaling sound that I saw as that, air pushed hard through many stuff surfaces. Sometimes, mysteriously, there'd be a little squeak as of metal turning on metal.


Last night reading the pages from when I was writing in Jam's little backroom, dictionary pieces and play of the weather, I dilated. Can't say it. Was elated in myself as I was. Kept feeling I like this so much, could anyone read it, do I know more about what to make of it, the magic in the story with Jam, that was so pin-point we couldn't sustain it. There's no [outside] record of what we [women] were in that time. The photo of Jam under her willow. Black and white grain. Something, something. and then the pitch of worked-for attention was snagged by Robert MacLean and a time was over. I spilled love into void for the next four years.

Ken D, Dave Carter, Robert, there was a series     YES
Animus but what does it mean     the part of you that could have got you published
The missing thing     YES
I see    
What my dad refused me    
Out of spite    
And competition    
Do you like the writing of that period    
Could I do something with it     YES


Designing In English, learning more Indesign. It's half past midnight.

Getting into the bath, in the dark, I was thinking about how I handle being with people I don't know, now - the couple from Salmon Arm I found in a yellow VW van on the Don's parking lot yesterday and brought home. I am acting like an old woman, not thinking about whether my hair is messy or the hall corners are dirty, and speaking without much reserve or forethought, but mentioning skills and accomplishments freely.

It's raining. Sound of water on the stone, chuckling sweetly.


It's warming some, has cleared. When I drove down to the mailbox, there were the slopes dun and pale on all sides in weak light. Small hoofprints at the gate.

1st February

I was excited to go to Ramona, excited to be in Ramona, wishing I had more errands.

There was the marvelous canyon. I'd stop to maybe take a picture and I'd feel the air, the light wide sweet still air.

What did I see on the road. The chaparral is green, no flowers, none, and a lot of dead grey stalks but also a sense of vegetative preparation. Small green things. The mountain's flank was exquisitely pale orange and mauve. I have posted a photo of it called o gracious one, which is how I feel it. I pass it on the narrowest most lethal bit of road, which now is damp and pot-holed, such a provisional scraped-out little ledge above the plunge, and billow toward it.

When I got home what I thought of as English tea - delicious fresh bread and butter and fresh lapsang suchong - while I looked at photos on the big monitor.


Stepping out of the jeep at the gate, or stepping out of the house, often a feeling of, hello beautiful day.

High wisps today flowing steadily from the northeast. It's warm enough a bit past noon, the sun is high enough, to sit on the terrace bench.

Jay squawking, squirrel's tiny chipping, plastic rattling on Angelo's new walls. There's a bee.

It's begun to be the blue and green season - hills really green, though still shaven, and a better green that's sweet with the blue mountains. The wind has a little bite.


I sat outside for a while. It was cold. Frogs in the wet crease to the southwest.


It's a bit after 9 and I'm on the bench with tea. Tuesday morning.

Tiptree's beautiful paragraph I'd kept since I was 33:

On every side, above, below, before, beyond, blaze steady fires of amethyst, topaz, ruby, emerald and diamond, ultramarine - drift upon drift of them, burning against blackness or veiled in filaments and gauzes of hypnotic allure.
They are, she realizes slowly, stars.
For the first time she grasps it. Each star is really a sun like her own. The other exists.

I'm looking at quartz that strange image, seeing a horse's head that could be a hound's, and fine-branched antlers held some distance above the ear, blue-grit space above it. Below it is the small story of Joe with a pink butterfly clip pinning up his long white hair. I've looked at the last three pages, 12-14, back and forth, and liked them, been pleased by the simplicity of the pages, the simple-heartedness of the project, its unambitious simple hereness. And then I think, but no one else likes it. I can't imagine anyone I admire liking it, what's wrong with it?


Give my ashes to the air - dust to dust.


It snowed last night and there was fog this morning but first light had sun mixing into the whiteness. I put on my good rubber boots and went out into marvel, I kept saying breath held to immaterial white, my line from some Alberta poem.

5 photos. The most complex is a long lens one with pines, fences and a cloud hiding the top of a mountain so its shape is uncertainly inferred. It's not one of my classic stasis photos, the cloud seems to be moving. This one has an odd magic. It's in the clouds and not. It's monochrome and not. The shape of the cloud is a bit spooky? It seems to have got more definite as I looked at it.

rock wave is very blue. There's the fence that's been doing so much for my photos, the strong old post at the head of the grass-cut line with its reinforcing second post, foreground holes, and the way the line of fog against the acorn-grinding rocks does look like a wave smashing into foam. Is there something more? The way the fence demarcates sun from fog. In this one too the fog gives a sense that it's moving. Road vanished is very blue and dim and simple. The road and its slope dissolve into grain. I almost see further up into the fog.

silver two is classic stasis for sure, two trees in their full idiosyncratic shapes, companions, two dark horizontal strips parallel, two silver zones textured and untextured. It's like a toned black and white.

silver & gold , there was a lucid tenderness about the pale yellow light and soft blue shadows. I liked the way the shadows run all across the frame, and the way framing the tree on the side gives them a long line. I wanted the glitter of sun on a front part of the oak.

handsome is just my jeep standing on the road, snow falling. Why wd I like it as a photo, but I do.

The way it's cold when I step into the kitchen reminds me of the winter in the Olsen house.


Beauty, beauty. Pulling phrases from the physics sheet in the Orpheus folder, those decisions among fragments. This one, this one, not this one, delete the first four words. Comma not space here, this line after this one. It's sure-footed, I don't ponder, and at the same time a bit dazzled, there's so much aura around these little phrases. I feel the layers - they're not layers but they're superimposed - of reference, astrophysics, atmosphere, ocean, brain, self-sensing intuition, social feeling sometimes. It makes a three-dimensional matrix, something like that, and is self referential among other exactitudes. Handling these shreds at all I have strong confidence in them and in the power of what could be made from them - public power too - and I feel how much my own assignment and accomplishment that still unmade thing is, and I was slightly imagining that I'd need to study how to work with them.

And yet.

22 Plainfield

Wild research reached a big rectangle of G1s. They always say they didn't know it was alright to be what they are.

The embodiment colloquium's large quiet room, a lot of people, everyone seen. (Sunday late afternoon.)

The moment Lindiwe walked into the welcome session looking fabulously tall in orange hiking boots with 6" spike heels.


Canon 5D Mark II with a 28mm lens - I mean I rented a camera yesterday and shot at the lotus pond and the OB pier. Sunday, mild Santa Ana, intoxicating California, small light camera piling frames onto a 32GB card. Took them home and whisked them into the MacBook Pro and played them. There was sound, the crumbled roar of waves breaking. White lace of foam stretching on a green surface, marbled deeps brown and green.


The res washed away by Friday night - Saturday - Sunday - Monday with Tom. At night and at sunrise venetian blind strips and plant shapes spread across the walls. Full moon risen over the far away mountain triangles due east. My reflection on the jeep's windows prettier on account of girly affection. Tom fetching me from the airport, jeep's shape appearing slowly in the crush of cars. Sunday morning on the lotus pool's curb, sun behind me. Sunday afternoon shooting off the end T of the OB pier, Tom willing to park and carry and go fetch the jeep. Saturday morning a loft of elation at being in palm tree cool sun springtime beach town. Tom smart and funny and a wildish tall thin man with spiky old-rocker hair and excellent boots, fond of me and on careful behavior, asking questions and scrupulously not getting mad. An awkward sense with him sometimes of being not quite myself, accommodating his interests rather than mine, saying to myself this is how people do it. Other times laughing comfortably together, established couple I guess. Saturday night a moment where we were lying together and I leaned my head against the top of his, soft hair on my cheek, and found bodies open, sexing quietly in the best way.

Saturday morning being led along his canyonside trail east of Balboa Park greeting plants, Cleveland sage, artemisia, wild cucumber in a heap grown over a bush. Walking heavily, using the stick, though, struggling up slopes. Tom patient and not embarrassed I think, though he is so careful with his accessories.

I'm writing in the Ramona café, have an hour to go before Pott Belly opens. It's cold and bright. I loved the moment when 163 opens wide and I could see the inland mountains low and blue in sharp outline a rim to the east.


Anything more about the res, now that I'm landed back? The moment starting to descent into Burlington when the wing's flashing light made flung spangles of the light snow we were flying against.

It's pale 6:48am, pale sun outlining hill curves one behind the next, my yard an emerald lawn, the cedar's branches waving, wind from the east I think, cold.

3 March

Sunday morning, dim pale green and grey.

A camera is coming.
In the late evenings a burst of energy for sound editing.
Is it a new decade?


Fedex truck in the drive with my camera -


Came into the bathroom and saw turkeys beyond the window, a crowd of them, with two nearby on the raised grass between locust trunks. They were brilliantly colored, jeweled, enameled, bronzed, with blue heads and red wattles. I was at the window carefully silent but they both turned their little heads on long necks and stared, then stepped slowly forward, two steps out of shadow into sun, and there blazed.

Such a fresh day. It's Sunday, sunny after a dark week, the clock set forward, and I cleaned house and did laundry so the mudroom door stood open all day and the kitchen was filled with light from the west.


Sitting in bed this morning quite a strong dark thump. I was restless, drove to Ramona without a good reason. In K-Mart all the TVs were talking about an earthquake at Anza. This aft in the computer chair two more thumps, less loud but leaving me faintly seasick. Internet says this morning's was 4.7, eight miles down.

On Black Canyon Road on the way home one ceaothus bush in full foaming blue, half a dozen California poppies and a wild pea vine in pink bloom, both on the warm shelf of road above the res.

Working on In English, lovely energy today, tight jeans and green Uggs made me feel light and swift.


Tuesday morning on the forecourt, sun higher than the roof now. Sunglasses and coffee. A breeze. Angelo's plastic snapping. Deep blue to the north.

Late afternoons sometimes Angelo's white pickup drives by and then after a while I'll see his little shack's windows lit, two dim yellow panes at a height in the dark. Very early, 4:30, his headlights sweep the room as he's leaving to get to the coast in time for work. Why do I like it. He's a gentle good-looking sweet-hearted manly man who likes rocks and music and devotion, a loving presence.


There was a scent last night after I'd gone to bed and was reading - it was like plum jam cooking, then a bit of almond. I'd been reading Sacks on hallucinated smells and it did seem unsourced. Then when I stretched to turn off the light I understood that it was the pea flower in a glass, night-scented.


Surprising how fast the oaks have faded.


Doors and windows open all day yesterday.

Was it this morning - maybe yesterday? - I woke at 4 and went out and sat in the chair for half an hour in the dark. Orion was gone, and the only strong form I could recognize was Leo's question mark high in the south. Out back the Dipper meantime had rotated so it hung straight down..

For some reason I can work after dark - formatting In English, though I'm doubtful of much of it. The pages look nice, sparse and spaced.


Borrego, waiting for camarones al ajo. Realizing maybe it's been spring fever, because it has turned to elation. Mike only had the kitchen units left but smiled when he saw me and said, for an old customer, if I could pay cash ...

Mesquite, the kind with fissured dark trunks.

Coming through the long valley, bright green splotches at the bases of creases, willows in new leaf.

Here it's the pink mountain wall I'd want to do something with.


The pale clean light this morning. Scents. I like the dry grit underfoot and the bare space under creosote and palo verde.

Kendall's. A table of old men easy with each other as they should be. Old couples silent together, obedient unfortunates.

The mountains are sublime. They're unspeakable. Incommensurable. There's no reason to say that of them except that I feel something toward them, a towardness. They're great gods of nakedness, naked immaculate form and color. I'm wanting and not wanting to say infinite, I mean in grain - they're visibly made of grains of color and is it that the body loves what it can be in relation to them, minutely differentiated?

It was a hard night. I was in a good bed. Fresh white pillows. I'd been reading Kim, which I found in the office as I was checking in. Woke at 1:30 very sore, arms, face, hands, small of my back. Then lay sore for hours. Woke very sore again in faint filtered dawn.


A fit of writing today, story of going to Borrego. It's called spring fever downhill dash. Below it a photo of the blue plastic bowl full of leather-skinned oranges. Then a close-up of a single periwinkle flower with its raised white 5-sided centered flange.


I phoned Mary tonight, Sunday night. Her blank dark hard voice. She seems to have few thoughts, or maybe it's that she has few things she remembers how to say to other people. I can feel the way a sentence is an emotional shape, dynamical shape, and she keeps finding only the same impulses, each time as if they've just come to her. She wishes she had grandchildren nearby. She still has her eyes, so she reads. She doesn't like old age. How is my family, she asks - she doesn't remember their names. She can't engage anything I tell her about myself, turns it back to something about herself. How long has she been doing that, at least since I moved to SD, that's ten years, but it's longer I think. it's blatant shutting-out. I don't know whether she's like that with everyone. She was loved for her sanity and warm interest. It's all gone. She has nothing left to interest anyone and so she's bereft. And yet she's quite sturdy and will live on angry and stupid in her grey mists. Such a hard life, Ed's malice and tyranny, the marginality he enforced in the community, her miserable houses and pinched life, our flight away, the ways I beat her off for years, preached to her, couldn't stand her after about London, her few years of pleasure in college, with a best friend and men who were interested in her, and success in what she was good at, and then clamped down again into teaching jobs she wasn't strong enough for and failed at, and then moving to BC and finding her brothers and sisters no longer interested in her, all her contacts somehow lost so now there's no one.

So long as I was having to beat off her sucking avidity I didn't miss her interest - it wasn't there but I didn't miss it. Now my heart hurts for her and for me. I don't think she loves anything anymore. I think she's all plaint. She hasn't a sense of beauty so she doesn't love her days, it seems. I don't think she remembers to read her old letters so she can be with her better times.


I phoned Tom Friday morning to say I was having a fond moment. He said later it had given him a weekend like sheltering in harbour. I'd said I appreciated his long persistence in what he is.

Sent for the Nikkor 24-70 today and two memory cards.

1 April

Have been thinking to write about stopping at the gate. The gate is downhill from here and the weather isn't exactly the same. It's colder, or hotter or windier. The main thing though is that I step out of the jeep. I get into it on my yard and am on my way but then I stop and step out into the day. There are trees closeby on the yard but at the gate the land is open. I always feel the air. I feel the light.

On the way home I park at the gate and walk back to the mailbox. I can't see my house from there but I see other houses on the hill. Opening the gate, driving through, getting out of the jeep again, closing the gate, walking back to the jeep. It's a labour. Meanwhile I look at the nearest oaks. They are all Engelmanns but their canopies are different colours. I look at their lichened rocks. There's a particular rock set on end, that is like a puja marker.

Have I said what I meant? "Then I stop and step out into the day."


Little things that happen by juxtaposition on Here. Full moon under the periwinkle photo makes the flower's blue and radiant central white seem to allude to the moon. Wild paeony after the story of turkey mating seems to congratulate. - And really, the site is so full of love and color, why isn't anyone interested in it? Is it because it reveals that I'm a woman over sixty, who is assumed to be irrelevant to anything that could teach or feel like success?

Vultures are back above the pasture.


From the chair, late afternoon. The grass is getting deep, foxtail and the fine grass, foxtail waving in a light westerly breeze. Hawk coasting, two hawks, in their home territory to the east. A lot of little chitter. Bird on the fence showing its yellow belly. Gobble in the distance. There's my phone I think. Pale blue mountain outline to the southwest. Long shadows down the shaman's slope curving with the hill. Foxtail beard-tips show pink against the light.

While the tea was steeping I went out with the camera to photograph the deep tangle of new vetch along the road. A yucca has begun to put up a flower stalk near where I turn the jeep. It's an immaculate round-headed cream-coloured column five inches across, built in lapped scales, impressive and sudden. I was stumbling through the vetch to get closer to it when I nearly fell on a lizard frozen among twigs and fallen leaves. I got down nose-to-nose with it to take its picture. Its hard little head - it was a foot long nose to tail - seemed to be staring back at me through the lens. There were two lines of iridescent blue chevrons along its back.

Crows' wings have a distinctive scraping sound.

I'm pining for email today.


Locusts' leaves are out today.

It's heart-hunger    
Is it illness     no
Is it hunger for praise     YES
Acknowledgement, appreciation    
Legitimate need     no
Have I always been like that     no
You're saying it's not something I really need    
And yet it's a real ache    
It dates to what happened in Vancouver     YES
It's part of their harm    
How it feels is a stiff sore heart.
It makes me want to pass out.

I'm having a hard day it seems. Watching Friday night lights, crying at young talent praised and passionately mentored. Crying for need of success, is that it? And mad at what I am that isn't getting me what I need - it seems, need.

I'm heartbroken by the way I look in photos now - the way I look, now, most of the time. No one would like to hear that, it does me discredit. What do people do, they close their eyes and barrel through. I live somewhere beautiful and send out images of it to stand in my place, and that isn't working either. Remarkably isn't working.

Alright, speak for the other side. I'm almost 70. It's not surprising that my jaw has an old woman's drape. I'm not fat though I'm not slender. It could be worse - yes but the pretty one is gone, and I don't want her to be gone. I liked to see her, I had pleasure in her. She was viable, she could go into the world and people would want to know her. People would want to touch her. Almost anyone who still wants to be in contact with me is someone who is remembering her.

You're saying feel it and go on     YES
But go on to what     slow growth of improvement through aggression and meditation
Aggression?     processing, judgment, of illusion, by overview
Going after illusion    
In me     no them
Meditation?     balance, to graduate, from friendship, to power struggle
Do you mean strategy     no, balance
Do I have 5000 days     YES
Can I make something beautiful and succeed in those other ways     YES
365 x 14 = 5110 days
5000 days is maybe more than I have but I can say 5000.
It is a lot of days if they all count.
I'd have to first think what does count.
I open my work files and feel what's in them but I can't - can I? - start where I used to be.
It lights me up when I first read it but then I lose faith in it.
How am I ready. I'm equipped altogether.
Computer, software, sound equipt, video camera, tripod, bits.
Melancholy this morning still. A scared heart somehow. The way I keep picking up the thread and dropping it again.
1. I have to figure out how to keep focus
2. I have to figure out what to do with all the collected parts
3. I have to find an entry point
4. I have to strategize success
5. I have to learn to use the machines easily
6. I have to stay in best possible shape


"When I saw you coming down the back stairs in the Golden West it was like a neutron bomb went off in my head."

I phoned Tom in pain and he said he'd get on the bus. He was just leaving the VA, it was mid-morning. I was on the Dudley's lot at 4:15 to pick him up. We sat under the oak and he said tell me more about what you were feeling and I did, and he talked about the magnificence of getting old and that we could do it together. He said he thinks of me all the time. I said tell me more about that. When did it start? That was when he said neutron bomb, which I liked.

This morning I made tea and he started sweeping the stone terrace.


A storm this morning, wind in the oaks up behind, rattles of rain, dry leaves blowing down. I set up the Rode mic on its stand at one of the north windows in the guest room with the Marantz on the bed. Had that window open and figured out that if I drew the curtain there wouldn't be wind impact on the mics. Listening through the headphones heard a sound piece I liked. Wind rising and lessening, leaf impacts, rain, distant birds, near crows, and some of the time almost subliminal beat and whine from Eno Drums between the bells in the other room. 8 minutes of that. When I wanted to transfer it the computer said I'd damaged the card turning it off without ejecting it. Then drove to Santa Ysabel to buy a card, tried again. But now the storm has passed.


Oh Tim Riggins. What is it about you. Boy beauty. The way your faded plaid shirt hangs from your shoulders. Your boots. Your laid back sweetness. Hair in your eyes. Soft mouth. Your preference for the moment. The way you jump into fights without anger. Quality Al Morrison had, a sort of realness without normal kinds of attachment.

Louie's photos this morning of her beautiful space finished.


Halfway through the last season of Friday night lights, I'm there for hours before I sleep and wake thinking of it. What it does with class, gender, race. The way it's shot. Faces in close-up half shadowed. Eric's the very model of a man, the way he has few words until he has many. "Now listen up." Tami in long shot in her good clothes, tall goddess body in a pencil skirt carrying a magnificent rack. Matt Saracen's slow diffident earnest way of talking. Landry's gawky defiant valiant lucidity. Vince's archaic black profile and stance upright like a spear - archaic, what do I mean. He's like a Masai in his tight straight narrowness but the way the lower half of his face swells forward is something else, odd, uncontemporary.

The series began middle class and then carried its audience to the other side of town. Low-income housing, black thugs, lap dancers, prison, foster care, abortion. It doesn't touch wife-beating or rape - why not? - but it's full in the middle of sex and booze and male-on-male violence.

Having that world in mind when I was writing Kris's packet 2 reply letter. She's the kind of feminist I was before Joyce, angry at men. What I am wanting to say counter to that, now, is that we're in it together, we have to think of it as one whole thing. I also said that I think what may be hardest for women is to recognize that someone wishes them harm. I'm more interested now in what makes women weak than in what makes men bad.

What else I think about is how a fictional community can grab my thoughts this way, as if I'm a body primed for community concern and deprived of it. I am, but the condensed nature of fiction makes it a hypernormal stimulus to that priming?


Feeling my perfect state of equipment including jeep. Recording out the guestroom's east window this morning - sound of wings, a good recording though I don't know how to filter yet, etc.

Locust flowers - the little tree at the last bend of the road in is blooming though the trees by the house aren't, yet. Lot of vetch everywhere. Occasional wild pea, wooly lupin and the grape-scented taller one by the road. Wild onion.


It's day 4989.

Some new photos posted that I'm in love with in the usual way, one of locust flowers I like finally, gesture of flower curving toward gesture of leaf, rich deep background. Then two I took with flash walking around the house in foggy night. I'm learning what to do with flash. It solved the manzanita by isolating its form and polishing its branches. [pyracantha in the fog]


The number of times in a day I look out the window and feel my eyes soften. It's like having a loved companion. And then what I can do with my machines of loving grace, that other companionship. This morning's dark classic framing of what I see from the kitchen window. Classic how. The way it has a scene framed on all sides and open in the center.


Went for a walk and brought back a photo of an otherworld glade.


Yesterday Glorietta Canyon was ashy, dead. I'd never seen it like that or known it could be like that. The rabbitbush/incienso was grey all over the slopes and even the rocks looked ashen as if powdered over somehow. But in town the palo verde were resplendent. That so does not say their fresh feathery airy green thickly clotted with pure shining yellow. And that does not say it either. What else was there in the day. A moment with the teenage boy at the gas station, friendly liking and confidence. Another seeing a flash of magenta on the bank above the road coming through Yaqui Pass. Prickly pear blooming.


Friday noon - seven young ground squirrels around the opening of their burrow doing what I never see adults doing, standing around together dirt-colored in the dirt. I'm in the chair looking at them through binocs. They have childy little faces. At least one of them at any time has been standing upright with forearms hanging staring at me. There's their mother lying sunning herself legs folded under her on the stump like a cat.

It's not a mustard year on this meadow, it's a foxtail year, foxtail and some other grain.

Eating breakfast with Jerry under an oak this morning I saw it's thick with small new leaves, the leaf-drop is over.

Smell of warm hay.

Small birds, slender birds balancing on flower stalks pecking at seeds - yellow flowers near the stump.

Is there anything I need to say about Jerry being here.


He has a large quiet dignity of some sort. He's larger than I'd taken account of, large feet and large veined thin-skinned hands. He shows the whites of his eyes above the iris, which looks like extremity, a private wildness or madness. That with his scimitar nose and wiry eyebrows made me see a Hebrew visionary sometimes. I noticed but didn't address the being I saw, just entertained him with this and that as if he were not so unusual. I doubted the accuracy of my seeing, thought it was accidental maybe. He has a quiet observant intelligence - still - but he's more conventional than I am, less brave, much less hard-working.

I'm on the terrace. It's hot - it's really hot at 9am. There was a drift of locust perfume. It's Saturday.

Last night I was starting to fade but hadn't done my 5000 days work so made tea and sat at the monitor with text and plans. That was good. Could even have new thoughts.

First day on the outside bed. Orange and black bird. Holy shit I said. Varied thrush.


Stellar's jay - black head with crest, blue back, loud harsh call and little mutters.


Bullock's oriole, orange belly black throat.


Intimidated by the camera - but assembled it - took it outside - didn't understand exposure or autofocus - it's hideously complicated - lot of little buttons - lot of little buttons and dials and menus - and it's heavy. Even the tripod is complicated. But I pressed a small red button and it recorded some grass moving and quite nice birdsong, which I figured out how to take into Final Cut Pro.

Talking to Luke this morning on Facebook. It was a clumsy conversation at first, that lightened when I said he learned L for Luke from a wooden block, which I remembered when I said Lon-don is a good name for it, L for London. It was a red L.


Monday morning - 3663 Georgia - Tom in black underpants ironing his jeans - standing at the drop-down ironing board next to the stove telling me about ironing in the army. "Did you break starch this morning, soldier?" the sergeant would ask. They'd mostly iron on their bunks.

[Tom's Graham Thomas by the new camera] [young avocado]

Walked beside me carrying the tripod and the mic stand yesterday, I plodding with the stick, carrying the camera and the backpack, he not plodding.

2nd May

Thursday morning early. The sun is in the upper locust branches and reaches to the top of the outside bed. There's a Santa Ana bringing down dead leaves and dry oak flower shreds. Angelo's crew is covering his windows with plastic before they lay down the first coat of stucco. Trickle of water. Tom somewhere out front wandering with the binocs. Lupins in purple spires up along the road. Grass drying but still moving.



1. stepped/silent
2. differently stepped over touches of sound
3. full transparent over sewer sound
4. full natural over improved sound

- Something like that. It's landforms, cosmic structure, brain, and sea/see.


Reluctance until mid afternoon then sat with focus notes for the D800, then more of it online, eight hours straight? Understanding more about large sensor, max f-stop for depth of field and minimal diffraction.


The Dipper is hanging by its handle, straight down.

Some of the foxtail goes purple before it dies.

Dozens of moths at the window.

It's the season of crane flies - they've gathered on the shower room walls.

Window open tonight.


A hot wind from the west, is it. I'm in the iron chair surrounded by grass in seed blowing my nose. There are mosquitoes. Stationary high clouds. Am I hearing chickens. Squinting. The corner pines are sounding. Oaks are a good green now, most of them.

I posted a photo that has the brown grass in the foreground. It's nothing special but it's taken by the new camera.


Stanley and Carol finished clearing the field. It's bare and brown. Cold wind from the south.

I like the shaven field because I can walk without thinking of snakes, ticks or foxtail barbs, and for the way the oaks and house look with clean space around them, grander, as if set in a park.

I'm still thinking a bit about Sweetgrass, not the film so much as the idea of it, mics on herders, horse, sheep, dogs, which could be three miles apart, 4 mics coming in at a time and later a surround-sound mix on 5 or 6 channels - wow. Video camera strapped onto a harness that had it hung onto his shoulder every waking hour so no one knew when he was filming. Camera batteries powered by solar panels. He heard an old coot talking to his horse and dogs and another much bigger man crying to his mother on the phone after cursing the sheep in vilest misogynistic terms. Then they were editing it for 7 years.

It's 11:17, I've done the going to bed things, shower, Premarin, lotion on arms and legs and neck and chest, olive oil in my nose to help eyes not dry out, glass of water with 2 cal-mags and 2 C's, and a cranberry, before that the sat plugs pulled. Am playing On land, will turn it up a notch before I turn out the light.


Rowen was just leaving for work. We talked all the way from Nanaimo and Hastings to First and Clark. He was overjoyed. He'd met someone on the bus who'd kickstart-raised $130,000 to develop a game. Benji said come game-test. Rowen showed up four hours a day after his 12-hour shifts. Last week he said to Benji I'm going to have more time, I'm going to quit my job. Benji said, I'll have to give you a contract, then.


I was talking to the rock woman in Dudley's - Judy. A tall narrow-shouldered man in boots, dark jeans and a black shirt put his arm around me. He'd let his hair grow. Fine silver hair to his collar. I said, Every time I see you you're a different man.

Tom is content. He loves his house. He sits in the kitchen with the French doors open reading. He's teaching himself to cook. He has discovered the cast iron skillet and is making himself rice, black beans and hamburger. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays he's at the Seniors Center. Breakfast and lunch, phone minutes, a Ralphs food card. He often walks there or back. All his supervisors are women and they are all nice to him because he's a senior and they believe in empowering. Half the old people in the cafeteria are Golden West people. He's their king.

He's phoning often, sometimes just for three sentences if his minutes are low. He makes sure he has the money to visit. "I want to be a good daddy" he says. He listens, he asks questions, he holds back his floods of talk unless I invite him, which I did last night because he wanted to go to sleep and I didn't want him to. We were lying together in the dark with moonlight at the window and I had my hand on his chest to feel the vibrations as he went on fast and loud about Obama's second term.

We were driving Mesa Grande Road this morning taking him back to the bus, seeing the country spread resplendent, hills and vales, the place where we come over the brow of a hill and see ranch buildings in the hollow, such a picture, tawny hills all round, and he was saying what an adventure we are having together, and I was feeling it's an adventure I'm financing but it's true he's in it with me. When he visits he sees and feels it with me. Watched the moon from my bed, kept praising Stanley's grass-cutting job, stands at the kitchen window gazing, always says how beautiful the drive is from Lakeside on. We've been mastering the art of short visits I say.

I gave him the headphones and showed him Wild oats first with natural sound and then with the first track of On land. He wanted to see it again and then again. He was breathing hard.


"Beethoven ... his music is totally true . That's why he can console in real pain ... redeems the world by viewing it like a hero, as it is." In Wittgenstein after his Nachlass.


Sitting with the footage I have for Sea - trying it over kinds of sound - realizing I'll need to be patient, sit with what I have to understand what to do with it, keep slowly noticing it. This morning I've thought maybe frame it within a frame. It maybe looks better or different smaller. The frame could be a way of bridging from language into full grok.

Today I'm feeling ready as if the skills I've built can make something sophisticated now. Prepare with voice/text on grey. Once through small size, once through full frame.

Intimate direct address.

I'm hearing Jeremy [Rigby] saying Trapline is the best Canadian experimental film. I don't think it's true but the fact that he saw it and marveled in some moment is helping me now. That a community has sort of welcomed me.

I mean patience with long unknowing, which I'm up against now that I'm actually thinking toward finishing something.

Some worried about money, I don't have a lot of cushion left.


Listening through the headphones to what the Rode picks up through the curtain in the guestroom is like an audio magnifying glass, this quiet bloc of space above the stone floor, under the oak, is thick with buzz and outcry.

Trying to hear it I feel blind because I can't stop it at a frame and see what it looks like - the frame being whatever length of time audition uses to see whole sounds, ie shapes of sound.

- My synaesthesia if I can figure out how to use it.

Eno is such a true worker, I love his company in work.

1 June San Diego

Haircut at Paul Mitchell, new 501's and a Levi shirt that suits me.


Thomas I sort of adore you. I said. Later there was a little poke. I had been telling him stories and he had been telling me mostly stories he hadn't told before.

I left here suddenly Friday morning. He came with me to the social security office where I got the application completely done -


He has been liking to lie in our beds talking at night, which he didn't use to. We were talking about his old days and how he's different. I said, You're a real boy now. He said, Where's my nose.

Louie's photo so poetical I am wondering whether I can set it as a little animation with sound and text.


Mouse gnawing assiduously at the hall door corner much of the night.


Note from Ruth this morning saying the enrollment crisis means she'll have to cut a couple of fac. She'll decide which by the end of the month.


Thinking of living on $1460/mo. I want:

1. To not pour money into rent if I can buy
2. To have a big vegetable and fruit garden
3. To be somewhere dry and light where I can see a long way
4. A small simple house
5. On the rail line to Van would be good

I love the thought of a tiny house on the south-facing bench above the river at Spences Bridge, whose population is said to be 138.

[mortgage calculations]

Small house, open plan, preferably one room.
Kitchen/bathroom not remodeled
Hardwood floor, high ceilings, no cheap materials
Wide windows on big open space
Big garden fenced enough to grow most of my vegetables and fruit, freeze it for winter
No highway noise, train twice a day wd be okay
Hot dry weather, fruit trees
No near neighbours but a little town wd be alright
Good systems for heat, power, water, internet
Mortgage max 500


This morning recorded 11 minutes of a squirrel cheeping.


Three days of intense house thought. It's over today, I think. What else do I know. I want something in the country or v. small town, not less than 600 square feet, not junky, with at least 40x40 of vegetable garden.

Lazuli bunting! "Small finch." The male's head is turquoise blue - Angelo wanted to tell me yesterday that he'd seen a pair in the pasture so I looked them up this morning. They like wild oat seeds it says. - And then this late aft there they are at the water.

I'm really going to have to leave this place?


Looking at real estate - peoples' so-depressing décor - the fact that most of what might be in my price range are trailers - it isn't obvious I'll find anything. Then I look out the window to perfectly open clean hills and say I'll never have that again. Then I stamp my foot.

I've been frantic today. Feeling how house mania has held me frenetically steady in times when I've had a separation blow.

I've looked at a hundred images in these days, imagined myself in their houses. It was all a mess, people's stupid messes in their stupidly built houses in their stupid junky towns.


I set a mousetrap two nights ago and another last night in the kitchen and haven't seen or heard the mouse since, but this morning there were a few black mouse seeds on the side counter so I looked in the drawers below. Second drawer down a thick manilla envelope gnawed more than it was yesterday. Third drawer down in my pen box a loose nice nest made of shredded paper with bits of red wool from the mudroom, from washing the plaid blanket. In a deep well in the nest one little blind baby. There's still mouse poison here and there, and the two traps, and this mouse has evaded both.


And then: I'd left dishwater in the pan last night. This morning it was still grey and a bit foamy. Whisked my hands through it to check for spoons before I dumped it. Felt something and plucked it up. Drowned mouse. Screeched before I knew I was going to.


Luke writes he'll help with my house whenever it will be.


Red-shafted northern flicker.


Found something tonight - played a short bit of OBpier7 on cycle and applied a time filter. Three things: 1. the audio of pier noise repeated so after a while I noticed it was a man whispering And I kno-ow in the midst of a faery hubbub of voices, shreds of music; 2. I'd overlaid a faint grid which at some magnifications showed in some areas and not in others, could be used to catch detail; 3. with strobe at a high value a version became solid, held in the background as if underneath a thin wash of fluid moving at real speed.

Went to put on my pants and found ants feasting on the protein in the crotch.


It was cold last night, 10 o'clock in the chair. I had on my pea jacket. The most recognizable figure was the almost-oval of the Northern Crown, with Arcturus to its right. Farther west Leo's big question mark. For the rest a lot of bright little unknowns.

The transfers from Analog-to-Digital came in the mail, the box I shipped brought down to six DVDs in paper envelopes.

Then was parked by the wild oats trying to film, recorded with the mic in the jeep, mic stand over the back of the front seat. It works. A loud sudden crow.


Best yesterday was climbing a slope lightly in the old way.

Furry rabbit photo. I went out at twilight and the rabbit didn't run away. Camera set to landscape so the flash didn't go off. I haven't figured out how to set exposure for twilight. But like the photo's furriness as if is a kind of subjectivity.


Am I a bit freaked.

Yes, my heart hurts, is scared.

I'm thinking of jumping.


Warm west wind - southwest. Over there the buckwheat blooming white against a creamy froth of wild oats. - How many more weeks do I have here, ten? - O warm wind. Oh pines. Oh dearest air. Oh wideness. Oh best possible vista. Dear oaks, dear golden land, dear blue mountain. Dear visitations - oriole, bluebird. Dear turkeys! California sisters. Dearest white sage. Dear road and rocks. - Why are there no grasshoppers this year?

Dear large room with green work bed and big monitor and pink chair.

White butterfly over the buckwheat.


The power went out while I was studying FCP on the big monitor - go sit outside - what's that rumble - continuous dark rumble from the southwest - the air is milky especially toward the Mexican mountains - two rabbits down beyond the oak shrubs - cattle crying - look at the leaves against the sky, moon above them - so finely cut - the gegenschein, band of baby blue, above it a band of baby pink fading into cream - a headlight moving on the ranch over south - now it's getting too dark to write.


Airglow, light emitted by atoms high in the earth's atmosphere as they recombine at night after being separated during the day by energetic sunlight.

Phainopepla. Oak foothills. Ragged crest. Foraging for berries in bushes and trees.

Late aft, 6 o'clock, watching birds through the screen door, sitting on the floor. Black-headed grosbeak, and the lazuli bunting again, with towhees, woodpeckers sometimes four at a time. Anna's hummingbird come to drink.

We're having a conference call tomorrow and now I am worried I won't be fired.


The union is saying I can't ask to be laid off. This morning I know I'm not going back. If Ruth won't fire me I'll quit.


Solstice between today and tomorrow.

New journal tomorrow.

I'm stressed by uncertainty - heart stress - but I know it's right.

Louie says: I'm excited for you.

I'm on the outside bed feeling something like liberty.

Are two kinds of purgatory ending now?