aimless love

But my heart is always propped up in a field on its tripod, ready for the next arrow. billy collins

Thursday, August 31, 2006

class, art, and identity

Remind me when I get back to work never to complain about all that I have to do - I really don't do well with the lack of structure! and even though it's hectic, work provides its boundaries that I really DO appreciate!

That said, I had a breakthrough yesterday afternoon - I had been working on a proposal for a conference, and it dawned on me that I could use this as the forum for my arts-based research project! I want to turn my dissertation into a performance art piece - well not exactly... but I want to include part of what I learn there into a performance piece. I want to use three sources really - my own autobiography (my narrative), my diary from El Salvador, and the interviews I do on social class identity for my thesis.

Anyway, I struggled and struggled to come up with a title for the piece, and a framework, and finally came up with a proposal I feel really good about!!!!!

It's called "Cleaning the floors at the Met: Class, Art and Identity." The piece opens with my telling a story about bringing my 80 year of Puerto Rican grandmother who has lived in NYC for over 60 years and never been to a museum before to the Met and having her goggle over the floors and how clean and beautiful they were.

anyway, I'm excited and now I have the very hard work of putting the piece together, but if I present it next May that will be really exciting!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

heads up, shooting stars

Well, August has been a blogger's wash - no time to blog. I've either been teaching or out of town. Not that I'm complaining - being away was really good. And teaching is real work. But I do want to keep at this. Not that I understand why... is this a diary? a chance to put myself out to the world? a chance to play with seeing/being seen/concealment/revelation?

I have no idea if this blog is ever read by anyone except me and a few friends - is that enough? It's not like I'm saying anything profound, yet something is being expressed/explored/elicited here... I honestly don't understand it fully.

Still, I like the idea of documenting my little insignificant life, and I do amuse myself!

Speaking of amusements, I've started knitting again. It's hard to say how much time I will actually devote to it, as it's not like I have a whole lot of disposable time on my hands - but at one time I was quite a knitter. I enjoyed it and made a lot of things! As for now, I decided on a whim, to make a pair of socks! My mother-in-law made a pair for the kids once and I loved them, and have always wanted to make a pair. Then at family camp I saw one of the counselors making socks and I became totally inspired! I had never worked with double-pointed needles before, and I was psyched! I bought a skein of yarn at a local yarn store in Belfast, ME (a great little town) - the store was called Heavenly Socks Yarn although all I saw was the "Yarns" sign. And it's been really fun. Of course, I got to the heel, and couldn't make heads or tails out of the pattern... so I hopped on-line and found Silver's Sock class - it was perfect!! Just what I need, and now I'm almost to the toe!! I'll maybe take a pic of it when I'm done... although, it's a bit cheezy isn't it.

I also made a basket while I was at camp - it looks just like this...
Apparently, you can buy kits and supplies for basketmaking at jb-designs look for the napkin holder basket!

I tell you, joke all you want about basketweaving and psychiatric rehabilitation, I was coming into my own!

I even wrote several haikus - some on the theme of "shooting stars" (there's always a haiku slam at the end of camp, and there's a theme, and...) and some on just being

streaming through the sky
please let me remember this
shooting stars at night

star sightings so sweet
mosquitoes think us sweet too
scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, ooh

embarrassing itch
it's the mosquitoes, honest
let's shoot them not stars

lingering sweet light
is each star's death our pleasure
streaming across the sky

amused by haikus
I could do this all day long
basketweaving too!

you gave us a base
over, under, start again
basket therapy

no garden at home
children grow like weeds instead
camp becomes yardstick

relearn gratitude
sit still, play scrabble, eat smores
heads up, shooting starts

Saturday, August 5, 2006

all connected

Went to NYC Thurs night - saw a great show - Sarah Jones in Bridges and Tunnel, on the recommendation of my friend who thought it was right up my alley... it's very much in keeping with the type of performance piece I would like to do for my dissertation.

I stayed in a little hotel, the Park 79, which was in a great location - right behind the Museum of Natural History, but was just ok - it's hard to keep a bathroom that is used by four or five rooms completely clean... still the room was clean and thank god for the air conditioner (it was hot as the dickens! I walked about 10 blocks just to get a lay of the land on Fri morning, and I was sweating right through my clothes).

I ended up not going to the museum though because my grandmother had a doctor's appt, and was in a bit of a crisis. She's 90, and has been really unhappy the past few years since having a stroke. She's been cared for by several Dominican women who stay with her 24 hours a day 3-4 days/week, and every time there is a transition with these women she has a bit of a crisis... it's really awful. Anyway, I ended up spending much of the day with her and my aunt and uncle at her appointment, and then I spend 3 hours in NY/CT traffic, and another 3 hours getting from CT home!

I was grumpy!

still, I listened to Prodigal Summer (one of my favorite Barbara Kingsolver books) on tape, and that helped - although I had forgotten how much sex is in the book... I had mostly just remembered the sensualness of it, and the immense feeling of "home" I got from it's reminders that we are all part of the family of things - like that Mary Oliver line -

whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things

From "Wild Geese"

all connected, we
keep searching for our place and
can't believe we're found

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

burning down the house

i'm feeling particularly lazy today... just don't feel like doing anything productive, and really resent the time I spend on my volunteer professional organization work (which is what I had promised myself I would DO today). I'm not completely sure what this resentment is about. I do know that

1) I want lots of other people to be involved
2) I prefer working WITH others face to face or at least in close proximity, vs working alone at my computer
3) I worry that the organization is a bit bogus... just not enough people involved to make it meaningful - REALLY... except that I do think the work is meaningful and important... I just don't have the time to really devote to it, and not enough other people are working at making it meaningful, and relevant to other professionals in similar fields.

Take Art Therapy - it's a field that is related, and while there are a lot of people who would be quick to dismiss it, it has a LOT of people volunteering to promote it. For example, check out this site or check out this site which I guess is a collection of blog entries from several blogs?

or a gazillion other art therapy sites I could send you to... ok, enough...

I will try to get my act together and do a little work. I just need some Diet Coke, and Talking Heads - I got the CD of Speaking in tongues for my birthday, and can you believe, that I haven't even opened it???? But I'm sure if I put on some tunes and have a little caffeine, I'll be fine....

or not... I just tried to download the CD on my computer only to discover my computer won't read the CD side of the two-sided dual disk... BOOOOOOOOO! hiss. The CD works on my portable CD player and I could buy the album on iTunes, but I have the CD and don't want to spend another $8.91... I'll stop whining now, and try to get back to work...

Watch out
You might get what youre after
Cool babies
Strange but not a stranger
Im an ordinary guy
Burning down the house

Hold tight wait till the partys over
Hold tight were in for nasty weather
There has got to be a way
Burning down the house

Heres your ticket pack your bag: time for jumpin overboard
The transportation is here
Close enough but not too far, maybe you know where you are
Fightin fire with fire

All wet
Hey you might need a raincoat
Dreams walking in broad daylight
Three hun-dred six-ty five de-grees
Burning down the house

It was once upon a place sometimes I listen to myself
Gonna come in first place
People on their way to work baby what did you except
Gonna burst into flame

My house
Sout of the ordinary
Thats might
Dont want to hurt nobody
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet
Burning down the house

No visible means of support and you have not seen nuthin yet
Everythings stuck together
I dont know what you expect starring into the tv set
Fighting fire with fire