aimless love

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

Friday, September 29, 2006

no place for hate

Ok, so after a lot of searching I found a small link to the Video project I saw at the Watertown library - - It's a link to a video project they called Many cultures, One community - where they interviewed folks at their Faire on the Square about being immigrants in Watertown. (They are planning to do it again tomorrow!!!!)

Apparently, Watertown and Belmont belong to the "No place for hate" community project sponsored by the Anti-defamation League.

I want our little town to do something like that!

I'd feel better about living here...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

moving on

I know yesterday's post was self-indulgent and pitiful... but I needed to say it!

I ended up spending the rest of the day doing laundry and working on papers. And overall it was a productive day. I just needed to get my woefulness off of my chest!

Only 7 more papers - GLORY HALLELUIA!

I'm still waiting to hear from one of my committee members (I've been waiting 28 days!) - so I sent her an email asking her about my external examiner... no word yet. (sigh)

I've been thinking about posting my "2 page description of self" here... it's a silly piece, but either way it was good to write.

I ran into a mom from my book group at a talk on "Encouraging healthy behavior in teens: What parents need to know about peers, pressure, and substance abuse" last night, and she reminded me that she is painting and drawing every day as part of The Artist's Way. It made me want to find a way to really be more conscientious about this arts practice, and it made me want to get going on being a more positive force in my community - thank you Britt Bravo!!!!

The talk last night was not very inspiring... gosh, if I had really read the title I might not have gone... too much focus on the slutty, druggy things kids are doing these days - as if that's really news. My question was how to we help kids see that there are many ways to be "normal." The pressure to be "popular" among the girls in particular is all about defining oneself against a larger cultural backdrop that is pretty uni-dimensional. There are a lot of average kids, just doing their thing, that should be celebrated! Look here are the regular kids of Belmont High! I want to do a podcast of the "little guy" - here is how these kids are surviving adolescents! Here's what they do to survive and sometimes even thrive...

Came across the website for "The Mirror Project" - done in 2001 -

Teen social documentaries -
The primary focus of The Mirror Project is to teach inner-city youth in the Greater Boston area all aspects of documentary video production. Through an intensive, hands-on curriculum based on experiential learning in their homes and neighborhoods, we mentor students through a process of self-discovery and self-representation. Student producers learn camera operation, picture composition, natural lighting and sound. They identify their main subjects, videotape them, their friends, families and neighborhoods. We provide an opportunity for them to explore their creative vision both behind and in front of the camera. Student producers, and Mirror Project staff, edit the footage to create a finished documentary.

Sounds cool... but too big. I was trying to find something on the Watertown community project where they videotaped folks at their yearly arts fair - "Faire on the Square" - but couldn't. I will try to find out more today.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

let the water hold me down

I need to start taking stimulants or something - because I have a serious case of inertia!

I have absolutely NO energy.

I don't want to do ANYTHING except read novels, eat ice cream, and lay horizontal. I mean it, I could just lay down on the floor and do nothing for about two hours! And then I'd want the ice cream and the novel.

It doesn't help that I'm reading two great books. One is for my book group - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See and the other is a book I started listening to on tape on the way to NYC on Sunday. My grandmother fell - again - and chipped her collar bone and so even though I had wanted to go anyway, because she turned 91 on Sunday, 9/17, I really wanted to go to see her after hearing about her fall, and to try to brighten her day a little. So Sunday I drove down and back (thankfully without any traffice to speak of!) I listened to Carol Shield's book, The Stone Diaries.

Anyway, they are both stories built around the life of one woman... And so far both are really depressing!

Beautiful, poignant, deeply sorrowful, but ultimately sad!

Between that, and a visit from my friend E - I've been feeling really unanchored. Let me explain... I love E! but I don't get to see her that often, and this time she came to my house, and I suddenly became aware as I was showing her around of how neglectful I have been of this house... I haven't done any gardening, I haven't done any real decorating, and the truth is I just haven't been able to!!! First of all there is the practical reasons I haven't been able to - there just isn't enough of me to go around - by the time I finish all the daily chores the last thing I have the energy for is house beautification! But it's much more about having been unable to commit to this place. I have been just barely able to put myself into it. It's just been too hard to do - it's this whole tangle of my family, privilege and lack, deprivation and excess, and my complete inability to sort myself out in it. I cannot figure out how to BE where I am.

I started to write a piece for this autobiographical writing class that I'm taking on myself - and my first impulse was to title it

This is not my beautiful house
this is not my beautiful life

after Talking Heads song "Once in a Lifetime"

Is it really an illusion to think that if I was somewhere more resonant for me - JP, Cambridge, the Bay Area - that I would be able to be more alive???? more in my body??? more in my house??? more in my life????

All I want to do is cry!
and lay myself down!

and get lost in someone else's world for a while...

Letting the days go by/let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by/water flowing underground
Into the blue again/in the silent water
Under the rocks and stones/there is water underground.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

lots of this and that

Well, it's been almost a week, and I have not posted anything!

I started a class on "autobiographical writing" on Monday - I'm a bit uncertain whether I will feel inspired enough... not sure the chemistry is right for me... but I really want to do it, and I need some kind of external motivation!

I've been really trying to figure out what's doable and what's not!

Tonight, I'm feeling depleted and exhausted, and nothing extra feels doable - so I'm not sure where all of this will lead.

I heard back from one of my committee members - good news. I think she liked it! But I'm still waiting to hear back from the second committee person. And I need to send an email to the "dissertation coordinator" that the school provides.

I've been spending hours each day trying to get through emails, trying to sort out what's a priority and what can wait. I only did one paper today. I still have 19! I ran a lot of errands today - bank, post office, vote, drop M off at soccer, pick her up, pick up my son from soccer, take my daughter to the orthodontist. AY!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

the squeaky wheel gets the grease

so I'm still working on papers. I don't know how to understand why it takes me so long, except that I take it all way too seriously, I am too obsessive, and it has been a VERY busy time with the kids.

Last weekend we were at a close friend's wedding. It was beautiful - and I have a few pictures to post, but I don't have time now.

Mostly, I wanted to log on to say that a week and a half after the last post my committee is just getting my proposal. Since I hadn't heard from either of them, I emailed to ask if they had received it, and one person said no - so I had to send a copy priority mail to CA - and the other said yes, but that she had been too busy over the past two weeks to look at it.

just have to keep making myself present to them... I know I'm the same way. I haven't done half of what I set out to do two weeks ago.

And now, I have a lot to say... but NO TIME to say it. It'll have to wait. Meanwhile check out this blog - Have fun-do good !!!! This woman makes me feel like a total blog slacker (although seeing that she reads celebrity gossip does help some... but in particular check out her Big vision podcast

ok, back to my real job...

Saturday, September 2, 2006

get up, sit down, get up, sit...

Yesterday I got the go-ahead to send my proposal off to two members of my committee!

I am really happy to have the process moving forward - especially because it feels so unbearably slow!!

Now, I'm supposed to be reading papers for that class I taught in early Aug, and I'm mostly enjoying it, but I'm a slow paper responder... I take way too much time on each paper, and I'm so ADD about it - get up, sit down, drink soda, get a snack, get up, sit down, write two sentences, do something else, get up, sit down. You get the idea.

Anyway, I have spent entirely too much time looking at blogs the past week. I have bookmarked a bunch, and have been thinking a lot about how to make my work more creative and more interactive, but for now, I have to get back to the papers!!!!