Friday, October 31, 2008

i went out for you today

I went out for you today, to the beach. not the beach where I held the wet stranger in the silence before the helicopter. no, not that one. I went to the one where I practiced cartwheels in the sand, one after another, as the dog barked and someone collected heart-shaped rocks.

I walk eyes shut today and listen.

I am listening for you today.

booming waves, low and wild, paired with crisp crunch of footfall.
the ocean rips, spray rises, foam erupting
fizzing as it races up the tideline.
in the shallows: clap, slap, slop.
ascending, descending, disappearing.

today another dog runs across my track,
skidding eight paces in the sand.
I go back and measure later.

I count curious pinholes in patterns still remaining,
more visible after the sun sinks, when shadows set.

I try to make a perfect impression.

the day you were listening for me:

it is not my time, I said to you
just the thought of it calmed me
as I watched the car spiral into the air
graceful yet struggling, like a fish fighting on the line

today is not my day I said to you,
as twisted metal slid in front of me
and I drove through it, heart pounding.

it was a brutal 90 degrees up there at the cemetery that afternoon
sweat beading down my spine as I ordered the two headstones
and walked the grid alone. Halloween. how goth, I joked later.

you were there, almost a stranger
but not quite


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Monday, October 27, 2008

the journey of a letter (two)

27 October 2008
Dear Peter,

I know that you are very very tired now. Maybe too tired to read, so you & Sally are together and she is reading this aloud to you. You know how much I love you two, my dear friends, and I wish I could be there right now to spend time with you – to be present, with compassion and love, to keep you company & to be together. You are always in my heart Peter. That may sound corny but it is true! Maybe because I live so far away I always carry this lifetime of experiences, moments, memories with me – so for us it is folk mass (long ago), catching up in the driveway, sitting at the kitchen table, walking our dogs, the hole in the hedge between our houses --- the little moments, the Big moments. I kept the wrapper from the Stollen cake you brought me last Christmas – here – wrapping your letter- because it makes me smile – you make me smile Peter! Thank you for being my friend – I cherish our friendship always.

I found something recently while walking the dog at Half Moon Bay – the beach we walked when you came to visit – yes in August I was walking and when I came up from the beach I stopped with the dog to take my shoe off & dump the sand out. When I leaned on the fence post to stabilize myself, I saw this stone cross inside the fence post – someone left it there. I don’t always know why I find things but I CAN recognize their significance – things stick out to me and sometimes they really do STICK OUT, as in this case! I thought you might like to have it now you know the story and how it reminds me of you, of us, of our walk there – our day together. The stone – I forget what kind it is – it as a nice feel to it and a little weight, feels good in the hand, if you hold it.

I have enclosed some photos from my Florida walk in April – when I jumped out of a plane & walked 24 miles by myself in the dark on the Canaveral National Seashore. It was grueling, exhausting, difficult, and at the same time, enlightening. When I was really really tired and maybe a bit concerned about being washed away to sea or stopping and not getting up all by myself, I found a letter on the small strip of beach, at my feet while walking, it was tied to a balloon and the wind carried it hundreds of miles then it washed up on the shore at my feet, and I found it in the dark! It made me so happy to know there was communication from a stranger, that this synchronicity happened. I was so tired I could not break the plastic string to open the letter while I was walking in the night but I tied the balloon to my backpack and it knocked around keeping my company. Also, the moon was near full and cast my shadow ahead of me in the sand as I walked. I could now see the shadow of the balloon cast in front of me as well – it really cheered me up and I didn’t feel so alone on my exhausting journey.

I hope this letter cheers you up like the one I found on the beach – and like the balloon I may not be in your direct line of sight but you know I’m with you wherever your journey takes you.

I love you very much Peter – I know you know that!

I will be home Friday ----


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

the journey of a letter (one)

2 letters remain unopened.... I have found they deserve travel, a long journey where they can be read and reread for pure delight. I soon head to Oaxaca by bus, 20 hours of bus-ride, for the Day of the Dead. I shall sit in some little cemetery, in some little pueblo, festooned with orange garlands, and sip a white mezcal--like those beneath the gravestones before me had-- and read the handwritten pages ...


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

i can't spell carriage. C-A-R-R-I-A-G-E.

hopping a flight
i'll be home Friday

Sally & Peter

kit kats
sugar daddys
candy corn
trick or treat
milk duds
butter fingers
whoH i ate too much candy

is this a fight? no its a ritual
do you have something to say? i didn't hear you
don't forget to vote. oh, i won't forget to vote

once there were 4 BREAGYs
i met their dad in the 80s
we all went camping in the Catskills & slept in tents
however i haven't seen the BREAGYs since ...

- new hampshire
--- new hampshire
----- new hampshire
. . . . . is that like camping every night ?

are you guys soccer champs ruling the field from yr new roost up there in the NORTH. hey you can learn to drive in a field in a farm truck that's fun. How tall are you and what year in school are you? we went camping and Jack brought me espresso to my tent. wow. now you guys probably DRINK COFFEE because that was years ago. you liked my dog BLUE, she had one blue eye. i think we wore flannel shirts. and chopped wood? I hope you have lots of TREES now. i am going to live in a forest for 6 WKS. i walk a lot. i miss you BREAGYs.
i can't spell carriage. C-A-R-R-I-A-G-E.
love, anne


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

this is the breath, this is the kiss

who knew there is a kissing bug ? nocturnal, of course. bites you on the face, hence the nickname : Kissing Bug.

could be around at A Studio in the Woods and it carries some kind of bad parasite you might end up rubbing into your eye. they sent me a disturbing "alert" today, along with other administrative paperwork. quite prevalent as Chagas disease in other continents.


Monday, October 20, 2008

trick or treat

my friend is very ill, i buy a ticket to go back home.

my eyes weary as i drive, i realize this will be our last time together.

is it harder to say goodbye for the last time
when you know it is the last time,
when the person is still there,
and you do the leaving.

i don't want to write these words

my little niece will be a fairy, we will go trick or treating.


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Friday, October 17, 2008

oh what a night

the US Census Bureau phoned to clarify my information, about 15 minutes on the phone haggling over my answers to the recent Census forms mailed to my house. after, a call from my sister, we chat.

when my delays bring me to the Warfield, the Kings of Leon are already on stage. They are two songs in.

rustling up a beer is not so easy under the new regime. frustrating, in fact. eventually at a third bar i get a cold one poured into plastic cup and turn back into the crowd of young sweaty hipsters. an absurd exchange occurs with some dude who basically tells me i'm too tall when i step into an empty space on the floor. this is a public space and we all have general admission tickets, i remind him. we have been here all night, he says, and you are in my friend's way. i turn all the way around mid-song and behind me is a 5'2" girl. you must be joking, i think to myself. he keeps on yammering throughout the song about how i should "duck". there are two or three rows of equally tall people standing in front of ME. what i really want to say is : GET SOME PLATFORM SHOES AND BUCK UP. i won't be here long.

this is the new generation. they feel entitled.

in my whole life, an exchange like that has never happened to me. i have been to hundreds of shows in all kinds of venues. sometimes, three concerts in three different venues all in one night. slammed to the ground in mosh pits & come up with no eyeglasses to sitting pretty in the balcony at Carnegie Hall and hearing an orchestra patron fold their eyeglasses into jacket pocket in the third row.

i am a roamer. i travel solo. i move about the house, mingling in the crowd, watching and listening from many perspectives. i'm on the balcony, i'm in the parking lot, i'm at the bar, i'm in the crush, i'm in the fray. i like the mixing, the movement. it is live. this is THE SHOW.

[back to the show]

seeking sweet sound i find a prime location on the back of the second tier, along the tier wall, looking out over the sound board to center stage and offering a fine panorama of the house. it doesn't hurt that a particularly choice eye candy comes with it a few inches away, and with a momentary nod in the dark i am now hip-to-hip with my fine neighbor.

absorbing this guy's pheromones, i have an air of calm finally. my hair floats behind me and using my boots along the back of the wall i hike myself up another twelve inches higher and hang steady with elbows. i close my eyes and listen. this is rock and roll.

now i can draw this, in the dark.
they fill this space, these Kings of Leon.

on behalf of KoL, Caleb dedicates a song to us, the audience.
if we can do it justice, he says if i recall correctly. it is: cold desert.
special (ones walk on) without sound
i've always been known to cross lines
this is why i came here. for this very moment, this flow of musical communion. it is rather unexpected, the intensity i feel personally. i am drawn in, the pull of night. we share this, me and these kings of leon. i could be walking alone under meteor shower in a state of exhausted delirium. i am surrounded by people and the crowd is talking an audible chatter over this quiet song until it builds to a rousing finale they can shake their fists at.

my second drawing is made closer to stage, off to the right. a staff guy comes over and momentarily shines his flashlight on my book as i draw in the dark. damn, i pulled a blue pen not a black one. not noticed in the dark. i continue on with the drawing all the same.

ponying over to the bar for a last beer, I pull out only a few singles from my wallet; panic look, no wad of $20s from the ATM. all pockets turn up no cash. i curse my unfortunate philanthropic freefall onto the floor of the Warfield, which makes tonight an expensive public foray: almost $200 for a little over an hour.

Kings of Leon finish up and the house lights come up.
the Warfield is not quite the familiar place it once was for me.

at home shortly thereafter, a quick dig in my wallet left here on the kitchen counter turns up my ATM pull. not so expensive after all. i am curled up with the dog watching a movie by 11:30 PM. on a show night. hmm, the times, they are a changing. i guess i am okay with that.


Releaser pheromones

Releaser pheromones are powerful attractant molecules that some organisms may use to attract mates from a distance of two miles or more. This type of pheromone generally elicits a rapid response but is quickly degraded. In contrast, a primer pheromone has a slower onset and a longer duration.

Primer pheromones

Primer pheromones trigger a change of developmental events.

Territorial pheromones

Laid down in the environment, territorial pheromones mark the boundaries of an organism's territory. In dogs, these hormones are present in the urine, which they deposit on landmarks serving to mark the perimeter of the claimed territory.

Trail pheromones

Trail pheromones are common in social insects. For example, ants mark their paths with these pheromones, which are non-volatile hydrocarbons. Certain ants lay down an initial trail of pheromones as they return to the nest with food. This trail attracts other ants and serves as a guide. As long as the food source remains, the pheromone trail will be continually renewed. The pheromone must be continually renewed because it evaporates quickly. When the supply begins to dwindle, the trailmaking ceases.

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the same direction


You will probably encounter tension today between your personal needs and your public and professional duties. You may feel that you are being pulled in two different directions that are almost impossible to pursue simultaneously. Events that happen today emphasize the polarity in your life, so that you have to distinguish continually between "myself" and "them," subjective and objective, conscious intention and unconscious impulses, public and private. At its worst, this influence can be quite difficult, and you may feel as though everything were breaking down. It all depends upon how much you have de-emphasized emotion and feeling in favor of rational intellect. On the other hand, if your feelings and your conscious intentions have taken the same direction, this can also be a day of high energy and achievement.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

giving it away

yes getting ready for Kings of Leon tomorrow night at The Warfield. I keep thinking about how things intersect and feed, seed.

I first heard of Kings of Leon through Chrissie Hynde.


SB: [laughs] But you were inducted into the Hall [Rock & Roll Hall of Fame] by Neil Young.

CHRISSIE HYNDE: That was the good part. It was absolutely amazing. I mean, getting to play with Neil--it was worth 25 years of playing for that moment.

SB: Were you surprised that he said he was inspired by you guys?

CHRISSIE HYNDE: I think it's the other way around. Is that what he said?

SB: Yeah.

CHRISSIE HYNDE: You know, I guess it works like that in the rock game. I met Kings of Leon recently, and I said to them, "Wow, you guys. Thanks for getting me through the last year of my life." And they said, "Thanks for getting us through high school." That really cheered me up.


Caleb Followill talks about walking in the night:

find an honest moment
been here before
followill willfollow will follow ill follow i'll follow
before they walk away


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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ready for question



Monday, October 13, 2008

train in vain

good thing i got on it this evening. my 18-week training schedule backs out to TODAY. how fortunate. these things, really do have to plan ahead and it takes a lot of hours to prepare one day's glorious walk.

less than 18 weeks until Saturday 14 February, walking MRGO...

hard sweet hard training schedule:


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throw me something mister

another delightful Monday full of research and excitement.

above, a map of the distance walk From New Orleans to Hopedale. My route is marked in red. Proposed date is 14 February 2009. The distance is approximately 30 miles on foot and includes a few water crossings (to be determined).

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streets of New Orleans

so it turns out Banksy made a trip to New Orleans recently and left his mark in the familiar form of uplifting and spectacularly on the money graffiti, which has been promptly removed/covered/erased.

have a look a the video and you can see the originals in situ:

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

book 'em Danno

after some hemming and hawing over the phone, we decide on the hotel booking and are settled into a fancy room at Renaissance Arts Hotel for Mardi Gras. On Tchoupitoulas Street at Canal, it seems to be on or just near the end of the parade route for the night parades of Lundi Gras.

something firm, determined. we WILL be walking in Mardi Gras!

parade routes & schedules for Carnival and Mardi Gras

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Societé de Sainte Anne

page source:
One of Schindler's and Poché's most intriguing collaborations, however, is the Societé de Sainte Anne, a Carnival walking club, which they started in 1969 along with their friend Jon Newlin, a freelance writer whose work is published in The Times-Picayune and Ambush Magazine.

Ste. Anne, like so many of the precious ephemera of Mardi Gras, defies attempts to define it. As a walking club, the only requirement for membership is that you know about it. Every Mardi Gras morning, a large group of people, wearing the most over-the-top costumes imaginable (including the kitchen sink), arrives at someone's house somewhere in the Bywater. Soon the Storyville Stompers show up, and everyone follows the band through the Bywater into the French Quarter up Royal Street, gathering more costumers at various points along the way, until they come to Canal Street where they await the arrival of Rex.

In Ste. Anne, everyone costumes; there are no spectators, only participants. Without any stated doctrine or structure, the Ste. Anne parade, in its spontaneity and disorganization, resembles the old Creole cavalcades that sprawled through New Orleans' streets in the 1830s.

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Friday, October 03, 2008

find the river

Find The River

Hey now, little speedyhead,
The read on the speedometer says
You have to go to task in the city
Where people drown and people serve
Don't be shy. Your just deserve
Is only just light years to go

Me, my thoughts are flower strewn
Ocean storm, bayberry moon
I have got to leave to find my way
Watch the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes
Nothing is going my way

The ocean is the river's goal,
A need to leave the water knows
We're closer now than light years to go

I have got to find the river,
Bergamot and vetiver
Run through my head and fall away
Leave the road and memorize
This life that pass before my eyes
Nothing is going my way

There's no one left to take the lead,
But I tell you and you can see
We're closer now than light years to go
Pick up here and chase the ride
The river empties to the tide
Fall into the ocean

The river to the ocean goes,
A fortune for the undertow
None of this is going my way
There is nothing left to throw
Of ginger, lemon, indigo,
Coriander stem and rows of hay
Strength and courage overrides
The privileged and weary eyes
Of river poet search naivete
Pick up here and chase the ride
The river empties to the tide
All of this is coming your way

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

in the numbers

22 FREAKY i just looked this up ::

Michael Hutchence: born 22 January 1960
Jim Jarmusch: born 22 January 1953

Joe Strummer died on 22 December 2002
Michael Hutchence died 22 November 1997

yes i will be writing to Mr Jarmusch
most certain walking something big on 22 January in NEW ORLEANS


Jim Jarmusch, Joe Strummer, and Micheal Hutchence all knew one another.
Visiting INXS singer Michael Hutchence in a Memphis hotel, Strummer found the singer surrounded by mini-skirted young women, and asked him what it was like to be a sex symbol. "You're Joe Strummer," Hutchence said, "You should know." "I was never a sex symbol," Strummer told him, "I was just a spokesman for a generation."

:: view a recounting from Jim Jarmusch as told in The Future is Unwritten.

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