Monday, January 28, 2008

Significant Artifacts

ar * ti* fact

1.any object made by human beings, esp. with a view to subsequent use.
2.a handmade object, as a tool, or the remains of one, as a shard of pottery, characteristic of an earlier time or cultural stage, esp. such an object found at an archaeological excavation.
3.any mass-produced, usually inexpensive object reflecting contemporary society or popular culture: artifacts of the pop rock generation.
4.a substance or structure not naturally present in the matter being observed but formed by artificial means, as during preparation of a microscope slide.
5.a spurious observation or result arising from preparatory or investigative procedures.
6.any feature that is not naturally present but is a product of an extrinsic agent, method, or the like: statistical artifacts that make the inflation rate seem greater than it is.
Also, artefact.

[Origin: 1815–25; var. of artefact <>arte factum (something) made with skill. See ART, ]

A wool blazer that belonged to my grandmother, Nellie Walker.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pi by Lisa Gill

By Lisa Gill

The other night it occurred to me that if I were to start rattling
off the numbers for pi now, I wouldn’t need to round up until
my last exhalation. At the time, the proposition held promise.
Potentially my mind could succumb to the kind of focus required
for such rote calculations.Granted that’d only get me a finite slice
of the infinite, but that’s a lot. For a moment I envisioned solace.
3.14 or John 3:16, I’d like to find purpose, some work I can follow
through to the end. I botch things. It frightens me into believing
I wouldn’t mind dying here, in this poem. If the rest of my life
consisted of simply fourteen lines, I believe I could do it well.
Any longer and I am less certain I can maintain this controlled
floundering. I picture myself perpetually flopping about. Desire
to live rivals my desire for certainty. I want to cling and I want
to let go. I want to cross my fingers and see what comes next.

-from Red as a Lotus: Letters to a Dead Trappist.
Albuquerque, NM: La Alameda Press, 2002.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bye Buster.

I remember Amy & I walking through the line of cages. There was a tiger kitten scaling the bars--I liked her attitude. But AE was attracted to the black and white guy squatting sullenly in a box by himself. He certainly was handsome. A bit older. 6 months or so. A pouting teenager. The info card said someone had adopted him secretly and then had to give him up because their landlord discovered him. (I think. I could be distorting things miserably. I wonder if I wrote anything down in my journals?)

Amy sent me an email Saturday saying that he lost all his weight this past month. That his liver gave up. That he was comfortable until the last day. She put him down. Reading her message, I start to cry. (It's Monday. I'm at work. Damn. I'm trying not to sob and wail. Struggling to be quiet.)

Buster Buddy Boy.

Just yesterday [he was already gone & I didn't know it].... Just yesterday I was laughing about the game he & I played over the whole "fenced yard" thing. He LOVED to escape. And he was really good at it. I can't tell you how many Sunday afternoons were devoted to this sport -- me watching him quietly until he couldn't stand it and had to go for it. Me hauling him back in and then lashing more green garden fencing to trees and stakes and existing fence posts.

He loved the glider on the porch, the one with the comfy outdoor cushions. I think Amy & I once had a picture of Buster, Jasper and Luke reclining companionably in the sun. I can call it up in my head. Buster and Jasper and Luke. The idea makes me smile even though I think every time one of them dies maybe I should go too. If there is something beyond this life... if Luke and Buster and Hannah (cat, cat, dog) were already "there" to grab my hand and pull me "over," I wouldn't be afraid.

I would be utterly pleased if that could be what Infinity is.

Buster the Cat. Died: 12 January 2008.

We were living on Hoster Street in Columbus Ohio. We already had Rico, Puss, Hannah and Missy. (Cat, cat, dog, dog). We had tried couples therapy; she said Amy needed help first. We had a white couch and chair we got from the Penny's outlet store. I grew flowers out back. I'm sure there is much more...

I can't continue like this. Going numb, runningrunningrunning, allergic to myself, refusing to glance back over my shoulder. I need to know what happened to me. To us. I need to be able to come and go from my Past. I need my attention. I need my compassion. I need my courage. And I need a community... I can't do this alone. ((Let's do one thing you want, and one thing I want....))

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Notable Personal Achievements of 2007

1. Actually creating a list with the heading "Notable Personal Achievements of 2007"
2. Not killing a certain underachieving, melodramatic co-worker.
3. Growing my relationship with Gloria.
4. Putting Austin on a diet.
5. Taking regular walks.
6. Practicing the following sentence: I am a writer with a day job.
7. Asking some important questions over and over: What did you hear yourself say yesterday? What made you laugh yesterday? What makes you feel rich? What gives you energy and what steals it? What are you grateful for? What are three things you are feeling?
8. Meeting some amazing people: Lisa Gill (poet), Mary Oishi (poet), Marisa Clark (writer), Leah Larkin (research entomologist), and Carolyn Dobson (wildflower expert)
9. Memorizing a few poems. And showing up at my writing desk as often as I could wrangle it.