Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Womyn's Land


November 2013, Northern California. I tagged along with a new friend and her girlfriend on a three-hour drive north, to a small rural lesbian community that has been in existence since the '70s. It was deeply quiet there — one of those places where I notice how noisy my ordinary life is because all of a sudden that noise is just gone.

The pond was too cold even for just my feet, but if I'd wanted to go swimming, I could have. No swimsuit, but I could have just taken off my clothes and jumped in. Maybe come summer. Doors remain unlocked, and you can fall asleep alone in the grass without worrying about your safety or possessions.

My friend had to point that out to me when I said I was sleepy; it didn't occur to me. I was reminded of what Sylvia Plath, nineteen years old, wrote in her diary about the "awful tragedy...[of being born a woman]":
...all is spoiled by the fact that I am a girl, a female always in danger of assault and battery....I want to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west, to walk freely at night...
That awareness of the constant potential for danger that comes with being a woman in a violent patriarchal world, that is a kind of psychic noise too. And again, it's easy not to notice how it wears on you until you feel what an afternoon is like without that. And that quiet is almost bewildering...

I am carrying that afternoon with me. That taste of freedom, and the conviction that by rights I should have that freedom anywhere.

I am trying to imagine who I would be if my safety and privacy were always so inviolate.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Crystals on my windowsill


Some bought in Perth, some bought in San Francisco, and one taken from home where it had been a childhood plaything. I carry one in each fist sometimes, my fists resting deep in my pockets as I walk. To anchor me to the earth by my fists, with their weight. To remind me that I know what I want, which to me is nearly as magical and determinative as believing that they can give me what I want.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January 26, 2014

I ride my bike to the train station at 7:45 in the morning. On the street with the grassy median, pigeons circle in flight. Mild magic: the swirling patterns they make, the flash and vanish of the white undersides of fifty sets of wings.

I have right now the best job I've had yet, and that is doing a lot for my all-around happiness and mental health.

Currently receiving aesthetic nourishment by Agnes Obel's latest album Aventine. I love these "glimpses" she released before the album came out:

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The mystery exposure

Sometimes this happens with film: I have no memory of taking this photo, and no idea what this place is.