Wednesday, October 24, 2007

dreams and reading

This morning I woke up from a strange dream: a student of mine was driving me to school every day, and he said, "Let's stop at my house. We'll make breakfast, lunch, and dinner." We pulled into a pink house with a pink detached garage. "Why?" I asked. He said, "Every morning you are always burping. I think you need to have something decent to eat." I told the student, "That's because every morning I have language for breakfast. It's delicious." I grinned, and he took me inside to make spaghetti-o's, which we put into sandwich bags to eat later.

I go through these phases where I become completely obsessed with something, but it generally runs in cycles: reading (and nothing but) and mostly contemporary literature, living the writing life and leaving little room for anything else, devouring and exploring and studying canonical literature (and supplementing that with DVDs and CDs to listen to in the car), and not as often, there are periods where I read escape fiction and knit in front of the television.

Speaking of television, Husband and I are watching a series called Planet Earth done by the BBC. We're borrowing it from the library, and it's wonderful. I was unbearably sad yesterday, trying to pull myself out of the muck, reading on the sofa, our dogs leaping around, licking at our hands, and the sight of such beauty in nature (it all started with the polar bears, which I thought had similar appeal to Penelope) really brought me back into myself. (The swing of the slow pendulum.)

We picked out animals that our pets would be, if they could be wild. Our golden retriever Penelope is like a gazelle, an antelope, an impala--she is wispy thin and graceful when she is running (though not always when she is aiming for something). She moves unbelievably fast and has that streaky brown look. Our black lab mix Zephyr is like a hippo, I think, though Husband said this was mean. He's stout, thick barreled. (My parents' pure lab, Lanie, always reminded me of a pot bellied pig. Zephyr isn't quite like that though.) He's sweet tempered, but like a hippo, he can surprise you. Gatsby, our Siamese mutt of a cat, has always been a monkey, to me, one much like that little yellow monkey you always see in the zoo (squirrel monkey?). And Libby, our orange tabby, reminded us of the leopard in the film, which seems unoriginal, but he isn't a lion (like our friends' cat Simon) and he really is incredibly big-cat like, glaring, mean (he reminds us of a snake when he bites, twisting his head and rapidly nipping you)--to most people, that is. He is a sweet snuggler with me and Husband, but he is definitely not friendly to others!


What I mean to say is this: I had been writing furiously for quite some time (and see, this swing often gets me into trouble: when I am writing furiously, I am looking forward to an MFA program, and when I am reading furiously, I am thinking I'd prefer an MA first), and now I am back into the hermit life of a reader. I daydream about getting home, curling up on the sofa, and reading in the waning afternoon light.

I spend my study hall hour adding books to my Good Reads page. (Angie, you really should join. So should you, Chris.) I love the idea of a community of readers, and keeping these books lined up on a virtual shelf. I hope this will motivate me to find more time for reading and writing--for finding that space for myself.

Today: a good friend has his photograph in the local paper from the program in which Husband graduated.

This afternoon: doctor's appointment (I had been so pleased to not have been since July, but I have two appointments coming up--so it begins again). Maybe a purchase of a new bookcase; we are beginning to be overrun by stacks again.

Tomorrow evening: The first official night of the mentorship. Intermedia Arts--this time, I will find it with no trouble, knowing the detours, the traffic, the construction. I hope to stop at MN Center for the Book Arts beforehand. I love driving in to the city. I love the city at night, the way the lights glow.

1 comment:

Professor J said...

I had a black lab named Ursula, and I always thought she was something of a cow. A fine Black Angus cow.