Current Book: Richard Brookhiser – The Adamses, 1735 – 1918, America’s First Dynasty

Again, a big gap in postings which means that I can’t recount all the important stuff. Or maybe only the important stuff. In any event, unless you’re a hard core fan of the minutia of my life, scroll down now!

For the rest of you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This weekend I made substantial progress in getting the house in order. I did it in the classic way: by giving myself two easily acheivable goals. First was to assemble the two bookcases I bought last week. Second was to stack all the loose papers that filled the floor of what should be the living room, but what had become the “file room”. By telling myself over and over that was all I had to do, I of course got excited by the tidier space and branched out from there. I went from the floor to the super cluttered living room desk, to changing the sheets, to taking things to the dry cleaner, to sorting through boxes of books to picking coins off the floor (don’t ask) to transcribing phone info into the palm desktop. Some of the things I discovered:
A. I owned ten pairs of sunglasses, most some variation on aviator frames and all very cheap. I chucked eight of them. On top of that I “found” three pairs of perscription glasses that I haven’t been wearing. Since lately I’ve been despairing at my worsening far sightedness, I should probably start wearing these.
B. I tend to leave pens in the pockets of clothes as part of a cycle where “I can’t find a single pen!” when i went though all those pockets and all of my shoulder bags I ended up with tons of them:thus the title for this post.
C. It’s better to admit that I won’t read something than to save it. I’ve got tons of announcements, catalogs, newspapers, etc. in the apartment that are only there because I think that I’ll get to them. I won’t, and for all the time I don’t they sit there and make me anxious and guilty.
D. My body is inherently messy. When you are hirsute, hair comes off of you and ends up on the floor more often than not. without regular removal, it can make your living space hirsute as well.
E. Placing bags of garbage on the curb feels good. Farewell to the six books of ‘while you were out memos that i was holding onto in order to save contact numbers. Some of them were from eight years ago. I know: a gold mine for my biographers, now gone for ever.

There’s more and more of this stuff of course. One of the most crucial points is that the same information can either make me clean more (as it did this weekend) or make me despair and cringe in my bed (as it has over the past few months). Some of this has to do with available time: when I get into the cycle of Home work shop sleep, I can only note the problem. When I feel that I have more time available, I can devise some strategies for moving it along As it was, I barely left the house Saturday, and got very little Christmas shopping done Sunday. But if it means that after two years I can start to fully inhabit my house, then it’s fine by me.

It’s chilly here now. Time to return to the rituals of temperature regulation in the shower: my landlord’s aged water heater and whimsical pipes mean that the water goes from tepid (25 seconds) to steam (1 minute, 16 seconds) to frigid (6 minutes). any attempts to even out the temp means dexterity like a safe cracker’s applied to the funky taps. As an added pleasure, there is a 4 second delay between the tap adjustment and any result. So imgine the intricate ballet that occurs in the morning as I attemt to manipulate the taps, lather, rinse, soap, adjust etc., etc. Is it any wonder I stink perhaps more than I should?
On a lighter note I woke myself up in the wee hours with a series of ideas for piieces, got out my notebook, recorded them actactually got back to sleep! Will any of them turn into actual pieces? I dunno, but I’m attracted to this idea that involves fifty video monitors and a lot of slapping.
Yesterday my collaborator sent me pictures of our pieces installed in the show at Yerba Buena in San Franciso. Everything looks a little creepy, and a little sad. I wonder if it’s chilly there.

If this activity is about anything, it’s about returning me to a life of reflection and integration. The past two years have been ones of upheaval. My life has been reshuffled, and It seems as though I’m still playing catch up. For the first time since high school I’m living in the same place as all my possessions. I’ve spent the last year in a kind of shock. All of my friendships seem up in the air. In the last month I’ve tried to rectify some of this, to reconnect. Complicating the effort is my tendency to react emotionally and not always in my own best interests. That has led me to false starts, allowing myself to drop out of touch with people. There is a curious way that I’m feeling unable to manage my connections to others. It all seems haphazard. My apartment is a series of narrow walkways between heaps of stuff – clothes, files, boxes, collections of things that only have a value to me because they are collected. Again it feels clotted, constricted, (oh no, my chi is blocked!) . This is a physical manifestation of the past holding the future back. Or at least that is the way I keep presenting it to myself. By this point any one reading this must be thinking “For god’s sake! get up and clean the fuckin room instead of writing about it!” so I will.