Friday, August 1, 2014


Tallulah's eye view of mom copyediting for a living
Our lives have been, over the past--forever--frequent confrontations with our options. There might be an infinite number of paths if you know how to look at the whole thing right.

And they may all lead somewhere entirely different. Literally. Our boat life: in half an hour we can be on our way to the other side of the world. Slowly--but anything’s possible.

For now we have tumbled toward St. Thomas. Fatefully, maybe, back toward some of what we left behind. Time sort of coiling on itself--the process of trying to make sense of life, trying to see some kind of order, seeming stupid and futile, if irresistible. 

And yet things do seem to have an air of adding up to something. To taking all this learning, stewing in a crucible-shaped vessel, and doing more with it.  

Professor mom works here

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tallulah's projects

Cat Coming Home from Work

Octopus and Roses


Friday, July 25, 2014

The underworld of unfinished novels.

The toil of writers like the coal stokers on great steamships, with smudged faces. This world is not normally visible, below the sphere of accomplished things--the manifested. And yet this striving is the  work of dreaming.

Wait. Does that metaphor work? Are these toilers and dreamers really making a huge machine go? Are they indeed working for some greater good? Does their mostly unrewarded labor help everyone else up there--those who don’t see them, who only feel the movement of the ship? Stoking coal. A task that probably no one would choose, all things being equal.

I’m trying to give some contour to a desperate exercise. Another metaphor: Grabbing a vine, and swinging out over the jungle. And laughing so hard while you do it that you almost let go. Because this daredevil act is exhilarating, and meaningless, and somehow--ineluctable.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Monday, June 9, 2014

Here’s a question that occurs to me lately, as I try to prepare for another academic job interview (ten years after the last one): Who am I?
     And why do I need to know?
     I appear to have jostling identities, selves that don’t know each other well, even, sometimes, only dimly aware of each other’s existence. This sounds like crazy talk, sort of schizophrenic. And yet--I have a suspicion (based in part on my reading of Catcher in the Rye) that I am not alone. That this may be, in fact, common. The unified self is, in fact, a social construct--convenient, perhaps even indispensable, but imposed. Learned, at the very least.           
     This is a way to try to get them all together. The cultivated selves, the ones that refuse to be eliminated and must be accommodated (somehow), the granite-like chunks of character. My best self sits down and gives this abstract shape--little black marks that have nothing to do with what they represent--to what is obviously infinite, inchoate, unknowable.