A story from late last summer

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Summer, darling

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Odessa had the beautiful idea of driving north today to observe the first day of summer in the lavender fields.

In the evening on our way home, we stopped at a farmers' market and had ice cream. I bought some peaches from a stand whose samples were heavenly, also I braved some earl gray honey ice cream that has persuaded me that these earl gray cakes would be a good baking choice.

I think it's time to decide not to buy any more books. I already own more than a full shelf of as-yet unread books.

I spoke about solstice briefly with Sui — she agrees, "You can feel something shifting." It's called "sun-turn" in German, and it is a poignant day for me, because it carries some personal meaning (an easy anchor for memories) as well as all the cultural symbolism of cyclicality, lightening, darkening, passage and return.

I am reflecting.

Summer is usually my least favorite season, but I'm older and wiser each year, and I'm beginning to master it. I have faith for this one.

Read in May 2012

As always, titles link to the pertinent Goodreads page — feel free to add me as a friend on there if you have an account.

1. X-Day, Vols. 1 & 2, by Setona Mizushiro
Manga about a motley group of outsiders that unites around a desire to blow their high school up. Yes, it's dark and it's about nihilistic people; it's also quite poignant. It didn't even matter that I didn't care that much about the plot; I cared enough about the premise and the narrator.

2. Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery: Poems, by Pamela Sneed
I'm somewhat indifferent to her style, but her thought processes feel like my own, and that's comforting, and illuminating in some ways. Poems of memoir, of varying degrees of politicality.

3. Be the Person You Want to Find: Relationship and Self-Discovery, by Cheri Huber
This is a lot more Zen/mindfulness philosophy than it is normal self-improvement/self-help. It's good. She's compelling and explains well, and the formatting (i.e. the amount of empty page space) suits the content.

4. The Death Notebooks, by Anne Sexton
Image-driven, wandering, morbid. The sequence called "The Furies" is gorgeous.

5. Sexism and God-Talk: Toward a Feminist Theology, by Rosemary Radford Ruether
This was such excellent food for my intellect. As it says, it is not a feminist theology; it is a contribution towards a feminist theology, in the form of assessments of and reflections on other Christian theologies and theological positions. She is bold, not always orthodox but eminently reasonable, very consistent, utterly penetrating... I kind of fell in love her writing and her thinking — she has a gift for synthesis and for articulating thorny things in spacious ways.

Cat's cat

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Driveway camellias

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Why I don't own jeans

Because standard sizing does not work on pants.

Because they don't allow a full range of movement.

Because I do not believe in tolerating clothes that squeeze and pinch you, anymore than I believe in tolerating people who squeeze and pinch you (and that's what 98% of jeans do, pinch either my belly or my thighs).

I have concluded that jeans do not deserve the time and energy it requires for me to find a non-abusive pair. And I believe in giving no more time and energy to a given concern than rightly belong to it.

So I mostly wear skirts. And the funny thing is that I really don't worship at the Altar of Femininity. But in my life, given my body type, they actually are to be the more practical garment choices.

And giving up jeans aligns well for me with the spirit of minimalist practice: A pair of jeans may carry more of a connotation or appearance of simplicity than a floral skirt does, but the skirt means I get more time, I get to be more comfortable, and I get to think less about clothes. And that is very nice.

Sunday morning colors

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Introvert concert-going

I went to a concert alone for the first time, last week. It was CocoRosie in an old ballroom and it was an amazing show; I'm still kind of walking around in the afterglow. Weird and beautiful and so atmospheric. I forgot how much I love dancing: I will always be found among the true believers (I will always be among the last dancing). And it is just a beautiful thing to be not only feeling good music in your bones, but having that experience with a couple hundred other people in a dimly lit room.

Suburban sidewalk

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Lying on my back outside a BART station.

Haight and Laguna

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I used to walk past the rabbit installation every morning as part of my commute. I kinda like it.

Gifts

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Aquarium glass

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Kelp forest

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Alien trees / Anemones

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Sea otter nap

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