second year slump

fighting an academic crisis of faith.
(i don't want to go back i don't want to go back)

i don't want to be buried in work and stressed out all the time, and never have any fun because i can never just turn my brain away from endless impossible lists of things that have to be done tomorrow or yesterday. i think other people feel it too; my cohort has been squabbling over the email list all day today.

i hope the fall meeting tomorrow will inspire me in some unforeseen way.

tonight i'm seeing an ex-ex-friend and i'm feeling a little avoidant about that, too. c asked if i miss having him as a friend and i am not sure what i said, and i am not sure what the true answer is. he is not like anyone i know. he is completely weird, and i like weird. our friendship was dramatic and a little codependent and it suited me at the time, but neither of us is in that place anymore. i guess i will see what it's like, now.

mostly this week all of my nerves are raw and at the surface, just look at me wrong and brimstone will rain down upon you. seems like a good weekend to hole up in a little cottage on the north coast.


the weekend

roadtrip. music. sun, heat. grass, shade. naps. homecooked meals. grownup room. couple-ness. long hike. big backpack. sleeping in the open, wind blowing gritty dust into everything. cold night air. falling stars. lying in the dark, quiet, loving her so hard. delight: shower, coffee, and breakfast after a night outside. connection. letting go. charting the territory. limning the borders. fighting back. forgotten things. flat tire. interesting lessons. resolution. learning each other. learning each other.
now we rise
and we are everywhere
now we rise from the ground
see she flies
and she is everywhere
see she flies all around

so look see the sights
the endless summer nights
and go play the game that you learned
from the morning

-nick drake


sleepless in berkeley (for the moment).

i wish i had a patron saint of sleep or something; alas, i am not catholic. but if i did, i'd protest this whole insomnia thing that's been with me since i got back a few days ago. i would say maybe i just am needing a little less sleep right now, except that i'm feeling tired and draggy during the days, so i don't think that's it. probably a combination of a too-full head and a not-active-enough body.

after being back in the bay for just three nights, i am leaving again for the mountains. but this time...the place i'm going, and who i'm going with...i think it will feel pretty much like home.

then back here for two weeks. my longest stretch in berkeley since i moved into my apartment! i can actually buy a full round of groceries, and hopefully sell off my damn television and unpack my books (which are still stacked neatly in boxes in one of my closets). of the surrounding seven weeks (beginning of august to middle of sept), 8/18-19 will be my only one in town. it goes like this:
OR - tahoe - home - mendocino - tahoe - OR - MN

school starts the week between mendocino and the second tahoe trip. and i will likely be making a short trip to the reservation during the first week of classes.

probably someone ought to remind me that i'm not 25 anymore!


exuberant heart

hot on the heels of the weirdest night last night (see below): the greatest day.
well, the greatest day given that i am here, when really i would rather be at home.

still, unarguably a good day. made some progress on my project and had a fun time talking to V. made a strange-but-strangely-good lunch in our little kitchen. had a break in the late afternoon for a few hours, during which i found the best. text message. EVER. waiting for me on my phone. seriously. then a long happy sweet yim conversation and then i felt saturated in good energy from her.

phone call from E, she's back from australia and i didn't even realize how much i missed her until i heard her voice. then i went out for a long long walk, and then L and i went to the store and now instead of working i think i will simply enjoy this warm and sleepy feeling of wellbeing that i have going on right now.

tomorrow is our last day of working with V. then they are having a cookout for us; they're inviting family members over and making all kinds of food. and V is going to teach me to make indian fry bread in a pan over a fire! yeah! hopefully then i can make it next weekend when i hike up to a ridge in the sierras and camp for the night, watching the perseids.

monday we head down to the reservation.
tuesday...meeting, then home!

summer is nearly over but what a summer.
work proceeds, heartfriends are coming home, and i have a new love.

ah, life!


nobody parties like a ling grad

friday night in small town oregon. i'm walking around outside, talking to c on my cell phone. there's this great spot, just a little way up the road past the cherry trees, a gravel road cuts off to the left and i walk a little way down it and sit there and look up at the stars. i've seen two meteors, and it's just great to sit there and look at the sky and talk to her.

usually i don't see any signs of life when i'm out there at night, but tonight there were some cars driving by and finally one slowed and pulled over near where i was. i thought it was some pesky do-gooder and i stood up, all ready to say "i'm fine, nothing to see here" but it was the police. they told me, i swear to god, that they got a call that "someone was running around here in their underwear."

i look down at myself. "um...well...i'm wearing my clothes, so i don't think it was me." he pulls out a little notebook and gets my info. all of my driver's license info! just for sitting by the road at night! stupid oregon. did i see anyone that matches that description? "no...i saw a few cars, but i haven't seen any people, clothed or unclothed."

so they pull away and i decide i'd better wander towards the house, so a few minutes later i'm standing near the top of the driveway and t pulls in in his big pickup. then the police come back! they forgot to get my address, so they get that from me and then drive away again.

then things get really weird. t (husband of one of the people who lives here) walks up the driveway to see what's going on. i explain that i was just talking on the phone and the police were checking out a report of someone running around in their underwear. "well...i have a double barrel twenty in the shed if you need it."


did t just offer me a gun? c in my ear saying um...did he just offer you a gun? he's continuing "and i have a three-fifty-seven, and a double ought six..." [note: okay, if any of you know anything about guns i'm sure you can tell by now that i am pretty much making these numbers up]. he tells me he has SEVENTEEN! guns! in the house! and he's getting three more tomorrow!

"i like guns. i like to kill deer. you know...critters. we get 'possum around here sometimes." okay, t. thanks...i think i'm okay. i'll just go inside now. c in my ear saying do you want to go talk to him? no! no no no! i go inside and finish my conversation in relative peace, unable to say any of the naughty things i would like to say because i have no privacy inside.

ah, the wild friday nights of a linguist on a fieldwork trip.

i want to go home.
to berkeley.
where things are normal.


daydreaming, diffuse

in oregon again for fieldwork until 8/7.
it's. hard. this time.
sometimes i wish i were tougher.

while i am here i am trying to impose a soothing regularity on my daily routine. sleep 11-7, then go for a walk. coffee and breakfast, work on my own stuff for a little while, then start the day's work with V. i intend to get more of my own work done in the evenings but it is so hot, oven hot in this baking little house that was once a garage, brain melting hot. it's just so hard to work. so i end up killing time on the internet, talking on the phone, rattling around like loose change.

i wear a ring and carry a stone (with a sharp poky point like the tail of a comma) in my pocket, talisman-like.

i think about what it would have been like to have a conversation with me six years ago.
i think about transformations.

i remind myself of what matters.