— From EF —

If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you know that trips to the ocean are a staple on our sanity schedule. Something that never fails to amaze me is how that Lady’s face is never the same, and how her power is always manifest, whether in tumult or in stillness.

Today was a whole new aspect. First, you have to know the difference between swells and chop. Swells are the great long lines of elevation in the water, chop is the smaller barking ridges. You can have swells without chop, and chop without swells, but swells are the great engines that make mighty effects.

Today there were beautiful regular swells, line after line in a totally calm ocean, no chop at all. They were absolutely parallel and at regular intervals, lines of quiet muscular force approaching the land, smooth folds in the mighty water.

Close to shore, the massed muscular energy asserted itself. A big swell would excite its upper lip, and the white stallions would break free for the finish line, rushing to get there before everybody else. The curling line of transformation would crash from jade-green to the whitest white I’ve ever seen, the smooth muscular push transformed to a jet of whipped cream.

Such joy, to watch this. Nobody harmed, nothing destroyed, just an exuberant manifestation of limitless power in its ageless repetition.

Thank you, Mama.

— From CB —

An esteemed photographer friend is doing a series on people in “subcultures” and asked if we’d like to be part of it.

Which brought up the question: where do we belong? Or do we?

The identifiable “groups” to which we’ve belonged over the years: theatre students; academia, the weird-experimental theatre; the regional-professional theatre; the family-violence industry; independent radio producers; a Quaker fellowship; a neo-pagan church; polyamory groups; puppeteers; a poetry salon; and now the first flutterings of connection to the world of prose fiction. And yet we’ve always been on the fringe of every “belonging” — respected, I think, but never in true embrace.

At present, it boils down to deeply-felt but widely scattered friendships, cross-country, from all those lives and identities. We have a very small circle who meet for full-moon celebrations; we meet our small writers’ group on alternate Mondays; we go to an occasional event; and that’s about it. While we know lots of people doing theatre locally and in the Bay Area, we’re virtually anonymous in that realm hereabouts, totally outside a “community,” if there is one. That hurts, and yet we do little to change it.

In part, it’s a consequence of my natural instinct to gravitate to the edge of a circle, to refuse it as a sole identity or an unquestioned one. In part, it likely derives from the bizarre nature of our dyad, that our bond to each other and to the work we make together overrides any group connection. And I guess it’s evidence that we don’t quite fit anywhere. Some people learn that in high school, if not before, and it becomes integral to your reflection in the mirror.

And in my own mind, my “identity,” apart from ties to family, is mostly non-existent. From my mother, I got unconditional love and acceptance — despite hideous teen-year quarrels — that, however I resisted her, gave me an absolute lifelong assurance that I was loved, that I was special, that I existed. It was planted in me deeper than rationality, something that no vile review in the NY Times could ever shake. Confidence? No. “Confidence” suggests a result, an outcome, and I’ve never had the conviction that my work, my creativity, my brilliance would ever be recognized outside a tiny cadre of faithful souls. But I’ve never needed that assurance. All I’ve needed is to do the work.

I wonder if the need for identity is a trap. Easy for me to say, I know, as I’ve rarely felt the need: my work is my life, along with my image in the eyes of my mate and my children — besides eating good food and making love and viewing the ocean. I don’t pay much heed to the squat little man lurking like a fireplug in my soul, calling himself Conrad and grabbing the biggest piece of pie. That might qualify as an identity, but I’d much rather be an arroyo through which, every once in a while, the flash floods surge. Other times, there’s just some gray-green sagebrush scattered along the bottom, lizards basking on the ledge.

— From the Fool —

I think I need to get an account.

I keep getting calls from Bridget at Card-Holder Services, and it’s embarrassing. She’s calling in reference to my account, and I always hang up because I’m ashamed to tell her I don’t have an account.

I don’t even have a card to hold. Except my Safeway card, because I get a buck off buying a sack of cat food. I had a credit card once but I canceled that when I found out they send you a bill at the end of every month.

So it seems like Bridget is just wasting her time. I know it’s a robo-call and she never sounds like she’s discouraged or accusatory for having to come in and record another call for me when she’s probably got better things to do with her life like having a baby or working her way up to be the Card-Holder Services CEO.

Because there’s always a market for card-holder services, I think. When I was a card-holder there were lots of services I could have used. I’ve cut back a lot, though Gertie can go through a sixteen-pound sack of cat food in a week.

I wonder if Bridget has a cat.


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© Bishop & Fuller 2016







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