Epistemology, the study of the properties of knowledge and truth

Bag, a photo of his daughter by Hendrik Kerstens


Perpetual motion, like a spring wound in a heavenly kingdom. I can feel potential building, the tension of seasons, of thrilling decisions, of a grand tipping point somewhere near, almost as touchable as the closest horizon. Somewhere soon I will find a solution, the magical arrangement of pieces that will let it all out, create an escape for the pressure, allow me to blossom into the next incarnation of exquisite useful flower.

My internal barometer is, in part, my hair. The farther I neglect the colour, the more I know something needs to change. Now, for the first time in many years, I am only negligently dyed off my natural red blonde. Another is my music. When was the last time I practiced the saw, running rills, songs, and scales meant only for me?

David comes home, our lovely neighbor Randa in tow, “Why do you have a colander on your head?” “Oh!” I say, disingenuous, whisking it off my head, “I had company.” I spend eight hours on the bus every weekend, waiting in travel to see Tony or to get back to Vancouver in time for work, and close to five hours every week waiting for Michael, who gets out of the office around an hour after I do, so we can travel home together, but to myself I only seem to find a handful of ten minute increments where I can feel creatively infected, ripe with the mental control of whispering ghosts, where I have space enough to make.

This selection of habits grew so slowly, so organically, that it was confusing me, how little time was suddenly available. It wasn’t until I counted the hours on my fingers, waiting at a street corner for a light to change, that I realized what started as moments few enough to blink away has expanded, accumulated into enough minutes to fill an entire day a week of my eaten time spent stilled, ineffectual, accomplishing nothing, creating nothing, being merely a body, adding nothing to the world but a physical space.

This, among other things, perturbs me at the level of bone.

To that end, however, as I cannot afford a tool with which to fix this problem, and the other things are other stories, what colour should I dye my hair?

where are my brains

My apprehension is on fire, reaching out to confuse my generally pragmatic self. Tonight I will get home, try to relax with David, have a brief panic, and eventually give in to a clockwork pattern of getting up every five minutes to try and make sure I remembered everything I made a mental note to pack. Then my mother will arrive, slightly late, while I am in the middle of tearing something apart, and drug me into amicability with chocolate. Our things will be put into her van, we may or may not stop somewhere for road food, and then we will go.

Ten blocks will go by before I remember that I have left either my plane ticket or required ID on top of a flat surface somewhere in my room, and another fifteen blocks will go by before I remember that I’ve forgotten something essential to do with either the camera or the laptop. After that, we will be like an arrow, off to Seattle in the dark. At the border we will make jokes about holding on to contraband, while hoping they don’t search the truck and find the Kinder Eggs we’re smuggling for Robin’s party. Around then I will remember that I’ve left Robin’s number at home, right next to where that pesky other thing had been. We will decide it’s probably just in my bag and continue on, but we’ll be wrong.

In Bellingham, it will rain so hard the roads will collapse, and I will miss my plane on Monday, recovering in an American hospital that charges me for the air I breathe.

Nonsense clear in my head, put there solidly by my worried, idiot heart. Nonsense and things that have happened before but are unlikely to ever happen again. I know this trip will completely different then the last time I went to California. It can’t not be. I will not be stranded. I will not be neglected. Nothing will flood. (Related to that, I will not get caught in another mud-slide.) I will not be attacked by yet another damned wild animal while camping. I will not be kidnapped by yet another dangerous religious fanatic. I will not get trapped on the train for seven hours because of a suicide. I will not accidentally walk into Compton on my first day in Los Angeles.

Not only will my trip by fun, it will be fine. This time I have friends there. I am connected. I have a network, a safety net, multiple places to stay. Tonight we will remember everything irreplaceable, get clean across the border, and collapse into our plans/friends in Seattle with joy. On Monday morning, I will be exhausted, but will make my early morning flight. I won’t get off the plane to find myself abandoned by a car crash, Lung and Natasha will meet me there. Vegas will be exotic yet completely familiar from television, terrific and fascinating. When we leave for the Salton Sea, our drive will be all sing-alongs to favourite songs, fruit juice, bad jokes, and photography in the desert. When it is time to go to sleep, we will lie down on the cold ground, miles away from anything, and the stars at night will be so clear as to make me catch my breath.

I’m feeling unaccountably unattractive

“Free Speech is the right to yell ‘Theater!’ in a crowded fire.”
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp -Abbie Hoffman

Barely averted disasters, not quite problems, almost, practically, nearly, verging, uncomfortably close. Yesterday I was right next to the mild downtown explosion, but managed to just miss nasty smoke inhalation; the resulting massive power failure kindly skipped the corner with my building, leaving us with power but no internet, so basically a blank day paid; the heavy wing-backed chair that dropped on David at work didn’t break his arm, (he’s hurt badly enough that he gets a paid day off work, but not so badly that he isn’t glad about it); and we lucked out and managed to rescue Ray’s vehicle, which was accidentally locked into a closed parking lot while we sat in the ER waiting room for three hours.

There seemed to be a downward spiral.

But then there was ice-cream and a Vincent Price film, The Last Man On Earth, (which is what I am Legend should have been), I got a message that my camera should be fixed by the weekend, and we gave Ray a DVD box-set of Bela Lugosi films and a cute stuffed bunny with floppy long ears, so yesterday was alright after all.

A white pebble day, by any account.

getting everything down to six boxes

via neat-o-rama:

Dave Bruno looked around his San Diego home one summer and realized just how much of his family’s belongings were cluttering their lives. So he decided to do something about it, in a project he called The 100 Thing Challenge:

By my thirty-seventh birthday on November 12, 2008 I will have only 100 personal items. I will live for at least one year (God willing) maintaining an inventory of only 100 personal things. This challenge will help me “put stuff in its place” and also explore my belief that “stuff can be good when it serves a purpose greater than possession alone.”

Lisa McLaughlin of TIME Magazine covered this story:

Excess consumption is practically an American religion. But as anyone with a filled-to-the-gills closet knows, the things we accumulate can become oppressive. With all this stuff piling up and never quite getting put away, we’re no longer huddled masses yearning to breathe free; we’re huddled masses yearning to free up space on a countertop. Which is why people are so intrigued by the 100 Thing Challenge, a grass-roots movement in which otherwise seemingly normal folks are pledging to whittle down their possessions to a mere 100 items. […]

“It comes down to the products vs. the promise,” says organizational consultant Peter Walsh, who characterizes himself as part contractor, part therapist. “It’s not necessarily about the new pots and pans but the idea of the cozy family meals that they will provide. People are finding that their homes are full of stuff, but their lives are littered with unfulfilled promises.”

Dave’s progress blog, guynameddave.

the Prof. Snape vs. Ozzy Osborne guy was wearing an ascot, no kidding

I was stood up for dinner, but I had a nice chat with C.R. Avery and sat in the park while Rowan practised with his lovely musical pirate trio, the Creaking Planks, (where I ran into Sean McG, who claims his new clean-cut look was given to him be a group of nuns who drugged him ), instead, so that wasn’t terrible. Nicole rescued my night entirely and possibly even my weekend, too. We went for dinner at Fet’s, theatrically discussed my attempted mugging, her terrible attempt at getting out of the city for the long weekend, my irrational emotional traumas, and the gnome themed bar she found herself stuck at in Squamish.

Love Hurts came on the stereo as we were waiting for our bill, so she pulled a scene, I loudly rebutted her “passion”, and we danced briefly, until it was simply too much and we had to leave before laughter terminally overcame breathing. Course, that happened after, while walking past the we-are-musicians-because-we-dress-like-them “jam session” happening outside Turks. I’m wearing LEATHER! He wasn’t shrieking, exactly, but the entire scene was too much. Too, too much.

Sometimes time swells over and spills little events. I suppose tonight is one of those nights.

Who will be at the Bjork concert? Would you like to meet up? Give me a cell number to call and we can play tag at the gig. (I’m going with Joshua Caldwell and Travis Hildebrandt.)