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July 28th, 2009


Holga butterfly

--I read Sandra Tsing Loh's Atlantic article about her divorce in the wake of what in everyday parlance I'd term her mid-life crisis. The article is well-written, extrapolating from her own experience and her perception of her friends' marriages to try to state a universal premise about the decline of the institution. The temptation for writers to universalize the personal often proves irresistible--and a slow poison to what I view as the more nuanced craft of writing. On the other hand, the temptation for a reader to try to create a negative or positive icon from one writer's effort to express an idea also proves too irresistible--leading to a lack of nuance and a limited, banal debate. This kind of public display of author and critical audience always sends me hunting for quotes by the desert fathers, such as this one from St. Anthony the Great: "I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility." Rather than reaching for a stone to hurl, I'd rather hunt for a quartz vein--and look away.

--The fledgling western kingbirds are still sitting on the fence, but now they fly to the grass when people pass by. They're lovely, and shy.

--I used a holga filter on a butterfly picture taken in my back yard. I love the way that digital imagery lends itself to remixing.

--I despaired of seeing any large butterflies in our back yard this year, until a giant swallowtail visited the butterfly bush on Sunday, to my delight.

--I made a new ambient piece called "reading a novel". I plan to make a song cycle called "everyday pleasures".

--Our dogs loved being walked tonight--but Bea ran for the water the moment we got in from a warm and mildly muggy night.

--the taste of a new potato, the sight of a setting sun.