23 April 2008

Lo. Li. Ta.

Big Ups to Humbert Humbert
Today is Vladimr Nabokov's birthday. His opening lines of Lolita are among my favorite novel-openers. It's hard for me to describe the passion I have for this story, but maybe it's all right here. From a my perspective, the pull is that of that just discovered power of youth and beauty you have no idea what do with until it's almost (almost) too late.

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta. She was Lo, plain Lo in the morning, standing 4-foot-10 in one sock; she was Dolly at school; she was Doris on the dotted line; but in my arms, she was always Lolita.

Big Ups to Sonnets
It's also supposed to be the believed date of William Shakespeare's birth. Below is Writer's Almanac's poem of the day.

Poem: "Sonnet 104" by William Shakespeare. Public domain.
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold

Have from the forests shook three summers' pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April pérfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah yet doth beauty, like a dial hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred,
Ere you were born was beauty's summer dead.

And in other news, do you own a pair of New Balance?
Are you white? Read more about your kind here at
Stuff White People Like.

And my favorite song these days. Leonard Cohen's "Anthem" from The Future, 1992 album.

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in."

That's how the light gets in. And it's Spring.

20 April 2008

What? The Internet's Not Broken?

Grandma Jerry at Christmas.
A poster I would like, for like, ever.
Me and oranges.

Did I just click on my blog with the ability to actually sign in and post? Yes, my friends. Yes. I did. I actually did. Much has happened since November 2007, and I bet Kelly Rae will be thankful when her birthday appreciation post is finally off of my blog page. Her birthday is actully coming up again. That's how long it's been since I posted anything.

So. Quick summary.
  1. I have my very own apartment. Mine, mine, mine! No roomies. No pop pop. All Ama, All the Time. Yeah. Yes. Excellent, indeed.
  2. My grandmother, who is my hero, who raised me, who was our family's sun, has died. Thank you to each of you who have reached out to me, who know how much my grandmother meant to me, who understand that no matter how old, how long a life, how rich how full--you think your heroes will live forever, and they just don't. No human being does. Reading this book, Awakening from Grief: Finding the Way Back to Joy, has helped.
  3. I wrote my first short story in more than 10 years, and will be participating in a week-long, 20-person conference hosted by Writing Below Sea Level, with 2 of my favorite writers ever -- Connie May Fowler and Dorothy Allison, along with a litany of other amazing women on faculty. The workshop will be held the first week of June.
  4. Due to the above statements and all that came with them, in the paraphrased words of my beloved Chan Marshal, that metal heart of mine, I've cracked that motherfucker wide open, with all the rapturous pain and joy of human existence rushing through it at a simultaneous, dizzying rate of speed. But I am letting that energy move. I am standing still, with my heart open wide. And I am not going anywhere.
  5. I got an iPod for Christmas! Holy mother of Jesus Christ. From walkmens to iPods, ah the world has changed so much!

So, hopefully, a better blogging life will begin soon. Now that I've cracked the wily Internet's code with my stupendous technological genius, you should be hearing much more from me in the future.

I Leave You with These Words from Ms. Dickinson. Apt, is a word to describe how they relate to my inner landscape these days.

After great pain, a formal feeling comes--
The nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs--
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And yesterday, or Centuries before?

The feet, mechanical, go round--
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought--
A Wooden way,
Regardless grown,
A Quartz contentment, like a stone--

This is the hour of Lead--
Remembered, if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the Snow--
First--Chill--then Stupor--then the Letting Go.
--circa 1862, Emily Dickinson

More to come, my darlings. But don't wait with bated breath, for, you know, you might stop being able to breathe.

Love, Ama Livia

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