I would have written sooner except Blogger's format has changed and I cannot figure it out.
Or: Maybe I would not have written sooner. I'm getting all well and whole, didn't you know? My attempt is to quit the Internet. I googled myself this morning, but had not done it for an entire week before that. This is progress, for me, I think.
I am attempting to engage in the practice of mindfulness. Basically as I see it mindfulness is an attempt to live and exist in the actual world, even when it's slow or boring or uncomfortable or painful. Most of the time I practice mindfulness by making myself wash the dishes, and trying not to go online too much. My therapist thinks I should get a job at Whole Foods. I liked that idea as well, because I can't find teaching work in the spring here, but then I went on the WF website and everything was all too...forced and smiley. I think I might have reached a point where I cannot work customer service any longer. I think it would make me feel too tired to have to smile at stupid people. I am beginning to realize that the problem with all of this is capitalism. But perhaps this is because I'm reading Edith Wharton.
I am sick. I picked up some sort of respiratory infection, from all the airplanes last week. New York and then Chicago. I think there's something unsanitary about family in general. Anyway. Sickness is a bit like a contemplative practice for me. I might be excerpting a bit of Book of Mutter in Naropa's lit journal and I'm supposed to answer what my contemplative writing practice is and I think it's this - sickness and television. And reading Edith Wharton. I am now convinced I am going to write an essay on Edith Wharton - because I need to somehow counteract Jonathan Franzen's idiotic essay on her. When we were in Chicago eating breakfast at the Handlebar John bemusedly let me go off on one of my rhetorical tangents where I know I'm being too hyperbolic but I like the curve and intensity of the hyperbole. "Jonathan Franzen is a colonizer." I said. "To see his name on the cover of Edith Wharton and Clarice Lispector is a form of violence, a sort of tyranny." It reminds me of that story of Lacan and Duras in a basement bar somewhere and Lacan is raving about how Lol Stein is the story of a "clinically perfect delirium" and afterwards Duras dismisses this reading in an interview saying "The man thinks he knows. He thinks he knows." Literary mansplaining (I hate this term).
The 24 hours in NYC was lovely. It was a joy meeting Tamara Faith Berger and hearing her read, I was all theatrical and manic next to her measured syncopated perversities. I need to learn how to read perhaps in a different register. I remember when I was madly in love with the sadistic line cook with the lesbian girlfriend and I would try reading poetry out loud to him and he would tell me I was reading it wrong, that I didn't know how to read out loud.
We fairly awkwardly passed the mike back and forth for our after conversation, I don't know whether we said that much, it's strange to have a staged conversation. Afterwards meeting online people - Kara J and Laura F and others - was lovely.
I think I want to go to a Ph.D. program. That's what I've decided. Something interdisciplinary, involving critical and queer theory. I want to study: boredom and mysticism and autobiography and performance theory and violence and history of illness. Not an English program. Any ideas?