Wednesday, December 17, 2008

switched gears the other day; i was at the printers, was running a blanket through a dryer at the laundromat, and then realized that i didn't have what i needed to finish the printing. so i got a long hot cup of coffee and stared at the gray dorm towers for a few minutes. that was oddly reassuring- although, in this small town, three concrete dorms-ful of students is not what we like to reflect on, unless we run a nearby coffee shop or pizza parlor, still their grayness, their steady presence in a cold bitter december wind, was kind of soldierly- they are, after all, the tallest buildings in town, the only ones more than four or five stories, and they rise up out of woods like bunkers or maybe modern architecture.

so now i'm in christmas mode; left the world of bad grammar and twitter far behind, in my mind at least. at the printers i've now made some calendars and some cards, and a letter, which i'll share eventually, and still have more to come, maybe more calendars, or something else to put out into this world. got a shepard fairey poster in the mail, and realized that good art can make a difference, though having everyone carry around an idealized image of a real person may not make the difference we'd wanted, or the "same difference" as we used to say. the guv of illinois digs in to stay; maybe his lawyer told him all you did was talk about it, talk is cheap. senate seat was never sold, or somebody'd have the receipt. but i'm in christmas mode, charitable, trying to focus on the material. and too bad, i already missed some deadlines, like amazon. may have to buy stuff from real people in town.

picked up a book that influenced me in an odd way- it was carl sandberg's account of growing up, a young swedish lad in 19th-century galesburg illinois, and it touched me in several ways, one because life is so different now, and two because i haven't actually read much except student work in 49 weeks. i may, slowly, get back in the habit; may even write, and, what's more, may even write more true stories from out there. a new singing friend, new member of the band, is from a small town near thunder bay ontario, so we started telling stories of the yukon, and yellowknife, and small towns up on the north of lake superior where even when you go there in the middle of august (only time i've ever been there) it still looks like winter all over the place. stunted trees, old snowmobiles out in plain sight, a cold gray wind even in august. i could tell the story of how i took the older boys up there one summer, on a lark, a detour on the way home from minnesota, because they'd never been in canada, ever. so we met some canadians, had a good talk, enough for them to feel like they'd been out of the country, which they had. memories, and sandberg's account of swedish immigrants coming over, & finding their way to illinois- this is my fare for the break. that, and running across old friends on facebook, where i'm always out of status, not updated, slipping into town on a dell, some friends in the chat, some others with "statuses" (stati?) like bumper stickers, pictures a-flyin' all over. i'm like a farmer, come into town, bedazzled by the circus, not quite knowing what to make of "applications" requesting that you turn over all your "info" to the application...why? just to read someone's message? wasn't born yesterday, but, i'm in charitable mode, which means, i reco'nize that everyone needs to make a buck. and i'll let it go, for now. and, if i status my quo, i'll let you know.

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