"Fire is motion / Work is repetition / This is my document / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all we've done / We are all all defenses."

- Cap'N Jazz, "Oh Messy Life," Analphabetapolothology

Sunday, August 30, 2009

memories and realizations

my father always came back from his business trips with presents for his kids. he would hide them somewhere in the house and it was up to us to find them. i got from this two things: 1) presents are all about presentation. the buildup of mystery and suspense was what made the presents interesting, not the presents itself. present = 1) a gift, 2) the now. a gift is always about something more than the physical material thing, it was always about the experience. 2) my success in finding things quickly, i decided, was due to my keen observation skills, which incidentally, might not have developed if they were not put to constant use. consequently, as a child, i always believed i would make a great detective, crime scene investigator, or bounty hunter. after writing, those were my dream occupations and the ones i felt best qualified for.

as i reflect on the way my father instilled excitement and mystery into my perception of the world, i decide that, sometime in the future when i become a parent myself, i will do the same for my son or daughter. hiding the box of cereal every morning before the bus ride to school. hiding the presents on christmas eve. hiding the clues that unveil a big family secret (your great-great aunt is german! your great-grandpa is a war hero! your great-aunt speaks to the dead!)

everyday would/should be a search for hidden treasures.

Friday, August 14, 2009

a tale of two cities

i miss the accessible smallness of my hometown, lexington, ky. los angeles is such a sprawling mess of tangled freeways and traffic that i can't make myself enjoy the immensity of the city because the moment i get in a car it's road rage stephanie, and she's no fun to be around.

today, lexington's smallness was most tangibly felt in the form of an exhilirating bike ride. i really miss the bike as a tenable form of transportation. growing up, the bike was an accessory for recreational neighborhood cruising. living in chicago changed that, the bike became a vehicle for daily revolution, a war horse for corking traffic. it is amazing how a city opens up before you when you have two wheels and yr feet to take you anywhere, unbound to the flow of traffic, easily taking yrself off the map and into walkable terrain, cutting between lines and breezing by waiting cars.

as i rode my bike to the ice cream store today, i felt young and vibrant like a kid again. being on the bike felt so good, i couldn't help smiling the whole time, up against traffic, wind in my face, singing "Thunder Road"* the whole way there, and "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" the whole way back.

i kept thinking, american history has got it all wrong. independence wasn't born on the wheels of the Model T, nor was it found in the cross-country voyages of bikers on Harley Davidsons. it was this, right here, a girl jumping on a bike and pedaling her way thru bluegrass, independent of petroleum and the help of her parents to deliver her to her destination.

when i get back to LA, i'm finding myself a bike. everything seems better from the saddle of a bike.

and behold! the wonderful glisten of post-biking sweat!

love and stuff,

*"...well the night's busting open, these two lanes'll take us anywhere! we got one last chance to make it real, to trade in these wings on some wheels. climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the tracks..."

quack back, seat back!

ahoy and sorry for the month's absence.

it's been a long journey out of a difficult place and around europe and finally back home again.

home. aah. and the many things that come with home, such as memories, micro revolutions, smells, and self-realizations. in particular the realization that time is fleeting and i'm glad that all the traveling has made me less net-present.

lots of stories to tell. photographic evidence to share. and video!

can't wait.