09.14.12: tino sehgal's "these associations," turbine hall, tate modern. eddies of loose-limbed men and women in performance artists' conspicuously plain clothing catch at each other across the hall's concrete. some have snagged on the walls in groups of two or three; others spin away in my wake as i pass. i take the center of the room slowly, let its gravity pull me down. i'll take a few deep breaths and leave. i'll sit to demonstrate that i'm not afraid and i'll leave. "it was when i was four years old, and my mother and i were sitting on her bed," the woman suddenly at my shoulder says. she's scooted across the floor to get next to me and has folded her wrists across her knees. her father was frequently absent from their home, and it made her mother cry; she herself was too young to know how to respond, to address her mother as another person in need. this was in greece. i tell her that my father once asked me if i thought he deserved to be happy - this was in the months after he left my mother, when i was out of college and living in san francisco - and i realized that i was not going to be a child. the lights in the hall go out, one by one, and as i rejoin joe on the stairs i haven't yet decided if i'll tell him what we talked about.


101 in 1001 {III}: 010 see the northern lights [completed 09.13.12]

i was dozing under my coat when joe nudged me awake and nodded to the window at his shoulder. there they were, just as our plane began its arc over nova scotia, green as jealousy and fresh from an ancient god's pen. the northern lights are calligraphy, you see; i've seen them and i know it in my bones.


oxford paint (1 of 4)

a little over a week from now, we'll be back in britain for the first time in a long time. i've been dancing like an overstimulated terrier in anticipation of it; oxford in particular is so dear to me that i think of the intervening years, not the six months and change i lived there or the weeks i've returned, as time spent abroad. the whole trip, planned lauren-style in longhand on the backs of dogeared flyers and magazine programs and collected in a mead folder with a robot on the front, will be wonderful: we're flying out to london, where we'll cheer for my old friend eric as he marries an excellent englishwoman (nicola's in publishing and the reception is at stationers' hall, so they're printing up menus which will look like real newspapers with characteristic headlines - IMMIGRANTS STEALING OUR MOST ELIGIBLE WOMEN! [the daily mail], TRANSATLANTIC MERGER CLOSES [the financial times], and so on), then we're going up to oxford, where we'll stash our stuff in one of the eight-hundred-year-old student rooms at magdalen (which are just across the high street from where we were married) and gallop around town for a week. we'll be back down in london for an afternoon, probably, but we'll spend most of our time visiting beloved sandwiches, reacquainting ourselves with ahmed and pitted tables of note, and disappearing around corners.