Note: This Thanksgiving Eve November 22, 2017 sticky post starts the year-long “So Last Year” project, which begins with Thanksgiving 2016, November 24, 2016.

For many months now I’ve kept to a journaling routine called #MorningPages, popularized by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. Writing longhand, avoiding pixels and screens, the routine has helped me get back to writing, an activity I love, but which got badly damaged and smashed to bits by the floods of social media.
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August 21, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on August 20, 2018

Yesterday morning W. and I took a walk. As we stopped on the way back in front of City Hall, debating whether to go to T.-café across the street, two acquaintances walked by with their “new” (10-month old) dog: N.M. and L.P., longtime friends of N.L. and S.R. We hadn’t seen them in years, not since before we moved away in 2002, certainly not since we moved back in 2012. A couple of interesting things: what N.M. remembered (and liked) about me was my “activism.” She recalled how I led some kind of effort – which I can’t seem to recall nearly as vividly; I mean, I do, but it wasn’t something that still strikes me as “activist,” as it apparently struck others. It was an attempt to get a grocery store back into downtown – a store like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, into a location at a significant crossing where another store had recently shuttered, leaving an empty space and big parking lot. The space is now occupied by a large drugstore, part of a national chain.

It was funny to hear N.M. go on about how she admired my effort, because the same thing came from W.F., too, when I saw her after moving back here in 2012. Seems I really made an impression on people, and I didn’t even know it. Now they say they admired my effort(s). Maybe at the time, though, some were freaked out just a bit by my vehemence (which I didn’t – and don’t – perceive as vehemence)? Who knows.

We also talked about the A.’s condo conversion, which they too had visited (and liked). But since they just got a dog, it’s not an option for them. Various other things came up, including another mutual friend’s involvement with the Zen Center, and I mentioned that I knew its founder. N.M. became convinced there was nothing I didn’t know about our little city, no one I didn’t know, that I was totally plugged in. I quickly tried to disabuse her of that notion. But I guess I do know some things.

I wish I knew a wider range of people, though: more age diversity especially. In a different kind of city, it would be inevitable that someone like me – an introverted connector, a wounded and guarded connection seeker – would know a wider variety of people. I certainly did in Victoria. But they don’t seem to be here.

Time and space – what was I saying the other day about land use and making / claiming my space in the world?



August 20, 2017 (Sunday)

August 19, 2018

The “regret” theme continues, miserably tinting this entry. Feelings of worthlessness, not feeling loved by the most important person in a baby’s and a child’s and a young girl’s life; being alone and trying to prove something (my own viability?) …and failing. And then feeling guilty about failing, about trying in the first place. Did […]

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August 19, 2017 (Saturday)

August 18, 2018

Evenly gray clouds, thick and solid-looking up high, modulating into an even veil of transparent mist as they fall toward the ground, touching trees and roofs. So much of this country looks like an accident. Yesterday, briefly, I looked at Brooklyn on Google Street View, specifically the intersection of Myrtle Ave. and Nostrand Ave. where […]

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August 18, 2017 (Friday)

August 17, 2018

While A. was still here, I opened an account on Ancestry, and we played around with it for some time. I can trace some lines back to the later 16th century – my Belgian (and French, it turns out) ancestors were obsessive about keeping records, much more so than the Germans, whose records are sketchy […]

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August 17, 2017 (Thursday)

August 16, 2018

I overheard a 40-something tattooist tell a client about moving house recently, and that his library contains ~3,000 books or so. That’s huge. Were I to meet him at a party and the typically lame topic, “what do you do?” came up and he answered, “I’m a tattooist,” I’m not sure I wouldn’t be bored. […]

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August 16, 2017 (Wednesday)

August 15, 2018

Yesterday morning, walking back from the Depot, I decided to take a closer look at the “We love Deb” poster on the C.-Diner’s exterior wall. The poster included photos, and I realized with some considerable shock that Deb was the owner of the C.-Diner, and that she was someone I knew. The shock had a […]

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August 15, 2017 (Tuesday)

August 14, 2018

A deeply clouded day …in many ways. I woke to this dimness after sleeping fitfully. A plane, just a tiny toy-sized shape, has rounded north from Logan and, already high on the high high horizon, has just turned toward the west. It’s already out of sight now; they are fast, even though they look slow. […]

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August 14, 2017 (Monday)

August 13, 2018

It was hot, a bit too hot, for the first time in a while yesterday. And it made me think, again – after days if not weeks of home improvement had me fantasizing about staying in B. after all – about these life “choices” which seem, really, so choice-less. Like it’s something you just careen […]

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August 13, 2017 (Sunday)

August 12, 2018

How appropriate that I should start a new meditation pack today called “Regret.” First, I do have regrets which pull me into the past and deflect my future, and second, they’re a big part of feeling stuck. I want to get unstuck – to vroom, as the cartoons would have it. I want to accelerate […]

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August 12, 2017 (Saturday)

August 11, 2018

A couple of days ago, A. and I went on an afternoon outing in the general direction of Gloucester. At the first rotary on Rt.128 we decided on Lanesville, or rather Annisquam. It was a picture-perfect afternoon, some summer heat but nothing intolerable, a bit of haze over distant views, but not enough to impact […]

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