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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October 21, 2017 (Saturday)

by Yule Heibel on October 20, 2018

Woke up at 5a.m., but instead of drowsing superficially in anticipation of soon having to get up, I went back into a deep – and dream-filled – sleep till just after 8. I had lots of dreams; even the 5a.m. wake-up was preceded by dreams. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at remembering them, although one did involve sightseeing in an almost underground city which resembled Siena just a little bit because of all the stairs / steps and the suggestion of a greatly miniaturized Campo …and (I just remembered) the endless market stalls of Florence, perhaps even a Ponte Vecchio kind of structure.

And, in this dream, I had a dog, and it was some version of Jigger (our old Cairn terrier). There was a key moment where he had stopped following us through the crowd (not sure who “us” was); he was unleashed, and he lost track of “us.” And then I saw him, yards upon yards away, lying on steps above where we were (think “Campo-as-staircase”). I could just glimpse him through the crowd, and I managed to call him, and he sensed us and succeeded in running back to us. He had lost us, he was already quite old and deaf. But my calling wasn’t what he heard or sensed: it was our energy, the waves I created by my sound, which hit him and pointed him in the right direction, allowing him to use his nose to find us.

The image of Jigger lying – in wait, as it were – certainly was derived from a photo of Karl Krauss in a bathrobe, outdoors, on a chair next to a table. On the grass, a terrier in just that pose. The photo was in an article in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung by Jonathan Franzen, about the internet.

In meditation recently: a strong realization that the visualization exercise is a replication of sorts of my experience on LSD. The light, bright, spacious quality of this wave-like expanding light is more or less what I could literally see on my trip: a universe infused with energy and depth, dimensions typically not available to the normal senses. Sort of like my deaf dream-Jigger, who couldn’t hear me call (normal sense), but could sense my call to him via the waves – the physical, tactile waves – which the sound I made produced.

Synesthesia? Normally we can’t sense (or feel) sound waves, at least not at normal ranges. But a kind of meditation – or LSD-induced “ESP” – would allow us to sense it. And being able to be open to that, that’s part of creativity.

I do recall that under LSD I felt quite unafraid, even when F. collapsed, convulsed, and had to be taken to hospital, where the emergency doctor reamed me out (I told her quite openly that we had taken LSD), then F.’s mother reaming me out. They were fiercely angry. But I wasn’t scared; I was concerned, I felt enormous compassion for everyone, but I didn’t feel fear as such. Interesting.

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October 20, 2017 (Friday)

October 19, 2018

Can’t say but that I’m not immensely relieved it’s Friday. The past few days, walking to the station with W. in the mornings, have been hard in a number of ways: the end of vacation, back in harness here, and the vile ugliness of E.-Street …it’s as if Ugly has to go somewhere; as soon […]

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October 19, 2017 (Thursday)

October 18, 2018

Yesterday was a subjectively shitty day. Objectively, it wasn’t – the temperatures continue exceedingly mild for the time of year (70-73ºF), it was sunny, I didn’t have too many chores plaguing me. But I felt sick about my finger and my head kept spinning with what I initially misidentified as a Queen song, but which […]

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October 18, 2017 (Wednesday)

October 17, 2018

If my handwriting is occasionally messed up here it’s because I have a still-throbbing (albeit better) middle fingertip on my write – my right – hand where I sliced it yesterday while not being careful enough with the Mandoline. Why is it called a “Mandoline,” anyway? It doesn’t sound – only the user does when […]

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October 17, 2017 (Tuesday)

October 16, 2018

I am going to know what passing time feels like again. Writing these morning pages, keeping track of dates and days, will promote this knowledge. This morning, for example (and what if I ever reread what I write here?), I was up at 6a.m., sitting down at my desk shortly after. There’s some kind of […]

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October 16, 2017 (Monday)

October 15, 2018

It’s interesting how often I sit down to write morning pages, but immediately – before even setting down the date – think of two or three other things I should put on a list or immediately do instead. It’s obviously the busy, chattering mind, driven by feelings of guilt and / or neurotic self-talk. I […]

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October 15, 2017 (Sunday)

October 14, 2018

It’s just weird being back here. In so many way, I do not know how I arrived in the first place. Well, in the “first place,” it was a) W. getting a job in Massachusetts; b) starting a family and not being able to find a suitable (and affordable) condo in Cambridge or Boston (as […]

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October 14, 2017 (Saturday)

October 13, 2018

Taking stock: I feel confused and slightly sad about being back here. We live differently in the “new world.” Most of it I like, but there’s a roughness and brutality to it, too – and interestingly, brutta means “ugly” in Italian, no? – which Europeans (especially Italians with their aesthetic flair) eschew. There’s our climate, […]

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October 13, 2017 (Friday)

October 12, 2018

On our return flight we watched Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1953) – what a strange (like: really strange) film. I had seen it before, and as with so many of Hitchcock’s films, one tends to remember the frightening aspects. The highlights, …or low lights, if you will: the dark at the top of the stairs, […]

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October 12, 2017 (Thursday)

October 11, 2018

This will be a short, short entry. I’m tired, slightly hung over (and consequently not fully rested): last evening we met B. for our farewell drinks and dinner, starting with prosecco at the hotel bar and continuing with excellent food and wine at the Yellow Bar. Great dinner with B., such fun to talk at […]

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