Wasn't it just the other night that I was in a schlubby motel in Moab? Tonight I am in the luxurious Tempe Mission Palm Hotel. With an H. I plan on taking full advantage of the gym. And the writing workshops, naturally. But also the gym.
(The reason for the fancy four-day residency is this: To Think To Write To Publish, part 2. I will discuss this minimally until I've had time to digest it. But today's great take-away: We need more writers (and artists) with strong narratives of a sustainable and pleasant future. Right now, the messages are coming from industry, and the message is that without more fossil fuels (and cheaper food) the future is too bleak to be worth living. This made me think of all the dumb AND smart snark directed at Portlandia and Brooklyn hipsters for wanting to DIY and grow kinder food. THIS IS ACTUALLY A GOOD IDEA, EVERYONE. Maybe let's figure out a way to make having a little fucking optimism and earnestness alright again?)
Earlier, before the harrowing commute across town that, since it did NOT involve brakes or swerving or swearing means it was a success, I was at a flea market / antiques mall with my mom. She was renting a space to sell some stuff. This is kind of a big deal for her because she doesn't like to let go of stuff.
But, who does? I mean, stuff is comforting. Things remind you of who and where you have been and who you have known and they are testaments to your ability to acquire stuff. It's not about status, but survival. I mean, except it's not.
I have gotten rid of so many things in the last few years. Most of what I've let go of has been material, but not all. And most of it, once gone, I've never missed--but also, not all. The thing is, that stuff isn't a comfort, it turns out--but weight. Literally and psychologically. It's stuff that must be cleaned and attended to and coveted and remembered and moved. I've always been in awe of people who could throw some things in a car and go for good to some new place. For me it is a goddamned event. I'm proud of my mom for letting some of her crazy stuff go, and I hope to model more of this behavior.
Anyway, this is a disjointed post, because I'm a little discombobulated in this climate-controlled room with the fountain outside and it's seductive white noise. But the short version is: DIY = important; traffic = terror; lightening your load = admirable.