an image diary

"And if he left off dreaming about you, where do you suppose you'd be? ... You'd be nowhere. Why, you're only a sort of thing in his dream! If that there King was to wake you'd go out -- bang! -- just like a candle!"

"Hush! You'll be waking him, I'm afraid, if you make so much noise."

"Well it's no use your talking about waking him when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

. . . .


For Ann--

--who wants to know six (!) things about me you might not otherwise know. Six "oddities." So I'll add them as they occur to me:

1. I used to grow African violets. Under florescent lights. Shelves of them, wick-watered and show-purchased, and cultivated under the sometimes controversial guidance provided by my subscription to African Violet Magazine and the few books available on the plant and its ilk. This was before Wikipedia and the Amazon monster, so information had to be genuinely and determinedly sought. I was young and in love. It was not the blossoms (as for most growers and show-ers) but the leaves. The leaves were my beloveds (and so erotic--erect with purple undersides and downy and fluid-firm and sweet). The tiniest lapse in care scars the leaves and a single full-grown leaf is many months of vigilant care. Lose one leaf and the symmetry is lost, and really symmetry is everything, is the point, because the plant is fussy. It wants lopsidedness: no cold air, no warm or cold drafts, no cold water, no wet leaves or water spots or wet crowns. Seventy-five degrees. Bright light, no direct light. And fourteen hours of light a day to produce flowers. --Yet all you need is water and light. Maybe a little earth. Some attentiveness. (Not so different from photography.)

2. I can't eat salmon. It's too human. Too genital.

3. After completing my Catholic sacraments at six--baptism, confirmation, first communion--I was taken out of the Church and placed instead into a series of nondenominational born-again worship communities. I became an evangelist in the Pentecostal Charismatic tradition between the ages of eight and fourteen. I had also by that time become an atheist. Was in church three days a week--twice on Sunday--not including Bible study. I owned my own tambourine, was baptized three times in the San Francisco River (a thing we did every spring), was surrounded by friends in my age group who'd received the gift of tongues and prophecy and healing or who'd been called to the ministry. And I attended long after my mother had fallen off, still atheist to the core. I kept waiting for something to happen, for Jesus to seem like a god, for the embarrassment to lift. It didn't. So, when my pastor took me aside and called me vain (it's true), I left it behind for a more orthodox agnosticism which served me well through the making of most of my graduate school misery.

4. Rabbits seriously freak me out. They're not cute. They're rodent, fertile, strange, and where I come from, sometimes rabid. Not like skunks but kind of like skunks, and bigger. When the Easter bunny got flogged I was secretly thrilled.

5. My mother wore a key around her belly while she was pregnant with me to fend off the effects of the eclipse she watched while standing in the driveway with neighbors and my father. Still a tiny chink of my right earlobe is missing. Still I remember watching the eclipse with them, the story the neighbor girl Anna told of the Spider Woman weaving her sack for the sun.

6. &.


"and what is the use of a book...without pictures or conversations?"

[contact me:]

what o'clock it is


live flowers