Thursday, January 29, 2009

and more about lady poets

Thursday night

Felix stayed home from school again today but is pretty sure he's going tomorrow. Then after tomorrow there's a one-week winter break, so he shouldn't be too overloaded with school.

I wanted to say about last night and the lady poets also that riding across Berlin on the top of my own personal double-decker bus I was just thinking how amazing it is, how big-city magical, that I can find some people online and go riding across town to an unknown cafe and arrive there at a time when these other women are arriving there too, and then we all sit down together and write for a while, unknown to each other before, suddenly in some way communicating, cooperating. Truly big-city magic.

Also in addition I wanted to say an interesting thing about my group last night was that we were six middle-aged women and one woman 27 going on 28 (came up because we were talking about life cycles of 7 years), and it was the 27-going-on-28-year-old who had called this group to life, and who made it happen. Reminded me also that in my play-reading group (which is every Wednesday but was canceled this Wednesday because our lady-leader was away, fortunately for me because then I could go unconflicted to the poetry group!), our lady-leader just minutes (okay, days) ago turned 24, and the rest of us are at least a little older. But she's brash and brave and makes it happen, just like the 27-going-on-28-year-old poet leader, and it's wonderful to be a little old middle-aged lady that I am and go trotting off to these various groups and allow myself to be managed and directed by the brave young women. I am enjoying it! It's so much fun to be middle-aged!

(Then there was also some very interesting tension with one new person in the group last night, not me, where the chemistry between her and our fearless leader was just not working, and it was a little painful to watch, but later after the complicated new person left, at the end of the evening, those remaining talked to the leader about it and she was wonderful talking about how she tries to lead while being a peer, and while being honest, and keeping her integrity, and speaking from the I position, and staying cool. A level of self-awareness I was kind of in awe of.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

p.s. to lady poets

oh and then it quickly becomes clear to me that most everybody there is lesbian, and so then I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I'm married to a man, so I kind of keep my mouth shut about myself most of the evening - till then I finally say, well, in fact, I'm married, and to a man, and this is our family's story and then of course I spill it all out and the one woman I'm talking to at this point (general conversation had given way to individual conversations) had of course no problem with it and we had a lovely chat.

The harder part in fact for me to deal with finally was the esoterica factor, witch camp and astrology readings and "the things that happen in your cells generally are a result of emotional issues" - so I just listened to that part. Although I must say witch camp sounded kind of interesting, where you get naked and cover yourself in clay and don't get to say anything and run around being awesome and gleaming and silent till everybody jumps in the lake again and suddenly your girlfriend who couldn't recognize you before can recognize you again.

lady poets

Wednesday night, January 28th

all day home with Felix, except for a walk to the bakery and back with hubby this morning and a long walk to the store and back this afternoon while Felix was watching a movie. 

And then tonight, out to a poetry group at a women's cafe; interesting group. There were seven of us where usually they are only two or three apparently. I'm not sure I found our writing exercises all that great (we pulled sentences out of a Susan Sontag novel translated into German as starters or, in one case, as an ender ("having arrived in hell" was the phrase in that case)); but it was a good group of women, good conversations. 

Ice is disappearing everywhere here; I guess that's not the story in Bloomington at all. Fights tonight over Vick's Vapor Rub on the chest, drops in the ears . . . 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

children loud, hard to think!

Dear Susan S. in Bloomington recovering in intensive care from your accident, I am so much thinking about you and when you are up and about and reading this I wanted you to know that.

It is Tuesday night in Berlin, Felix is sick in bed where he's been since Sunday, fever, ears, stomach, sniffles. Today though he was reading the German translation of Matilda to himself, whereas yesterday I had to read it to him, so I think he is starting to get better.

Felix's big brother, aka Max, is standing above him on the sickbed so as to see what Felix is doing with the little labyrinth bead maze in a box (modeled on the big one they played with all the time at your house in the summer, Lyndie Lou), without getting sick by being any closer. Max's head is touching the ceiling and they are making a large amount of noise.

Susan, when you are better and reading this, you asked what Max is up to and it's this: this week working for his uncle again, driving around Berlin delivering flowers. Today was very happy to get a 5-euro tip from somebody. As of next week, working at a patisserie 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. And as of next Monday or the following Monday hoping to move into a group apartment closer to the patisserie job. He has one option already and tomorrow is going to look at another possibility.

Aside from Felix we are otherwise very well. I made a whole plan, after having gained a large-ish amount of weight over a while, to lose 6 and a half kilos over 12 weeks, starting three weeks ago. (This was starting from 88 kilos with my shoes on, also two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, due to how cold it was.)

Over the last 3 weeks I have lost 4 kilos so I am way ahead of schedule; so far I've continued to go on with the two pairs of pants and two pairs of socks (also a couple of sweaters etc. under my coat but those I take off before I get on the scales) but eventually those might come off which will of course help. At 82 kilos I'm considered to be at goal weight.

Anyway. I'm so enjoying my different writing projects. More about the groups later but tomorrow night it's a women's poetry group, I'm very looking forward to that. And I'm continuing with the daily haiku exercise and daily action writing exercise. Maybe I'll post some.

Fanny the adorable baby niece is now almost 20 months old, is that possible? Talking more and more, she lets me read to her for long periods of time bless her heart, loves to play with Felix (whom she calls "Helix" for some unknown reason; herself she calls "Fanny" not "Hanny").

A shout-out to the cousins in Austin, and their mother: may you all be well again soon. 

And Susan, though I know you are not reading this now, you are so very much in my thoughts!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

all kinds of writing

I want so much to be writing in this year and I've been struggling with what kinds and my most recent decision is: all kinds!

In my various writing groups it keeps coming back, in the context of trying to do fiction, to the fact that I continue to be very drawn to poetry.

In the context of trying to do more literary writing daily I was considering giving up the blogging entirely but then I decided - nooo! There were a few technical things I really wanted to figure out (as in: how do I make the entries have little short parts that appear and then be continued elsewhere, which I see on so many blogs!? - so I can write a long thing but it doesn't clog the blog) but I still haven't figured it out and so I'm blogging anyway. A couple friends have been kind enough to notice the absence of entries and so here I am, back again.

Writing Things I'm doing:
as of yesterday, a daily haiku exercise that I really, really like! (found it on the web - more maybe in a separate post)
also as of yesterday, a daily prose exercise that forces an enormous amount of action in a short short piece - I loved this one!

Writing Groups I'm in:
2nd and 4th Saturday afternoons of the month, a German-speaking group that meets at a cafe that takes me 45 minutes to travel to - we write for about an hour on our own things, then we talk, then we do a couple of writing exercises, and then maybe we talk more. Yesterday we talked more, very very inspiring and helpful and stimulating, and there too, maybe more in a separate post.
1st Friday night of the month, a German-English group where we read to each other and critique rather than writing together (although you can come an hour early to do writing exercises). There were about 25 people when I was there in January (only time I've gone so far). 
every Friday morning, organized by me from people from the German-English group: an English-speaking group that meets in a cafe and does writing exercises, that so far I have arranged (from books I have and the web) - also very good this week!
Still hoping to go to: once-a-month women's poetry group on a Wednesday night (this coming Wednesday night, when it meets, my play-reading group is taking a break so it's perfect): in that one as far as I can tell we do poetry exercises together, which is wonderful!

OK, more anon, it's 8:42 a.m. (January 25th in Berlin, don't believe whatever it says up there) and I want to still breakfast (my daily oatmeal/blueberries/banana), stretch, move the living room all around again, make fruit salad and frittata and get the table set up for 10 people for brunch at eleven this morning. 

new year

it's a new year, more than 2/3 of the way through January, everything looks different. Last fall was hard as you know if you were reading this, but I'm so wonderfully plugged in here now things look very different indeed.

And out the window: the frozen lakes are not, as I thought at first, quite thawing, but instead there is a layer of water on TOP of the ice! and right now this morning for the first time in ten days there is a white fog that makes it look as though we are surrounded by snow four floors up in the air.

Love to you all my friends and family reading this. More in a minute.