After mere moments outside trying to capture the wildfire skies I was left with a feeling that has not subsided. Not really emotions, more a state of the body: ready for flight while shocked into stasis.

Pale orange sky due to Oregon wildfires

“This is not a dream, but you still need to wake up.” Labradorite heart from The Raven’s Wing Magical Co. Portland.

This Is Not a Dream card with a labradorite heart.

Check to Self: a card from the Postcards from the Liminal Space deck. Pictured with a raw opal, a treasure from a friend.

A card from the Postcards from the Liminal Space deck.

Change, a poem set to music

“Change” is a poem I wrote about my experience in parochial school, all guilt and God and bad kissers. I chose a fixed form, the sestina, for this poem because of the themes of restriction and obligation. Also, fixed forms are fun.

Some time ago, my friend Gav recorded me reading the poem, then scored it, and I loved the result! It took me a while to share it because I feel tenderly protective about that past self. I hope you enjoy it.

New lounging spot for the Bottlebrush Brothers.

Tabby kittens in a window.

Today I am grateful for stable internet, which I took for granted in the before-times. Working from home is frustrating without it! I am looking forward to reading for pleasure tomorrow after work. I don’t do enough of that these days.

Seen on our walk today.

Lawn sign that reads OMG Make It Stop 2020

Good morning, Criminy!

Today I am grateful for @FunkyPlaid, who cheers me up and makes space for my sadness too. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house tomorrow, even just for a walk.

I started this daily gratitude exercise to boost my emotional fortitude and resilience. But I don’t feel like doing it today. Today I am angry and sad and weary. This year has taken so much from so many, and for what?

Every week I look forward to a new issue of Patricia’s newsletter, Enthusiastic Encouragement & Dubious Advice. Today she reminded me to educate myself and to take action. I needed that.

Today I am thankful for our kittens, Crivens and Criminy, on their first birthday! I guess I can’t call them “kittens” much longer. 😭 I am looking forward to catching up on much-needed sleep. Hoping for no nightmares tonight.

Today I am grateful for the healing power of pho. 🍲 My headache is almost all gone! I am looking forward to my Library Takeout shift tomorrow, because I really miss in-person interaction with my coworkers and our patrons.

Today I am thankful for showing myself love and respect by setting boundaries. (Shout out to @theinfophile!) I am looking forward to a brisk walk tomorrow morning before my workday begins.

The Bottlebrush Brothers.

photo of tabby kittens back-to-back

A katydid, perhaps? Any entomologists around? (I would use iNaturalist for this, but after being told I wasn’t using it correctly I’m hesitant to go back.)

Book Review: Luster by Raven Leilani

Luster

Luster by Raven Leilani
Rating: ★★★★☆
Links: Bookshop.org · Public Library · Goodreads
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Source: Borrowed

I’m going to preface this book review by stating outright that I am not very good at writing book reviews. But I want to get better, so I’m practicing.

When my hold on “Luster” appeared yesterday morning, I almost put it off, but I’m glad that I didn’t because I devoured it in just two sittings! I enjoyed falling into the twentysomething malaise of Edie, the protagonist, although I hated everyone around her as they consistently wallpapered over her personality with their own needs and desires. But that was intentional, of course, because the author is a magnificent writer. The prose was surprising and beautiful and so, so funny, although not in the ways I expected. I could say more about how deft a treatment of racism and classism this was, but I want you to read it already.

A little shocked by how excited I was to pick up a prescription from a pharmacy last night. I promise not to take the boring stuff for granted ever again!

An unbidden memory this morning: I was once in a relationship with someone who regularly complained that I walked too loudly.

In case you need to hear this: Never settle for someone with such disdain for your body that they hate how it sounds for you to move through space.

I finished everything I needed to get done before my time off from work … and promptly fell asleep for three hours. 😴 I must really need this break.

Criminy upside-down = hastily-assembled cat from a box of cat parts.

What’s going on in Portland?

I’m getting this question a lot. The answer is that it depends on where you look. So look in the right places.

You may be in the habit of relying on national news agencies to learn what’s going on. I get it. But if we want to know what’s really happening, we must look to the local reporters and organizers who are really here and who are really doing the work.

Edited to add: I used to have a PDX News list on Twitter until I understood that compiling this information publicly could potentially put folks in danger. But here’s a list of freelance journalists in Portland and their CashApp/Venmo/PayPal handles. Pay them for their work if you can afford to do so.

And if you are resisting this information, ask yourself why.

There are many reasons why I love Second Life, and here’s another one: STÖMOL is a feature-length sci-fi machinima filmed in Second Life. 🤩

Greetings from Library Takeout! 👋 📚❣️

📚 Real talk: I’m not going to finish this library book in 52 minutes. Ronan Farrow’s “Catch and Kill” is so well-written and so anxiety-inducing to read.

An IndieWeb Webring 🕸💍

I acknowledge that I live and work on stolen Cowlitz, Clackamas, Atfalati, and Kalapuya land.
I give respect and reverence to those who came before me.