Monday, July 31, 2006

Sunday 30 July 2006

Today marks my fourth week in this grassy glen. What of today? What difference does it make? There are no butterflies. No bumblebees tour the clover. The clouds are moving south to north, unusual for a summer's day. The lake moves, in waves, tiny lines of white and dark, onto my shore. I am covered up today, with a sweater and closed shoes. Still I have goose bumps when the wind blows. The crows are in the treetops, not in the grasses as they've been before. One of my tulip trees is yellowing, as if some bright light were shining up its trunk and catching random leaves.

A lot of return visitors today. Clinton came back to say hello. We talked about lake swimming. He says you can swim on your back to the center of the lake without ever turning to see your line, just by watching the sky.

Larry and Barbara came inquiringly by, desiring a poem. They read from my Crab Creek Review. Larry suggested a feature article on the project. He wants to bring me a poem for review, about trying to pick up a woman in Barnes & Noble. "That was before me," notes Barbara. "But it was about you, Barbara," I want to add.

The lovely wooded knoll to starboard stern, the bald pate, the convention of the crows, is calling. My Sherwood of spruce and pine and fir. The whorls of pliant green on the pine. The silver-gray branches of my fir bend in waxen loops. The spruce's scarred twigs radiating short sharp needles. My green antiques.

Mid-morning counter (10:37 – 10:38am): In one minute 8 walkers, 3 joggers and 1 dog pass. 12 moving bodies pass my stationary glen.

Two helpful women pick my glittering letters up out of the lawn. The letters (p-o-e-t) are catching the wind and blowing off of their nails. Perhaps flat head tacks instead of nails.

The wind adores my water birch. Is it a birch? Or an aspen or poplar, just to the right of my willow, at the shore? Two slim trunks, tall as the willow, with long lines and simple branches, carry tiny ovate leaves into the air. When the willow is steady, the birch flutters and flashes. While the willow weeps, it sways to and fro. The length of its trunk rocks, making circles in the air. Like a cloud of aggravated bees, its leaves hover and tremble and rise. The sound it makes is nothing like the traffic slush. It is neither science nor religion, but simple defiance.

Today is a day for faces. Human faces and the faces of flowers and the round face of the lake. All turn to the light. When the clouds pass and the light catches the ripples and streaks the lake silver.

First Joel. Then Bruce. Then Nancy. Then Rob and Ronald. The six of us engaged in a spirited conversation on T. S. Eliot and Seinfeld, on Jenny Holzer and the mass media. The role of art and culture in structuring knowledge. Our common culture. The surface of things.

Joel is suspicious of the moment. The moment fails in passing. When you call the picture of yesterday into the glass of today, you find a comedy. An illusion. Yesterday meant success. Yesterday found a role. Gravity applied to me. Joel, you must apply yourself to something. The moment is for living. There is no choice. The moment owes itself to the moment. Memory can only fail or better that, but does nothing to alter it. The moment does not change. The body rarely lies. In the body, we learn to go and grow. The body offers grace. Yesterday is a distortion. Yesterday inflates and deflates to the mood of today. Our images and heroes, what once seemed large dwindles away. The most vivid colors fade.

Bruce brought his drawings and poetry today. Trained as an architect, his notebooks are full of renderings of structures. Many I could identify. Then there were the buildings with upward and downward wings. Buildings that exist in his mind. These were the most interesting. He draws trees too, with a balance of heavy and light. Watermarked trunks and ghostly heads. Leaves in dashed suggestion. The poem he shared addresses our practice of circling the lake. The way in which the lake is both void and force. Push and pull.

But this lake, this glacial pool, now petrifying and begging to die, is no axis of the cosmos. There are no gompas to address. We do not drink the water or take spiritual baths here. It takes a Tibetan pilgrim 20 days to move around his most sacred lake. We run this loop in 20 minutes. What is to be gained from this kind of pilgrimage?

Perhaps when the rains set in, I shall take to Sherwood Forest as Robin Hood did. My Nottinghamshire is only 20 trees long, but that's plenty for me. "To range in the wood with bold Robin Hood. And hear the sweet nightingall sing."

No Major Oak centers my wood and all the trees are conifers, but I can play its timber and game. I can dwell with the vert and venison. I am not employed by the crown. John Keats, lead me in, "That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, /And with thee fade away into the forest dim."

It is 12:57 and raining lightly. The bells are ringing clear with the wind in their favor. I have my new found umbrella over my desk and myself, my notebook in my lap. I suppose I could seek shelter under my White Pine. A couple and their two sons are there now, their bicycles propped against the trunk, lying comfortably in the grass.

I need to think about the impending rain. The October rain. About a curtain for my desk, into which I can fit my legs and feet, to keep my body warm. An extension for my umbrella to keep my hands free. A coat of lacquer to protect my desk. Waterproof pouches for my books. The weather will turn. It will most definitely turn.

Now that the rain has stopped, the swallows have come. Racing and swooping onto the lawn, into the clouds of gnats. There is a gathering darkness behind my willow tree. Blackbirds move in the branches and follow the bicyclists with their eyes before swooping into the woods.

Fancy, my mangy squirrel, knows when I have bread. I have olive bread. Fancy, if you do not go away, I will recite you a poem. I've got Roethke's "The Waking" memorized.

Rebecca is sitting on the lawn with Joe. I read her Steven's "Metropolitan Melancholy" and "Le Monocle de Mon Oncle." Rebecca is a dancer and a sketch artist, laid off and looking for work. John just bicycled by and played his harmonica. So many new friends.

I spoke to 24 people today. Service techs and nonfiction writers. Boatyard workers and architects. Eight women and twelve men. Evan, at eleven, was the youngest. A basketball player. We talked about poetry, about the poet's place in society. He was receptive and considerate. What a surprise, to have an eleven year old approach me of his own curiosity.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sunday 23 July 2006

Forgive me, public, for propping my head in my hands. I do not desire the stage today.

I walked to Green Lake this morning, ill-tempered, light-headed, with a coin-sized pain in my right temple, a frozen water bottle on my shoulder. I recited the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock to the trees. To the rower on the water's surface, in the shadow of the bridge. To the broken, heartless hotels, lined up like pinball machines, along Aurora.

I set up my desk in the shade of a young tulip tree. My umbrella bloomed instantly. It is already ticking, the black fabric, in the heat. Crows are flying low, catching the shade.

What a hushed stream Aurora is. The path, too, is quiet. Only the crows are calling.

Tulip trees can live to be 150 and grow to be 114' tall. This theatre of tulip trees is too immature to protect me. But think of the shade in 2080!

Or am I drifting in a fleet? A lantern on the lake? Northern Indians used the tulip tree for carving canoes.

Behind me, three crows by the woods, in the browning grass. In Seattle we are practiced at forgiving the sun.

If on a hot day, a cool grape. If on a hot day when your muscles ache. If on a hot day, a cool grape to roll over your chin. A black grape pressed into a cradle, wobbled across a cheek. Can you sense the pressure of a liquid against its skin? Even this object, so small a weight, plays upon your muscles, pushes the blood around.

Form a double in your mind. It is a different shape than measure gives. What can you learn from the rotations that take this grape across your face? What do you measure in grape?

Do you understand? They just rollerblade by and say the word. And I hear them. "Poet." That is enough.

I walked with my umbrella down to the lake and stood in the water. From my black willow, I can see the summit cap of Mount Rainier. It is 90F in the shade. I dare say this shall be the warmest day of the project.

12:43 The bells are singing up from the valley. Black hemlines over a stone floor. A donkey is tied in the alley. Mortars are crushing lavender, opening purses of fragrance.

For someone with no dog and no baby, for someone not swimming, not fishing and not capturing an image, the woman under the black willow has been standing too long. Perhaps she is making a phone call, concentrating on a voice? Later she came to talk to me. A Chinese-American, Wendy moved to Seattle from Michigan one year ago. Her mother visited this May and purchased two goldfish friends for her. This morning one of them died. Wendy came to Green Lake to look for a resting spot for "Cloud." She found my black willow. And the ducks, and squirrels, and schools of minnows. "Cloud" will be happy here.

The name of the other fish? Shi, the Chinese word for "Poet." Hmm. There are rushes and sedges, there is velvet grass under my willow. There is a cloud too under my willow.

Kim and Monica, two writers, were the first to drop by today. "What you're doing, seeing you here, just lifts me up." They have been putting off a project for months. They say I've given them incentive to begin. Ole!

Novelists - just beginning, half way through and about to have their books published - have stopped by to pay their respects. I have been told about writers, websites, reading series and retreats. On average, 30 people veer off the path each Sunday to talk to me. Writers, readers, artists, dancers – the curious and thirsty.

I counted the traffic on the path this morning between 9:49 and 9:50am. In this one minute, 8 joggers, 10 walkers, 1 bicyclist, 1 rollerblader, 1 baby and 1 dog passed by. 22 moving bodies.

A repeat customer, Ross came by to ask what I had to offer this Sunday. "Richard Siken," I said. He's standing now, under my left tulip, in jeans, on a hot day, with hand weights, reading.

I also have Stevens and Stafford on my desk, along with two issues of Crab Creek Review, an issue of Snow Monkey and a book on craft, Best Words, Best Order by Dobyns.

My most thought provoking visitor, Joel, challenged the use of the enigma in poetry. Now what does _that_ mean? He called Prufrock into question. Not Prufrock!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sunday 16 July 2006

I set aside time this morning to search for the bells I heard last Sunday. Pastor Willweber greeted me at doors of Zion Lutheran. "Not bells," he said, "Schulmerich tapes." Not bells? No bell tower? No bell ringer? Just a metal box into which cassette tapes are fed, set to play the next 4 songs, twice a day. Nostalgia.

But the hymns do change with the seasons. There are a dozen tapes. We are in the 6th Sunday of Pentecost, the pastor says. Pastor Willweber. Pastor will web. Past her will, web...

In this morning's program, a holy gospel, a story of belief and miracles, from St. Mark. A little girl raised from the dead. It begins with Jesus in a boat, crossing (a river) to the other side. Small acts become mythic. "Talitha cumi." "Little girl, I say to you, rise."

Tarkovsky says this too. Awake. And Dylan Thomas. "Awake my sleepers to the sun." And Nazim Hikmet. "Living is the most real,/the most beautiful thing." "You have to feel this sorrow now--/for the world must be loved this much / if you're going to say 'I lived'…" And Robert Bridges. "Awake, O heart, to be love, awake, awake."

At the back of the program, a short history of the church, which traces its roots to the Alsace region of northeastern France. And then information on a radio broadcast, "Lonely No More," which deals with homelessness, focusing on those who have no spiritual home. Nostalgia.

Tarkovsky suggests regaining that home through suffering. If you can slow time, by which I mean ride instead of drive, walk instead of ride, sketch instead of look and discourse on what you imitate – as the hours turn to minutes, as you become a part of what surrounds you, as you become an object in relation to the objects in your world, you will see new relationships form, along with a new perspective and a new vocabulary.

I sat down at 8:58am at my desk at Green Lake, having walked from Lower Queen Anne, along Aurora. The pastries at Caffe Vita had just been delivered and so I turned up Ward to Aurora nibbling a croissant, and through the long shadows and sun rectangles I walked past fruiting blackberry bushes and morning glory graveyards, their white stars falling over firs and rocks.

Then 3000 feet, south to north, over the Aurora Bridge, peering over the sides to where our waterways and homes and roads humble and, further on, I saw again the way in which we are distinct. Brown clapboard church, barn-like, with block letters, on the hill. No chain link on the bridge, to keep me in. Gutters full of pine cones. Rough concrete rails, tapering and crowned. Overpasses, underpasses, and up along hotel strip to the park, my glen, my place on the path.

And there was James at the intersection, the quiet serious boy with whom you cannot gain eye contact. He seemed, like before, on a fruitless search for self, resigned to a state of nothingness, but without peace.

I sit now in the sun, 30 feet from the path, 40 feet from the lake, at my little oak desk (34" x 20" and 3 feet high), surrounded by young tulip trees, one to each side and one behind. They stand only 18 feet tall, but their floppy leaves are 7 inches across. The 25 firs northeast of my desk make a Sherwood Forest. In the shade there, a wooden bench, for contemplating the path and marking a standstill.

The metaphor man came by with a gift for me. He gave me the image of a man like a kite, tied to a string, capricious yet tethered. "That's a scene from the Fellini film 8 ½." Bill read one of my poems to Morton, pleased at its eroticism. A couple of old men traipsing about the lake looking at the pretty things. Before leaving, Bill recited a line from Hopkins, "GLORY be to God for dappled things—" And what is wrong with that?

Michael and Kate Lyn and their dog Lolita came by. Michael is a writer. Fiction and poetry. He has just started to submit. And for his efforts, he has received seven rejections. That's not enough, I say. Not enough.

Adam and Keith, joggers, took time from their run. "How do you suggest someone put poetry in their life?" I went on about poetry books and readings, talked about keeping a journal, even offered up my poetry list. I should have said, "Do everything you're doing, only slower, sit for a moment with one thought, eat bread with your hands, go up to your roof, talk to a horse, memorize a flower…" I am not as awake as I could be, should be. I must work on this.

And then Ron stopped by, "I have no interest in poetry." Then he confessed, sometimes, when he hears the lyrics to a song, he is moved. I gave him a Roque Dalton poem, "Como Tu." "Like You." I tried to explain the limits of poetry. Poetry has left so many behind. Music, visual arts, film – for these you have vocabulary. For poetry you do not. I want this to change.

Some of them come needing to be acknowledged. Some acknowledge me. The threshold. The desk. The sign. Pulling people from their path.

12:43pm Ah, the bells. They rang their happy tune for 15 minutes.

Lynn approached me with a dollar in hand. I gave her a flyer, offered her some of my publications for review. But she was in a hurry. I have nothing here for sale.

How to understand this tied-up path? This circuit? This ring? The pattern of the human fingerprint?

There are others who practice the loop migration. The American golden plover, for instance, travels 8000 miles from Northeastern Canada to South America and back again via the Mississippi Valley. Some sandpipers and warblers too travel in loops. Shearwaters and Shrikes. Great migratory loops. Because of winds. Because of food supplies. Because the world is round.

"We're going to do a donut around the lake," Steve says. Completing tasks. Closing rings. Containing things. A lake bound by grass. A path we can walk around. A measure of time. A vortex. Our center, this lake.

Medhi the painter stopped by. He was excited about my just being there, in view, connecting with the public. "Where are all the artists?" he wants to know. Then asked, "Did my wife stop by?" "No no." He called her on his cell phone. "You must come back and meet Mimi." "My wife is a poet. She needs camaraderie." "She needs community," I said. "I paint. I've come to do a painting. We live in California." "Carele, come meet Mimi."

He overheard me wishing Lauren safe travels in Paris. "You must go on the road to Bordeaux, you pass by all the great chateaus! And Saorge! You can't get that smell, that taste of grape here. O!" From the top of the medieval village of Saorge, I read, no less than five bell towers float up from a sea of red tile roofs. Real bells in bell towers with bell ringers too.

Here I sit in my theatre of tulip trees, in a merry glen beside a wood, protected or no from the terrible Bosche, who may at any time come down from the hinterlands. But here I will stay, in my merry glen, reading the day.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sunday 9 July 2006

9:00am I've been sitting for not a minute and have already been approached by a passerby who just had to know what was going on. I handed him a project flyer and we talked for a bit. He was surprised to learn I wouldn't be reading poetry, but only sitting and writing quietly.

A while later, a man took my photo from the path. The traffic is not as loud as I would have imagined at 9am on a Sunday, Sunday in the park. The most insistent noise is the scrape of gravel under the jogger's feet.

9:38am Church bells have just rung out their optimistic tune. The morning begins.

I've just been approached by a couple with a dog who quoted Shakespeare and then posed this question. "What do you hope to gain from your time here?" Gain? What to gain? My God, how to answer such a question? What a public, making me think! Posing questions! I must satisfy them with an answer. I must satisfy myself. And so the struggle begins. My struggle. The struggle of the poet.

"If I had two pennies, with one I would buy bread and with the other I would buy hyacinths for my soul." Diane just stopped by with this Chinese proverb. She's a comedic playwright, going through a midlife crisis, hoping to remake herself and set upon founding a school for the arts.

And so they acknowledge the poet in the glade, in the clover and daisy glade.

It was bright and hard-sunned hot not a half an hour ago. A cover of high clouds and a northern breeze, though soft, from the sea, has moved in.

Here I sit, alone at my desk, inviting the public in with a quiet sign, in 4" glittering letters, P-O-E-T, nailed to the back of my desk.

What exactly are my hopes? What is the best a person could say in response? With just two poetry-only bookstores in the U.S.A, with one national radio program airing the work of established poets once a week, and with, dare I suggest, no poetry on television, I feel justified in saying there are too few opportunities for the general public to hear, see or gain a vocabulary for poetry, and most especially for the poetry of our times. Oh there is the odd poetry on the buses program and the occasional line of text in a public art project, but by-and-large poetry and the public are not two well-mixed things.

How might a person respond to Nostalgia? How might my being lakeside at a desk make one feel, think or act any differently? I hope, by interjecting poetry into the public realm, to encourage people to reconsider the worth of poets and poetry to society. If just one person says, even to themselves, "This is what I should be doing, attending to my spirit, looking into myself, for the answers, for change, for happiness, finding beauty and fault within instead of without," why then I will have made a difference. I hope, through my commitment and physical presence, to offer an experience that might be recreated. To pave the way to dialogue and self-searching and to break down the doors to poetry.

This project is not, and I hope will not become, packaged enough to sell, to sell to a passerby in a sentence, or jingle or clip. This is a question that needs to be asked and answered incessantly. What can poetry be? So what is the response? And now, what is the response now?

I do not like the stage. I do not like to be upon the stage. I am not comfortable on display. Why have I put myself here? What do I hope to gain from this? Valid questions, dear public. Thank you for insisting. In taking oneself out of the comfort zone, in interjecting oneself into the world, into the public realm, one forces a position. Such a move provokes thought, spurs action.

9:51 Bells again.

Vinnie says I'm bad ass. He promises to bring his guitar next week and play me a blues song. And so I am forming community.

But Vinnie wants me to write commercially. They could use my clever mind and I could make some money. Like my society, Vinnie wants to assimilate me. We've been assimilating one another since the early 1900's, Vinnie. Make the public a part of the institution and the institution will not be suspect. No one will have to think and not a one will have to reckon or change, they will just follow along, ready accomplices.

Writers are stopping by, offering sympathy for the cause. How can they ignore us, a generation of poets for whom words are self-definition? I will not let this happen, Gretchen.

Ah, to brush the sleeve of a poet! A nervous young man of square build, a boy of little confidence, with no variety of expression, stopped by to note, astutely, "It's not everyday you see someone with a desk sitting at the lake writing." He went on, "Maybe I'll write a Western or a short piece in the style of Poe?" I encouraged him to write on, to find a group. Go up to the Richard Hugo House and find the community you need.

Cheers from a nearby bar on Aurora, The Kangaroo and Kiwi. Surely, World Cup history is being made. And there inside the bar, there is a focus and common hope.

More artists stopping by, hoping this project snowballs into a mock Washington Square, with artists and street performers coming regularly to the lake. Lot of families moving on the path. Fathers and daughters, mothers and daughters, stopping by, applauding my efforts.

I have never before had both the opportunity and inclination to shade myself from the sun using an umbrella. This is a delight and sends me. It allows me to feel the play of the light breezes blowing my hair and ruffling my shirt. And allows me some intimacy and relief. Allows me to gaze at the reeds at the lake's edge.

I turned down money just now. Jon had cash out in his hand. He was prepared to support my art and I said, "No, you cannot buy my poetry." Why not? Not simply because I am not performing an entertainment or providing a shallow consumer service, but because of all things, with this project, I am asking people to think and search. The struggle forces itself upon us with an even greater insistence in a poor economy. With money (surely $5 won't make this difference) comes the shift to comfort, a shift away from what the struggle might mean.

Bells again! It is now after noon, 12:30 perhaps. Is this the start of another mass? A longer piece followed by yet another, both lively in tempo. Now, after five minutes, we are on our third hymn. We are serious about bells. Who is ringing the bells? Some devotee of religious hymns set upon spreading the good word, in a tower with a score book and an ivy bed of pull chords tied to a collection of dark and dusty bells? This is some small wonder of optimism. The bells have been ringing for fifteen minutes!

The fabric of my old black umbrella is ticking as it expands in the heat and is creating a tiny weather here beneath it. A small disc, a pocket of heat, is preparing to be blown away with the next light breeze.

How to lose my self-consciousness? In life, the writer goes effortlessly through the crowd, hidden among the faces. Writing comes as much from the experience of being intimate with the subject as it does from being invisible to the subject. I am no longer invisible.

Offering poetry in the way that a canoe on a lake, a kite on a string or a sailboat in a bay offers poetry to the collective eye. Offering a means to encapsulate the unquantifiable. Freedom, loss, nostalgia, hope, security. Concepts we form over time. Form and find symbols for.

I heard somebody whisper to their friend, "Look, she's a poet." And now they know. There are cut glass, glitter-encrusted letters hung from the back of my desk spelling p-o-e-t. It seemed the simplest means for both inviting a response and allowing a dismissal. Or, of course, for a sort of distant recognition.

An older man, walking briskly upon the path, shouted to me, "Right on!" Allowing him to both partake and carry on. At times, this is the best response.

Lee and I discussed the meaning of the word Nostalgia. Nostos + Algos, the pain of home. It was a word coined in 1688 by a Swiss physician to explain what the mercenaries were experiencing. Then he suggested another term, the Portuguese word saudade, which means something similar but incorporates the possibility for regaining home, no matter how distant in the future.

If every day at the same time… If every Sunday, for one year… Routine must form us in time, but can it form us as ritual does? Is routine not more of a sedative and ritual more a stimulant? Routine, more daily occurring, and ritual less frequent, but more conscience-driven? My routine is hitting the snooze button on my clock four times in the morning. My routine is making a fruit smoothie after cycling home from work. My routine is writing postcards on Elk Beach at lunchtime. But it is ritual that extends my options, heightens the potential of every decision, dramatizes the parted road, waits until the last moment before swerving this way or that, looks for a reason or sign in all I do.

The breezes blow in the treetops and ruffle the lake. A small lake. There are lakeside benches for the rare moment of rest, the stationary soul. This path is an ever-moving theatre. But for that moment. But for perspective. How to get out of this world? How to live in a parallel world? How to see and un-see? How to re-see? How to re-create and recommend?

I am not here. I am in a high alpine park on a mountain. My mountain. A herd of mountain goats is stumbling over the pass. Roosevelt elk are tracing the riverbed. A bear is learning a bumblebee dance.

A woman named Keri just stopped by. As she approached I saw in her my friend Laura from Toronto. Longing. Nostalgia. At times, we invent familiarity and recognition to substitute for the home we have lost, the home we are losing, the home we expect to lose or are running from. Home. Longing. Re-creating.

I have seen bumblebees bending the clover heads and yellow butterflies tumbling like leaves from trees. Dragonflies lifting on transparent wings and ravens, serious on the lawn, scouting and expressing gloom. Ducks tucked away for sleep and geese dipping their necks into the greenish murk. No expression of grief or fear or longing. Only expressions of comfort and fatigue. Of lost and endless days.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Nostalgia: The Poetess at Green Lake

Yesterday I walked the 4 miles to Green Lake from lower Queen Anne. I took the direct route, along Aurora and over the bridge, which does not cross a cascading stream, but spans a ship canal. Trip trap went the bridge. And when I had nearly crossed over, I came to the place where the troll lives and heard his roar, "Who is that tripping over my bridge?" To which I called, "Please, there are poets of greater significance just a few years away. Wait and you will have plenty to eat."
Beyond the bridge, I climbed the hillside past the rose garden and Woodland Zoo.

When I reached the lake, I walked around to the theatre, to the library, the elementary school and community center, I even went into private businesses, telling the community about my project, asking for help. I need a small bit of storage for my desk and chair. Can anyone help?

After explaining my project to ten Green Lake establishments, someone finally said yes. Cindy, the manager at PCC (a natural food store), barely a minute into my speech said, "Yes," pointing, "Will your desk fit in there?" And so I shall keep my desk in Cindy's office, 2 blocks from the lake and walk it to the north end of the Aurora strip.

Thus begins NOSTALGIA: The Poetess at Green Lake, for which I will sit 8 hours a day, one day a week (Sundays), at a wooden table, writing, thinking and observing - general poet's work. People do not see, sense or know enough about the poet's work. What the poet is doing, for the community, for the public. Every poet. The ones you hear about and the ones you don't. I propose to embody the every poet - to make my work a symbol for all poets working (by which I mean every person's poet - you the poet, your neighbor the poet, your mother, daughter, banker the poet...). By doing so, I hope to encourage people to experience the poet's work for themselves, to search for truth in the human spirit.

Anyway, it all sounds lofty and it might be nice until the rain sets in. And then it will get dark and windy. Cold. But it is the first "yes" I have gotten and so I must hold onto it. And in a year, when my Sundays are spent, I will have formed community. With effort, over time, I will have completed a cycle, finished a journal. Possibly even rekindled my spirit.

I am taking the term Nostalgia from an Andrei Tarkovsky film [Nostaghia]. It refers to that universal place, that homeland we seek, that place we long to come home to, the human spirit. Something the poet embodies. Something modern man has pushed aside for the less the fulfilling concerns of sexuality, psychology, material goods.

I wonder if anyone will notice at all? It will be a difficult thing to be entirely ignored. It will be equally difficult to be interrupted all day. I want simply to observe. I want to write. I want to sit quietly astride life. To be a symbol. Some talking will be good. Some recognition. But also quiet time.

I sided with Seurat and chose Sunday as my day in the park. When I told Lauren about my project, she gave me information on a Seattle artist who just finished a year-long project called "Little Brown Dress." The artist wore a brown dress every day for a year. She had a website to which she posted thoughts and pictures. In the final months, her project became quite popular. Now she's being radio interviewed. On her 30th birthday, this Friday, she will publicly take off the dress at ConWorks in Seattle. Her project is a response to gender issues, the fashion industry and sweat shops.

I've been carefully weighing the idea of casting this log to the net. While I intend the project to be a living and local event, I want it to be far reaching as well. But I do not want to send myself or my public to a computer screen. I want us to spend more time in the world. With one another. Dialoguing.