Monday, August 15, 2011

Childhood for Sale

In his eloquent The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard wrote, "I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace."

I have known, in my life, two places that fulfilled this ideal. One was my grandparents' home, where I lived for most of my teenaged years. It was a historic home, built in the thirties, with lovely art deco touches, surrounded by palms and fruit trees. They sold it nearly ten years ago.

The other was the cabin. We spent summers there from my infancy up. It's a little, rustic place in the heart of Arizona Rim Country, which, for those of you not in the know, means it is surrounded by pine trees in a basically alpine climate. There's a creek that runs along the border of the property (it is, technically, the East Verde, I THINK), with two waterfalls.

In late summer, you can pick blackberries there and, with the proper guide, wild butter mushrooms. There's a wild, inedible pear tree on the property. I learned to roast marshmallows over an open fire there. The ruins of my childhood fort can still be discerned.

Many of my nocturnal dreams are set there because it is the kind of place upon which the mind fixes. I know every rock and bush on its slopes.

Yesterday, my grandfather took a prospective buyer out to look at the place.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Silly Rabbit...

In 1959, Joe Harris created the Trix of the most enduring and poignant emblems of humanity's struggle for the sublime. For those who have never seen a television, the plight of the Trix Rabbit is something like this: He wants the cereal. He dresses in various disguises to try and get the cereal from the mean spirited children. They catch him, taunt him, and deny him cereal.

As a child, I was always deeply disturbed by these commercials, as, I suspect, were many others. Some burgeoning sense of...well, decency...made me feel that if a rabbit was capable of walking around and expressing his cereal preferences, you should damned well give him a bowl of Trix.

Certainly, in the few contests wherein children were permitted to vote on whether the rabbit should get cereal, the answer was always an overwhelming "Yes." We may have been mean-spirited little bastards, but I think we saw, in that plucky rabbit, ourselves, denied just one more bite of that sugary breakfast confection.

Friday, August 5, 2011

To Tweet or Shut the Hell Up?

So I've been vaguely considering making a Twitter account. What's stopping me from doing it yet is mainly that my life is, at present, very boring. I don't think the world needs to hear "Cat threw up again" or "Time for another nap."

BUT at the same time, I believe that it is possible to be creative and interesting even in the midst of the dullest life. The question is, is it possible to do so in so few characters? How does a person create interesting content in such short space? I mean, I value constrictions of form and think they can provoke inspiration and innovation. I'm just not sure if this one DOES.

So let's think together. How interesting could a twitter post be? What could I post on any given day that might be...well, not boring?

Perhaps this: "Lots of green apples on the tree outside." No? Maybe, "Filled with dread about syllabi." Hmm, still not what I'd call catchy.

Really, what I need is Joss Whedon to write my twitter feed for me. He's the master who came up with the following response to the challenge to write a short story in six words: "Gown removed carelessly. Head, less so." Now there's pith for you!

I'll bet many of you out there have awesome and inspiring Twitter thoughts and experiences, so fill me in! What am I missing?