Another golden morning. Hot coffee. The kitchen clean. I woke at 5 a.m., listened to birds, fell back to sleep. A long weekend, spent mostly with C, in his loft, a beautiful hike in Tilden, where we saw vultures, and a BART trip to SF to see a play. Deepening intimacy. The old stories of our lives, the gifts we've carried with us all this ime, longing to give them to someone, but transformed. Beginning to transform them. Hoping to.
His senile, demented cat, who yowls at night, whom I am going to make into a pair of fur earmuffs. My roommates, my family, my thousand projects, my messes and failures and triumphs. His dreams deferred and pursued, the boy he was, serious, artistic, sensitive, creative. His thousand projects, his power tools and musical instruments. Our middle-aged bodies, strong and crumbling. Piles of books next to the wide bed. A skylight.
A show at the ODC based on Henry V--an anti-war dance and text show that was moving and clear with minimal props and gorgeous dancers. Good chewy bread and butter, salad, rich Greek yogurt with green apples and salted nuts in it, dark chocolate truffles (alright, one), champagne (one glass), strong coffee, music, music, music.
And that meant I didn't go to synagogue to see Vicki and Jaynie and Beth and Dixie and Chaya and Shulamit and Debbie. I did hang out with G Sunday afternoon--we went to Ocean Beach where the freezing wind roared in our ears and he got some good photos of crazy windsurgers and para-sailors. The surf was so strong, the green glittering water so cold and rough I admire anyone with the guts or foolishness to even get near it, let alone in it. This one guy who was wind-surfing close to shore had a board that flipped around so he zigzagged at an incredible speed back and forth with the wind, looking like an insect clinging to his big plastic wing.
At the faculty meeting for New College Friday I read the student evaluations for my memoir class. Some of them loved me, loved the class. Others were critical; it wasn't well enough organized, the reader was a mess (true, I didn't know how to get it copied right, I'll do that differently next time.) I didn't talk enough about craft issues, the student presentations were like book reports. Ouch. There was truth in the critiques.
I am off-the-charts intuitive, and everything I know about writing I've learned through reading voraciously and absorbing other writers' styles through my pores. Some of what they do has stuck to me, mixed in with my own unique digestive juices, my sweat, my karma, and come out as my style, whatever that is. I don't think about style when I write. I aim for transparency, to be a clear window, through which the world can be seen. But of course, there is style, there is structure, and they can be taught. And people who are paying university tuition expect to be taught them, taught in a certain way.
Next semester, I think I really should sit in on some of my colleague's classes, in order to learn what they are doing and how they do it. I thought that this last semester, but I didn't have time. I probably won't feel I have any more time next semester, but it's a question of priorities--if I want to be a better teacher, if I want to stretch and enlarge the place of my tent as the Arabs say, I'll do it.
And synagogue, and lovemaking, and my little sister, and friendships, and my own creative work?
I'll have to find or make time for all of it. When I wrote The Largest Possible Life, I should have added a subtitle; "and the time-management skills for all of it."