kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
1. Okay, hold onto your hats, folk who've been around for a while: middle brother and I haven't argued yet. Not only that, we have cooperated in moving furniture for my mum (and despite having worked construction over last summer he didn't think crippy ol' me was totally useless, which was nice ;) and have managed to talk about science in a way that didn't end in bloodshed! I am... kind of astonished, and really hoping it manages to hold for the next few days. (I leave on the 27th, you see.)

2. I swung by college when in town running errands earlier, and spent a little while sat in the chapel and a little while sat on the back wall swinging my legs over the river. Seven or eight years ago I stood on that bridge and looked into the library windows and said "I'm going to be one of them"; it turned out the floor I was looking at was the sciences one. So -- yes, I sat on the wall with my legs over the river and the punts dry-docked behind me and watched people walk over the bridge and listened to the single solitary punt guide and -- yes. This, too, is home.

3. DRD HAS PUBLISHED THAT ONE PAPER I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR HIM TO GET AROUND TO PUBLISHING. Seriously pleased about this. It is A Big Deal in terms of mantle plumes, and I think his work is solid.

4. I have played the piano some! Really badly, but less badly than I did this weekend. My hands and elbows and shoulder blades really bloody hate me and, well, this is why I don't play any more, and it's extremely bittersweet to be stumbling over playing stuff that is fundamentally still in my muscle-memory and completely incapable of sightreading, but -- I made music, I made music, and I didn't end up crying on the sofa like I did this weekend just gone, and -- it is a comfort and a blessing that I still have this. Also, I am starting to remind myself how to sight-sing.

5. I have had a lovely time interacting with baby brother also. We have been being gently rude at each other and very affectionate (hugs! hair-ruffling! sarcasm!) and he popped his head round my door earlier to be all "SO I thought of a PRESENT for you do you want a slow-cooker" and I was all "that's very sweet but thank you no my housemate has one" and he was all "awwwwwww I was gonna say, coz I want a blender, and if we both just had to go to the same shop..." -- so I provided him a list of DVDs I'm after in decreasing order of priority (and I think he's picked up lots of them?!) and then I was mildly profligate but it is a blender that should last him a good long time, so. I also acquired gjetost for my mother and consequently we have a mildly ridiculous cheeseboard, which makes me very happy. (It is my major contribution.)

6. My mother is making tiramisu as we speak. :-)

7. I am hoovering up Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series courtesy of my housemate's copies, and am Forming Several Opinions. Some of them are favourable; some of them are really not; but I am at least enjoying thinking about them.

8. I appear to have been wearing Liminal and only Liminal pretty solidly since Friday. It feels right for this time of year, and for reorienting myself and taking a moment to be inwards, and so on.

9. My mother made a somewhat involved and very tasty dinner, and we had it with wine from one of my favourite Austrian grapes that I very rarely actually get around to drinking, because it's not really worth getting a bottle when it takes me well over a month to get through one if I am working at it, and I think of it as A Special Treat To Be Savoured because it's slightly hard to acquire and therefore wince at people gulping it; perhaps the moral of the story is that I should host more dinner parties, but in any case, it was tasty and I am happy and contented.

10. Kinda intimidating emotional work/conversations have been going well, and it is a relief and a comfort. AND I SOLVED AN ENTIRE GRAUN CRYPTIC CLUE ON MY OWN. ONE WHOLE ONE. Now to try for a few more. ;) (Why do I list them together? Partly because I have run out of ten, but also partly because they feel like similar amounts of thinking sideways around a corner to work out solutions.)

kaberett: Yellow gingko leaf against teal background (gingko)
First and always: Cambridge. Cambridge, which I've seen through enough different eyes -- town and gown, resident and caretaker, political and utterly independent of any given inhabitants -- Cambridge, which had me for two decades and change, and has me still. My parental home is a 1960s newbuild semi in Arbury; my college contains an archway that predates its foundation in 1350, that's had chunks carved out of the limestone by bicycle pedals over the last hundred-odd years. I've laughed, fondly and otherwise, at the new undergraduates with their shiny new college scarves and no idea how to cycle; I've dodged punt touts and helped my baby brother pass his hiring test to be a punt chauffeur; I've rummaged through the stacks in the University Library and put up and repainted street-signs. I know where the permanent graffiti is and I remember some that's been and gone; I've delivered leaflets at 6am on election morning and I've observed the counting of votes and I've walked across town at four in the morning from the Guildhall (where the outcome was known) to a common room (where people were glued to the news); I've walked across town at two in the morning (Homerton to Trinity Hall) very solemn and slightly wobbly with a viola; I've leaned my forehead against stone and felt where it's come from and been reassured by its solid indifferent presence; I've punted to Grantchester and back and eaten strawberries in the meadows in the sunshine. I've lost and found and found and lost religion and confidence and friends and trust and love. Cambridge is mine, or I am Cambridge's, and so it shall be forever, amen.

Zürich was next. I spent a summer soaking up sunshine, glancing up from my commuter paper to see the Alps crowned with glaciers as we crossed the river, looking out the window on my way to tearing down the stairs from the eighth floor to see the turtles and the fish in the pond way below. There are fields opposite the Spital Limattal -- apple orchards up the hill, but immediately opposite - by the bus stop - pick-your-own flowers and an honesty box. I found cafes and restaurants and friends and I learned a whole new language and I lived by myself absent a support network for the first time, and I explored and I fell in love with museums and was baffled by art and I swam in the lake and learned to like blue cheese on a Roman customs point in the rain overlooking a river with P. I miss pear bread most of all.

I didn't learn how to love LA. Mostly I got as far as baffled affection: for the sky that only ever got as dark as a glowing orange-purple, that turned opaque blanket of smog when you drove high enough into the mountains to see the stars, that left my lungs a wreck for six months; the fantastic street art and terrible public transport; the storm drains and dry river; the jacarandas and the humming birds. My experience of LA is less that, more a haze of heat & food & Caltech campus, with a dream-sequence weekend-long road trip up to the Bay Area somewhere in the middle.

And, of course, London. London, and its river-that-is-a-dragon. I would (as I thought) have hated moving here when I was 18; now I find myself delighting in how joyfully small it makes me, in exactly the same way I am small when I look at the stars or (closer to home) the Moon. I don't belong here but the river-dragon will let me stay a while, and so for now I will fling myself into proms and parks and concerts and gigs and museums and the poetry library; I will stand breathless with delight on the bridge at Embankment or at St Paul's; I will be a mirror for this city and the city shall be a mirror for me, and I will learn more about how people work and more about how I work and I will adore its trees and mysterious statuary and, most of all, I will learn.

(Honourable mentions go to Oxford and to Edinburgh, neither of which I understand, in part because of how intensely my experiences of them are bound up with how I relate to the people I love who relate to these cities; to my patchwork understanding of Heidelberg, all castle and computational linguistics and music and cheap beer by the river; to Rome; and to Paris, and in particular the sunrise walk between Gare de l'Est and Gare du Nord, and a toast to fifth-floor balconies and wine, and croissants by the Seine at dawn.)

[poem] &

Nov. 27th, 2014 12:29 pm
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
What joy, this, to learn what others find in you:
to watch people I love adore anew, to take reciprocal
delight as you illuminate each others' facets
too often hidden from my view by busy-fingered fates
and orbital mechanics. Yes: this too
expands the borders & horizons of
my familiar faithful heart. I'm astounded
by how much I can encompass; by how large
I grow. I learn from you.

Without: the patchwork of the comforting dark,
the sheets of rain, stitched firm
with nets of light we've wrapped round trees
as reminder, to help us find our path.
Bubbles, catching street lamps, float like stars.
Look up. You blaze. You, too, are a landmark.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
How is it that so very great a gift
can be as fragile, tiny, tenuous as this:
this sun-bleached bird skull, feather-light,
caught in protecting nets emplaced
from June til autumn (dawn til dusk).
Nearby: a poised and outspread wing,
tenacity of tenderness made flesh.
Unwieldy metaphor, perhaps, and yet--
and yet. O best belov'd: take flight.


(It is the lightness of your embrace
that will let me go adrift.
-- Meg Bateman)
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
The clouds that scud across the the heavens of my moods
are only water, for all they cast me into intermittent
shade. The tears that scour my face are only water, too;
so too my thunderstorms, so too the streams
through which I tread, on which I float, reminded
I can move. My heartbeat echoes through the spaces
between atoms. I am two-thirds water: I'm
composed of opposing forces; it's
the water with which I quench my thirst that snows
bitter-cold upon the seedlings in the garden of my soul.
I am two-thirds water. I am whole.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
  • Despite not even a tiny bit being in MCU fandom, I look forward enormously to [personal profile] recessional's Winter Soldier shortfic snippets - they seriously make my day; they feel like a gift every time, as does Mia's art, as I've mentioned, and a whole bunch of things the rest of you do, that just feel like moments of grace. I was feeling slightly wistful about wanting to be able to provide that, those bubbles of joy, and then I realised that probably actually I do - probably some of you do react to my poetry the same way, and that is a wonder in itself.
  • I had an excellent conversation with @taliskimberley at WorldCon about craft vs inspiration wrt poetry/lyric, and about how the 50-poems-in-a-year project I have going on is about teaching myself to trust craft more.
  • I was at a poetry event a few months ago, about mental health and poetry, and one of the participants - I think one of the support acts? - made a derogatory comment about "confessional" poetry. It's been getting to me; I'm struggling with the fact that most of my poetry is very short, is intensely personal, and is about experiencing the world as myself in a very direct sense, rather than having... grand sweeping scope? And I'm mostly okay with that, but occasionally I let the thing rattle me (and, surprise, it was a middle-aged white dude being all "pfft who needs confessional poetry anyway it's just DULL"), and I'm trying to work out how to work with that.
  • On an entirely different topic, while drifting off to sleep the other night I had an obviously brilliant insight about why we're so drawn to narratives where a protagonist has a destiny to fulfill (into every generation, The Boy Who Lived, etc), and then I fell asleep before writing it down, and now I am managing to reconstruct it only piecemeal - something about having purpose, about external executive function, about finding a place in the world, about what it means to turn away from manifest destiny and why we seek it out, and so on. Perhaps I will be able to put it back together at Some Point; perhaps not.
  • One of my bits of brain-homework that I've been stuck on for a while is "It’s easy to ignore our talents when we measure them with the wrong yardstick. Not everyone is good at public speaking, computer programming, or heli-skiing—and not everyone should be. This diversity of talents is what makes the world so interesting. Ponder: Which of your own natural talents, preferences, and abilities have you been judging by a faulty yardstick?" Now I reckon I'm pretty good at knowing my capabilities and ways I want to improve them in; I don't think are many things I'm actually good at that I'm overlooking/ignoring. So, er, would you all mind saying if you think there's anything that meets this? Because I suspect finding it this difficult is a good reason for me to keep staring at it. *chinhand*

yes good

Sep. 1st, 2014 08:05 pm
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
1. I woke up surprisingly easily, especially given how late I got to bed, which is always pleasantly astonishing when it manages to happen.

2. Some of the post waiting for me at work was more rocks! I was delighted, and expressed this delight to a colleague in the lift, and everyone else in the lift just looked... baffled. Which to be honest I found a little surprising given where I work, but mostly? Mostly it was amusing, and also I have lots more rocks. Plenty enough to keep me going until the new year!

3. I got heaps of labwork done today, including lots more tidying up than I normally manage, including making some sensible judgment calls

4. As I was leaving, having tidied up, the skies opened, and it was brilliant - I walked down the middle of the almost-entirely-empty pavement on Exhibition Road in the warm rain with my clothes rapidly getting plastered to me, and oh, it was glorious.

5. I finally settled in with Scalzi's new novel Lock In today, and to my surprise I am genuinely enjoying it. (Why surprise? Because much as I like the guy I didn't expect him to do it well, and so far he is. Also, I'm a fifth of the way through and the protag's gender hasn't been mentioned yet, which is pretty much the reading experience I want.)

6. I got home to find warm couscous left on the table for me, because I have the best housemate <333

7. ... and for afters there is leftover strawberry trifle in the fridge, brought me yesterday by [personal profile] sebastienne and my useless ex when they rocked up to feed me lunch, badger me into wearing clothes, and drag me to a film festival & concert (which was pretty great once the first short was over; Did Not Like). But srsly though, a. CN Lester wrote a song for you and then made a music video, and (b) I got to curl up in a big comfy chair and watch an entire hour of people talking mostly in German about queer & trans stuff, and -- that's not something my inherited language does, we're rural Austrian Catholics, I got to listen to people speaking about queers in German, which was a kind of homecoming even though it was the wrong flavour. (By which I mean: the Berlin accent is not the accent of the stories and the prayers and the songs of my childhood, but nonetheless it is German and therefore soothing.)

8. My counsellor got in touch yesterday about arranging a session with an apology for having dropped off the face of the Earth (bereavement), which saved me doing the reaching out and means we are Working On A Date probably sometime next week.

9. An Elementary fic showed up in my head while I was finishing up the washing up at work; specifically, a story that begins "The first time Joan surprised Sherlock..." with reference to some dialogue from (very!) early season 1, though I suspect I am going to have to wait for the beginning of season 3 to make sense of where it's trying to end up.

10. I really am surrounded by fantastic people, and I am so, so glad of all of you <3 (And I am aided in appreciating this by the bit where I seem to be starting to pull back out of the brainwrong I've been in for the past little bit: hurrah discontinuing the anti-histamine!)

so, uh

Aug. 25th, 2014 02:29 am
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
I wanted some sufficiently-subtle-as-to-be-wearable iron Because Reasons and look what eBay waved at me.

also, thank you all so much for the comments on the DLA post -- is v much appreciated <3
kaberett: A green origami stegosaurus (origami stegosaurus)
Experience does not correlate linearly with age. The chronologically oldest members of a community do not have the right to dictate its terms or modes of engagement; in so doing they alienate and exclude and erase.

I have not lived through the same events as the chronologically oldest members of my communities. But this, too, is true: they do not axiomatically or automatically understand my experiences any more than I do theirs.

Community-building is by necessity collaborative and constructive. Hierarchies for streamlining decisions are not required to uphold inequalities and power gradients.

I am rendered brittle by this tension, this assumed inequality, and then I remember: that I can help people decades older than me. That people younger than me gift me insights that rearrange my world around me and leave it better. That the people I am best able to ask for help are those who ask me.

When I say that I think the most important thing I do is know who to ask, I am fairly sure that what I mean isn't just about knowledge and respect for expertise: it's about reciprocating trust and kindnesses, and about bringing as many people as possible into this economy of gifts-freely-given that constitutes the ground on which I build.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
for [personal profile] jjhunter, in response to Linkspam Feels Tectonic

(even if you feel the slow & endless grinding--
even if you feel your edges worn away to nothing--
even if all you can hold onto is the idea of stopping--
you are alive you are whole you are
exactly as you are meant to be you are moving
you are sloughing off old skin, revealing
the brightness of your new scales, your new plates
of armour, born of fire and you
have kept going kept crawling
kept living
again and again and again
and every single one of your earthquakes
everything that wrenches at your seams & scars
reminds you
that you are alive
that you are here
that you are connected

you are beloved:
most of all, you are beloved)
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
(1) I will, as usual, very happily answer questions!
(2) Want a drabble? Give me a prompt.
(3) Want a poem? I'm less convinced I can extrude these on demand, but try me (as specific or vague a prompt as you like!)
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
On Friday evening we sat on a fifth-floor balcony under darkening skies with cheese and bread and fig jam and alcohol. I dangled my legs through the railings and admired the railings across the way. We talked and talked and talked some more. I gave him the selected works of Neruda I'd picked up in the branch of Foyles at St Pancras on my way over; I note with sadness that it shuts at the end of the month. (Still in England, barely outside London, the train passed a field of red double-decker buses that had been put out to pasture.)

On Saturday we ate at an intriguing vegetarian restaurant recommended by a friend (welcome to identify yourself in comments, just wasn't sure whether you'd be okay w/ naming <3) who was very kind about texting back & forth enthusiastically over the course of the morning. The afternoon we spent at the Louvre, where I was very fond of dragons and the cuticles/lines on a Nisus&Euryalis; and there was a tiny gallery of watches about which I was very excited because there was actually a set-up I'd never seen before -- watches with inbuilt sundials + compasses, presumably so that when they wound down/went too badly out you could establish the time in order to correct them! (Really, really excited - I've visited enough horology galleries to be genuinely surprised to come across styles of timepiece I haven't met before.) Said gallery also featured a very nice implementation of the hourglasses-displaying-subdivisions thing -- instead of a rack of 3-4 hourglasses to be turned simultaneously, it was a column of glass blobs that (one infers) emptied sequentially on the quarter hour. AND there was a gallery of scientific instruments and tiny portable armillary spheres, which always make me happy.

In addition there's currently a formal-gardens competition going on -- Notre Dame and a few other associated places seem to have decided on a theme of "The Illusion", by which they mean they've dumped a bunch of 5' tall mirrors in flowerbeds, which is fascinating if slightly creepy.

AND in the EVENING, after a route home via the confusingly-named Luxembourg park that to its credit contained an excellent brass band, we had EIERSCHWAMMERL. I was staggeringly excited to find them at the shop round the corner from P's, because they are very difficult to get hold of in any appropriate form at any appropriate price in the UK, but I got to do all the appropriate things with respect to frying them in butter with garlic and then drowning them in parsley, and lo it was good :-) (At same said stall I was delighted to find that at least in some parts of France the thing I would call Zwetschke is a questche! Not sure which way the etymology goes but will have a go at hunting it down.)

And then TODAY I slept a lot and then feasted well for breakfast (both mornings P popped to the bakery around the corner and returned with a bag of fresh croissant & pain au chocolat while I murbled around still being asleep in bed; it was great) and eventually we left the house; we walked past bookshops & coffee shops & through parks & the Musee d'Armee (nice dome!) & paused to eat fresh bread & fig jam & Selles-sur-Cher, which is my favourite goat cheese and much more readily available in France than in the UK; and ended up at the Musee d'Orsay, where I fell in love with the giant clock faces as architectural features on the top floor and also suddenly got the point of art galleries in front of le jardin de Monet, les iris -- or at least, I suddenly understood why someone might want to just sit and stare at a painting for hours. Additionally: lots of very nice stuff in the Art Nouveau exhibits, and once we got chucked out we hung around on the bank of the Seine to see the Tour de France go past -- P sort of felt he ought to, and so did I, as I'd ignored it in both Cambridge and London and it was right there and due to go by pretty much as the museum was closing...

... and that, having skipped over a fair amount of the intervening raspberry-and-pistachio-ice-cream, was that; I waved at the Centre Pompidou, managed through cunning overscheduling to fail to make it to Etat Libre d'Orange's flagship shop, for which my wallet no doubt thanks me, exclaimed with delight over a very great deal of architecture and a large number of flowerbeds, was delighted to come face-to-face with ponies, swore a lot about how much I hate people, was very glad I'd taken the wheelchair with me, and ate cherries. I continue impressed by how thoroughly pleasant it is to travel by Eurostar with chair - flat rate gets you business lounge & business premier & actually genuinely tasty food on board, so! I was happy and will do the thing again in the future.

Yes. Good weekend. No work, lots of reading of books, good company. Good.
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
1. Codeine. (Codeine and HF turn out to be less axiomatically lethal in combination than one might have expected.) Basically: I've been having a pain flare since the middle of last week, to the point that I've gone "fuck it" and am taking maintenance codeine in addition to having upped my paracetamol dose. (I try not to do that because my supply of opiates is Limited, but hey. Sometimes the thing is necessary.)

2. Slightly to my surprise, I am actually bang on where I wanted to be with the ridiculous schedule [image|text], give or take the thing last week with a question mark on it, which I am... impressed by, given (1).

3. [personal profile] jjhunter wrote me a poem, and then wrote another poem that might as well be for me with as many of my buttons as it hits.

4. [personal profile] elisem made more shinies! Hel was over, and we SQUEALED WITH DELIGHT; it was brill. I am particularly coveting Night Protocols, The Idea, Rising, Emergent Properties, and How The Message Travels; I genuinely cannot tell if I want Watching Over The Lines (to go with Keeper of the Lines, about which I have written a tiny short prose poem THING that explained my own psychology to me more than I ever expected), because the wirework is glorious but it's not quite my kind of rock (both in terms of colour and in terms of research). And I'd love to love 'Much Ado About Nothing' As Performed By Fish for all sorts of reasons, including that it's my favourite play, but that one is definitely not something that wants to live with me for all it's glorious.

5. Burnt toffee dark chocolate, and unrelatedly blueberries.

6. Sunshine!

7. Talking to strangers on the bus, with the specific aim of helping lost tourists find a place.

8. P, who I am actually managing to catch up with some, which is great.

9. Watering my plants (the strawberries are trying to strawberry!)

10. Hel-who-came-over, who is coming over regularly on Wednesdays at the moment because housemate has gaming, I do better when I have someone to feed, they like being fed, and there is TV I adore showing people that they're wanting to get caught up on. Today: leftovers of yesterday's All The Minestrone (seriously, about five litres) and also courgette fritters, with wholemeal bread + lemon + lettuce.

I am tired and in pain but I am also happy. It is nice.
kaberett: Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson sit side by side, facing forward, heads slightly tilted towards each other. (elementary-faces)
I occasionally mention the concept of making. the job. smaller. Overwhelmed by a task? Okay, alter your concept of "success" to something manageable. You're not going to write a novel today, but you can write the prologue. Or half a chapter. Or whatever. And then you can do another half chapter tomorrow. And then you get to the end, and you look up, and there's a novel.

Counselling and mindfulness and a whole host of other things have, over the years, trained me to at least consider the possibility of don't make the job larger. That's not a framing it's been given explicitly, but it's not exactly an unrecognised phenomenon: to some extent, think sneaky hate spiral (ALL OF THE THINGS ARE PROBLEMS), but also catastrophising (THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD).

For me, it tends to go a bit like this: the Thing is terrible. If I am already overwhelmed, it is even worse than that. I cannot possibly control or have any effect on the Thing [note that this is a distortion: instead of making the job smaller, to make it less overwhelming, I abnegate agency and power in order to do away with choice and responsibility, both of which are Hard]. Anxiety about the Thing then gets displaced onto anything that looks even slightly similar within a large radius: "there is no point in even trying to Deal with the Thing, because it's not like I can handle the Badger either." And thus I spiral further and further into telling myself I'm shit and incapable and incompetent and can't manage anything, and get distressed about wider irrelevant putative problems that may not even be problems, and all the while the Thing looms larger and larger above the foothills of self-hatred.

Mindfulness techniques, as it turns out, have really helped me with this. The meditative practice of sitting with thoughts but gently redirecting one's focus to one's breath, or heartbeat, or whatever, has an awful lot in common with looking at the thought that goes you are too incompetent/ill/crippy/lazy to be on this PhD programme, you can't even adequately read and synthesise literature, there's no point even trying to fix the transfer report, you might as well fail out now and be done with it and - not ignore it, but nod at it, show it to the waiting area, and return to the pargraph at hand.

I sometimes summarise this - possibly via Pratchett - as you do the job in front of you. There's no "just" about it - like I said, it's taken me years to get to the point where I can semi-reliably do this under pressure - but over the course of this evening I've realised just how far I've come in this respect, and I am enormously grateful.

gratitude

Jun. 11th, 2014 06:56 pm
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
1. Sunshine.

2. The strawberry plant is starting to have actual fruit on it. Still nowhere near ripe, but nonetheless!

3. Flomping around in vest top and linen trousers.

4. My new wallet. It was a ridiculous extravagance and I felt super-guilty about it, but... it makes me happy every time I look at it, so.

5. Living close enough to friends that if my housemate is out for the evening and I'm not doing brilliantly at food, I can ping someone over IM and ask them to come over for dinner and they will. (I really love that "do me a favour? let me feed you?" is a thing I can ask people.)

6. I am on my first reread of Ancillary Justice because it became perfectly apparent that my brain wasn't going to let me settle into anything else until I did. It is a long time since that last happened.

7. ... apart from the bit where my ereader ended up partway through Famine (by [personal profile] lightgetsin, part of A Deeper Season, the epic Vorkosiverse AU I love to bits) and ~for some reason~ this time round I ended up highlighting huge chunks of it. Ways to fit myself into the world, indeed.

8. My supervisor has replied usefully to the last e-mail I sent her, which means she doesn't hate me forever and I can get on with the things I was trying to get on with with rather less anxiety, thank goodness.

9. People: in addition to spontaneous-friend-tonight, I'm seeing my mum for lunch tomorrow (and possibly visiting London Volcano in company), and [personal profile] randomling is coming over for dinner Friday night; and TOG is staying Friday-Sunday morning. And I then have about three different options for Interesting Things I Can Do With Nice People on Sunday afternoon.

10. Having finished The Middleman, I have persuaded my housemate that A:tLA is a good choice for Next House TV Show. However I am probably going to try to get my act together to make Orphan Black a thing we can do together next season, given how much the entire Internet seems to like it!
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
You do not press me neatly. You
do not fold me small. You do
not reduce me to simplicities.
You let me sprawl. You say
when I have (inadvertent) hurt you.
You give me choice and chance;
you ask that I be not afraid, and
take me by the hand to show the way.
It grieves my heart to give you pain, and yet
all this and more I'm joyful thankful for.
kaberett: a watercolour of a pale gold/salmon honeysuckle blossom against a background of green leaves (honeysuckle)
for JJ, because how couldn't it be?

It's not the watching
of any one particular sunset
that's the thing:

it's finding time to breathe the steam that rises from your mug
to feel the warm seep into your cupped hands
to scribble in the margins of your day:

if every one's an island, then so what?
an island isn't ever watertight.

we're leaky vessels. so
drink your fill of sunlight--
and then go about your life.
kaberett: a watercolour painting of an oak leaf floating on calm water (leaf-on-water)
Huh, apparently I haven't actually recced A Litany for Survival here, at least not any place I can find it readily? So let's start with that.

A Litany for Survival )

from Walking Our Boundaries

The sun is watery warm
our voices
seem too loud for this small yard
too tentative for women
so in love
the siding has come loose in spots
our footsteps hold this place
together
as our place
our joint decisions make the possible
whole.
I do not know when
we shall laugh again
but next week
we will spade up another plot
for this spring's seeding.


from Eulogy for Alvin Frost )

Gratitude

Apr. 9th, 2014 08:33 pm
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
Yesterday I woke up at around 6; by 6.15 had started to worry that I was this awake without my alarm having gone off and checked the time; and at 6.20 decided I wasn't getting back to sleep and might as well go into work. So I did, and I got a lot done, and oh but it is light at six, and the air was crisp and lovely as I made my (grouchy, limping) way up Exhibition Road; I was in lab by 7.30, whereupon I started the process of drying beakers, weighing out rock powder, and faffing about with HF. That I was quite so underslept and quite so ill goes a long way towards explaining why I had a Minor Incident (but no exposure; deets in a locked post). But! I got more Science Progress done than I'd even been hoping to manage, which puts me in a really good position for next week; and then I printed off and posted some documents for [personal profile] alexseanchai; and then in sunshine and relief I made my way home and ate apple cake my housemate had Produced (as if by magic!) while packing.

And then I got myself onto a train - in, still, the sunshine; you might be spotting a theme here - towards the dwelling of Those Two People; and upon arrival I took the gentle wander up the hill and smiled with delight about all the cherry blossom, and also about the fact that everything is getting ready for Holy Week: the forsythia and catkins are all exactly as they should be.

Upon arrival I was greeted by That Fucking Cat. I was, in fact, accosted at the top of the stairs, and required to scritch her. Including her belly. (She does this utterly bizarre thing of rolling over onto her back, looking appealingly at you until you scritch her belly, and then closing her eyes in bliss and not attacking your hand at all. The closest she comes is very gently bracing a back paw against your forearm, claws carefully and delicately sheathed. It is bizarre.) That One Lady ended up glancing over from the sofa to see why I was taking so long to actually make it into the house proper and say a proper hello, and then burst out laughing.

Obligatory image of the terrible animal. )

Read more... )

It's amazing how productive I can be when I'm avoiding sewing and hoovering.
kaberett: a patch of sunlight on the carpet, shaped like a slightly wonky heart (light hearted)
I think perhaps you do not understand
how I love you -- or, better, believe
that I could: but
I do, and I do, and I do.
I love you not as light, nor as water, nor as yearning
but as rock beneath my feet, against my back,
as certainty and surety, in all its meanings,
with all its histories.

(if my emotional landscape is verdant
it is because water cannot but well joyful upwards
along my faultlines, my
earthquakes-in-waiting)

(there are not words enough to give thanks
for the gift you gave in showing
how one might tireless trust me)



(
  so let my silence speak
  in stead
)

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