My Life in Brutalist Architecture #1
By John Gallaher
My neighbor to the left had a stroke a couple years ago. It didn't look
like he was going to make it, and then he made it. I'm watching him
now from my window as he makes his slow way across his yard
with some tree branches that fell in last night's storm. Three steps.
Wait. Three steps. It's a hard slog. Watching, I want to pitch in.
And we do, at such times, wanting to help. But on the other hand,
it's good to be as physical as possible in recovery. Maybe this is part
of his rehab. Maybe this is doctor's orders: DO YARDWORK.
And here comes his wife across the yard anyway, to give a hand
with a large branch. She's able to quickly overtake him, and she folds
into the process smoothly, no words between them that I can make out.
It's another part of what makes us human, weighing the theory of mind,
watching each other struggle or perform, anticipating each other's
thoughts, as the abject hovers uncannily in the background, threatening
to break through the fragile borders of the self. “What's it like to be
a bat?” we ask. The bats don't respond. How usually, our lives
unfold at the periphery of catastrophes happening to others. I'm
reading, while my neighbor struggles, that the squirrel population
in New England is in the midst of an unprecedented boom. A recent
abundance of acorns is the reason for this surge in squirrel populations,
most particularly in New Hampshire. They're everywhere, being
squirrely, squirreling acorns away. We call it “Squirrelnado” because
it's all around us, circling, and dangerous, and kind of funny. Language
springs from the land, and through our imagination we become
human. They're back in the house now. We name the things we see,
or they name themselves into our experience, whichever, and then
we use those names for things we don't understand, what we can't
express. Wind becomes spirit becomes ghost. Mountain becomes
god. The land springs up before us. It shakes us and pushes us over.
I got up early on Monday to get fasting blood drawn for routine tests, and of course they made me wait half an hour past my appointment, so when I left I was hungry and cranky and promptly went home to eat an entire bagel with cream cheese. Then I did some work and went out to do an EX raid courtesy an invitation from a friend in my local Pokemon group, after which I went out for coffee (well, hot chocolate) with a different person from the group and made a couple of stops in the mall, mostly to try on a Vera Bradley sling bag in one pattern that I wanted to order for less than half price from the outlet in a different pattern if I liked the way it felt for carrying little camera stuff.
We had a TV catch-up night around The New Pope, which was awesome -- I love Malkovich but I have missed Jude Law, and I can't wait to see them have a faith-off! I also really liked this week's Doctor Who, thought they did a great job starting a two-parter and balancing a flashback story with a new character alongside the companions and villains. And we caught up on Zoe's Extraordinary Playlist, which remains pretty uneven -- maybe I'm biased from watching Crazy Ex-Girlfriend at the same time, but it makes me want more creative use of music and more independent women. Here are more photos from Future Sketches at Artechouse of us exploring the code!