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January 19, 2019

January 19, 2019 059 Beacon, NY

January 19, 2019 048 Beacon, NY

8:05 AM - Ella’s Bellas
Five days without alcohol.
On Guernica, an interview of Anelise Chen by Mary Wang. They are talking about Chen’s writing process and her novel, So Many Olympic Exertions.
In the first paragraph, this:
Exertions is less about sports than it is about the question of why we expend effort on things that have such little obvious value - whether it’s playing sports or making art - and really, why we keep going at all.
Anelise Chen: “Then I changed it to third-person clam, and that was exactly how it was meant to be.” Mary Wang, Guernica.
This caught my attention because just a couple days ago I was wondering something like that myself (see below). Why am I applying so much time and energy to this effort when, especially late in life, I can expect so little [financial] return?
My premise is that we have a primal desire to create value in ourselves because, if we are able to do that, we have friends, family, community, love and respect. We labor in anticipation of fruits we might harvest eventually. If we labor on something we thoroughly enjoy, we get a pleasure kick from it too. We most willingly and successfully labor at things that give us that pleasure kick.
We also labor as a hedge against death. Especially men, who are secondary participants in the profound experience of birthing a child. We want to be something that has value beyond our presence here and now. Life, we realize at a young age, is a limited proposition. If we can’t live forever, we can at least have our reverberations ring down through the ages.
January 18, 2019

January 18, 2019 060 Beacon, NY

January 18, 2019 050 Beacon, NY

7:54 AM - Bigmouth Coffee Roasters
Four days without alcohol.
I read the section on Eastern Europe in my book on photography books made by women. I am smitten. I love the work and as I contemplate why, I imagine it has to do with the sensibility of growing up in such a fraught region, caught as it is between colliding super powers. Borders constantly shift, countries go in and out of existence. There is a mournful sensibility to the work. A certain emotive quality.
It is also possible the curator shares my taste in photography.
Our new cat Rubie is settling in. He’s the biggest cat I have ever had. Twenty pounds and I don’t think any of it is fat. I had a friend long ago who had a cat he called “Mr. Kitty.” That would have been a good name for Rubie. So far he sleeps, eats and watches us from his bay window perch. I hope he starts moving around soon.
January 17, 2019

January 17, 2019 014 Beacon, NY

January 17, 2019 002 Beacon, NY

7:58 AM - Bigmouth Coffee Roasters
Three days without alcohol.
I was thinking about the idea of god and country. I was thinking that I am not attached to either. I have enjoyed living in the United States. I have thought that it stood for something better than what you might find elsewhere. These days I am not so sure. I have never been what you might call patriotic. I will support my country as long as I think it stands for something. Does it anymore?
Another thought while I was walking. I was wondering why I am so anxious to make something, anything, that has some kind of significance to it. Why am I so focused on being in some way significant? I suppose it is because I want my life to mean something. I suppose it’s because I want to leave something behind that people will remember me by. I desire a legacy. What can I do with success at this late stage in the game? Will it make life more interesting down the home stretch? I suppose it might.
My worst fear is that my life has amounted to nothing.
5:26 AM - My Studio
Last night a writer's prompt lead to this:
my son came home
my son came home from the war after four years
son came home from the war after four years my
came home from the war after four years my son
home from the war after four years my son came
from the war after four years my son came home
the war after four years my son came home from
war after four years my son came home from the
after four years my son came home from the war
four years my son came home from the war after
years my son came home from the war after four
my son came home from the war after four years
...we buried him today.
January 16, 2019

January 16, 2019 033 Beacon, NY

January 16, 2019 014 Beacon, NY

9:02 AM - Ella’s Bellas
Two days without alcohol.
I am unhappy about the music in here this morning. It is too loud and too aggressive. It is hard to concentrate. I like this place. I am fond of their coffee, the barista-manager, the other baristas. But the music has been loud and, to my ear, obnoxious the last couple of times I have been in.
Still thinking about the opinion that my work is emotionally distant. As I make my way through the book on photobooks by women, I come to the conclusion that it is because I don’t deal with people and their relationships. This is not my primary concern. I am an introvert. I think about lots of things, people included, but from my loner-centric position.
I can’t think in here. I have to go.
January 15, 2019

January 15, 2019 002 Beacon, NY

January 15, 2019 001 Beacon, NY

8:24 AM - Bigmouth Coffee Roasters
I drove down to the river this morning and went for a long walk.
I successfully avoided alcohol last night. I am very happy with myself. My weight was unchanged.
January 14, 2019
7:24 AM - Bank Square Coffee Shop
My niece and her partner came for diner last night. I drank too much. I gained a bunch of weight. Most likely water retention. I am not painfully hungover but I feel a little slow.
I drink in social situations. I drink to loosen up. I inevitably drink more than is needed. Not to the point of embarrassment, but more than is good for me.
A birthday celebration at Quinn’s tonight. I need a plan.
I don’t like Bank Square much. I don’t like the feel of it, and it’s really cold in here. I had meant to go to Bigmouth, but my car was blocked in and I didn’t want to walk through the freezing cold in my hungover state.
In reviewing the analytics for my website I noticed that someone from San Diego spent some quality time on it. It’s always a mystery when that happens. How did they find it? Why did they spend minutes instead of seconds looking at it? Why don’t they communicate and let me know what they think?
It is so cold right now. I want to cry. That is the prevailing feeling. I am cold and want to cry. I don’t know why, except I am unhappy with my present state. Cold and hungover.
A dog snarls in the next room. 
It is time to go.
January 13, 2019

January 13, 2019 007 Beacon, NY

January 13, 2019 005 Beacon, NY

8:09 AM - Bigmouth Coffee Roasters
Rubie is huge. 19 pounds the shelter said. And it all seems to be muscle and bone.
We named him Rubie after Rubeus Hagrid from Harry Potter. The gentle giant, which Rubie seems to be.
The barista arranging her hair presents a side view of her young and slender woman body. Primal me is interested. That is how it is with primal me, who mainly sees her as a possible portal for the projection of his genes into the next generation.
Rational me assess the possibilities and likely consequences and determines that admiration from a distance is the best course of action.
During my walk I randomly remember the paperwork from the animal shelter on Rubie, our new cat. A paragraph admonishes us to consider that animals can live as long as twenty years and urges us to make provisions for them if need be.
I find the idea that Rubie could outlive me disturbing. The event horizon is not that far out.
6:21 AM - My Studio
As I edit images this morning I land on one of the back of a stop sign with a poster plastered on it that says: 
Will your speech be hate speech?
At first I think I am being asked to consider whether my speech is hateful and is that how I want to be. But then I see a website link:
I plug it into my web browser and am informed by Wikipedia that Patriot Front is a white supremacist group, started by a 17 year old. There are chapters in half the states.
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