Thorn's Journal

Random ramblings from Lee Thorn

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MISS SARTON AND ME

Thursday, August 11, 2011, 4:10 AM

I awoke at 3:57 to find myself contemplating the human compulsion to impose some sort of bogus "understanding" on experience. Why do we want artificial impositions?

I feel really good and I haven't even had my coffee.

One of the nice things about being in love is being so concerned with how your partner is doing that you completely forget about yourself. I've never thought about it before, but it's similar to commanding troops in combat. You're so concerned about your troops that you forget to get scared.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011, 6:22 AM

Walk in the soup over. Coffee water on. Just enough breeze to keep most of the bugs off. Had the road completely to myself for the second day in a row. I don't think that's ever happened before. I almost always see at least one vehicle and one walker. I'm not sure why I like having the road to myself, but I do.

One of my pen pals likes to say that art saves his sorry ass. That goes for me too, but walking is also a great sorry ass saver.

My plan for the day is to shoot into town fairly early and do my laundry. I've never owned a washer or drier. I'd rather have the space they'd take up.

I have a lot of space for one person, just under a thousand square feet. And I have what I consider to be the absolute minimum in terms of furniture. That reminds me of something: Stieg Larsson novels are the only ones I've ever read where the author gives the number of square feet in the rooms and apartments he describes.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011, 5:01 AM

Slept like a rock last night. I love the robust feeling you get on waking after a sleep like that. Waiting for it to get light enough to avoid stepping on rattlesnakes. The damn things can be so grumpy. Will start my walk at about 5:15.

Yesterday I did some minor repairs on one of my buildings and they went beautifully. After 20-some years of being a landlord, sometimes I get things right. Almost makes me feel like I know what I'm doing.

Between this paragraph and the last one came my two-mile walk. The air was hot, humid and still. The bugs weren't as bad as they could have been. Smelled like rain, but that doesn't mean much around here.

Just before going to bed last night I was reading Maugham, his laughably conventional opinions about art. He just can't bring himself to defend "art for art's sake." He always has it broadening "your sympathies" or some such healthy thing. For me, the idea of defending art is like the idea of defending breathing.

The London riots: The government keeps shitting on the poor and the poor finally fight back. Guess who's side I'm on.

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Monday, August 8, 2012, 6:19 AM

Standard and Poor's downgrade the POLITICIANS and the politicians are whining about it. Last time I checked batters don't like called strikes and footballers don't like to have fouls called against them. Good for Standard and Poor's for showing some guts.

But the credit rating racket is the most amazing con game ever concocted. They won't say HOW they reach their judgments, and nobody checks up to see HOW GOOD their judgments actually turn out to be. They're selling pure witchcraft, but their witchcraft determines who gets to be in business and who doesn't. In a supposedly secular society, is that not taking faith to the nth degree?

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Sunday, August 7, 2011, 11:20 AM

Checked into the Grant Inn Motel at noon Saturday. Watched two baseball games. Drank. Slept. Checked out around 9:00 this morning. Even though going from my house to a motel is just exchanging one indoor environment for another, it does provide some relief from summertime cabin fever.

Not having a TV at home, channel surfing between baseball games is always slightly spooky. I shutter to think that the masses are entertained and "informed" by this bilge. The unreality of corporate media news analysis is...what? Words fail me. Any economic discussion that ignores this country's grotesque, immoral and unsustainable distribution of wealth is trifling.

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Saturday, August 6, 2011, 3:42 AM

An hour and eighteen minutes till the first cold beer of the weekend. Yippee!

Slept about four hours last night. A solid eight the night before that. There doesn't seem to be any pattern to my sleeping in old age, and it doesn't seem to matter. I feel the same during the day whether I get ten or three hours of sleep the night before.

Just read a children's book on the praying mantis and was pleased to see that they included the fact that the female often eats the male while mating. I wonder if a children's book on pandas would include the fact that the mothers often have twins and starve one of them to death. I say, "Be honest and let kids know how disgusting nature is."

I was surprised to learn that mantises never eat ants. The book says, "Nobody knows why." Maybe some ten-year-old pigmy whose tribe hasn't been discovered by anthropologists has figured out EXACTLY why. I realize that it's a formulaic phrase, but its presumption is irritating.

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Friday, August 5, 2011, 6:03 AM

Another exciting Friday. Fridays are always exciting because I diet on weekdays and completely blow my diet off on weekends. Dieting, all by itself, gives my life structure and real drama. The weekend officially starts at 5:00 AM Saturday and ends midnight Sunday.

This morning's walk was a steam bath with bugs. Oh well, the summer's slightly more than half over and one begins to believe in the possibility of survival. A cloud bank behind the Tucson Mountains made for an interesting pre-dawn sky.

I suppose I have to give V. S. Naipaul, the consummate phony, credit for recognizing and quoting a great phrase: "working from can to can't." I'm surprised I've never before come across that beauty. Reminds me of some harvesting work I've done that wasn't strictly legal at the time.

Local police lieutenant fired for putting his sexual fantasies on the web. How do you account for the invincible stupidity of adults who put their darkest secrets in the public domain? One of life's enduring mysteries.

I'm wondering about tomorrow. It being the first weekend day since I started this journal, will the intensity of the festivities prevent my making an entry? Will I make just some token entry, or a drunken entry that's incomprehensible? The suspense builds.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011, 3:17 AM

Finished Sarton's journal early last night. It powerfully reinforced my feeling that I've got it made now more than I'd ever thought it possible to have it made. How long this condition will last is anyone's guess. I'm purposely not guessing.

In the news: Now that Obama's given away the ranch, I wish he'd get up off his knees.

It's embarrassing.

One hour and fifty minutes till my walk, by far the best part of my day. Walking miraculously spawns new ideas. They just suddenly pop into my head. After all these years it can still be surprising.

Couldn't help feeling sorry for Sarton, her always going from snit to tizzy to funk over the merest trifles. She thought that she was experiencing "solitude" because she lived alone, even though she had an endless streams of visitors. She rarely spent even a single day completely by herself. After all her talk about solitude I'm trying to say something profound about it. The best I can think of is, "Solitude is what you make of it."

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011, 8:10 AM

Reading one of May Sarton's journals, THE HOUSE BY THE SEA, has convinced me to try my hand at writing one. Hers are so light, so simple and clearly written, that one devours them in great gulps as they pleasantly tickle the resting cortex.

She freely gives her opinions, but in a way that's too casual and arbitrary to invite dispute. I'll want to restrain my natural argumentativeness.

My walk to Sandario this morning was a delight. I watched a lightning storm on the other side of the Tucson Mountains, too far away to hear the thunder. To borrow a phrase from Hollywood, "That's entertainment." And the breeze was sufficient to keep the bugs completely at bay.

When I got back, before returning to my air-conditioned house, I ducked into my studio, which is not air-conditioned, to shoot a quick coat of paint onto a piece of sculpture I'm working on. This is the only time of the day when it's cool enough to go in there. I call it "my studio," but the only art I do there is spray painting. Everything else gets done in the civilized coolness of my abode.