If you were a visitor of shookfoil.org, thank you. It had many lives, first as a website devoted to essays on Gerard Manley Hopkins, a poet on whom I wrote a graduate thesis. Then it was a place for essays. All this before blog software came around. Then it became an art blog. It just never found what it wanted to be, never put down roots. But in the back of my mind, I always needed a potential blank page as an author and writer.
This was my last post on Shookfoil, reprinted not just for posterity but to say, welcome to textural:
October 8, 2008
Somehow, I have never quite found time to keep up with this blog. I don’t think, after 10 years of trying it, that blogging is really my medium. I am writing again. I’ve had little stints here and there of writing personal essays, and publishing a book on spirituality, but at the moment I am trying to find another way in, another way of writing down the life that the past 10-15 years have been, and perhaps this too will become a book. I’m writing of living in communal housing and my odd days as a music writer, of studying poetry in grad school, of meeting gypsy Christians on the way to Europe, of living in Prague and photographing, obsessively, dandelions. Of meeting my husband whose gypsy ways keep me from getting too stale at anything. Of his background of itinerant preachers and performance artists and living in cars, usually from the 1960s. Of having a dream about Antwerp, Belgium and deciding, from one dream, to live there. Of my growing collection of designer shoes. Of my growing collection of roses. Of Austin and Texas and living in a kind of place that is so laid back there is no longer too much to push against (so sometimes I have to go find it, because I like to push). Of border collies and Scotland, and tasting whisky right where it was made, the smell of peat at night. Of my new curiosity about tinkers, Irish gypsies, and how the more I am around gypsies, the more I think I am a person who loves home. In one place.
The main thing about traveling, about unraveling your life all over the place and living like the internet–a constant semi-related stream of information–is that it’s not conducive to writing. It is to blogging, and photographing and blogging and many of my friends do that well. But for the sort of person who takes one week to write a single poem, who needs time to distill that concentration–moving around frequently has not been helpful.
I am, however, gardening like crazy. I had a construction crew come out this summer and rebuild our backyard from the ground up, including arbors and a gorgeous raw-edged cedar pergola, all from which to support my rose habit. The next few months are the months to plant, and I am looking forward to the ground finally cooling off here in the drought-heat that is Austin.
Be on the lookout for some old essays, from either shookfoil or buried somewhere deep on my harddrive.
A few years ago I started a series of poems about nations, imagining them as daughters, as women. Perhaps these, too, will come out of hiding. Thanks for stopping by!