23 Feb 2010, 12:00pm
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mapping happiness

i had a dream about dfw on sunday night. i can’t remember the details, but we were roommates. i wish i could remember! maybe it will come to me. i remember thinking in the dream, “this sure is interesting, to be dreaming about dfw.” later, after the thing happened that i made a dream-mental-note to remember and proceeded to forget, i got drunk outside the house on the big porch with some of my friends while dfw had a dinner party inside with his. i spilled beer in the hall.

the book is still rocking my world. i like the little mysteries the reader gets to solve and connections she gets to make. it makes me feel totally on the ball to read. you know?

right now i am wondering if i can draw some sort of connection between the Eschaton map–”Players themselves can’t be valid targets. Players aren’t inside the goddamn game. Players are part of the apparatus of the game. They’re part of the map. It’s snowing on the players but not on the territory. They’re part of the map, not the cluster-fucking territory. You can only launch against the territory. Not against the map… You do not get points for hitting anybody real. Only the gear that maps what’s real” (page 338) and so on–and the recurring use of “eliminating one’s personal map” in the book to mean death or self-destruction.

this weekend was the last weekend of my permaculture course. we all presented our design projects and got to hear everyone else’s. my group’s presentation went very well. one of the groups did a design for psu’s art building. a little bit less straightforward than my group’s… they called their proposal “permartculture” (grin!) and talked about how art reinforces culture, wraps a culture up into itself and so on, and if we want to change culture we need to make sure the art we make reflects the culture we want. one of the group’s members said, “i realized this when i was watching terminator, ‘you desire to destroy yourselves,’ and i said to myself, no, we don’t.” or, at least, that desire is not fundamental to our humanity. maybe it is fundamental to our culture, a little bit. who of us has not encountered it?

from infinite jest:

‘That: forget it. There is the villain he saw you needed, all of you, to delay this splitting apart. To keep you together, the hating some other. Gentle is crazy in his head, but in this “fault of someone” he was correct in saying it. Un ennemi commun. But not someone outside you, this enemy. Someone or some people among your own history sometime killed your U.S.A. nation already, Hugh. Someone who had authority, or should have had authority and did not exercise authority, I do not know. But someone sometime let you forget how to choose, and what. Someone let your peoples forget it was the only thing of importance, choosing. So completely forgetting that when I say choose to you you make expressions with your face such as “Herrrrre we are going.” Someone taught that temples are for fanatics only and took away the temples and promised there was no need for temples. And now there is no shelter. And no map[!] for finding the shelter of a temple. And you all stumble about in the dark, this confusion of permissions. The without-end pursuit of a happiness of which someone let you forget the old things which made happiness possible.’
(pages 319-20)

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dichotomies are so hard to resist. like the figs in esther greenwood’s tree. let’s make jam instead.

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kids:

kid: the pizzeria isn’t good…
teacher: is that so?
kid: for your butt!
teacher: (laughing)
another kid: rocket poop!
every other kid: rocket poop!
me & the teacher: (laughing hysterically)

kid: we’re aliens, ‘member?
kid 2: i’m batman! i hunt bats!
a third kid: i’m robin! i, uh, i hunt birds!

kid 2, later: i’m a chocolate chip!

some kids, later, holding volleyballs on top of their heads: i’m an ice cream cone!

i love the kids. i like this job. i have a lot of faith that if i just keep on keepin’ on doing what feels good and right, i will figure out what to do with my life and how to do it with what is here. i am still thinking a lot about this bit from always coming home: I took what was given, since I wanted to give.

dirt, kids, books, drama, we’ll see.

here’s a lesson the kids taught me: a few weeks ago i was playing with play-doh with some of them, and while they rolled it into blue pizzas and pancakes for me and the teacher,* i made little animals and lined them up in a row: a bird, a cat, a dog (by request), an octopus. eventually it was time to clean up and move on to the next thing, and a little boy repeated: “il faut ranger!” and squished all my tiny creations under his palm, just like that. only fair: we make them take apart their lego spaceships before they eat lunch or go outside to play. i enjoyed the creation of the little creatures, and the kid enjoyed their destruction.

* the law says there’s gotta be an adult for every ten kids, so the preschool classes all have assistants; when i sub, i am the assistant and if the teacher is absent, the regular assistant is the teacher. i’m learning a lot this way, and observing lots of different teaching and discipline styles and so on.

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also:

i picked some dandelion greens last night; not bad!

man, working with kids is the bomb! they are so full of wisdom. makes me miss my old job at the boys & girls club.

good quote about giving, too.

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