Monday, 12 November 2018

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Hi! I’m so sorry! I owe a bunch of people emails or responses of some kind. But I’m totally tangled up in an abstract that I’m trying to finish TODAY – or tomorrow at the latest – it’s of Francis Fukuyama’s Identity, and my client has been nagging me for it. These abstracts can be super interesting, but they mangle my brain. As soon as I finish this, I’m going to get out for a good walk/hike, because I’ve barely left my desk for three days. And then I’ll catch up on email &c.

So just a quick update.

This place is so lovely. I’m having a bit of trouble absorbing the fact that I get to be here, I keep thinking I can’t possibly deserve this. It’s leading me to think a lot about how I got to a position where I can be here. Long story, but I’m very aware a lot of fortunateness is involved. And I also wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t picked up my skirts and jammed out of Reevis a few years ago. That turns out to have been a really smart move.

I’m rotating among three little houses, all with the same host. The photos are from the place I was last week. All the houses here are whitewashed stone buildings, clay roofs. Apparently the trim used to be different natural colors till some visitors brought blue paint and everyone got all excited and switched to blue.

Casa Marquesa

Yeah, they used to make big clay pots like that here. Half the island is clay, pottery used to be a big industry. Then, I guess, they discovered Ikea.

The countryside looks pretty much like this:

The curve is for my biker friends. You’re welcome.

Green as Ireland. Cattle. Tropical flowers and palm trees, plus eucalyptus and cedar and some others. Kind of odd mashup of an ecosystem because it was almost all imported. Ideal climate for gardening, but there’s not a lot of it, it’s not a thing, most people are happy with imported produce. The Azores (not necessarily this island) do produce tea, wine, pineapples, and bananas (the little ones like in Thailand). Also butter and cheese, and good crusty bread.

Went for a walk to the north coast:

Hi! The sun’s really bright!

Subject change alert. These are the books I brought on this trip. I just like how they look, so promising.

Clarice Lispector’s Água Viva, which I finished last week, is an interesting and sometimes moving experiment in unconventional meditative writing. Up next, Susan Minot’s Rapture.

Água Viva

Do you know how quiet it is here? There is no pop music playing. Anywhere. There’s the wind and occasionally a rooster. I’m slowly working my way through the house’s CD collection, heavy on Mozart, Tina Turner, Elton John and Bryan Adams. Yes.

But mainly I’m here to (a) get somewhere with the two novels I’ve been carrying around for a long time, (b) get fit (hikes, vinyasa and prana yoga, proper diet) – good place for it, (c) for people who know what I’m talking about, work through, as in actually do work related to, the Divine Truth assistance group on façade and terror, the one from May/June 2016. Yeah. Sometime I’ll write a whole post just on that.

I’m going back to Fukuyama now. Have a good week.

xox

PS: map. I’m in Santa Barbara.

Santa Maria

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