Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lost Bracelets

Since Skip's diagnosis, I've lost a pair of favorite sunglasses and one cloisonné bangle bracelet.
I broke the clasps of two other, favorite bracelets-- and now have gone back to wearing a sturdy copper bangle that my friend Ellie gave me years and years ago, the night before she left the U.S to move to Germany. Every day it seems I forget at least one item I need to take to work with me. The sign of too much to think about, my shrink says. But then I already knew that.

The teaching week is over. Gray and cold has settled in after weeks of balmy, near California weather. My classes are going well, but I'm scrambling to keep up with the reading. And this week my advanced pedagogy class was stressful. I showed David Mamet's Oleanna, and afterward people seemed almost too stunned to speak. A few random comments-- good observations, but not exactly a discussion. After the screening, some of us went out for food and wine/beer. The ostensible reason was to continue discussion of the film, but nobody really had the heart. So we quickly moved on to other topics--teaching, recent films, the upcoming Cinema Studies conference. It was a nice evening-- but it pushes back discussion of Oleanna
by another week.

More tests next week. The next CT scan that will tell us if the cancer has progressed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

weather and lesions

Amazing mornings all week. Sunday I woke up to great streaks of purple and gray in the sky, and a murder of crows perched on the dark tree branches. Later, 2 peregrine falcons came in-- so dramatic and stern that even our resident buck was subdued. He stood absolutely still until they had gone. Then this morning, incredible low fog-- reminded me of the romantic gothic landscapes Sally Mann photographs in her beloved Virginia. I just got a shipment of some fast speed b&w film yesterday-- so once I got muffins in the oven, I put on my leather jacket, grabbed my camera and went outside. Very mild weather and the trees were gorgeous in the fog. Spent about 20 minutes taking pics. A nice respite from some of the rigors of the week-- a week that's been very overshadowed by cancer concerns. New lesions on the top of Skip's skull-- at least new to us-- were confirmed by an X-ray Monday. He now has cancer in 6 areas of his body, that we know of: lung, liver, spine, chest cavity, base of skull and top of skull. Daunting. And so this week for the first time in weeks, I've been waking up with a face wet from tears. Apparently, I'm crying in my sleep.

I've been re-reading Artaud for an independent study I'm doing with a student. His Theater of Cruelty still as exhilarating as it was when I first read it-- back in my undergrad days. "The world is hungry and not concerned with culture" and "what is most extract from what is called culture, ideas whose compelling force is identical with that of hunger." A challenge to all us working in the field of cultural aesthetics and politics.