Saturday, April 09, 2011


After a jam-packed week, I feel a little like this fellow. It's funny how each morning when I wash my face, I notice the darkness under my eyes and think, "Hm, I must be tired." It obviously hasn't occurred to me yet that this is how I look now.

This week, I did a strange scavenger hunt of sorts in SF with a new acquaintance, who has a paper mill. The next day, my students handed in some of the most delightful zines I've ever seen, and then I had a satisfying night out with my TA at a charcuterie in Oakland. Yesterday, I got to trek deep into SF to make paper in a spacious garage out of fiber I have had since 2007 (and Korea!).

I had just re-read this quote in Stephen Batchelor's Buddhism without Beliefs, and have been turning it over: "Since death alone is certain and the time of death uncertain, what should I do?" I brought this up to a neighbor who gardens, after he came by while we were beating fiber to ask what was going on: we had gotten locked out/in. We had stopped for a late lunch, walked through the back door to the backyard, and heard the door slam behind us. It was locked and we had no keys or phones. I could peer out the window in the door to the beater on full weights, chugging away, on the path to unintentionally overbeaten hemp/cotton. Sigh. The way homes and yards work in that part of town was scary: no outlet. We were trapped in the yard, and only got out b/c my more courageous partner in crime scaled several fences and rapped on windows until she finally got someone to let her out into the street to run back and, FIRST, take the weights off the beater, and then let me back in. A true papermaker.

Anyhow, a housekeeper for one of the homes whose window was rapped upon nearly had a heart attack (and one person, after talking to us--I had been perched up to peek my head over the tall fence to vouch for my friend who had made it a few yards away--refused to help us even after we asked if she could call the fire dept or whomever). She told the landlord, and he stopped by the garage to see what was up and got the story. First he asked what we were doing, and when we said, "Making paper," he said in the most hilarious tone, "WHY??!" Then he talked about how he gardens and has all these beautiful fruit trees and just gives fruit away to his friends. He said people always ask why he takes the time, money, and labor to garden. He said he's gotten to the point in his life where he wants to make sure he does things that he wants to do. He was probably in his late 60s. And that's when I talked about the death quote, and we agreed, death is coming, for sure.


  1. seems like you might really like a little bit of nesting, for yourself, for the writing, for the papermaking.

  2. ...or maybe i should have written "for the art making"


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