Erik (eriktrips) wrote,
Erik
eriktrips

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tour guide

here is what happens when i try to keep a travel diary.



december fifteen

will this be a travelogue. except that it is being written while sitting still which is an unusual thing for generally if my body is not being whisked along my fingers at least are flying over the keys. i will never fly over the keys excepting exceptional tranquilizers. there are really only a couple of ways that i like to be whisked along and all them have something to do with the ground.

there is something like being dragged along the ground to all this. if the highway is both the trace and vehicle of a distinguished motion then so is the pencil mark. the question is what are the effects of the trace on bodies which rise right up to their surfaces. asphalt and exhaust fumes kill precisely to the extent that things are exposed to them. pencil marks may do something similar in which case the question is who or what is exposed to the pencil mark.

today i found my voice. it is not of course that odd to lose your voice for a time be it the fault of germs or cold air or of screaming far too loud for far too long. it can also be figuratively done. it can also be figuratively done and if that were the case i couldn't say that i found my voice today because i quite literally found my voice today. see i had lost it not for a period of days or weeks but for years. inducing voice changes late in life can have untoward consequences which in this case was a narrowing of range to about one octave above which only a raspy warble of two simultaneous notes would come out. some do this on purpose to be artsy but they sound better than these did as these were not harmonizing at all in any way and in fact were hardly notes but just the bareness of a warble without articulation.

today though the warble broke out into a gravelly tenor quite unexpectedly in the car which is the only place i sing these days besides the shower which is all the worse for my voice since i rarely get to drive. had i a car of my own my voice probably would have shaped up by now but in any case at a certain pitch i have developed a rough hack of a singing style and i really really like it.

there are still problems going into falsetto but i have hope that the improvements will continue to creep up the scale.

december eighteen

it's not that i ran out of things to say just ways to say them. really much has happened but i am not sure how much of it will gain from being written. for the nth time let me just say that there is something going on with articulation and the frontier between articulations and the frontier which is articulation itself. let me say that more clearly. there is something going on with articulation. there is something going on at the frontier between articulations. there is something going on at the frontier which is articulation itself: exteriority or exposure to the other.

if it is the approach which is the divine zone of paradox anterior to the existence of articulations side by side then the divinity is precisely the paradox of proximity and distance, the paradox within which the one brushes against the other without comprehending it. mor than that: the one and the other are not distinct in the approach yet are absolutely non-identical: we are bound to alterity.

if i repeat this often enough will i be able to stop repeating it. my life's the disease.

ask me about the night on earth before the encounter between light and sensitivity to light produced vision. vegetation is darkness. the animal is the break of day. this does not mean the animal is closer to the truth of light; vegetation bears its own sensitivity to light but it produces something else. the other absolutely other includes the inner life of plants. 'let there be light' is the breath of the animal exposed to the light.

observations: chocolate covered espresso beans are quite similar to pot brownies in that you eat some and find nothing happening so you eat some more and about 30 minutes later you are buzzing along asking yourself why you ate so many. in conclusion i believe i have found liquid to be a more efficient deliverer of caffeine but chewing espresso beans has its own delights.

it bothers me that my things are not in order. an array of objects lies beside my sleeping bag and not one of them is in its place. this causes me untold anxiety but i cannot explain why that should be when i know i have the rest of my life to put them away. tomorrow they just all have to make it into the car somehow.

it bothers me also that i am the lone camper in this campground tonight except for the 'host' who is in a motorhome watching satellite tv. it is comforting to know that they are only about 100 yards away and i could hear their voices earlier so presumably if i screamed they'd hear me. i am not at all frightened of anything that might crawl down from the hills; the source of my apprehension is that this campground is only about a mile from a town. if i were out in the wilderness i would be less uneasy.

that a man suddenly appeared above me and slightly to my left this evening also freaked me out a little. i have not had good luck with strange men above and slightly to the left. must remind self that i am no longer a twelve year old girl. and fortunately this man was just a hiker who moments later got into his car and drove away but still.

you would never guess from all this the details of my trip. well the details are pretty much what you'd expect, i.e. i've driven over 700 miles and it rained last night but i stayed dry in my tent and i am already sick of canned chili. i have only two cans left and for this i am grateful.

overall though you see nothing of that sort can make for a very interesting narrative. today for instance i hiked a six-mile loop with a 1200-foot elevation gain and all on my way up i kept saying i'm tired and i want to turn around now but let's see where the next hundred steps will take us and in this way i got all the way around sweating buckets in 40-degree weather. here is a paradox: i get hot so quickly that it is extremely hard to keep warm. the view from the top was of course tremendous but there is nothing really remarkable about that except for the bare fact of being able to see at all which is in its ubiquity something almost unimaginable. today i saw. i walked and i ached and i panted and in a few moments i will sleep and this would all be incomprehensible were it not for the fact that it is so mundane. no really the mundanity is itself incomprehensible.

incidentally it was the sight of the joshua trees against a sky miraculously cured of smog which got me going about articulation and the otherness of the vegetative. it is never as easy as simply going for a walk. night on earth was inspired by a look into the caverns in the mojave preserve where i thought of entering without a light and seeing what the interior of the earth looked like when one could see nothing. but the sign prohibits your entering without a guide and i didn't feel sociable enough to wait for the 1:30 tour. i should have.

december twentyfour

hopping from tent to hotel room illustrated to me just how much distraction television affords. because of specials on the 80s for instance there is no narrative between my last night in the tent and my first morning home. again much has happened but none of it anything you'd find interesting. the 80s specials featuring aging 80s pop stars were somewhat interesting but of course they interviewed only 80s-lite stars and not any of the more disturbing folks from places like manchester. particularly sad were the fellows in loverboy who still have the same haircuts.

i was home not five minutes yesterday before i was covered with cat hair. i do like taking little pieces of them with me everywhere i go but while i was out i got kind of used to uninterruptedly black clothes.

the tale though was supposed to be one of being on the road. for all that i did not spend as much time on the road as is my habit during these outings. well partially i was worried about wrecking a car that did not belong to me. as far as that goes i am unutterably relieved to have made it all the way back to the rental office without hitting anything or letting anything hit me. the car is no longer my responsibility so i feel i can now careen with abandon to the extent that is possible utilizing only public transportation.

besides my anxiety over material goods i had also to deal with my conflicting desires to be always on the move and to be always in a place that feels like home. again i see rv in my future. the park actually felt kind of like home although i had never been there before. it may have been the mist blowing over the hills right behind my tent on that first night. it looked like fog billowing over the hills in the middle of san francisco. it may have been that the tent is mine for all time and thus is like a portable room that carries with it that air of familiarity that makes portable rooms so inviting.

the tent itself is a low close to the ground affair with much opportunity for staking down and thus much stability in wind and rain resulting in a sense of sheltered refuge when one sits inside it in the wind and rain. had it been a mere 10 degrees warmer and had i known of the hippy dippy store in joshua tree that has showers for rent i might still be there camping. as is i felt a compulsion to come inside after three days.

i bought a pink tshirt at the hippy dippy store. what possessed me i am not sure but it will look good with my one pair of blue jeans that are actually blue. it isn't pink exactly but that dusty rose color used to such excess in the american southwest. it will look good on me even though i am not a woman.

i was thinking about this and about how i do not know how it feels to be a man and it occured to me that all i know for sure is that i am not a woman. even that must be qualified in that what i am not is whatever it is that woman has come to mean to me and that may be at odds with what is traditionally thought of as woman for as traditionally thought of i would still be at least partially a woman and i am not.

in santa monica i looked at a kate bornstein book. this should explain the above. also i bought a ward churchill book which i read a chapter of at the hotel after forcing myself to turn off the television and was especially delighted to find him to be a radical with all his arguments in order such that my inner fascists were at a complete loss as to how to argue with him. i might fall in love. i might use him in my dissertation. i might love him and use him. how horrifying but how happy.

while hiking i was sometimes able to look at the sky. not always and not each time i tried but sometimes i did not visualize my condemnation raining down from on high. the moon was out there just like the earth is out there and it did not hide anything and space was large and empty and soothing and the desert was large and empty although teeming and also soothing.

the desert teems contrary to the rhetoric of the self-guided nature trail which makes the assumption of scarcity in the world rather than acknowledging the ridiculous superfluousness of for instance plants which must rely on one single species of moth to reproduce. that such intricacies exist only illustrates how vigorous life is even in its extreme fragility: differences proliferate while remaining tightly bound to one another in such a way that if there is a niche where life can exist you will find life there and it will almost always be in debt to another type of life to the point that one begins to suspect an intelligent plan except that the very involvedness of the whole thing begins to look completely irrational in its random complexity. god and nature are both mad but gloriously so.

in any case desert creatures don't adapt to harsh surroundings. cactus is perfectly suited for the desert and didn't have to do a thing to get that way but be itself as itself unfolded tightly bound to the desert. there is after all life on mars and it will be found to be perfectly suited to mars. life is only perfectly suited although often in absurd ways because it has had so much time to try many many absurd things and some of them have worked.

on one of the boards on one of the nature trails some incensed christian has scratched out the word 'evolution.' there were too many churches in twentynine palms but i found it congenial all the same.



for the sake of completeness here is where i went and what i did there: providence mountains state recreation area in the mojave national preserve: camped and hiked. needles ca: stayed in hotel. joshua tree national park: camped and hiked and fell in love. twentynine palms ca: stayed in hotel. indio ca: stayed in hotel which sucked. santa monica ca: stayed in hotel and took five mile walk which did not suck. bought book. highways 1 and 101: drove back to san francisco beside the ocean.

pictures will be posted after the holiday.
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