The Blue Raccoon

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Blue Raccoon Returns! Sort Of, Not Really

Greetings, billion-eyed audience.

Miss me?

I've heard your clamoring and wails of disappointment when you've come to this musty corner of the Interwebz in search of your BC fix. What you find is that same fake seductive image of the late sad tragic Chandra Levy, and the sad tragic awful image of a mass grave of Filipinos killed by our side in the hostile takeover of their home.

Yet you have scooted my way from all corners of the globe; brought by some kind of offbeat search that doesn't land you where you want, so you stick around for mere seconds -- though somebody on Feb.24 parked here for a whopping six minutes close to the wee small hour of 4 a.m. The visitor went to the August 2007 entries. A distant innocent time, when I was all up in the Duncan-Blake suicides.

This image, by the way, was taken by a piece of technology about which I knew next to nothing in December 2009 when last I posted: an iPhone. I took it a few days ago at the Virginia Commonwealth University Anderson Gallery. This was for its appropriate year-end/holiday period exhibit, "The Nameless Hour: Places of Reverie, Paths of Reflection." This was a group exhibition of with a theme of contemplation out of which comes inspiration or realization. The title came from French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s book The Poetics of Reverie.

I grabbed the above self-portrait amid The Sound of Red Earth, light and sound sculpture by Stephen Vitiello with lighting design by Jeremy Choate. In the third floor galleries one room was hung with blue neon where rushing water sounds played, and the adjacent space with red light. You could walk among and around the dangling beams in a playful way, or just stand and listen. The red room featured sounds of animal life of the Australian Outback, which is where he went to capture the aural landscape. In another room, a video documented his journey to a remote part of Australia and how he recorded the sound. The experience was positively synesthetic.

So I've been away for a long while for the most part because blogging is for me something of a mystery. I don't have a gimmick and unless there's a book out, I'm not selling anything, nor am I technically proficient enough to either renovate this site or start another one. And if I did, why would I? I blog three days a week on another network. That pixel-punishment is conducted during business hours thus technically I'm getting paid and even edited, which, frankly, makes it better than otherwise.

Another outlet that I didn't know about in December 2009 was Facebook. This method of communication has varied as an obsession and an annoyance for more than a year. It's wrapped around my life, and I don't know that it's all benign. I don't mind the restrictions of the Status Update box. With abbreviations and other foreshortening of language I manage to make fit most of my observations -- or those from whom I crib.

Twitter isn't for me because I'm neither famous nor exciting, unless "Just completed successful BM!" is Twitterable, which, with variation, much of that stuff seems to be to me.

I'm also in yearlong novel-writing workshop. Which is what I should be doing right now: either working on mine, or reading/commenting on the writing of classmates. Regardless, between the writing, reading and devouring other published novels, there's not much of me left over.

I dislike coming across blogs that have stopped without warning. I think of an incredible image from Tom De Haven's Derby Dugan series. ""Derby on a train. Snowstorm. There's a maniac. Derby's in a desert. There's a cactus. A cow skull. Derby's in a rowboat..."

It's in the third book, Dugan Underground, when the 1930s's era comic strip suddenly ends -- in the middle of a baseball game. Derby stands on the mound ready for a ball that gets closer and closer but, like Zeno's paradox, it never comes across the plate. The final caption is, "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?"

I don't know.

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