Saturday XXVIII • 21 October 2007

Night before last I dreamed Alastair Crowley was watching the Editor and me from a second-floor window across the street while we played with sea creatures in turquoise tidepools. Crowley was wearing a billowy black cape and trying to look scary, hunched over like the grim reaper. Poser.

In the dream, I told the Editor, “Alastair Crowley’s up in that window, watching us!” And he replied, “Don’t tell me that—I’ll have dreams about him!”

Guess Halloween is coming. I just ran across a poem I wrote on Halloween a decade ago. Very dark. I remember writing it in my head while on a run along the train tracks after class, before an evening of waiting tables and before getting smashed in an old downtown Victorian overrun by us disaffected Philosophy majors. That is what happens when 20-year-olds read Sartre and write poetry. Good thing I stopped.

Rachel and I are seeing the Royal Shakespeare Company tonight. God. Being a little sharper on  X-men than on Chekov, I actually got the tickets out of excitement to see Magneto on stage, thinking “The Seagull” must be some obscure thing by the Bard. But no, it is Chekov. Only Rachel could help me understand that this play is no drama but just a wicked, wicked joke.

I’m going to do some Kundalini this morning and then secret down to the beach with the in-line skates that mysteriously showed up in the campus mailroom with my name on them. The departmental staff made me open the package immediately ('cos last time I received a non-Amazon box, it was cookies). That was embarrassing. By this token, I’ll understand if you want to disassociate from me when you learn I partake in either Kundalini or inline skating. Though you should probably lighten up and do some kriyas.

By the way. After much deliberation, it is Big Sur for Thanksgiving. It appears I’ll be stranded between equidistant (and I do mean distant) yoga in Mountain View and Santa Barbara, but correct me if I’m wrong. Any recommendations for what to do (the baths at 2 a.m., maybe, or afternoon snack at the Post Ranch?) and what to read (Henry Miller?) are welcomed.

Saturday links.

? Speaking of deliveries and of autumnal feelings, this record came in the mail for the Editor the other day. Beautiful. Nonsensical. So nice. Listen to the sample track embedded in the linked review. For the rest, though, send Bon Iver (this is a self-release and it sounds like he’s stuck up in a cabin in Wisconsin) some dollars. Right after you go back and pay Radiohead for that download you forgot to settle up the other day, weasels.

? Here is a clip from the recent Mindfulness and Psychotherapy conference at UCLA. Thich Nhat Hahn opens and then Jack Kornfield speaks about Burma. This related short interview—on warrior traditions in various faiths and the possibilities for activism rooted in Buddhism—is more provocative. “It’s one thing to be calm in a peaceful mountain monastery, and quite another to act calmly on a festering street corner in East L.A.