So I remember this dream I had once – an elderly, wise gentleman leans over a desk towards where I’m sitting, and softly intones: “When the truth is found to be lies, and all the joy within you dies …” The wise elder pauses, then continues: “Don't you want somebody to love? Don't you need somebody to love? Wouldn't you love somebody to love? You better find somebody to love.”
Or maybe it was a scene in a movie. Or some song that I remember.
The joy hasn’t died, but I take the last part as essential truth.
My friends are mostly academics, writers, and artists, but I enjoy people wherever I meet them. I don't think there's a set of traits that defines who attracts me romantically. I’m fascinated by what makes a person singular in what she does, who she is, what is important to her, and in her sense of humor. The world is full of wonderful people, but they aren't all good matches for each other. The people I admire most are those who have a self-defined purpose in life that means being absorbed in it creatively – writing in particular but not exclusively. Being serious about what you do in life is vital, and being able to see it all as funny nevertheless is a sign of contentment and confidence. Taking command of one’s life and health, enjoying the delights of life, and being ever open to change are what I admire, and what I strive for, too. I cherish dear, intense friendship, which can be the basis for something much more important. I love finding out how someone close to me feels and thinks, what makes her happy, what can help her thrive. I'm not looking for a companion to while away leisure time with, but someone who has her own engaging interests and purpose, and who would delight in telling me all about it.
I began yoga two years ago and soon began practicing 5-6 times a week. I cannot do without it!
I love cooking, and I love cooking a nice meal for friends, family or just for someone. I’ve diminished gluten, dairy, and animal protein from my diet. I call it near-vegan. There’s still a lot of fun cooking to do within those constraints, though I can’t find anything that goes so well with pesto as Italian pasta.
I’ve traveled all over North America and extensively in Western Europe. London, New York City, San Francisco, Berkeley, Paris, Big Sur, Yosemite, the Maine coast, Sonoma County, the Oregon coast, Redwood forests, the Sierra Nevada are favorite destinations, and other places, too. I abhor cruise ships, casinos, shopping malls, theme parks, amusement parks, and tourist resorts.
Healthy food and all kinds of cuisine – at good restaurants or cooking it. Fine wines and good beers and ales on occasion. No junk food, no fast food, and no national franchise restaurants that ruin ethnic cuisine overcooking everything and then dumping mounds of cream and cheese all over it.
Aside from scholarly texts, the books I have time to read are the source texts for films I choose to study. And so, lately, that’s been Jane Austen, Bernard Malamud, Raymond Carver, James Fenimore Cooper, Ursula Le Guin, Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Yasmina Reza, B. Traven, Elmore Leonard, Laura Esquivel, Tracy Letts, Ian McEwan, Charles Portis, Shakespeare. A good friend recently shoved a copy of The Great Gatsby into my hands, and I loved it. Another friend enticed me to encounter Moby Dick, which I’m enjoying. There are way too many gaps in my literary exposure. So many delights still waiting for me!
I have hundreds of favorite films – independent cinema, international cinema, the history of cinema, and exceptional movies from the mainstream. Films that I’ve seen recently that I found pretty interesting: The Past, August: Osage County, Gloria, The Wolf of Wall Street, Inside Llewyn Davis, Life of Pi, The Company You Keep, Carnage, Killing Them Softly, Anna Karenina, Hannah Arendt, Populaire, In a World, 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained, Muscle Shoals, The Counselor, Ida, Birdman, Goodbye to Language, Only Lovers Left Alive, Venus in Fur.
P.s.: the pix are mostly recent (March 2014). I cajoled a friend into taking a bunch of shots, and then picking out some in which I wasn’t squinting, drooling, blinking, burping, yawning, looking cross-eyed, or sticking out my tongue.