I like challenging projects, things that I can sink my teeth into. I think there’s a lot to be said for effort (intellectual, emotional, physical).
There’s also a lot to be said for sometimes not trying at all, not lifting a single finger and just letting the world carry you along. Life seems always a mixture of action and receptiveness.
I like to take everything in: Saintly thoughts, jokes of questionable taste, the sharp edges in life. I need that mix.
I do a lot of hiking and backpacking. I tend to seek out pretty remote spots, either with friends or just by myself. I've had some really memorable days far from any road and, sometimes, far from even any trail.
From time to time, I build art projects in my shop. Right now, I’m working on hardware that drags a ½ ton granite boulder very slowly across my space. It scrapes and grinds and pops against the concrete floor. It's pleasantly improbable and reminds me of standing in front of a glacier.
I have very strong opinions about art but mostly keep them to myself. When a work really strikes home, it moves me like almost nothing else can. It matters.
I love language (written, spoken). My brain seems to collect turns of phrase whether I want it to or not.
Getting the seats on the plane with the most legroom.
Thinking, then acting on it
Not believing everything I think
Knowing when the moon is full and the tides are low
Reaching things on high shelves, particularly at supermarkets when a little old lady needs something. Yes, this actually happens. Yes, it’s fun.
Music: Tom Waits. Anthony and the Johnsons. Thievery Corporation. Nick Cave singing “Wonderful Life." Sundial, "Magic Potion." Jeanne Balibar singing "A Rose is a Rose." Piano composition by Ludvico Einaudi. Black Keys. Skye. Guilty pleasures would have to be 80s music like Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys (not just for their music. They have/had amazing style) . WFMU. Comedy: Mitch Hedberg, Richard Pryor
Books: Anything by Denis Johnson (esp. “Tree of Smoke” from a few years back). Margaret Atwood. Robinson Jeffers’ poems. Jorge Luis Borges. Sedaris. Julian Barnes. Samuel Beckett.
Food: Gimme sushi, please. Anything hot. Ah, but no cilantro. I have that gene and it tastes just awful to me.
Wilderness and a bit of silence now and again
*You want to know why I’m trying to drag that boulder around.
*You have a boulder you are looking to unload for the right price.
I seem to get along particularly well with transplants from the east coast and from Europe. I’m a native Californian (15 years in San Francisco) but often get mistaken for a New Yorker or even a European. Go figure.
To sum it all up: Ingmar Bergman made a movie near the end of his life (Saraband) in which a priest says the following:
“A good relationship has two elements: good friendship and an unshakeable eroticism."
I might add “a certain playfulness” and then that’s about what I’m looking for. And you?