Saturday, June 23, 2007

Walkin' with Loki

Exquisite day today. We got moving early because this is one of those days with no pause ... I'm able to blog for a bit only because Trader Joe's does not wake up very early.

Panhandle: They've put up an intriguing temporary bandshell in the Panhandle, made entirely of recycled materials ... car hoods, water bottles, and circuit boards, as well as recycled lumber. It is for a summer long festival of non-amplified music, poetry, performance, what not. As I photographed it, I talked about it with a 30-something rugged-looking homeless guy with a square box black tattoo on his face. He bemoaned that somebody would probably graffiti the thing ... but we agreed it is great to get people into public spaces for art. As he walked away I noticed he had a loin cloth hanging over the ass of his pants ... I've seen that before with homeless folks. I wonder what it is for, or if it just style.

I kept thinking all walk long about Sebastiane. I did not expect the film to have such an impact on me in terms of thinking about the modalities by which Christianity conquered the Roman world. I wrote in my dissertation about Anthony Johns' notion of modalities for explaining how Islam conquered the Malay world, and I have been thinking that this would be a fruitful way to answer one of the big questions that got me reading the middle ages over the last year ... why did Christianity win? I am going to take a few days from this, even though I think I have some fruitful paths to follow at this point. I want to spend the next few days thinking about Gay Day and gay liberation and all it has meant to me and mine.

Of course, thinking about gay liberation and thinking about Sebastian have some crossovers.

An old friend, Laurine Harrison, passed away very suddenly in Vancouver this week, and I heard from another old friend who now lives in Los Angeles about it. I guess that is part of getting older ... you hear about things when people die. I had a decade of I call "the Deaths" when I lost an army of friends, acquaintances, and passers-by to AIDS. But no amount of death seems to prepare you for more of it. Laurine was a good person who made a good life, and by report was an iconic figure at Simon Fraser University. I haven't spoken with her in easily 20 years, and now I wish I had. Of course, it is a vain hope to stay in touch with everybody, but the longing for the things we have to pass up is all the more acute when we no longer have the choice.

Squabbling monkeys: A couple of pointless squabbles in my life yesterday. We are monkeys, of course, and we squabble. Unavoidable but loathsome. I am a bit of a coward about conflict ... I just want everything to be calm and pacific ... rather than, say, squalling and atlantic. Does that mean anything? All will soon pass, but I always promise never to squabble again, and it always comes to a bad end.

Walkin' with Loki: Of nasty stuff, redux, oft comes good ... I am happy that I stopped walking on Saturday mornings in the Gough area consequent upon the desecration of the Hebrew Free Loan Association about which I blogged a while back because I am encountering the Haight anew. It is certainly better to walk the Haight very early, and in the sunny morning it is beautiful and calm, a little paradise, or more to the point, a bunch of little paradises nestled into each other. I like to look up because there is more beauty there, and in the Haight you have to watch what you might see if you look down too much ... don't want to step in it though, so one has to be alert.

Photos by Arod, taken today.

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