What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

NaBloPoMo18 – The Busy-Day Snooze


I’ve been at it all day, trying to get the rest of my lessons planned and materials created/gathered, editing and send in my DOS, editing and sending in a requested conference paper and presentation, working on a few final projects for my students…so, I don’t really have anything new for today.

But, I still wanted to post to keep up form, and since I generally revise as I type things like this, it will be a new version of non-new things.

It’s frigid outside but I still saw a wedding party bundled up taking photos in the park today. Though no wedding bells figure to sound in my immediate future (yet!), in the spirit of this couple’s moxie, I present to you something old, and something…well…I’ll avoid redundancy. You’ll know it when you see it, and it’ll be pretty obvious, really…


4 October 2010

Yesterday, I saw the Desna for the first real time. And as with Vltava in Prague, I think it really helped me to connect with the city finally. I don’t consider myself any more of a “water person” than the next guy from Indianapolis. But, there’s something about a river, slowly rolling, exerting its force on the lang, that draws me in. I walked for about three hours with Ksenia today and though I understood probably less than 3% of what she was saying, I think these little excursions are good for us, for me especially. Just her willingness to be seen in public with a bumbling, dumb-tongued American—is it really so obvious? Yes!—is positive in my eyes, but she really seems concerned with finding interesting things for me to do on the weekends. Pascha is often out with friends—”walking” with friends is a common answer to “what’s your hobby?” here and he is, after all 15 years old—so I wonder if she gets lonely or bored…or if she’s just doing this all for my sake. Even so, seeing the old statues, churches and cannons, and especially walking through the downhill village did my soul good. The village is a different world, except for the city marshrutkas whizzing by, even though it, with its dogs and waterpumps, is only a three minute ride from the city center. At the end of the village road and around the corner was a footbridge over the Desna; we saw dozens of locks clasped to the railings of the bridge, some heart-shaped and others shaped collectively into hearts. I don’t know how much time I’ll get to spend there, but I hope, wherever I end up, that there is a river…


Blue is impossibly delicious, like no food in existence, at least in nature—think about it!—and while you’re there, ponder hard on the concept of blue as more than a word rolling off the tip, as a sound set free. What would blue sound like if sung by a bird, or a dog—who may or may not even see blue (how can we know?)—and how can we show that the water’s only blue because of its reflection obsession with the sky, and that even the atmosphere is only blue because our eyes can’t see farther out, past that hue to the stars that are always there behind the curtain, maybe only once, in a sapphire moon, an azure moon, denim moon, indigo, cerulean, cerulean, cerulean—who wouldn’t love to say “cerulean” out loud and isn’t doing so now (though it’s not as fun to read or write, I’m afraid)—and right then I smell the wind blowing in blue from the West, wondering whether the obvious choices are even usually right, and when it is okay to only write cliches, I’ll lay down my pen (itself, never blue) and ignoring impossible, I’ll imagine blue breathed out, dripping down from my mouth, to sate the jealous soil that despite its density and muck only ever longs to mirror and shine as effortlessly as the sea.
Only the curious have something to find…

1 comment

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  • especially the end, yes– water always does it/ begone muck and jealous soil!

    cerulean blue… cerulean blue… x-files hypnosis, yes? perhaps this unintended allusion is the ‘borrowed’ element

What Direction Now? Life at the intersection…

About Andrew.

Andrew Cartwright grew up in Indianapolis, IN, but has lived over the years in such places as Denver, CO; Fairfax, VA; and Rivne, Ukraine. He is a former nonfiction editor for both Indiana Review and phoebe; he has also worked for the intersectional feminist journal, So To Speak, and the national literary magazine, Electric Literature. His work has appeared in The Normal School Online, Copper Nickel, Esquire Ukraine, Literary Hub, and Word Riot.

For more information about me and links to other writing, visit my author page at cartwriter.com





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