(I found this in my journal: it’s writing about a phrase I’m exploring: to fit.)
My culture tries and sees how much excess it can make, how much waste it can produce. My culture, nationally, is one that isn’t attempting to fit.
Not fitting is having a room in your house you never enter.
To fit is to know your neighbor’s names. To know what time the store within walking distance closes. To fit is to give as much as you’ve been given. To teach some of what you’ve been taught.
To fit is to look at the things around you for what they are. Naming things for what they are.
To fit is to work hard and know who you’re working for, to know why you’re doing it, to have your work be valued. To have work, to feel your work is worth something.
We’re becoming a nation that doesn’t fit, city by city. People can feel it. People are beginning to wonder why their work isn’t enough to feed themselves, beginning to wonder where their work fits. Where does a person’s work fit? How does it help? Who does it help?
What do we buy and who does it help? Beginning to see, driving is buying. Taking the bus is a different kind. And taking the BART is a different kind too.
Someone wrote on facebook, “BART needs to have more parking spaces!” No, BART or some re-imagined transit system needs to exist so that stations don’t need parking spaces. Parking spaces at stations are paradoxical. Carless people have to have a way to get to the transbay trains, and they need to be able to afford it.
To me a statement like that is similar to saying “Hey! We need a piece of gum to plug up the hole in the ship!”
I’ve been missing winter lately. It’s my main critique of the Bay Area: there is little change in season. In some ways, I can look around me and see the rich, fertile art world going on, all of it at my fingertips and I love it and appreciate it and am growing around it in ways I didn’t in New York, but then sometimes my heart goes back to the cold, bitter New York world where people do like each other and are curious but in a seemingly hardened, closed-in way. It easily comes down. I miss the rigor and harshness of that city. Of the hard realities, the black and white.
This is stupid—but I was folding clothes today, and truly missing the feeling of the windows being closed, and the air being cold and clear outside. I missed the feeling of a static warmth inside my home, with the bodies around me inside the home. The boundary that the cold creates, the darkness that the cold creates. The lightened skin and hiding. When Christmastime comes, it’s going to get worse. I’m going to want this feeling and it won’t be there.