The Cumberland

Last night, we were standing on the edge of the Cumberland River, looking towards downtown and it really struck me what a crappy, crappy job we’ve done as a city of utilizing one of our best assets–the river.

I guess the issue is that the river used to be (and, in some ways, still is) a major thoroughfare for the city and a way to bring goods in and out.  So, it only makes sense that, especially before the advent of the interstate, you’d have a lot of industry on your riverfront.

But, Nashville, we should be building places to live and work and play that make better use of it.

Also, as I was driving east down Charlotte last night, I saw that the State has arranged it so that the whole side of the Snodgrass Building says “Peace.”  I should have taken a picture; it’s really beautiful.

I don’t know.  It’s just little things like that that make you feel good about a place.  I should make it my New Year’s Resolution to show you all the things about Nashville that I love.

But, in the meantime, they’ve painted the tressle by the Zoo, and one of them has a tiger on it so realistic that, when I saw it out of the corner of my eye, it made my heart jump.  And I saw the new Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church.

I swear, we must have one church for every ten people.  Nashville has got to have one of the highest church to people ratios (or would it be lowest?) of any city in the nation.

Holy Sh*t!

Y’all, I don’t know if it’s just residual crap from my ankle acting up the other day or sitting on the floor last night or what, but I have hurt my back so bad I about can’t stand it.

I was trying to clean the bathroom and just to lean over the little bit to scrub the sink was agony and I had to go lay down every twenty minutes or so and just let the pain subside.

I want to take something, but I’m not sure I should take any more Advil.  Is it cheating to reach the recommended dosage of Advil and then switch to Tylenol?

A Dead Man Not My Own


I wanted to drive up and down the empty streets and watch the yellow lights blink on and off and listen to Bob Dylan asking that his grave be kept clean. I wanted to cry.

I came home instead.

The solstice party was amazing. A good balance of ritual with free time.

I wrote my regrets on a piece of rice paper. I threw rice into the river. I burnt my regrets on a log. I painted what I envisioned for myself in the coming year. I can’t tell if it’s part Virgin of Guadalupe, part clitoral hood, or what. I wanted it to mean that I would try to be more sacred. Maybe it just means I’m going to masturbate more. I like it, though. It looks like a mystery.

I read fortunes. One after another after another, all met with women giving me weird looks and saying how right I was. That, in itself, would have been draining. I am drained just from that. Each person has a life that is scary. The stakes are always so high and also, at the same time, so ordinary.

I read for a woman whose brother had killed himself. I read for him. I don’t know that I have ever done that before. It was so hard. Her grief was so deep and his grief…

I can’t tell you that I’ve ever felt anything like that–his joy at being free and experiencing new things and his devastating guilt and dispair over the pain he’d caused his family. Even telling you about the memory of it is rolling the tears right down my face.

I’m not a medium, not normally. I’m not even sure that our souls survive death. I mean, I desperately want to believe, but I’m just not sure. But he was there, as real as anything I have ever felt, and when he left, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

I felt buzzed and drained. I feel empty and less cramped.

I feel like I’ve pulled a truck.

I feel a little afraid.

I feel deeply honored.