There’s been a lull around here. That’s been for a combination of reasons, some of which are personal and which I won’t go into, but also because Mrs. Jiwaku and I have been rather busy lately. This week, we:
- found the apartment we’ll be living in for the next six months,
- celebrated our anniversary, and
- celebrated Mrs. Jiwaku’s birthday
For her birthday, I got her a portable black metal easel for painting, because she’s really gotten into that hobby. I figured a metal easel would be easier to move around than a wooden one–to stick into a trunk and bring along when we move to some other country, I mean.
As for our anniversary, we exchanged presents we made for one another. I wrote her a Book of Hours, though along a different theme than the traditional sort: old-fashioned Books of Hours were filled with prayers for specific times of day, to which monks could refer at each of the liturgical hours. The theme of the poems in this book, however, is our relationship. There are eight poems per day, each one associated with specific time of day: midnight, 3am, 6am, 9am, noon, 3pm, sunset (i.e. around 6pm), and bedtime (i.e. around 9pm). I also stitched the pages together, and bound them into a book for her. I see this as the first attempt, and plan on revising and expanding the book over time, remaking it (hopefully with better book-binding skills) in the future.
Mrs. Jiwaku’s anniversary present to me was a phenomenal painting she made based on an idea I suggested to her as amusing for a canvas: Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, from an iconic photograph:
… jamming with Rowlf, the piano-playing dog from The Muppet Show:
While she was working on the painting, I finished drafting a short story titled “Stars Fell on Alabama” so she worked that theme into the backdrop, while she was at it.
The result? Phenomenal, like I said:
So anyway, we’ve been busy.
We had a long day out on our anniversary (though we were stuck in Saigon; Mrs. Jiwaku’s passport hadn’t yet gotten back to us from its latest renewal), but we got a nice place for the night, out in an outlying district of the city, for her birthday. The next day, we came back to town and signed the rental agreement with our new landlord. We move in on Tuesday! There’s a swimming pool! (You pay to register to swim, but it’s not expensive. We’re looking forward to evening swims.)
Once we move in, we’ll still be a bit busy: we have to pick up some kitchen stuff and a new desk for me to work at, and I’ll be behind on my work for the last week of the Jazz Improvisation course I’m taking at Coursera, plus I plan to dive straight into work on the novel I’m (finally) ready to start drafting. But I have some blog posts planned, including:
- getting back to work on my series covering Ezra Pound’s The Cantos, poem by poem
- discussing film script and fiction writing advice, especially formulas and manuals, and the dangers of following formulaic prescriptions too closely, and
- posting on some films I’ve seen with Mrs. Jiwaku lately, which I’ll probably organize under the series title “Films for Grownups” (because, overwhelmingly, what I’ve realized watching a few “good” films with her is that “kids of all ages” is a far more ominous string of words than most of us really realize)