Sunday, February 10, 2013


I finished reading a satisfying police procedural last night. It's a long running series, and the last several novels have the protagonist now serving in a cold case division. This, is, of course the absolute epitome of what I've been thinking about lately--the ways we return to things. Because maybe the first time around, we weren't able to pay proper attention, or the thing didn't make sense, or it went wrong. We got it wrong. Or, really, I did--I got it wrong. Maybe this is one reason I have always loved the detective novel genre, because it relies on going over and over and over some puzzling, unjust thing again. You have to. The detective has to. In order to figure it out, whatever it is. The puzzle, or the injustice.

Well! You'll be happy to know that I have some other stuff that depends upon returns. Like, for instance, the couple of movies we saw this weekend, Side Effects and Broken City. Both of them require the viewer to pay close attention, and then require the viewer to ask him/herself whether what s/he saw was what s/he thought s/he saw. (All those gender-neutral hybrid pronouns just made me really really tired.)

I recommend Side Effects, and do not, really, recommend Broken City, not unless you have low(-er) standards (that's me), really like Mark Wahlberg (me), and really need a movie to see on a Saturday night and you're not quite ready to commit to Zero Dark Thirty (me also).



...which, honestly, I hope you find as satisfying and also as persistent in memory as I do.)


I read at BYU on Friday. It was such a lovely day, among lovely people that I really like. So much has changed about that place. I walked past the entrance I didn't usually go into of the building where I spent hours and hours for a couple of years, practicing the piano in the basement. If I had gone in the other door, the one I usually did use, I could probably have walked straight to the room with the best piano--the Steinway, the one with the sweet action. I didn't, but I could have. Little stations of memory that I walked right past. 

Today, I was thinking about a little digital story I hope to make, about the shrines I build and the shrines I visited when I lived, as a little girl, in Japan. I took a bunch of pictures of the installations of stuff I have all over my house. Then I remembered this beautiful piece of cut paper art, using a three-part quotation from Thich Nhat Hanh about daily practice and the breath. The thick paper opens to reveal three sacred places.  It is a beautiful piece of art that I haven't ever put up because I don't want it to be ruined, which is absurd. I have had it for a few years--the historian gave it to me--and I always open it and put it away again.

I looked for it, because I remembered it while I was taking photographs. I couldn't remember exactly where I had put it for safekeeping. Was it tucked in between books of poetry? laid atop the books? in the myriad of things I have on my desk? I looked everywhere, then looked again in the same places. I looked in the music cabinet, then back to my shelves. The third time around, I found it by looking more closely. Just a couple of days before, I had done the same thing, looking for a book of poems.

I am the detective of my own life.


  1. i love this post so much! love michael connelly, and police procedurals, paper cutting, and can't wait to see side effects. glad you've vetted it! sorry i missed your byu reading. i'm out of the loop!

  2. I am so glad that you had such a great time this weekend.

  3. I can't say it any better than Lara. What a great post. And yes to Michael Connelly. Son Number Four and I especially appreciate him. Glad the BYU reading went so well.



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