Things Are As Hard As You Make Them

The Wolf God
[Anne Carson]

Like a painting we will be erased, no one can remain.
I saw my life as a wolf loping along the road
And I questioned the women of that place.

Some regard the wolf as immortal, they said.
Now you know this only happened in one case and that
Wolves die regularly of various causes—

Bears kill them, tigers hunt them,
They get epilepsy,
They get a salmon bone crosswise in their throat,

They run themselves to death no one knows why—
But perhaps you never heard
Of their ear trouble.

They have very good ears,
Can hear a cloud pass overhead.
And sometimes it happens

That a windblown seed will bury itself in the aural canal
Displacing equilibrium.
They go mad trying to stand upright,

Nothing to link with.
Die of anger.
Only one we know learned to go along with it.

He took small steps at first.
Using the updrafts.
They call him Huizkol,

That means
Looks Good in Spring.
Things are as hard as you make them.

We’ve All Been There, Leo

To test the public reaction to his novel, he read some chapters of it to two friends he had carefully selected for their “cold and subtle intelligence” and he did not think that they had been particularly impressed.

- David Magarshack, the preface to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina

Finding 52

An article about filmmaker Josh Zeman, his whale documentary, and also how amazing MacDowell is for bringing all of us together around a breakfast table. (I also just want to say, I never eat breakfast, so I feel particularly lucky to have dragged myself to Colony Hall for 8 am coffee that day.)
If Joshua Zeman has his way, a year from now he’ll be shipping out into the North Pacific in search of a whale with a very special song. The filmmaker will embark on a journey to try and find 52 Hertz, dubbed “the world’s loneliest whale.” But Zeman’s journey, unlike Ahab’s, actually began at The MacDowell Colony in the winter of 2012 during his second residency.

“I heard about this story at the breakfast table at MacDowell,” Zeman says. “Vint Virga was writing his book, The Soul of all Living Creatures, and he was describing this small anecdote in the book about the whale…. The next morning Jen Silverman did a short play about the whale, and all these different people were creating work about the whale that made me realize it was such an amazing story.”