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27 August 2015 @ 02:26 pm
all visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks  
strike-detail.jpgi don't know. the streets are rife with violence, but it's no match for people's minds. i don't know. even when it's getting better, it all feels like it's so much worse. i don't know. is it just the evolution of my perspective? the kübler-ross model for adulthood?

i'm forty. weren't some things supposed to be getting easier? not all things. i accept that will never be the case. but weren't some matters supposed to be stabilizing, receding into the distance, at least not tying up as many resources as they once did? my post-adolescent itinerary has not yet cleared the landing dock. it’s all just piled up under this newer self.

i don’t know. those three little words that can’t be considered a long term substitute for the things i won’t admit to myself.


  • wouldn't it be terrible if this whole new psychology of adulthood just means we never get rid of our childhood shit, just slap over it with the adulthood business? press it in between the cracks, suffocate those few rare spaces that remain or that we’d managed to clear out, with the foam expanding sealant of our new damage, our reformulated nightmares, our latest and greatest failures all echoing back on our oldest ones like the relentless self-replicating karma machines we all seem doomed to become?

    i guess it's possible that this has always been the case for everyone.

    months ago, in sacred space, a spirit guide told me: see how we remake our old lives with our new ones? the materials might be different, the structures deceptively rejigged for changes over space and time, but basically, we tell ourselves the same stories over and over again. we make the same mistakes. we hurt the same people in different ways. we hurt different people in the same ways. there's always some rhythm to it, though, a cycle, a pattern being maintained. if the repetition is destructive and you can't break it - breaking it is often not your place - you must at least find some way to make the next repetition surrender a nuance, a deeper complexity. most of the time, for most of us, evolution is a pulse, not an earthquake.

    it's exhausting, i know. but better than nothing, i guess.

    music: quiet evenings - bone prism
    selva oscuraanonymousblack on September 2nd, 2015 09:06 pm (UTC)
    here's what i've been trying to work for several months: "listen for the story your life is telling you over and over again."

    it's hard, because we're fundamentally incapable of looking at ourselves and seeing anything besides the static around our experiences, who we're afraid of being, who we want to be; the stories we're telling ourselves over and over again. instead of trying to see myself as an institution, i'm exploring this idea of seeing myself as a narrative. in isolation, i doubt that either perspective is going to resolve anything, but the muscle group i build in learning to make that switch could help.

    my group recently completed a series of rituals that involved taking a title for various facets of self - spiritual, community, etc. one of the titles i took was "artist." the final ritual in the series involved exploring the shadow self. while i'm not real hip on going into the full extent of what i glimpsed in a public lj comment, i understood that every one of the titles i took had an equally strong shadow aspect and their "positive" aspects are not simply balanced by the "negative" aspects, they're actually powered by them. so yay, happy fun judy the artist and writer: judy is imaginative and tenacious in her self-expression, but that's driven by delusion and obsession. what's more, it's all interconnected. i can't deny or banish the obsessive quality, i have to find the proper channel for that to express itself, otherwise i lose my artistic tenacity, which... *shakes head and wordlessly vocalizes* last time i did that, i stopped making visual art for over a decade and a half. don't really have another decade and a half to spare right now, thanks.

    so what i'm thinking? "the things i won't admit to myself," that's all related to the ways the shadow qualities have been improperly channeled. knowing that doesn't help me dissect the mechanism one whit, but it seems like it could be useful. eventually. in some way.

    (Anonymous) on September 3rd, 2015 01:01 am (UTC)
    I think you hit it squarely in the things you won't admit to yourself.
    Just the naming of an empty list and an awareness of a mechanism that may never be dissected,to me,implies a going forwardness with some degree of balance.
    I'd take that
    selva oscuraanonymousblack on September 3rd, 2015 05:50 am (UTC)
    i've been thinking a lot about artistic initiation and that's one of the things people don't tell you about really cultivating a craft: the more authority your work has, the more difficult and potentially unmanageable the forces bringing it out of you can become. i think. clearly there are exceptions.

    or maybe there aren't. maybe it's more a matter of there are artists who learn how to effectively channel the shadow; then there are artists who either lose control of the shadow and are destroyed by it - or maybe that's just where their unique process is going to go, horrible though the thought might be.

    life uses people up. art uses artists up. maybe it's just as simple as that.