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25 March 2016 @ 12:53 pm
just close your eyes, dear.  
i neglect pages for nearly two months: i neglect pages for no justifiable reason. now, two months later, in the thick of jury duty, i flip two pages ahead in my primary paper journal without really making a strategy. two pages should be enough for february, i think. even my peculiar brand of vanity in documentation should be accepting of two front-to-back pages for february. what i'm saying is: the content exists, at least. hopefully by the time you read this, whoever you are, likely me, there will not be two blank pages for february, but two pages of handcrafted artisanal entries copied into place from another notebook or, most likely, livejournal. i seem to remember jury duty serving as a return to active journaling (in my active journal, even) once before. so perhaps history shall repeat.

there's so much illusion-making in personal writing. we pretend the things we write are: objective when they are subjective; subjective when they are insane; written in february when they were written march. we pretend to be well-researched and approaching the matter with some form of balance when actually we are livid, just hiding it well. we approach an important issue from an irrelevant angle. we shoot off on weird tangents, assuming that because we can speak with what looks, sounds, and tastes like authority, we possess any authority on the thing at all. even when, let's skip the suspense and just say: especially when we do not. at all. even remotely. we present snippets of dialogue as though they've got anything to do with reality. we present ourselves as righteous, blind with tears of justified outrage, when really we're laughing our asses off at the hopeless absurdity of it or maybe a cat on youtube.

i don't know. i used to think i knew. or i used to tell myself that knowing didn't matter so much: we do what we do to find out. we write our disingenuous dialog in between our greatly enhanced or outright fabricated details and think of it as "creative non-fiction." what does creative mean in this context? it means to create, as in: to construct, as in the truth of the matter exists only at the untouchable core, that which cannot be spoken, only illustrated, only navigated around, described through another medium and never once replicated under lab conditions. oh, do not litmus that text. it will not hold up under scrutiny. it will collapse into dust at the dawn's first light. why do i do this again?

because of a reality only occasionally understood by thrice-initiated mystics and certain types of writers: the truth cannot be spoken, but only spoken around. the truth cannot be gazed upon except in mirrors. we do not sketch the truth but block out the spaces around it, and as such at best have only the rough shape of the thing, not the details, not the comprehension, not even the name - simply the title, the coordinates, where it might possibly be, what's not supposed to be there more than what actually is.

crowley's book of the law is terrifying like that, but then it always was.

love, when we slip out of the body, i wrote, but disembodied love is another matter, or rather, not a matter at all, but a concept. a sort of substitute. a placeholder for what we want or what we should want or what we don't want to want, what we want in spite of our best interests, those dark desires that ultimately land us in courtrooms and hospitals, in in-hospitable climates, not sure what we're doing, never sure what we're doing, not a certainty in sight or memory, but still we persist. still i persist, i wrote, a kind of eulogy, a sort of epitaph, or just the kind of thing i've written before and will likely write again. everything and witchcraft, i wrote and wrote again. everything and that.

mood: judy is having issues with the patriarchy
music: chelsea wolfe - destruction makes the world burn brighter
(Anonymous) on March 26th, 2016 10:36 pm (UTC)
This entry is like some closet full of my old clothes
It all fits just right and its worn just to the point its soooo comfortable and everything you say every point you hit on sounds like all the reasons I snuck out the back door of LJ

I never stuck around for the truth and while poets strove for the purity of abstracted affairs of the heart I dirtied up the notion of disembodied love as an excuse to not be present in the moment using song lyrics as a mantra of apartness "... there is no love
as true as the love
that dies untold ..."

When you write like this I feel like some sucker fish some George Castanza who never has a bill less than a twenty when the bill for coffee comes. You are the reason this awkward medium of journaling exists, not me and not most.
I hope it doesn't put too much on you.
selva oscura: argoflex 75anonymousblack on April 3rd, 2016 08:08 pm (UTC)
it's actually a specific and little known fantasy of mine that readers will come to regard things i've written like beloved and comfortable old clothing, so i greatly appreciate these words. thank you.

it's been a long weird journey: yeah, i did that, too. i remember it all piling up on me one day about ten years ago and not being able to take it and then there was a misunderstanding with the wrong friend at the wrong time about the wrong issue (disembodied love, no doubt) and i deleted, but the cat, as expected, came back, the very next day. we maaaaaaaaaake misssssstakes, yes we do, go for a week without posting anything but song lyrics (the the's "good morning, beautiful" was a favorite, but i always land back somewhere near the refrain of the sister's "temple of love," how strange that should end up as one of my anthems? not very strange, in the end, i guess.)

but the point i am making is that: for decades i was one of those folks who noticed very good journal writing but always fucked it up, fucked it up sometimes quite gloriously, in fact. i was loud when i needed to be reflective, heavy when i needed to be delicate. i'm a dyslexic journaler, i needed to devise my own system of doing it, and part of that was just letting myself come off like an asshole sometimes. which is hard. it might have been one of the hardest things, because i honestly do try very hard to NOT be an asshole. it didn't help that when i was at my most hole-y the wrong friend would make the wrong comment, giving me cause to delete/private/revamp my livejournal - you know, tango with writing-related resistance for a bit instead of writing.

what i'm saying is: i think you've got the gift. you are also one of those for whom this awkward medium of journaling exists. it might be that, for now, you've chosen the path of supporting those of us mucking about in whatever weird battlefield our musings have left us to this week, but that's a crucial part of the biome. us writers need readers. otherwise we become assholes. so thank you for keeping me from that fate.
(Anonymous) on April 3rd, 2016 08:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you for writing that. I said in a letter last night to Ms Dumont that I was sorry but I think I broke Judith. That would be a heavy burden for me to shoulder on my bent frame, so I am glad that though I may be damned to hell for many other things breaking you is not among them I am the proverbial bull in the china shop in my comments and I have been guilty of breaking 5 or 6 place settings of Limoge to show how beautiful they were.

I appreciate your honesty in this response more than you know. Please hit me on the snout if I cross a line or scratch myself in public
selva oscura: [magritte] searchinganonymousblack on April 4th, 2016 01:09 am (UTC)
actually what happened was i had one of those 24-hours over three days workshop intensives over easter weekend, with the intensity and the magic and the semi-public speaking and the exhausting re-examinations of exhausting issues of self-examination, right on the tails of a week that included my first jury duty experience since 2013. i didn't get picked for a jury, but the process of not getting picked for a jury was extensively upsetting, as is usually the case when having to deal with the whole emotional arc of disclosing to strangers in the criminal justice system that you're a victim of multiple instances of sexual assault but hey, charges were never brought in any of those instances, because [fill with hostile self-judgment of your choice, i have lots of flavors if you'd like to sample.]

i ended up doing a lot of work with the idea of my victimhood over the course of the workshop. when it was productive. a few moments were not as productive, and a couple others might have been counter-productive. i momentarily did this great inner torch song called 'i liked the december workshop so much better,' but then i got a grip. and ran around baltimore's historic mount vernon neighborhood shape-shifted into an owl. it's all about BALANCE, you know.

then the workshop ended and i've been in a weird space since. not exactly a not-writing place, just a sort of processing one. judith's been tempered for your convenience, and the truth of it is most of my current breakings have been helmed by the healthcare system or judith, herself.
(Anonymous) on April 4th, 2016 07:11 pm (UTC)
I can only imagine what jury duty would be like for you and I am sorry you had to endure it. I still carry trepidations in sending a young man to prison for 7 years on an assault charge with a jury panel that I would not call fair in its proceedings. But the important word is endure and my heart soars with the hawk(stealing from Chief Dan George here) and who knows maybe we'll all find a little balance
selva oscuraanonymousblack on April 5th, 2016 02:25 am (UTC)
in 2013 i had a pvc episode (synthroid dosage adjustment related, though i wasn't sure of that at the time) in the quiet room and did not know what to do. just sat there with my kobo, listening to my heart thump in my ears and vibrate my chest and texted back and forth with ben ("i'm not panicking, but...") so we could try to figure out if it was worth the dramatic ambulance ride that would surely result if i approached the jury commissioner with my situation. it all turned out fine, but i discovered that uncomfortable energy was still sort of there waiting for me. :-P

this trial was for an unzoned vehicle and the judge told us it would be done before the end of the day. ben did a homicide trial a few years back. it took nearly a week and he described feeling uncomfortable with how the trial and the deliberating process felt a lot like many people painting themselves into weird logistical corners. i don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing that i will likely never end up on a jury like that. my guess is many attorneys wouldn't want to risk my bias. too wont to fly off the handle with my trauma, all that.
(Anonymous) on April 5th, 2016 09:18 pm (UTC)
I lived in a communal house way back and we had a large chalkboard in the dining room along the wall that people left notes for and scheduling questions because of the many
individual comings and goings. This little interchange has been a re visit to my chalkboard dialogs

If I was a defense attorney I would do anything I could to get you on my jury. Its your traumas that would make you
see how my client got to where he or she is. I was on three criminal juries and it was eye opening on every occasion
Ben is right about the machinations. One of my juries was going into our second day of being hung with no movement at all and the judge sent a note back saying I don't care guilty or not guilty but I've got nowhere to go and neither do you. Everyone caved and we were gone in a hour.
I felt disgusted. Now that I have crossed the age rubicon and no longer have to serve on juries. As a bewildered old white man I give you this advice on juries- don't.
Lie, take hostages ,serve jail time for contempt, whatever
it takes. Juries are to justice what primaries are to the political system. I was going to say a Mongolian cluster fuck but why drag the Mongolians into this mess
selva oscuraanonymousblack on April 6th, 2016 04:03 pm (UTC)
chalkboard dialogs work! here so much better than on facebook, though that could be said about a lot of things.

i've been told by a number of people, including ben, that if they were on trial they'd want me on their jury. i think it was partway into one of the trial episodes in the first season of serial that i really started to feel honest rage about some of the spewing justice leaks in the current system. i'm from a-little-to-the-left of chicago; until i moved to baltimore, i'd only been summoned once (and i don't think they even called a single round of jurors into a courtroom that day). since 2011, i seem to be on the once-a-year shortlist with ben.

(un)fortunately, all i have to do is mention my history of sexual assault and they don't even want me on a dirt bike jury!
(Anonymous) on April 6th, 2016 09:09 pm (UTC)
You know I could go on this way for ever, but I am being selfish in keeping Judith back here in the stacks(I love the third person) but Its not fair to your readers and don't say the four remaining because I know you know better.
Your word craft can be intimidating but it gets read and if I would keep my pie hole shut from time to time it might encourage response.
Lets do it again some time. I'm off to do whatever it is that old white men do.