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09 January 2018 @ 01:43 pm
the cold, the bitter cold, the shivering cold, the isolating cold. the cold of defining circumstances, the cold of a limitation. you’re getting colder. colder still. cold, cold, cold. resistance, cold. silencing cold. shivering, i pull my sleeves over my hands and duck my hood over my head. shivering, i feel winter’s chill seeping in around me, pinching at my exposed surfaces, reminding me i am a vulnerable creature negotiating my relationship to the elements in every moment, in every movement, in every stage of life: from my first gasping wail in the doctor’s arms until my last breath:

and what it is, at the end of it, what is the purpose of this struggle? why do i continue to consume the mother’s resources as though i’ve earned my access to them? why do i insist, not simply on survival, but pleasure: desire, mystery, a meandering path? who am i, whoever it is that i am here, and why: and why: and why and why? i’m tired. i’m lonely. the cold is a dull ache way down in my bones. things don’t feel like they’re coming together. things feel like they’re coming apart.

other things, thing that can’t fall apart fast enough in the interests of the survival of my species, such things consolidate their power, become impenetrable, become an unholy force. shivering, in the cold, i am vulnerable to it. shivering, in the cold, i worry that too many of us haven’t got a lot of time left.

so i wonder: what does this mean? and i wonder: what’s taking so long? and i wonder: why the fuck do i keep ending up back here, where there are never any answers, only more waiting and questions?

i could start a fire. i could burn it to the ground. i could deny my own name, or insist it be only spoken by those who speak it in power, with respect, with appreciation for everything i have survived, every last thing i am yet surviving, everything i will continue to survive until survival drops its last grain of sand through my hourglass.

i’m a witch and a wanderer, a woman of the crossroads, a woman between the worlds but i can’t: and i can’t: and i cannot still: still the wind, the cacophony of sleet, the maddening relentless rain stirring on the roof, like a dull roar, a roaring dullness, the white nose generator of that with which i cannot cope. curled up in bed, covered with blankets, swaddled in layers upon layers with a wool hat pulled down over my ears. we are weak, and ineffectual, and i cannot fail you like that again but the land itself is giving way with failure and i can’t look! i can’t look! i should not look:

but i do. heaven’s aflame. hell’s rock solid with ice. ice inside, ice outside, ice in translucent elemental glass or glittering touches of frost: ice performed in the touch of exposed fingers, fingers exposed to the sureness of definitive of cold and cold and cold. but it won’t stop, but it is relentless. but if we sleep we shall not awaken: so wake up, stay awake, blow into the folded cavern of your fingers, rock back and forth, light the hearth when you can, fill the room with glass jar candles so it can fossilize into memory, so it can blow itself over and out:

i used to have words for this. i used to have words. i filled pages and notebooks, i bottomed out internet forms. now it’s cold and the words have gone rigid with it. words are hard to come by, hard to catch, hard to shape into anything more fluid than the same stark necessity from which they came. but look for the evidence. the tracks left deep in the snow. listen for it. i don’t know what else to tell you. listen and be enlightened.

i tell myself: there is warmth in this landscape. there is safe haven to be found. my efforts toward improvement will make my situation improve. it could be that i am just kidding myself. it could be that’s another unsatisfying development in the directory of ways i can be diverted from my cause. but it’s cold, and my resources are dwindling. it’s cold, and i cannot survive such cold for very much longer. it’s cold and, soon enough, i must move on.

so listen, will you? feel the change. feel the change and make some changes, should you not like where that change is going. except i don’t know, and i really don’t know, i don’t know and i don’t know, i don’t know again i don’t know. i do not. i do not, do not know.

crimson_vitacrimson_vita on January 15th, 2018 07:24 pm (UTC)
I seem to remember systematically remembering a time when I thought age would bring a certain kind of security with it - that accumulated wisdom would make me feel a little more secure as I experienced new uncertainties. But yeah, every time the cycle comes around - where I remember how much this illusion was shattered the previous time - it always brings a whole new level of insecurity with it.
selva oscuraanonymousblack on January 21st, 2018 10:04 pm (UTC)
so often trying to evolve things in my brain is very much like trying to walk up a steep slope in deep loose snow.

there's got to be some concession for the horrors of aging with regard to something psychological. it does not seem to be confidence, courage, or certainty. i am still running tests on wisdom. i don't know. i guess my relationship with the absurd has matured significantly in the last couple years?
crimson_vita: vivian in mirrorcrimson_vita on January 22nd, 2018 12:01 am (UTC)
If Pema Chodron is to be believed (which of course, she is), I imagine she'd say that cultivating an amiable relationship with uncertainty is at the root of the suffering. If we preemptively evaluate all our attachments and recognize them only as attachments - "you are the sky, and everything else is just the weather" and all that - it steels us against losing the supposed 'certainties' which we became attached to to feel comfort/stop suffering.

I'm also fairly certain she'd read the above post and say something along the lines of: if the universe is not providing for you, it's because of a self-fulfilling prophecy in which you don't believe you're good enough to deserve it. Sometimes I can see how that's true, and still not know what to do about it (and not knowing what to do about it affirms the suspicion there's something wrong with me).

I can't remember where i read this, but i remember Pema Chodron telling an anecdote that perfectly captured how there's no 'there' to get to, where suffering goes away. An "old Buddhist joke" she called it. I'll pass it on to you the next time i find it.