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07 March 2018 @ 05:07 pm
witness marks  
the thread got away from me again, as the thread has been wont to do in these months into years since my first reader died and i wish i could say grieving makes anything even tangentially resembling something along the lines of sense, but i cannot, and i should not try, for grieving is a mystery, and a mysterious one at that.

in the tarot workshop i took this january, the instructor offered maybe a minute of her thoughts to every card in the rider waite smith deck. for the ten of swords, currently known to me as “the suicide card” because of how it arrived before me in the hours before i knew for certain that p had ended his life, she pointed out how the figure pinned to the ground by ten broadswords was maybe wearing a blindfold and, in the tarot, in the mystical traditions that this deck drew its imagery from, blindfolds indicate initiation.

i don't see it but maybe you will

this shifted something for me, enough so that i could start to think of the card as being something other than an indication that my reading is now over and maybe i will mark this occasion by putting my tarot cards away in that nice locking cabinet in another room for a few days while it thinks about what it's done.

That Day i read from the haindl, and though the haindl version of this card still freezes me through, maybe now i can at least look at it? initiations are important to me, and recognizing them as moments when i was blindfolded, removed from some previously accessible part of my experience? if anything in my life has been an initiation, if anything in my life is an initiation, it is mourning the death of my first reader. the first person to ask to read more. the first person to call me up after a really bad day at school and beg me to not let those fools stop my pen. the first person who genuinely, openly, and repeatedly told me: i love your work.

i always kind of knew this one was gonna bite me on the ass

since, i've been working with the ten of swords, talking to it, listening to it. what i've heard so far:

this is what happens when, instead of nourishing those roots that have wriggled their truth into our experience, we try to force our idea of roots, our manufactured expectations of them, into exhausted soil that needs rest.

this is what happens when, instead of seeing and loving what we have as it comes to us, we become addicted to unsustainable improvement.

this is who we become when we refuse to acknowledge who we are.

this is what happens when we let our loved ones fall through the cracks because we are too lost in our own drama.

i don’t know and i can’t know. journal 14 buckles with its own weight. there’s too much in this book and not nearly enough at the same time. i wrote three entries in 2017. my baseline weaves, drunk and discerning. i’m embarrassed and disappointed in myself yet again, and yet, at the same time, oh my god, how many of my resources am i wasting on shame? because: it is not worth it. shame is best used as a tool, not a cudgel. so sometimes my words glint with diamond cut precision and other times they do not. does that mean i dump journal 14 for another without so many wipe-outs and scars? or might it be better to see it as an act of compassion for myself to start fresh, not be able to turn back and see that long-hand train wreck i made on 8/12/2016*: fatalistic, self-destructive, and a whole lot of crazy besides?

i am crazy, is the thing. comparatively, my variety of crazy is quite preferable to the sad, scary and exhausting crazy i see out there in the world, so there’s that. i’d much rather be the kind of crazy where i’m grieving the trauma of what others have done to me and my loved ones than the kind of crazy where i am, with awareness, doing things to traumatize others. however, i know i’ve made mistakes and i continue to make them. it’s the misery of daily striving, my payback for grinding up dryads so i can something with which to wipe my crazy ass.

or write words on: i remember arguing with codrescu’s assertion in the poetry lesson that a notebook used for poetry must be bound in flesh because in order to speak truth we must make sacrifices: not because it wasn’t true, but because haven’t the trees pulped into this paged reliquary soaked with ink sacrificed enough? why is a dryad’s sacrifice any less meaningful?** too feminine, perhaps. femininity exists for sacrifice, at least from the perspective of that unchecked masculine entitlement we are, all of us, no matter your gender identification, drowning in. our bodies for babies, our beauty for passing fancy. our sanity and sometimes our lives for dubious initiations. but, then again

a voice in my head aggressively argues with every attempt i make to comb through systemic oppression so i never really look at what is pressing on me the hardest because i’m not getting the words exactly right. it's a big part of the block. i’m worse than some blossoming alcoholic his sophomore year of college explaining away your right to even question anything he thinks by way of dead white male philosophers you have zero interest in reading yourself.

this is my fucking diary, everything i write here does not need to be unassailable.

this is my fucking diary, i can trip and stumble around what i really mean and not presume to speak to the experience of anyone but my womanly, poor, neurodivergent self. with my weird religion and my queer coding. with all those things i feel no right to claim.

*though it did contain the following gem, of which i am still proud: “somebody snatched up [my pluck and determination] during borders liquidation for a quarter, along with microfiber bamboo dog booties and industrial waste repurposed as very shitty perfume.” i will have my vengeance, so you are aware. one day the streets will sing with the blood of those captors who subjected me to two months worth of shifts where yet another excessive box of multicolored stink bottles broke open every day. i have no idea who they are, the people responsible for putting me in this situation, but they will pay.
**i minimized the experience of arboreal awareness in the previous passage and apologize for this failure.

music: his darker paintings - john b mclemore