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selva oscura
09 July 2019 @ 08:38 pm

that one time i briefly deluded myself into believing i could handle the IUD insertion procedure and sat asking informed questions of a planned parenthood clinician and thought the conversation was going pretty damn well until suddenly she was jumping up and guiding me to the exam table so i could lie down with a washcloth on my forehead until the fainting cold sweat passed: i took every brochure they gave me but started coming to terms with the reality that this was yet another option my trauma history had stripped me of, at least i did once i was finally able to walk out the door. damn. in the lobby, there was a big wicker basket of condoms. i took two, i'm not exactly sure why. seemed like they could be useful. now, the expired (april 2019) "whelp, won't be getting an IUD!" day condoms will be used for art, but i haven't figured out the rest of the piece. in the meantime, i'd love to see some one sentence stories about this scene. go for it. i dare you.

selva oscura
06 July 2019 @ 04:10 pm
been looking for this entry for a long time. was starting to think i'd only dreamed it. scene notes: this happened on the one week anniversary of my paternal grandmother's death; i feel like it's the moment i finally started to emerge from the hospice. my grandmother died on my nephew's fourth birthday the month i turned thirty. you'd think that would've made the entry a lot easier to locate, but, you know, layers.
august 16 2005
and i went out behind the building tonight, alone after dark on the grounds. and sometimes these moments are better as moments, so i didn't intend to be out there for long. first i sat on the lawn, i looked at the moon, i listened to the insect drone inside the treeline. i laid down on the grass and tried to see stars. no stars to be seen, light pollution fading night out at the hinges. i sat back up and walked to the labyrinth.

walked the labyrinth by the light of the moon.

and how every sound you make walking fills up after dark, fills up to overflowing, scattering your tenuous privacy all over the ground. a half step scoff in the daylight becomes a thundering serial of dramatic crunches alone in the dark. i walked the labyrinth as softly, then, as i could. on tiptoe. on soft heel. bowing into each step. and i reached center and i looked at the moon. and every surface blue and velvet, i thought of the concern i'd brought up at the labyrinth's start and checked to see if i had an answer. nothing yet, i supposed it might be waiting for when i'd walked back out of the labyrinth, i mean that's the other part of walking into a labyrinth: walking back out.

so i did that and checked again to see if my answer had arrived in some moon-beam certainty i could smugly cite in subsequent retellings of this experience, maybe publish a few self-help books about how deciding you will find your answer will bring your answer to you, indeed? or, at least, asking for an answer will bring it to you even if you're kinda thinking a little bit harder about navigating the labyrinth in the dark without a lot of crunching noises. so i exited the labyrinth: no answer. so instead of finding my answer, i gathered a few more questions to press between your pages, then turned from the labyrinth in the hopes of finding fireflies.

see, fourth of july, last year, walking back to our car after fireworks, we walked through this meadow in a surprisingly ancient feeling section of bartlett and the brushline, the treeline, any bit of foliage cover, even thickets of grass in the open field, just alive, just alight, just swirling and pulsing with fireflies. and it was dark and the trees, like heavy clouds, throbbing with light. deep space nebula. a hard swallow of galaxies. and i wanted to fall down, i wanted to lie dreaming at the side of the path. but sometimes a moment is better as a moment so instead i just kept walking and think of those fireflies still.

here, now, i wondered if i might find a firefly cluster weeks out past the edge of that season. so i walked to the treeline where they do not keep the bees, but the only flickers there were houselights severed from easy answers by many layers of breeze-touched foliage. i wonder if there might not be too much residence, there, too close by, for firefly colonies; but still i stand in a hollow, marveling at the assumptions the mind makes at an anomaly in ground cover after dark. then i turn and walk for the wooded patch with the bees. can hear them humming in there, unless that is electrical, unless it is just me, hearing something unexpected about this moment. unresolved ancestors. past lives. past the hives there's an evergreen, past the evergreen i slip into the treeline again and look up. think, again, about sudden revelations and life altering epiphanies, the miraculous moment when it all becomes clear.

alright, then.

here i am.

alone in the forest at night. let it happen. let her rip. cicadas and crickets. at the property line the highway speeds by i brush my hand over my face at the tickle of a hair: maybe i don't have enough faith in the universe for this? where did i go wrong?

at the mary shrine i find her offering bowl wet and tipped over so i straighten it out, then stand for mary, rest my hand on her face, press my forehead to hers. what can i do? i silently think the hail mary to myself, but good lord, that must be like joking "it's free!" to a retail employee about merchandise that's lost its sticker, it's been done so many times the only response left remains a deep sigh and i don't know that there's a further comparison there. someone's saying a rosary somewhere. right now. ten years out from now. nineteen. twenty. it's like breathing for her, maybe, maybe not such a bad thing. now and at the hour of our deaths, amen.

from mary i head back into the trees. the light is strange. the grass is gold and dappled like waves. the trees are black and cast long shadow. electric yellow light, there's a kind of aura about it, aura to presence as shadow to manifestation: if i have any revelation at all, it is here. i feel solid, calm, peaceful. it is a moment. maybe not the moment, but a moment. an estranged friend comes to mind, approaching the four year anniversary of that heartbreak. she ended our friendship a couple days after my twenty-sixth birthday. i understand, calmly, that the moment i've just had is not a moment she and i could have processed together. i understand something more removed and complicated about our chemistries, our priorities, about what started making me so uncomfortable around her near the end. "she wouldn't have got it right anyways," that's one version, a bitter one, one made all the more difficult by the fact that i wasn't getting it right, either. both of us were to blame and neither of us were. maybe that's what i've been fighting, all this time.

in that moment, in that stillness. having made this offering, this unstructured ritual, for someone and something else entirely, i made peace with her departure. i made a kind of peace with it. anyway, i let it fall away. for a moment. maybe it is holding? there is no black and white in these things, even a dark night has more of a blue velvet quality to it, haloed, occasionally, in gold. four years would be enough of this, i prompt myself, gently. four years combined is longer than we spent in a mostly happy, mostly functioning friendship. maybe the anger is gone. maybe the anger has just faded out: but i am understanding, this time, that there isn't going back. we don't blend. we don't compliment. we weren't understanding, and we wouldn't have got it right, anyway.


music: crib - constant
selva oscura
01 July 2019 @ 03:16 pm

in the weeks before i turned seventeen, i read and i read, i read like i couldn't remember reading before. come home, i thought, come home now, it's time, i thought, i whispered, i whispered and i thought, though i wasn't entirely sure why. i wrote the first pages of a speculative fiction novel i had no intention of publishing - or finishing - or letting anyone else read. i fell into the emptiness sounded by that inversion of teenage ambitions with concerning delight. i'd completed four novels by that moment in my history. i'd let other people read my first four novels: my first, about a eleven-year-old girl fated to be sacrificed to the devil as a bride (subtext, you're choking on it), vanished into a social dispute and was never returned. my most recent, about a knocked up drifter who comes back from the dead, lived for more than a year under an estranged friend's bed and still does not smell acceptable. my second, the pregnant dancing girl serial from middle school, it always came back like a pox upon my developing craft. i named the protagonists after eighties pop stars. increasingly, i wasn't entirely sure i wanted my work to be read if my work could be read by just anyone. the resolution of this conflict has yet to be seen.

perspectives shifted that summer. like hanging upside down off the living room couch for five minutes that could feel like an hour, like hanging upside down until my center of gravity understood itself onto the ceiling. i'd stay like that until i couldn't stand it; it was a peculiar high. just outside my experience but still immersed in it completely. entering a room i'd lived in since before memory for the very first time. space travel made with inexpensive ingredients you can find at home. i remember walking down the stairs with a mirror tray under my chin. it is not an experiment i can recommend in good conscience, but it sure felt weird.

one of my more mysterious prepubescent beliefs: mirrors could only break in old scary movies. i'm not sure how i came to believe that any consumer-end mirror manufactured since the sixties was as good as indestructible. i might have misunderstood a segment on david horowitz's consumer advocacy weekly, fight back, which i religiously watched every week through elementary school, excited for a future when maybe i, too, could make a living by throwing tooled-leather combination-locked briefcases down stairwells and quipping snarky observations at the results. as much as i loved the program, sometimes they did things with gorillas, i didn't exactly understand what it was driving at a lot of the time and wrote off a lot of stuff to "damn, adults are weird."

supporting evidence for my mirror theory came from that afternoon at my friend bill's house. going through the trash in his parent's bathroom (i didn't ask) he'd found an empty eye shadow compact with a mirror on the inside lid. his first idea for it involved a laser, like you know, that one thing? you had to have seen it. it was on TV. remember that one thing, with the mirror, and the laser? and all he had to do was - that thing with the - he needed the other thing. i don't have the other thing, bill told me, and i don't know where to get one. i didn't either. the laser hadn't worked out and he was feeling resentful, so by the time i showed up the project had devolved into throwing the compact as hard as possible onto the brick patio over and over again. he'd done it a bunch of times, i tried it a bunch more times, he tried it a few times after that, i jumped on it a couple times for good measure. thing wouldn't break. the plastic exterior shell was a mess, but the mirror remained uncorrupted. god, it was miraculous. clearly, this consumer-end mirror manufactured after the sixties was indestructible, and i told bill as much. david horowitz said. bill wanted to run a few more tests but needed to secure funding, which would take some time. he wasn't getting an allowance that month as a consequence for something he'd done. i didn't ask. maybe it involved digging through his parent's bathroom trash?

we quit the mirror busting initiative for the afternoon, but later that summer bill told me that he'd hit it with a sledgehammer, put it in the freezer and then in boiling water right away, paid the stoner kid down the street three dollars to run over it with his van, twice, mirror wouldn't break. he really wanted to show me that not broken mirror, he said, but then his family was visiting his grandma in florida and he accidentally kicked it down a rainwater sewer so probably it got ate by an alligator. even at the time, i suspected aspects of this story were somewhat enhanced, but that's why bill and me hung out. we preferred one another's enhancements.

i preferred richard's enhancements, too. the summer i turned seventeen, it rained and it rained and it rained. it rained, so i read, it rained and i read, i read like i'd never read before. all of a sudden, books were different again, or maybe: i was different again. i'd developed extrasensory perception. my center of gravity understood itself on the ceiling.

when did i bring home this funny orange mass market with the charmingly contrived cover from the library swap rack? i unnecessarily concealed the title from my mother, who'd never once demanded i account for anything i read. i know it had been stowed for at least a year, spine to the wall on a shelf above my bedroom's sight line, long enough for me to (at least functionally) forget it was in my possession, but i wasn't sure when i'd brought it home.

clearing my space in preparation for a new paint job, i found the book and, again, puzzled over it. i dropped it open and read from the middle. i always do this with books. also, i read the last few pages first, i skip ahead, i drop back, i make every narrative into one about time travel. i can't be bothered with all these cultural taboos about spoilers. everything that happened in a published story has already happened in that published story. not knowing won't change it in the least. the entire point of my audience is so i can find out how the author is going to tell me about what happened. if it's worth my reading time, it won't matter i already know where things are going, and a lot of the time it helps me power through a passage where i might otherwise stall out. besides, if the end looks like crap i'd rather read something else. the first thing i read in one of richard's books:

"If you get hung up on everybody else's hang-ups, then the whole world's going to be nothing more than one huge gallows."

got my number, i thought, read the book in one night, then read it again in the morning. i read it four more times before the summer was out. how he writes, i thought, transcribing a favorite line longhand into the back cover of a notebook. complicated things described simply so that simple things could be given the complexity they deserved. brautigan's writing rewired my thinking, shifted my perspective around pacing so that it was less "first this and then that and then that, resulting in" and more "holy moment! holy moment! holy moment!"

grammar was a tool for sculpting, not a prison from which there was no escape. the grammar didn't matter so much as the language it shaped; the goal was a version of coherence you could switch into, not the grammatical institution of coherence to which many readers assume entitlement. his writing style wasn't a rebellion as much as it was an assertion of an intimate priority. the text wasn't caught up in competition or delusions of universality. it existed for those readers for whom it needed to exist and didn't begrudge anyone else.

and then there was the story itself.

vida and her alien body, more beautiful than she could handle. traumatized by her appearance, not able to move through any space as invisible as she needs to be, she finds her way to the protagonist who has also made himself invisible; together, they draw one another into form. thank you, richard. i needed that.

the passage pictured at the top of this entry, i remember laughing at it mightily during my first reading: she put into words a conflict i'd been negotiating for months, convinced there was no language for it. there it was, and it couldn't be simpler: for some strange reason i don’t mind your looking at me. actually, it makes me feel good, but stop acting like a bandit when you do it.

a few years later but still before i turned twenty, i'd special ordered every brautigan omnibus edition within a month of starting at my first bookstore. that picture of the cover is from the internet. i don't know what happened to my little orange mass market. i must have given it to someone, i couldn't tell you who. i hope it was the right person. i hope they honor it still, or gave it to someone else who does.

today i will admit that i wish i'd kept it, that i'd like to read one of my favorite books as an island unto itself, not a rowhouse immediately smashed up against that novel i've never been able to read. the last novel. the novel about the author's looming suicide. brautigan had been gone for eight years by the time i discovered him. by the time i discovered him, we were in the decade after his death. i read and reread my first novel of his a half dozen times before my creative writing teacher filled in the blank of why i couldn't find a damn thing of his on the legitimate library shelves. it broke my heart and i buried it. ancient history, right? not even the same decade.

i mourn you, richard. i mourn you still. thank you for your work.
music: tor lundvall - sky signals
selva oscura
24 June 2019 @ 12:15 am
stupid fucking pain.
selva oscura
21 June 2019 @ 05:14 pm
july 4 2005
we pass from this darkness into the light.

but what, exactly, is passing from one darkness but leading ourselves into the thick of another? aren't we sleepy creatures, after all, barely untangling ourselves from our infernal beds, some days, only to dream all day of returning to them again? so tired, always tired, always so much to do, and the world never rests, never completely lets the night fold it over, sun goes down but the hot metal circle blade up the street never stops turning. grinding. screaming.

outside neighbors explode gunpowder in bright paper at every street corner. a whistling bird drops a call and it gets lost in the screeching descent of another noise ordinance violation. remember when noise ordinance mattered? remember when there were volume levels you needed to respect, machines not operated between the hours of? our consumer entitlements get louder, they rush the threat of silence by raising their voice accordingly. silence, silence, i mourn you, silence. as i mourn meaningful darkness, in fact. darkness, darkness. i chewed a hole in my lip and taste blood at the back of my throat. it’s the sort of silence that stops the noise, the taste of blood. or it was.

so i light a candle in the last days of the waning moon. so i light a candle, “needed change,” and compare myself to a butterfly almost ready to emerge, barely able to believe until the very moment that the time had come. and when the time had come, once that time had passed; when else could it have been, unless it had been sooner? it was like that, falling in love, wasn't it? can this transition work, then, with the messy but clear inevitability of falling in love?

emerge from the darkness. cast off that shell. find myself find my path find my life

what do i know about it, really?

emerge from the dark. for a time, at least. fireworks burn shapes into the night. one failing sets the stage for another, not unlike the way one page will make me wince with the consolidated embarrassing vulnerability of the last hundred pages. one slippery patch of ignorance crashes me into three more. wasn't i so sure that i would be the one? but i wasn't. even when it seemed it really seemed like i very well could be? except i was never actually in the running, is what i now think. i guess i was more: a lovely contemplation. metaphysical window shopping. the glossy page of an implausible magazine. more likely: an incriminating anarchist zine abandoned in the trash just outside airport security. maybe it will be funny, some day. maybe it will be funny, some day. maybe it will be funny, some day.

illegal neighborhood gunpowder eruptions in celebration of that privilege i bitterly lament i will never experience on my own terms, no matter how much "needed change" i pool in the cobalt glass candle bowl. grandma's slipping away again. dad spent the evening with her. brother is with a friend whose family had the emotional wherewithal for legitimate fireworks. mom and me ate morning star patties on bleached wheat buns without really tasting them, then walked to the subdivision exit at nine. we stared at colored pops of light behind the townhouse development. all at once it was far too much not enough and we turned to each other, laughing. then we walked home. overcast, heavy, foreboding, no rain. still no rain. no rain, anymore, that's what i suspect. we don't deserve it.

mallard lake 8:15PM
there's applause, somewhere, in front of me, and sirens somewhere behind.

i read in an article recently that in drought-ridden nepal, two hundred women called a monsoon with a ritual offering of naked ploughing. so i tried riding my bicycle to the lake without a bra on. maybe it'll help.

ben and i need some perfect moment together this visit (17 days until) and i need a good moment in general. i think i'll invite him to come here, to this little secret sand beach off the lake just before dawn. we'll burn incense and watch the sun come up. it's a little more tricky, from this spot at least, to watch it come down. all the same, at this moment, the sky to the west is this most ridiculous gooey orange crimson pink. i don't know that we are zoned here to have that much color in the sky at once. i hope that the authorities don't come to take it away, it'll be gone quickly enough all on its own.

rode the bike back home in dusky lows. home, now. quiet. maybe mr. rotary sander is visiting his uncle in kalamazoo. maybe he'll stay for a while.

nope. there he is.

music: delerium - transhumanist
selva oscura
16 June 2019 @ 02:03 pm

might not be contributing new content to the thread as much as i like while negotiating my current depression, but i'm doing my best to maintain a relationship with it.

i started (casually) transcribing my long-hand journals by way of 750words.com in 2014 (the 20th anniversary of the first book in the numbered thread). in part, i was tired of never being able to find an entry i was thinking of; the hope was that i'd make my entire archive key-word searchable and maybe reunite with some unrealized ideas i might now be ready to host. page count is for the file in ms word, not the original book. when i figure out how to work excel enough to make this an official database, i might go back and figure out how many pages are in each original book (journals 7-9 were huge, i wish i could find more of them) but i think, for now, this is obsessive enough for my records. of interest: icon from this entry scanned from journal 2.

transcribed to date:

journal 02 12/23/1997-09/04/2000 (33 mos.) 27,860 words, 60 pages
journal 03 09/04/2000-06/19/2002 (22 mos.) 31,908 words, 80 pages (4)
journal 05 09/01/2003-06/21/2004 (9 mos.) 44,963 words, 89 pages (1)
journal 06 06/22/2004-10/03/2004 (4 mos.) 42,240 words, 76 pages (3)
journal 07 10/03/2004-09/14/2005 (11 mos.) 64,304 words, 118 pages (2)
journal 08 09/15/2005-08/20/2007 (23 mos.) 63,658 words, 137 pages (2)
journal 09 12/31/2007-01/31/2009 (13 mos.) 63,752 words, 137 pages (2)
journal 10 02/09/2009-05/02/2011 (26 mos.) 57,153 words, 117 pages
journal 11 05/05/2011-07/03/2012 (14 mos.) 40,380 words, 87 pages (1)
journal 12 08/28/2012-05/31/2014 (21 mos.) 53,532 words, 99 pages
journal 13 06/26/2014-04/10/2015 (10 mos.) 39,556 words, 102 pages (4)

(1) same journal type, b&n casebound, “journal” printed on cover
(2) same journal type, borders casebound, contrasting spine and corners
(3) longhand journal not filled completely
(4) unlined pages, freeform content
mood: stalled out at 15
music: motionfield - shine
selva oscura
14 June 2019 @ 01:55 am
june 25th 2005

- send an email address to

somewhere between "2005" and my list's opening slash, the ball tip of the pen i was using vanished and i was left scraping a pen without a vehicle onto the page. where did the roller ball go? did it fall out? is there some microscopic rollerball from my pen embedded, now, in my page? or did it roll away, off the table and onto the floor? did i push it up into the pen? will the pen leak, now that there isn't a rollerball corking it up?
[i remember my cousin had a new wallet. and she had a new pen tucked into the new wallet. and she opened her new wallet and this saturated blue-black was growing over and under the inside. and my cousin swore and i watched as she worked at it with napkins and wet tissues. "why is it whenever i finally have something new, something nice, it gets ruined? why is it i can never have anything new?" and, watching her work i peeked my eyebrows and lamented with her, "it was a new pen? it was a nice pen." it was a bic disposable, actually. my cousin looked up from her failing rescue procedure and sighed, "well, yeah, and the wallet was new as well." i nodded and kept watching. of course i'd weight a bic disposable pen over some wallet, then. now i better understand more things about cause and effect: you need that wallet if you want to buy a pen. but then, of course, a pen and a wallet were completely unrelated items, and the pen was, by far, much more interesting and full of creative potential. and, some days, most days, it still is.]
i better dispose of this un-balled uniball, actually, thinking back on that particular cautionary tale. now i am thinking about pilot pen factories. about giant vats full of rollers for pens. about sliding my hands into a vat of them like water, my fingers brushing the eventual tips of millions and millions of eventual pens. how many rollerballs in a square foot? has humanity produced an olympic-sized swimming pool's worth of ballpoint pen tips since the first ballpoint ran dry? would i half fill a thimble, all these words and words and words of mine?*

in the sixth grade, there was this style of designer pen most of the socially acceptable kids had. i believed it was a rollerball, encased in translucent plastic that was prism-angled and faintly tinted with whatever color ink it held. i could never find them at the store, though i only looked for them once summer rolled around and they might have been pulled from store shelves by then, because of what, exactly, made these particular writing utensils so popular.

see, they had a ball bearing at the other end, opposite from the tip. a real metal ball bearing, stainless steel. it served no functional purpose. it just looked nice, i guess, and added a pleasing weight to the whole of the pen.

what my classmates would do would be to rapidly rub that ball bearing end on a sheet of rough paper or fabric and then, really quick, jab it into their neighbor's arm. the friction from rubbing it on the rough surface made that ball bearing incredibly hot, so i can only imagine the feedback whatever pen company this was received from parents whose children kept coming home with their arms riddled with speckles of burn marks like small pox.

you would think, too, that the kids who got burned would be the unliked kids, those who not quite all the way down in the lowly depths with me, the peer serving, that year, as the class "at least i'm doing better than" standard, but no - the popular kids burned their slightly less popular friends. if you got jabbed with a searing hot ball bearing at the end of a designer pen you may not have been at the top of the social scene, but you knew you were loved. i could not afford a metal-tipped pen and i did not merit any burn marks. i found an empty pen under a popular neighbor's chair after school, one day. i rubbed it against my blue canvas binder cover and jabbed it into the white-arm underside. it hurt. i was sad. i threw the empty pen away and went home.

so how many of my personal anecdotes conclude with an approximation of "i felt sad. i threw [object symbolizing love/hope/social acceptance/success/living on one's own/friend/boyfriend's traditionally anticipated support that has been warped into some awful and strangely metaphorical way and now has come to mean the exact opposite] into the trash and i walked home?**

my copy of spalding gray's sex and death to the age 14 (as he says in "it's a slippery slope," "mostly masturbation and the death of goldfish") arrived in the mail wednesday, and i have been handling it tentatively, diving in and jumping out, feeling the air in there. the book may have been exposed to some moisture and not properly vented, afterward, for it smells like the bad corner in a half-finished basement and leaves that essence in the fingertips of whoever might page through. it is strange to see spalding's words contained on a page. they should be jumping around and smacking things, namely you, namely your attentiveness bone. here are the silent reliquaries containing the gist of spalding's performance of this piece. i keep trying to place spalding's voice behind those words, i keep trying to put the performance into the script, but all i keep thinking is: my god, does that sentence really have a conventional structure? and "terrors of pleasure," it's wrong. "happy people don't make history" isn't even there.

it's disjointing. it's one of my favorite things, but not the thing itself. it's a ghost at the airport, setting down the suitcase for a moment, glancing at their watch: 1986 is how many years from 2004? How many days is that? how many seconds? but spalding wouldn’t keep time so closely, he never did. he’d tell his story and each time he’d tell it, it would get a bit longer. bigger. more alarming. more and more like it probably felt. forty minutes becomes an hour and twenty. an hour and twenty becomes two hours. all the while, the story becomes more vital, stretching legs and chest wide, turning its face to the sun. spalding, tell your story again, this time from the beginning. focus on the parts that are your favorite to tell, the parts that get the audience going, the parts that put that little lift in your lip corners, that water flash through your eyes. tell us everything, work your way in from all sides, until your life has more than tripled in the telling. sixty three years isn't half long enough.
* this is so horrible, and i'm so sorry. i wrote it and i have nightmares about this concept to this very day. i'm so sorry.
** i attempted to line edit this paragraph for clarity but it made me feel like i was chewing wads of acrylic thread and i couldn't resolve it. i left it pretty much how it was worded in the journal exactly, for now at least. enjoy.

music: orbiteer - low and slow
selva oscura
Sadness is there, too.
All the sadness in the world.
Because the tide ebbs,
Because wild waves
Punish the shore
And the small lives lived there.
Because the body is scattered.
Because death is real
And sometimes death is not
Even the worst of it.

If sadness did not run
Like a river through the Book,
Why would we go there?
What would we drink?

-Gregory Orr
selva oscura
08 June 2019 @ 03:21 pm
4 june 2005
at o'hare international airport - or -
"there is no cherry coke in concourse c"

at least i've got my priorities straight, yeah? i wonder what kind of ghosts haunt airports. ghosts keep those regions best where regret and uncertainty lie. so long the ambitious samurai has left his wife and child languishing in poverty, surely it must haunt him in some way at some time, surely that guilt must build in long silences before culminating in the empty caves of once-eyes he turns to that next morning, that morning after a night when the woman who he'd abandoned took him back into her home, her bed, her body, very much of living flesh and bone.(1)

is the airport itself a ghost? it could be, white and translucent, mysterious lighting, a sort of gloss that allows you a glimpse of yourself far more easily than of its true nature. what is the true nature of an airport? different things for different people at different times. that's pretty ghostly. there's the ghost world of regret and the ghost world of travel and maybe they are concourses in the same terminal.

my gate changed three times.

i scruffled through security, set off alarms with shoe buckles. my backpack didn't start out too heavy, but apparently it wasn't done being heavy yet. it is very heavy, now. and the placating new age music down the moveable walkway corridor meshed exceptionally well with the flux of the overhead neon. i couldn't walk, even, i just stopped and stood and stared at it, my mouth hanging open. it sang and it flickered and it danced. the weaving waved glass windows rippled along the sides. ghost world? how about "LSD experience," up the moveable walkway, the rainbow streaks of neon chasing you on your way. at the end of the walkway i needed to run back to the beginning of it because i thought it would do me good to see the whole affair from the beginning again, which it did.

i wanted to do it a third time, but figured i'd better get into this hallway to walk all the way left down to gate C25, to learn actually we needed to gather in the opposite direction on the right at C15, to learn yet again that either i'm really not seeing things right the first time or some security guard somewhere very much enjoys seeing me heave sighs and stomp off the other way, wrangling my much too heavy backpack. for the time being, i am monitoring that gate sign very closely. if another gate change occurs, i'd like to see it when it does. of course, i might need a restroom before boarding. i'm a little scared to leave the gate, though. i don't know what i'll come back to. maybe a free trip to detroit. maybe a top hat with a duck. our plane is waiting.

the gate seating has seen more fashionable days. they seem to follow on amusement park tour tram's philosophy of comfort and visual appeal. when will the pounding carnival music begin? how many times will the merry-go-round go round? the more the merrier, after all, isn't that what they say?

june 10 2005
here we are again: never failing the wilderness. our neighbors, however, fail to see the advantages in this. i swear i'm not generally a shallow or an evil person, but if god were planning to give one of the thirty dozen little children in campground ten a bad enough ear infection to necessitate a return trip home this summer, regardless, i wouldn't mind it being right now. i didn't ever think one group of campers could ever be quite so loud.(2) we are thinking of taking down the whole tent and reassembling it elsewhere, it has been so bad.

ben is coming up the walkway, putting things into (or taking things out of) his car. at least i hope that's ben. maybe it's a beetle thief. or a really big beetle.

we got a new lot: lot 49, sort of by the cabins and it's so much quieter now. we half disassembled our tent, after my shower, my hair still wrapped around my head in this ridiculous powder pink towel that very adorably (however preposterously) dropped a corner neatly over my right eye. and we marched past campground ten, myself in my pink towel, our half-assembled tent in our hands, with dirty looks and sharp shoulders. i mean, sure, thirty dozen children, there's going to be some noise. but they forgot to bring a flashlight and had to drive their monster truck to the bathhouse, which is not five hundred yards away. also apparently forgot their lantern, because the monster truck was up and running all night because they needed the headlights. they sure didn't forget the DVD player, though, and put on "sponge bob squarepants" full blast to "keep the peace" at "quiet time." i mean, yes, kids make noise, but if you don't teach them some respect for the marvels of nature, how are they going to learn?
(1) kwaidan, 1965
(2) "prove me wrong, children! prove me wrong."

music: deuter - kailash
selva oscura
06 June 2019 @ 09:12 pm
"substances change in combinations."
music: underworld - born slippy NUXX
selva oscura
the first sentence of a likely confessional lyric essay about my slow motion horror movie realization of the extent to which social systems i was denied access to have assaulted me, injured me, and left me to die without my even realizing it:

“Nobody wants to talk about it, but Jane Austen was pissed.

the mr collins character alone. and only a very angry person could even begin to imagine, much more stomach presenting word-for-word documentation of that verbal assault of a marriage proposal that was mr darcy’s first attempt.

look: writing is like that hard. you need stamina, you need to be getting some form of nourishment out of the practice. otherwise, it is just emotional self-abuse and you must drink yourself to death at a young age rather than live out even an average human life span having to intimately witness horrible interactions like that inside your brain on a regular basis.

number of times i have traumatized myself with my own words: too many to count.

number of times even very good creative writing teachers have prepared me for this truth: i cannot think of one, but, then, i was never too great about paying attention in class.

keep it in mind: meaningful writing of any variety means deep fucking witnessing. in fiction, you are seeing both ways, back and forward in these character’s lives. you are seeing them not coping very well with remarkably dispiriting obstacles that have brought them to the shamefully erroneous conclusion that this is, in any way, how they should be conducting themselves in the presence of someone with whom they want to share love. you are feeling every subtextual wound the conflict inflicts on both parties. extra credit: you are likely seeing yourself in their failures. if you do not, you are not doing your work to your supervisor’s satisfaction and someone isn’t getting any more creative ideas until she’s thought about what she didn’t do. all this, and you’re doing it without a safety net. you need a little fuel for the road. anger is a decent power bar.

channeling anger into craft is a viable way of coping with it. it is arguably the rare healthy negotiation. a writer is using the idea of creative skill - something people strive for, compete over, something desirable built out of those factory seconds and post-consumer waste consolidating exhaustingly in our lives, that very stuff that made us angry in the first place - to fuel the development of our craft.

angry people are capable of amazing things.

look at it this way: society invented writers, and it did so by identifying a few people who happened to have a way with words and screwing them over so bad that the writing process became an acceptable coping mechanism. society invented writers because society needs writers. society needs writers because without several voices at least attempting different styles of objectivity (THERE IS NOT JUST ONE) and experimenting with different ways of describing social problems to different profiles of readers who might be able to help with those problems or at least get on the author’s side, we aren't going to get through to enough people to move the needle.

different readers need different writers. it's an old story, but i'll say it again: different readers need different writers. the voice that gets through to your friend betty sue isn’t necessarily going to get through to you. humanity needs writers. different writers. many different writers. we keep the labyrinth. we tend the minotaur. without the ability to educate and persuade with a speech or even just a block of text printed on a page, humanity would have assaulted, eaten, burned and pissed the ashes of itself into oblivion long before the industrial age. storytelling is a survival skill. receiving stories is the inception of the learning process. for most of us, it lies at the core of our how we learn over the course of our entire lives.

it’s terrifying to realize that you might be a political writer when you have no fucking idea of how to do that and everything about the process of political writing is terrifying to you.

in fact, another thing boiling in jane austen’s subtext. did she want to write novels critiquing gentry by way of agonizing social dancing, or did she want to write about lizzy and mr darcy’s wild time in the koi pond? because damn, you know? i didn’t intend to write a novel about the criminal justice system killing my best friend. as necessary as that novel might prove to be, i have other capacities i might like to showcase, things that would be a hell of a lot more fun to do with my time. by that, i mean: i wanted to write about lizzy and mr darcy’s wild time in the koi pond, comprised of "ms lizzy learns to ejaculate" and "the pansexual awakening of the splendiferously kinky ms charlotte lucas collins." pemberley manor would make a delightful setting for some eyes wide shut type rituals, i'm just saying.

i remember when this post was a sentence.

unfortunately, this potential essay, such that it is, seems like something that will necessitate my going to the library, and i just… can’t, right now. go to the library. before you roll your eyes at me, i have a deep and complicated history with libraries, maybe even more than most.

when each of my elementary school teachers reached that point where my presence in the classroom became too much of a distraction for the students upon whose test scores school funding relied, the teacher would write a note, fold it up and make me promise not to read it before dispatching me to the principal’s secretary. the notes invariably requested that the secretary “find something” for me to do for the next couple hours. sometimes it was phrased a little more cleverly than that, as if enabling the next generation of teenagers in socially predatory behaviors was of potential benefit to all parties involved. i wish i’d kept a scrapbook.

the exception was my sixth grade teacher, for whom i am still grateful. she managed, somewhat, to restore my faith in adults. her notes were largely complimentary, almost along the lines of “this talented young lady deserves better than how she is being treated in my classroom today.” she may have guessed i read the notes. maybe i wasn’t beyond hope. at least once, i think i may have been sent to the office in order to facilitate a conversation about Treating Judy With Respect Even If She Disturbs You and done so in a way that actually changed some behavior: i had an earnest and growing balance of friends who seemed to genuinely appreciate me by the end of the year. wish she could’ve given a talk at my middle school, but there i really was beyond hope.

i’d invariably end up in the library. i liked books, you see, and had a decent grasp of the reasons for and facilitation of alphabetization. if there weren’t any classes in the library at that hour, the school librarian would let me sit behind the desk and make little stacks of lined cardstock. if there was a class, she hid me in the library office where i could page the new acquisitions. apparently, i was one hell of a distraction.

bitter though i may be, this class scapegoat management technique probably spared me from the special ed program, from which there was, at that point in my school district’s history, little to no possibility of escape. you can get condemned to that round table in the room across from the kindergartners any time you like, but you can never leave. nor will your curriculum ever evolve past buttons and soap. which, in a few very important cases, was not only relevant, but a crucial civil service to the community.

a significant percentage of the kids ending up in that scene, however, were tragic failures of the public education system. buried in a program that did not serve their needs in order to get them out of the “normal” kid’s way. they were fellow nuerodivergents, kids the “normal” kids refused to learn to be around. kids for whom english was a second language. kids with too many family responsibilities. minority kids who were too smart about something that wasn’t math or science. kids who laughed at the wrong film strip. kids so focused on their confusion about one thing that it ate up all their resources for learning other things. kids rendered temporarily unteachable by secrets and trauma. kids gaslighted by their peers into believing they were stupid. kids who maybe where having problems understanding something important about soap and/or buttons, but who only needed a little extra attention and good will to catch up with the “normal” kids. instead:

in middle school, my mother got her first job in eleven years. she was hired for an entry level position at the checkout counter of the local library, back when you could do that without a master’s degree. she’d worked her way into management by my third year of high school. my social life, those six years (such that it was) took place almost exclusively at her library. before her promotion, i had semesters where i could go to the library and stay for hours as often as once a week. i was ariadne, the library my labyrinth and my minotaur. i wore an iron wrought key around my neck. libraries vibrate with secrets. illicit activities. forbidden texts. illuminated manuscripts. ancestral unrest.

i thieved my first v.c. andrews paperbacks from the swap rack: and shirley conran’s lace*, and richard brautigan’s abortion, and more YA serial trash than i care to admit. the princess bride. rosemary's baby. the house of tomorrow, pseudonymously published under the name jean thompson, was the journal of a twenty-year-old college student who spent the better part of a year at one of those charitable institutions designed to coerce unmarried pregnant women into surrendering their children to our deeply flawed adoption system; pregnant teenagers smoking in the basement rec room after bible study. it’s frank and melancholy and atmospheric, still one of my favorite books.

i’d find a table in a backmost corner, somewhere in front of a window looking out over a concrete courtyard at night, somewhere i could reassure myself of my continued existence with intermittent glances in that black mirror once the light was gone. i’d array my notebooks on the table, decide what story i was going to work on over the course of the next three hours, and then find some books. sometimes i’d profile the swap rack, sometimes i’d retrieve a modern art book from the collection upstairs, sometimes i’d wander into the YA stacks with my eyes shut and pull the first spine that made my fingers hum. usually i’d make it over to the cassette carousel before closing time. i probably checked out every tape in my preferred genres at least once. tangerine dream. paul horn. prince. wham. tears for fears.

i loved that library. i loved it maybe a little too much. it is hard for me to be angry when i am at such a library, angry in a creatively productive way, i mean. on the other hand, it’s far too easy to get caught up in distracting little snits about who else deserves to be in that holy space. everyone needs access to the library, but not everyone treats it respectfully. i do not write well when i am angry about such matters; i do not write at all. i chew unspoken rants into sleeves. i loathe and loathe and loathe. i try to find somewhere else to sit.

school libraries were both a little too different and much too much the same. i count five of my most significant high school memories as having taken place in the school library, but there are probably more. they just kind of happened there, is the thing. i never really bonded with that library, but i am drawn to labyrinths of every variety, so a bond already existed. my first significant memory was my single attempt at a closed-eye pull in those stacks. it landed me on a fiction title called august. i don’t remember the author’s name or anything about it, really, just that the cover had a couch by a window in room as stark as the emotional lives of the people in the book. i know i read it through, but i wasn’t proud about that. it dragged on for days, weeks, decades, thousands upon thousands of pages my eyes would slip over and slip over again. it ruined books for me for a few days. i wondered if this was what post-menarche recreational reading was going to be like and effectively buried myself in a frantic re-read of every girls of canby hall book i hadn’t stowed in the attic. it was the first time a closed-eye pull had failed me. i see now that it was hard for me to slip into the finger-humming zone when pretty much any random middle school antagonist could come upon me wandering the school library with my eyes shut: like gym class, a place where at any moment such an enemy had means and opportunity to brain me with a volleyball, it wasn’t so much that i was off my game, it was that i couldn’t get into it in the first place.

the first sentence of a likely confessional lyric essay: everything i write is confessional, especially the shopping lists.
*talk about a wild time in the koi pond

music: climax golden twins - lovely
selva oscura
27 May 2019 @ 09:36 pm
i wonder what becomes of those guitars annihilated in the course of a stage performance. or rather, i wonder exactly when such ideologically fecund assemblage material became completely inaccessible to me by way of monetary value in lieu of it simply being swept into the trash at the end of the night.

it's a weird thing to think about, unless it isn't.

guess i'm more than a little peeved that as many guitarists as i might have in my social circle, i'm likely still going to need to locate a guitar store and buy my own pick new if i want one for art or magical offering, which i do. for a while, in fact. i haven't done so yet because i'm way seriously broke and anyway, such an acquisition process is less than ideal. such materials are best reclaimed for art at the end of the life cycle for their intended function. the singed chunks of an instrument that met a violent end in the throes of performative ecstasy seem rarer than lightning struck oak of serendipitous vintage and/or geolocation, but stranger things have happened, so might as well ask: anyone reading got a line on something like that?

OR rubber date stamps from 1989 to 2008. there's this whole thing i'm doing.
selva oscura
16 May 2019 @ 02:07 am
so i get it
you want to know the time,
i respond with the bible
three times over
triggered by a rosewater-soaked madeleine.
lesson learned!

you’ll take your comments
about the weather
over the broadcast.

i must possess
some degree
of self-restraint

or not. you know,
it’s best not to engage
someone like me
without a proper dowry
of engagement,
at least a promissory note.

if i said i kept a running list
of the hypocrisies and failures
of people like you, would you
pity me for being small,
withdraw your attentions
from my negativity,
or become aroused?

one of those, i suspect,
if not something else entirely.

i’m always forgetting myself.
selva oscura
15 May 2019 @ 03:19 pm
january 11th, 2005
i'm going to talk to you now about steam radiators. they are a defining presence in a room. at three feet tall i could tell you something about commanding a space from the corner but who's to say if that command is active, elected, something to be questioned, or if it is solely ceremonial.

the radiator must have something to say, but it does not speak my language, nor do i not speak the radiator's language. the language the radiator speaks is one of squeaks and hissing and growls. you'll forget about a radiator until it starts its muttering. i got something to tell you, it might be saying. i just don't know what it is. the room is transformed in that little frustration. you thought you were here alone? there's always another opinion about that, be it the opinion of your muttering radiator or the solicitation calls that keep ringing your phone. "do not hang up," the phone will say, if you pick it up; "this is not a solicitation." another solicitation, you'll mutter to yourself, radiator-like, full of hisses and growls, and hang up.

i had a steam-powered radiator in both iowa dorm rooms, the exhausting fifties pastiche pink tissue box and the carpeted, historically significant and haunted accordingly, room with a prime view of the tar-papered first level roof. with regard to that second radiator especially, i will tell you it is a lot more human in presence than central heat. in your own world. thinking you are there alone. thinking long iowa thoughts. suddenly the radiator stirs, stirs into banging, bangs around, whistles some uncanny little song, and starts heaving sighs. a human awareness, in its way; one that seems to enjoy a good startled pencil-tip snap from the room's sole corporeal occupant and subsequently heats the room in a reluctant, almost cynical fashion. i wasn't supposed to be here today.

mostly, i kept the radiator shaft shut. all the way. if i turned that crank just a millimeter, that 10'X17' haven would become an unimaginable hothouse perhaps only livable to my contemporaries versed in homegrown menageries of rhododendrons, exotic lizards, and/or closet weed. so i'd crank the radiator and once i'd sweated out my last fever i'd crank it shut again, soon to find myself shivering. my eventual strategy: i'd open it that hothouse millimeter and crack the window to whatever degree would counterbalance. yes, here in iowa we open our windows in the dead of january and no, we wouldn't (couldn't!) have it any other way.

sitting on my bedroom floor, xena on the television. sweet patchouli, bless my soul, in the incense bowl. sorting through my latest acquisition of CDs from my beloved fiercely independent underground orpheus who makes up the three year interim between check clearing and product delivery by sending me the exact opposite of what i (probably?) ordered. the hidden costs of closet weed! wonder how much of a buzz i could get off these liner notes? wearing the fixer-stained "love will tear us apart" shirt and jeans that sure do remember when with every tear and white-threaded fray. a little concerned.

maybe i've hit a loop.

music: bowery electric - black light
selva oscura
10 May 2019 @ 05:12 pm
december 10 2004
no psychotherapy for a few days, alright?

i need to write about something other than the workings of one part of an entire system that needs expression. expression, as a whole. wanna write with my knees for a while. say hello, collarbone. thumbnail, speak! why do you always break a few hours after i observe you at your most beautiful? maybe i've intuited the coming break. admire ye thumbnails while ye may.

windrose order in today. boxes and boxes of fragrances, of perfumed and perfuming goods in contact with themselves, pressed together until that sweetness merges into an indefinable, sickly sameness that permeates every surface, every paper and cardboard, all that stabilizing styrofoam. it almost seems to weaken the fibers: cardboard buckles from the scent. i am, hands and jeans and sweater sleeves, permeated, too. light my tip, blow out the flame, and let me smolder, some days. walk past dad in the garage when i get home, without even needing to turn: judy's home from work! windrose's note is amber dhoop that lost the battle (but won the war.) everything remembers the amber, it's windrose's alamo. there's also sort of a synthetic rose flavor about, maybe in honor of the company name, an olfactory re-enactment of that cheerful bouncy logo printed on the catalogue cover. incense from india orders tend to be overwhelmed by the harsher notes of their most popular charcoal dips: "sin," a musky sort of perfume floral; "lotus blossom," grape scented suntan oil; and that horrible blasted coconut that overwhelms everything. there's an abrasiveness there, an almost chemical smell. it swells shut my sinuses. it makes both my ears sound like crinkling cardstock. sage spirit, of course, has a dried herbal sage-y sureness about it, but they are different from spirit dancer sage in that sage spirit has this unpleasant high-pitched comment it makes, i wonder if it is the cedar? spirit dancer's flagship product is that white sage they grow in great lots*, i think that must have something to do with it; the other vendors supply more desert sage, sage possessing the violence of surviving in the desert at its core.

each of our vendors has a different quality about them. even if they sell the same products, the feel associated with them, the scent and touch: something indefinable is changed, from the source.

twitch in the ear, inside my head sounds like earthquakes. i'm rubbing at the shell, i'm poking at the mouth of the cave. the next spasm rumbles: what's going on, in there? something's not real happy. something's not quite right.

december 14th
eleven days, then, until ben is here: almost to the single digits. single digits: almost to the toes, we'll say, this-little-piggy territory, there's a hand in it, though, yet.

[box for waiting: open hand, palmistry diagram except perhaps with constellations. poem in japanese about waiting. five days to the hold:]

am i running out of words? i always saw words like rabbits in breeding season: let loose a few and you'll have a hundred by morning. now i've found myself stammering even in here, where i am not normally inhibited (and so cannot say this is a matter of shyness?) perhaps i am analyzing the ink-worthiness of that endless psychoanalysis i criticized myself about the other day. maybe i'm just transitioning again: two journals full in a little over a year after years and years of not writing a thing between blank book covers might indicate transition, the spring days stretch to a languid summer: but i am tired of all this leaving of spring i must keep doing, i want my words to always be wild, fecund, beautiful if a little unruly. maybe i'd do better to say i'm always transitioning through the seasons, that perhaps i've changed now from an autumn of self-reflection and evaluation to arrive at winter: seeds below for some wanton wild spring in a time not too long from these darker months.

i'm just frustrated, with the fallow periods. it seems like i've been one for so long.
* wow, i wrote this a long time ago. i'm not sure spirit dancer is still in business (i might have heard something about a wildfire) and in the fifteen years since i wrote this, ethically sourcing salvia apiana has become increasingly difficult (but it's not listed as endangered, yet.) white sage has served me dearly over the years. now, she needs more humans to better understand the politics of white sage and maybe retrain some behaviors. for the record? there's a bunch of other kinds of sage out there, much of it easier to grow (so i've heard) and rosemary, juniper and marjoram make excellent alternatives for smudging that i've come to prefer in certain circumstances. also: if you're into that wildcrafting scene or thinking of getting into it, read this entire article twice, please.

music: vas - sevdama
selva oscura
my brain is strange and unsettling
sometimes i just leave it that way

ritual instructions: gather
  • your body (clothing optional)
  • private space where you may work unobserved and uninterrupted, to specify
  • in order of preference: a dark room/a room that can be reasonably darkened/an opaque scarf/your eyelids
  • a candle (one with a meaningful personal history preferred*)
  • some manner of purification (breath, storm, dirt, weeping, rosemary, juniper, sage, palo santo, egg, rattle, singing bowl, bell, salt water, florida water, black tourmaline, metal consecrated toward this purpose, emphatic gestures, intention spoken in a commanding voice)
  • an image related to you if not of you
  • anointing agent (blessed water, holy smoke, properly diluted (!!!) essential oil, condition oil, perfume or nearest approximate, voice)
  • a moment in time when your sister will probably not attempt to call on the house line and contingencies should this occur, because it very possibly will, you and she are connected on many subtle levels; she has a number of the very capacities driving you toward this behavior: just a lot of very different application methods
  • a moment in time
  • a mirror

  • put your phone in airplane mode. unless you plan to use your phone's technology to document some aspect of this ritual (i frequently record) put away your phone. i understand. it is an act of faith. i understand. who knows who could be calling. who knows what the president might do. put your phone away, regardless, please. you will be reunited shortly. comfort yourself with the knowledge: this is a magical act.

    enter your space. prepare your body. perform those tasks you perform to initiate ritual: purify, ground and center, make circle. take charge of the space. return your attention to the task. return your attention to the task. return your attention to the task.

    light the candle. notice the flame. be with the flame. gaze at it. stare at it. look at it. what's the difference? look at it with your eyes focused. look at it with blurred vision. look at it with your eyes closed. how does it change? move from side to side, tracking the flame. move from side to side, not tracking the flame. examine the flame's boundary: where does it end? examine the flame's boundary: where does it begin? after looking at the flame for several seconds, close your eyes and witness the remainder of that flame as it disintegrates. experience this flame as another awareness in the space with you. understand that you are not alone.

    with that knowledge, take up your image. be with your image. gaze at it. stare at it. look at it. what's the difference? look at it with your eyes focused. look at it with blurred vision. look at it with your eyes closed. how does it change? examine what separates you from this distinct image: how are you different now? examine what bonds you with this distinct image: what remains the same? after looking at your image for several seconds, close your eyes and witness the remainder of your image as it disintegrates. what do you notice first? what do you release, last? what do you anticipate seeing when you again open your eyes? experience this image as another awareness in the space with you. understand that this distinct image possesses its own distinct life cycle, that this image will experience things you will never experience, that you have experienced things this image will never even know about. think of what has happened since the inception of this image. consider the memories that surface in this process. choose one such story and tell it to your image. after you are finished, listen for and give voice to the story with which your image responds.

    understand that you are not alone.

    using the anointing agent, bless yourself. anoint the top of your head. anoint the bottoms of each foot. anoint any place in-between that you feel called to anoint. remind yourself you are loved. remind yourself you are remembered. thank that which brings you to this blessing and at least begin to forgive, with any trauma-necessitating qualifiers, something that may have taken you from it. name names. or: don't.

    take up the mirror. this might be difficult. acknowledge the difficulty. forgive the difficulty. remember the flame, here in the room with you. remember your presence, here in the room with you. do you want to understand your reflection in the mirror in the manner you understood the flame and your image? do so. do you not want to understand your reflection in the mirror in the manner you understood the flame and your image? don't. the important function for this moment is to experience the mirror's reflection as another awareness in the room with you. the important function for this moment is to remember that you are not alone.

    acknowledge and thank the flame, then extinguish it, meditating for a moment on how the energy shifts. if the room is dark, proceed. if the room cannot be darkened, cover the mirror with the scarf. if you could not source a scarf, close your eyes.

    covered or uncovered, your eyes closed or open, gaze into the mirror. open yourself to the function of reflection. understand that it is happening despite the obfuscation of your vision: if you in the darkness of this space is not being reflected, then the scarf. feel for the action of reflection in space and time. know it is there. how does it feel? what does it mean? what words come to you, in this intermediary space of seeing and being seen? speak those words. speak this truth. speak it until you have spoken it through.

    when it is time, return. thank everyone and everything that needs to be thanked. wriggle your toes. breathe in awareness. speak your name, three times, out loud. remember what you've most recently eaten. go eat something else. when you're ready, retrieve your phone and check in with the post.

    TRANSPARENCY MOMENT: this ritual is very much like rituals i have done and even borrows parts from other workings (for example, i've engaged in variations of that flame witnessing exercise since i was 14), but i haven't technically performed this ritual yet. i intended to describe an experience i had on beltane (may 1st) but it crumbled in my hands (true to form!) so i dropped into that failure, trance wrote for an hour and came out the other side with this. i expect to run it in the next couple days; this may inspire modifications. wouldn't it be funny if one of my readers tried it before me? almost as funny as finding out i actually have a reader!**

    i know, i know. understand you are not alone

    *i have a lot of these
    **BWAHAHAHAHA (sob)
    music: tunnel singer - rememberance
    selva oscura
    27 April 2019 @ 03:23 pm
    november 6th, 2004
    how the pages slip from between our fingers. words and words and words and words. we pile them up, when the pauses get threatening: tell me what you were going to do say again what did you follow me did you hear my question me i said don't question me you have no right to question your questions are not valid only mine answer my question you don't deserve the space you need to answer and

    no wonder i'd fall into silence for months at a time. just so you know, i've been working on things, but what works for me may not work for you. there's a comfort, of a sort, of a means, to letting the reins slip, to letting the next word come. instead of saying: i will talk about this now. you may anticipate a certain level of coherence and at least late secondary school vocabulary. i will steer fiercely in this direction until it makes so much sense it makes even less sense than intentionally free form mindstreamofconscious silly babble, and

    i will fall back into myself from three miles up. feel the strings snap, the rubberband's twang. oh, give me a day or two to quit rattling; i'll be more in myself than i ever have been, at least i suppose, from my three miles up looking back down. there's always another word to put after the last. whether it is the right word or not.

    mood: oddly resonant
    music: the tunnel singer - sea stars
    selva oscura
    26 April 2019 @ 07:24 pm
    and could really use a few hours in a sensory deprivation tank

    mood: twitch
    music: not sure i like it
    selva oscura
    22 April 2019 @ 06:45 pm
    on balance, i think it's fair to say that i am one of the most patient people i've met.

    i'm still nowhere near patient enough to be a pharmacist.
    mood: dear god
    music: deuter - khumbe
    selva oscura
    all of a sudden this afternoon i find my instagram feed full of ads for weight loss products