《 Take some time to document all the ways you let impatience derail your creative process & share your findings with Elijah. As a Water Sun, awareness is their specialty. 》- costar astrology recommendation
Where do I begin?
Does this look like a list of excuses?
Last night, Mom & I ate sushi & played cards. We took a couple wasabi hits to the sinus cavities by accident.
《 Is this because I told Erica that you and I never talk? 》she commented.
Us, having dinner together, hanging out, shooting the shit. Something we don't do as often despite living in the same house.
I laughed a little and said《 no - but I could understand the mention. 》
I work in these cycles. There's a finite amount of time existing in these cycles. I don't make a lot of decisions what, how, and when these shifts will happen. I've learned to move like a river through them. Learn to stop destroying myself when these shifts happen because I realize I don't have control.
All of this has the tone of defensiveness.
《What the river says, that is what I say, 》
I can make choices within this snow globe of course.
I explained to my mom, about when I lived alone, my silences went unquestioned. There was no one around to question them. My absence wasn't felt in the common areas, I wasn't a ghost in places I frequented because my inconsistencies were consistent enough to not create a void of space to be questioned.
I wasn't missed. This suits me.
For long stretches I'd exist in my head. When the quieter guides, ancestors, muses took a turn in the mind chamber. Pulling the strings. Acting as congress.
I'd become so quiet.
Sometimes I can be so loud.
People meet me then, during the loud times. Dancing times. Fill-the-room-with-my-presence times.
《 We should hang out again, 》they say, and I write my number on a little slip of paper knowing by the time they text, I will have turned inward.
It's not a creative impatience as much as it is running out of time.
The micro-seasons, the micro-climate within the shifts, I'm no longer the same river. The experimentation of a particular project falls from my hands.
Suddenly, where there was once an obsession with print-making, there's now a need to write every friend a letter. Where there was once running on a treadmill everyday, drinking probiotic smoothies, and performing sugar scrub exfoliation, there's remaining on the couch for eight hours reading Sylvia Plath's journals.
It looks like giving up, but it's more like giving in.
Right now, I've been writing in my journal everyday and checking costar astrology for prompts in which to accomplish.
I've been ravenously hungry and consuming seafood. The DnD group is gone and I haven't been scheming with friends. I'm into buying old scrolls of paper at Thriftstores and wanting to write long letters to an old partner. I'm very into earthy scents: burning incense, using cedar oil in my skin moisturizing routines, and spraying my bed twice a day with a sheet mist that smells like flowers.
All this will pass.
I used to be so hard on myself about this. I still punish myself in the way of believing it's a kind of fundamental flaw in my hard-wiring. Others, it would seem, move out of the fetal process of their mediums and projects.
You see them grow into richer artists, making progress with their prolonged focus.
You are very much like this. It reminds me of when you were a tree in the redwoods overlooking the ocean. You grow like a tree. You are slow and deliberate and work towards your goals. I'm comparing, but not comparing.
I like how you are, and I like how I am.
It's just so slow for me, in a different way. My cycles seem quick, but are actually long.
Eventually I come back to the place of loudness, but the same friends aren't there.
Eventually I come back to the printmaking, but the tools have been given away.
It's hard to see, it's hard for me to explain.
It was hard for me to see for a long time. It was hard to allow myself some forgiveness and grace.
Ah, another Stafford quote comes to mind.
《There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change.》
Je ne souviens pas prenez la photo..
Désolé, c'était comment un rêve. Tout le monde était là. Disons que c'était il y a longtemps..
Chaque hier sens comme un longtemps.
Il vaut mieux dire tous tes secrets en français.
Laissez-moi vous en dire un maintenant: je ne sais pas ce que ça va se passer.
Je sais à peine ce qui se passe maintenant.
There's this certain calm after a shake. Have you ever driven for several hours in a day and find you have no thoughts in your head when you arrive? All that vibrating, all the pulsing, and suddenly you feel almost as if you've recently been inutero.
Recently born again, having been rocked gently by the rolling wheels over concrete and dirt.
I abuse the word vibe, and vibration.
It's a concept I'm obsessed with.
When things are still, we gain a reflectory composure.
We lapse into the quiet of our minds and wordlessly, without drama, tektonic plates shift into place.
"Here I am caught, in the amber of the moment, there is no why," Vonnegut said once?
"Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why."
Apologies for the slight misquotation.
Now, I've stopped asking why.
It doesn't seem to matter.
My demand for reasoning when there is none, puts me always at a stalemate that can't be explained.
At best I can construct a reasoning, and in that create a deity molded out of paper clay and tinsel.
But if no one believes it, it doesn't really matter does it?
Resonate with me a moment.
Through a series of choices and agreements the wheel turns. The destination is no where in particular, or rather, the goal doesn't matter much.
I, too, was a small decision.
Now here I am surrounded by stuff, gelled in a moment of dustless stillness.
Maintained, awoken, shaken, gathered, placed.
Is existence anymore than a collection of spoons? A temperature? A potential stifled violence intended to stave off the needers and the takers?
And I've stopped questioning the role you play in all of this.
I've stopped asking you and the cracked idol on the altar for these answers.
If I want to, I can go. I can stay. It doesn't matter.
A multi-dimension will play through the other versions and I have enough faith in that to live within the multitudes.
A shoebox can make a proper diorama to peer through and see what could've been. We are flesh-toned pipe-cleaners against a hot glued cardboard background of the house we live in together.
Anything is possible.
I wonder what the other-dimensional self sees, peering in at me now.
In bed everything fuses. It's the ultimate resetting point. My eyes could blink awake anywhere, at any age, in any form and I'd pick up my script and the words would roll out.
It wouldn't make sense. But this version makes as much sense as any other.
There's the costume, the lines, the taped X on the floor. From behind the curtain emerges the friends and the reoccurring conflict and here's the person you get to kiss, lebensabschnittpartner.
Here we are trapped.
An excerpt from Waking Life:
"One thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as, a real kind of exuberance, of feeling on top of it, it's like your life is yours to create."
So it goes.
I don't envy the curiosity of children, which is actually perpetual confusion with crude sticky manual dexterity.
But my question has always been the same since then.
There's a line on my hand called the "fate line." For the "typical," it usually starts at the palm base, right in the middle, and dances it's way vertical, up towards the slouching hammocked head and heart line (blessed are those who have both).
This is the question we form, the question we pester the adults about and then ultimately turn inward to act as the forever child persona demanding of the deity-manifester persona.
Ever in curiosity. Ever in confusion.
The way the Little Prince queried the pilot about the sheep eating his rose as the pilot attempted to repair his plane: "The thorns are of no use at all. Flowers have thorns just for spite!"
And it's possible in all this shaking I've given up and become a mushroom.
My question will always be that of love.
As a kid I wondered what it meant to be loved and still I wonder what it means to be loved.
I wonder how it is I can love rightly and how my own heart exists in the world.
In posing the questions I draw in the hypotheticals.
It's that vibration.
The stillness feels satisfying after the movement. The calm is because we affirm can still feel.
We can still smell one another. We are given permission for closeness. We move through the olfactory layers of one another.
Shake and be shaken.
Move and be moved.
I'll take this time, when the Why has fallen away.
Because I've been shaken the last few days, rocked and held and shaped by hands.
I will be settled in a transient certainty of being loved. I will let this vibration into the core of me and accept it.
I will remember it.
I will let it shape my delusions and let it hush my small child-self into repose.
Painted me blameless and allowed my anger.
You expressed a regret and considered me, a part of it.
My feelings were hurt. You saw them. You always saw them but it took you 9+ years to let me know you saw them.
You gave me permission, a retroactive slip, that validated all my anger.
And let it go.
Let it go.
A strange pain makes us who we are.
We actually need this pain
we become indefinable.
A wall corrals a city, a fence corrals a yard.
Horses are kept in a field held in by electric fences.
We need a moment to pause so we can retreat and come back into a center.
I wrote you back. I don't remember what was wrote. Lots of gratitude.
I didn't tell you were brave even though I thought you were.
I think you are.
I wrote "there are many of these kinds of letters I have in me," and finished it with, "please know you're not alone in examining old choices."
You are brave Nella.
In the mountains I think.
"Gone from my sight,"
but not like that.
The pamphlet poem during the Hospice times. Not like that. As long as we're still alive there's a cord. A visceral vibrating cord.
When we pass, the cord becomes translucent, like silkworm thread, thin and slick, but impenetrable.
All my lovers come to me in dreams still. I always let them. Nothing is as it was of course.
We're not still reading through out the same one-act.
They're usually doing other things, not the same things, and come by to show me.
They've moved on. It's the way it goes.
I'm always glad to see them even when I wake up alone.
Couldn't get warm all day. Wringing my hands together, pressing between the creases of my knees. The best medicine is to lean into it, do as the Estonians do and plunge yourself into the Baltic. Put your galoshes back on, offer a few girls some cigarettes and beer, and continue fishing.
I'm always in self-preservation mode.
"It just works better for me that way. Emotions are messy and complicated. I honestly don't believe us as humans are equipped to have them. I'm shocked at how long I've lived while knowing/understanding so little about how to manage them." I wrote this to Maya today, in a letter I'm uncertain I'm going to send. It's written on the jacket of vinyl in thoughtful handwritten letters that get less clean as I move into a place of expressing some pressing honesty.
I don't know if I'll give it to her. It gets messy. I don't like getting messy, even if it's on paper.
Actually, especially if it's on paper.
The other day I woke up with Matthew Carter. It was cute, not like all that. We had fallen asleep watching Star Trek and I had a touch of whiskey in me. I think it was after his first round of snores I had woken him up declaring, "Matthew Carter, I just want to promise you, if/when I get into a relationship I still want to be your friend.
I don't want to cut you out like I've done before. I just want to promise you that."
This feels safe.
What am I even saying.
He comes and goes too. We all come and go. It's fine. It's the way it is.
What I'm trying to say is there is no cutting.
Nothing is ever cut.
He's somewhere in the mountains, I think.
"$10,000, perfect. We'll take it."
All the money we had. We moved everyone in. All the friends who were on couches.
The friends about to drive South for the winter, we caught them and said, "hey, come in, we're gonna do a thing this winter."
We could play shows in the barn, set up baths around the property and pump in some water from some underground hot spring. Who knows about those things.. That Irish guy in East of Eden with his water stick waving over the dust. A thousand words for every scoop he said?
I can never find the things I'm looking for when I need them.
We're gonna get all the rugs and lay them out.
Then we're gonna get a bunch of paper and pens and typewriters and lay those out too.
We're gonna have these nights where we all lay on the rugs and answer writing prompts.
Some folks will crawl on the roof for a little space.
Write by the light of the moon.
Write by the light of Mars,
of UFO beams or whatever.
Then we'll read what we wrote. Some won't. We won't force anyone.
We'll spit whiskey into the fire and cast "good riddance" spells on our exes even though we still love them.
We'll never eat and never sleep. It'll be all work. All dance. All strum strum on the strings and "when's your producer friend coming up from Oakland with their equipment?"
Nail mattresses to the walls.
Line books on the shelves we wrote.
Of course we'll eat.
The kitchen will always be warm.
The stove will always be on.
Coffee and beer will collide in the tween hours of 1p and 5p.
It'll be venison stew in the Winter, dandelion greens in the Spring, river water in the summer, and maple syrup in the fall.
There will always be kittens and they'll either all have homes or be wild. Coyotes will come and go to pick up the kittens but our kittens are smart.
Ducking under holes in the barn just in time.
And somehow kids will be there but they won't be assholes.
Their parents will keep 'em busy and curious and exploring and they won't run into the sides of tables and scream, or touch anyone's shit.
They'll ask all the best questions.
They'll be elected king and queen and they'll put on these plays that will have everyone roaring with laughter or sobbing.
When someone gets sick we'll cover them in blankets and ladle bone broth down their throats.
When they die we'll bury them deep into earth. When they come back in our dreams we'll gather everyone around to tell of the visions.
Of course we'll sleep.
I know it sounds like it will smell terrible. The drafts will never be fixed because we're artists. The roof will always leak. The walls are full of mildew and mold and we'll all get coughs.
The property tax will never get paid and the cops will come and throw us all out. Toss bleach on the clothes and things so they're ruined. Board everything up. Like they do.
But imagine for a second it smelled like warm caramel, fresh linen, and a little cedar. Imagine the kittens came in from the barn as we pulled quilts over our heads and their heads and our lover's heads and we knew nothing could come in to hurt us.
Imagine the coziest of cozy sleeps where everyone you know is safe. Where everyone you know is right there and you can just call out and ask them a little question if you wanted to.
Like, "did you see the sky during sunset this evening?" even though you know they did. Because you were right next to them.
And just like in that Kerouac poem, "everybody goes, 'Awww!'"
The problem with loving is when to stop.
I pulled the lavender inside, keeping it from the smoke.
It has forgiven the elements already and reaches for, with wispy tendrils of sun starved fronds, for the drapeless window.
I shake my head at our spiritual juxtapostion.
What if I offered you little pieces of my heart, one bit at a time, so you wouldn't even notice you held it?
A cottonwood bud plumped with autumn
A squash seed
A sunflower petal
You wouldn't even notice,
the pieces would be placed absently on your altar
next to the photographs of your great-grandparents.
You wouldn't even notice me there. You wouldn't notice the eek of the walnut cracking or the petal rustling.
Oils of the seed leaving a single drop.
I still love you.
I still love you.
I still love you.
Even, and especially when, I come apart.
Note to self:
Touching, swinging, primate,
Sitting with confusion
"Here we are, trapped, in the amber of the moment. There is no why." -Vonnegut
So it goes.
I've been swinging lately, shifting weight from hand to wall, bending the core of my will around the spaces and moving through them deftly.
Once I was a room.
An impossibly big room that fit jokingly, like a father's robe around a child.
But eventually I grew into it.
Or perhaps it shrank?
It was a corner room, with two brick walls meeting, laden with enormous windows secreting leaden weights which lifted the glass from tarred cords, somewhere inside their frames.
To fit properly I started sewing the holes, deft thread in and out, closing the cracks - the material beginning to show form and match itself to my shape.
I filled it with music, and ran my hands along its edges to familiarize myself with its shape.
As it began to know me, it grew comfortable, and collapsed itself onto my skin gratefully.
It breathed as I breathed.
In every corner, and even on the broad parts I hung bouquets of yarrow. Asking for the stuck energy to filter away, letting the fresh in. A protective spell cast.
We knew each other, and that is all I can say for what love probably is.
Now I find myself in places with many turns, not open, like the room I once wore. Curved and nooked and slim. Made for bodies to come into contact, to crash a bit. I always find myself calling and singing around these corners, anticipating the eventual collision of another body, perhaps clicking their way around. It's strange actually how seldom we actually meet. There's always a bubble that seems to catch us. I've begun to say, "Excuse me," rather than, "I'm sorry," in these moments.
"The body is not an apology," Sonya Renee Taylor let's us know.
It's ok to exist and get in the way a bit. Impossible to avoid unless you are a ghost really. One day.
But not today.
In this place of many turns I find myself swinging. There are
of many quick grasps where the weight is shifted.
A quick story to explain what I mean:
There is a black bronze statue at the Grotto in East Portland, that sits overlooking the scrum of highways connecting Oregon to Washington. It's of Mary holding a slumped Jesus, her left hand extended in a gesture of .. grief? confusion? questioning why this useless violence that has happened?
There is a sign below the statue which makes observers aware not to touch the statue.
It's let's us know the bronze material is very sensitive to human oils.
Yet, despite this warning, the finger-tips of Mary's outstretched hands are patinated, touched by the oils of many hands. The fingertips stand out, gleaming gold in spite of the obsidian radiance of the rest of the statue.
So many hands seeking perhaps to comfort her. Seeking to redirect their own balance in the space.
It's an extension of our movement, these pivot points. These spots that indicate our movement, the smoothed altered surfaces we return to again and again.
And it reminds me of our ancestors. The old wise ones. The elders. The ones who lived in the trees. The ones who made smooth the branches of the jungle, who's hands were so much stronger than ours now. Of course I'm making some assumptions. I'd like to pretend I feel them in me when I move through the spaces, hands always catching my balance from wall to railing to pillar to door knob. The feeling of fallen and caught weight, the feeling of swinging through spaces. The feeling of singing around corners, of narrow misses always, but rarely crashes.
The way we move around each other, singing and dancing and touching. Making marks, touching, leaving our prints.
We are not ghosts yet, we cannot pass through one another. We move in our spaces and touch. We leave an imprint. We leave a path in our wake. We are always, always swinging.
What does it mean that Mars is suddenly watching us in the East?
Each evening I come home, I see him hovering over the trees and rooftops.
I could ask some astronomy friends.
Mars? patron of passions, fucking, force of will - what does his presence bring in the story of natal charts and constellation trajectories?
I could ask the woo-folks: what do you see? What does he tell you in your dreams? Has he always been there, or I'm finally noticing?
Or I could ask Mars himself: what brings you here on these cooling summer nights, when the curfew has been made, but we still take to the night streets?
(He took the plane North, but didn't let me know he was in town. It's no matter (That's what I tell myself))
"You're so full of joy," they tell me.
"It's right there," I tell them, "all the pain and anger. It's just right there,"
I point to the top of my throat. I swallow it down.
Once you asked, "what's on your heart?" as we walked slowly, taking the dogs out free-range, down the alley, and it all came spilling up.
It took everything I had to choke it back down, swallow it, and respond in some benign way.
I had always wanted to be asked, but had never prepared for what happened if I was.
An invitation to spill out.
These ruptures at the seams.
It's easy to mask. We get so good at it when it's expected of us.
Nature craves balance, I admitted to myself yesterday, that revelation clicking playfully into place.
I try to always and only have good days.
No bad days.
Trying to hold the pendulum swing at such an impossible arc, a frivolous endeavor.
So, I'll ask direct:
Mars, what brings you here?
All the pieces coming together, I take the moment to pull things apart. Instead of binding journals I want to mediate of paper. Instead of copy-pasting her essay into a doc and compiling the book, I want to spend time brushing over fonts. Considering hand-writing everything. I slow things down, so much they don't seem like they're moving at all.
At the cafe in Sisters with Matthew Carter, talking about paper. He wants a leather bound day-planner that will last three years. I push him towards the mixed-media Canson paper, almost comparable to watercolor pages with its thick tooth and fraying tear style. "Let's do this!" he said. He'd been on me all week about getting together and doing this work.
"Don't you like living forever in the planning stages scheming impossibly ridiculous expectations?" I texted him.
"Can you come in the morning?" he responded.
Things are sitting, unseen / unread, in binders, in files, in journals. It feels ok this way, but there is wisdom that needs to be fleshed out, put on page and bound.
But I slow things down. I want star alignment, I want validation and approval for my movements, continuous reward, like following a candy trail into the forest. Something familiar leading into the unknown?
But I know it's because I'm just scared. The actuality of my dreams is terrifying, not even the failure or disappointment, though those factor in. But actually seeing a flower transform into a fruit, because it's like love, and there's something so frightening about about that to me.
This is such an embarrassing story, but I'll tell it. I told it to Jonathan the other day, all weepy, and excusing myself for being three weeks into Wellbutrin. It wasn't that. I was just sad.
A friend and I have been soliciting dick-pics from Tinder matches. One in particular who I sent my number to who claimed he was offended by the site of dicks in porns, because they were as attractive as his. We continued a very inconsistent conversation around cunnilingus, food, vague reflections on our day, and really nothing interesting.
Ultimately, without too much exchange and without more reasoning than why not, I texted him after work for his address. Heading over the fucking googlemaps took me down every fucking unlit neighborhood and road detour until, within being within two minutes of arrival coming to a gravel hole in the earth indicating "Road Closed."
The headlights hitting the sign I could only think, "This was a joke I set-up for myself, on myself, and everyone is laughing but me."
I just went home, and cried and cried because I had gone to fast. I thought, for the moment, it was ok to cheat a bit. Cheat love a bit, and not have a connection or a thousand arrows pointing yes, and just go. I just wanted to be loved, made-out with, eat guacomole on the counter-top, talk about my day, talk about his day, fuck. Why not.
And it wouldn't let me. They wouldn't let me. Whoever they are that sits with me all day pulling the pieces apart and not together to examine yhe bigger picture. The force that takes me so long to finish anything, if I finish it at all.