Today I woke up curious about energy. Someone once pointed out to me firewood, logs, are potential energy, carbon, that is useful when burned, creating heat. Trapped life, potential heat. Stasis. I don't have the words to explore these concepts.. is it essential to have the words? I felt the sun on my face while pouring the hot coffee grounds into the compost. The heat of both came from the same source. The heat of the coffee grounds coming from the water heater, the water heater connected to a power grid, the power station, what? Towers of sizzling wires and spirals and cords and poles, metal fortress at the edge of town? And that power station, where is the burning of fossil fuels, and fossil fuels, carbon trapped in the heart of the earth once organic life compressed into a sludge. Millions of years of sun gifted life turned over in the enormous compost pile of the earth? I started texting someone these thoughts, Danny, because he had been in physics and chemistry classes and liked these things. I just wanted more words to explore these concepts. I'm not looking for answers... I'm looking for exploration. Tools to unlock. Feeling the heat of the sun on my face, knowing every motion on this earth sources it's movement from this source. There's a plant in my bathroom slowly dying. It can't go outside because the cold. I should put it near a window. Do humans need sun? Like, if we had all our needs met me but existed Inside (a word indicating separation from the sun I suppose) what would happen? Would we flake away? Melt away? Become hardened, softened?
The sun comes through the window in increments. The cat soaks it up. What kind of exchange is this? A softening?
When I was going hard for Lent a few years back Tyler had told me how the premise of the 40-days of fasting was a Babylonian pagan commemoration of a sun-god. 40 days for the 40 years he was alive it is said. A 40-year-god is fascinating but I understand the sun-worship element. Religion, faith? Collective worship, sacrifice around the elements, came from agrarian cultures I was told. A fact devoid of a named source, so perhaps made up. Why don't we worship the sun anymore? Deities as well have been extracted and converted from their original source into something else. The source of all things is the sun, but from that source comes all the lore. And the lore is so much more interesting. Nick pointed out once the Bible is just a series of recommendations around agriculture. More of a guide to growing that extends to a guide to living. I truly only love the mustard seed quote, which was reiterated by Peeter and made into a theme at one point. "If you have faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." Matthew 17:20
My gaze moves over to the tapered candles on the dining room table, almost spend, their frail black wicks emerging from the white. What is wax? Is it oil? The roses in the vase, do their leaves still photosynthesize? The bulb inside the lamp, a careful unwavering flame, is it the light of the sun? A replication? An abomination? Is a bulb or a candle or the firewood a false god, having the ability to defy the night, the darkness, the Inside? The sun does not feel for us.. yet we feel for it. We pull at the strands of her long hair, forever braiding the alchemy of her light into something of use. We fight and fuck by her command. We form relationships completely one-sided and honestly who fucking cares. Why not? Us, the humming surface alive, competing for her attention. Even in our depths, acting as potential fuel, flares in the Kuwaiti oil fields. Volcanoes? Are volcanoes an exception? Does the earth produce it's own heat devoid of organic life, devoid of the suns contribution. Finding plot-holes in my own curiosity... other gods emerge, which is to indicate separation. Magma, as a source of the earth's hearth - Fuel, trapped carbon? As a source of the sun's hearth.
As I type my hands are losing circulation. Yesterday they turned yellow with brief exposure to the winter. What was doing that required exposure? I'm an indoor cat. I don't like being cold. I was walking around the property of a house I was cat-sitting for and holding my journal. I know I have to remember to move, to curate circulation, to be exposed. Practice exposure. Get acclimated. I have not risen to the challenge yet this winter. Will I become a husk? Or a blob? The heating unit in my apartment exhales its white nose, keeping me soft. Trapped energy converted into circulation. I don't have the words for it, but it doesn't matter.
I visited the chestnut trees yesterday. Nick had been obsessed with them in autumn a thousand years ago. He told me chestnut trees work in pairs by cross-pollinating. In order to have viable chestnuts they must at least be downwind from one another. I go to this spot and see spiky chestnut husks littering the ground. There are shiny chestnut shapes but their bellies are sunken in, empty, infertile. "Perhaps I'm too late," I think, or "perhaps the tree has become cursed.." My black boots wade through the roughage, at least looking for the half-chewed bits dropped by squirrels. I turn on my ears. Rain lightly hits the almond-shaped saw-tooth leaves above. Droplets condense and drop onto the earth in thick patters. I try and listen past this white-noise. I'm listening for something else. A big patter. It happens. Something is crashing from the trees. The leaves make way with a thrush. The quarry hits the ground and I have visual. I run over, black coat swaying with my leaps. A gaping demogorgon face stares back at me when I reach my destination. A shining pregnant chestnut caught in it's splayed mouth with another nearby. I pluck it out and hold it in my palm: is this what Nick loved so much? Is this the "right" kind? When we'd gather under the canopy he would do the procuring. I would eat the squirrel chewed remnants and draw pictures in my journal while he listened and turned over husks. I hadn't paid enough attention.. I'd have to look up how to process these later. Above me a squirrel chitters. Pissed. It has a chestnut in its mouth. It too heard the chestnut fall and sought to swoop it up. "Do you want it?" I ask as it curses me, "come and get it!" It scurries down a low-hanging branch to get closer. I walk over to meet it. It scurries back up, anxious, leery. I gaze up into the canopy. It's enormous. A squirrel village of gathering, preparing, hibernating invisible to my eye. Nick had told me once why some trees have points and other trees are bushy. It has to do with deer eating their tree tips when they're saplings. Conifers have points because they shoot up faster and grow faster than the deer can eat their tips. Deciduous trees are bushy because they grow slower and the deer have nibbled their tips making them branch out. And from an evolutionary standpoint they inherent hormones that make them do this with or without deer nibblings. But this is all based on my memory. Unreliable. And I won't text him for the answers because he's getting married this week. I pocket the chestnuts and keep my ears open. Back then I timed it. When the chestnut would drop. It's like shooting stars during the meteor shower times. One every two minutes I'd say. It's a rush in the same way. You sharpen your senses the best we can be being mostly phone addicted and indoor oriented. Perhaps I'm just speaking for myself. My partially gloved hands crammed in my pockets, my stupidly chosen synthetic socks doing nothing to stave moisture or cold from reaching my core. Stupidly dressed, even for a brief foray into the "outside." Always abysmally prepared, always mildly uncomfortable. Still, inside me I harness my inner wolf and keep my ears perked for the sounds of chestnuts falling. Another. Another. By the time I see three people headed to the chestnut tree with soft bags I have captured five. "It's their turn now," I think, and begin to depart. One of the people headed towards the chestnut tree says to me, "I will be a monkey and climb in the trees to get them." I show them I caught three. I wonder if they are disappointed seeing a white woman clamoring under this spot. An indication that the secrets of the chestnut tree will be exploited in the wider white woman world of over-harvesting, colonization, and commodification. I write this knowing I participate in a wave of white woman bullshit. I want to keep the secrets of the chestnut tree.
It is another day. I break the thick leathery skin of the chestnut with a paring knife. I put the chestnuts in water and let it boil. The skin opens up. I drain the water. Let the chestnuts cool. I pull the soft meaty chestnuts from the skin. I pop one in my mouth. It's soft and slightly nutty and delicious. I wonder if my face will break out because of my food sensitivity to tree nuts. I have another half one. I do little chores around the house. I wonder what the difference is between horse chestnuts and these chestnuts. I look it up online and don't feel satisfied. My stomach hurts. I feel nauseous. I look this up as well. Horse chestnuts are toxic and can make you nauseous, make you vomit. Maybe I'm being psychosomatic. I drink water. I eat a salad. I feel better. "Isn't there only horse chestnuts in the US?" Cazo asked. "Edible chestnuts belong to the genus Castanea and are enclosed in sharp, spine-covered burs. The toxic, inedible horse chestnuts have a fleshy, bumpy husk with a wart-covered appearance. Both horse chestnut and edible chestnuts produce a brown nut, but edible chestnuts always have a tassel or point on the nut," the internet tells me. The chest-nuts I have came from the spiky cased ones, not warty ones. I take this as a positive sign of not being poisoned for now. Who fucking knows though. Smarter people know, I remind myself. This is knowledge that is well-known in certain circles. I'm reminded of the wolf berry alleyway I lived near, and the delicious berries that came from the bush that was carved back constantly. What white people don't know fucks everything up. What white people know and exploit fucks everything up. Wolf berries, goji berries grew in the alleyway, creeping out from someone's backyard. They look like the kind of berries parents slap out of their kid's hands screaming "THAT'S POISON!" as little birds skirt about the bushes stuffing themselves. During times of particular ripeness and abundance someone would take a hack and cut the bushes down. It was disheartening to have a superfood carelessly removed from the ecosystem. It's whatever. Who knows about the secret of the chestnut? Will one be carelessly cut one day to make room for another baseball field thereby losing it's pollination partner? How did these chestnut trees get here? Were they planted? Who willed them? How old are they? Whose stories of gathering are held under their boughs?
I learn by touching. By listening and tasting. I don't know any other way. I worry about my impact. I take from the squirrels. I take from other gathers with greater histories than mine. I must be careful. I poison myself a little every time being curious. I don't have a people of this place. I don't have anyone to tell me the stories. I ask the wind. I ask the internet. I make stuff up. My stomach hurts. My face is breaking out. I am a person experiencing incremental bits of the world and have lived this long to tell about it. Nick is getting married this week and I'm happy for him. Legacy work. I occupy my own small space, my own small story. I tread through memory, I accumulate, I live another day. It's just how it is. How it's gonna be. I wonder if anyone checks up on me. Sees if I'm getting married. Believes one thing or another about where we're at and what it means. We survive another day. We're doing it. I don't know what it means but I'll keep wondering.
Time passes in a perfect clip. Getting lost in the hour by hour sand timer, not leaving home. Everything I have is here in this nest.
Everything I need.
Enough personas to keep myself occupied.
One makes the jokes, points out the absurd.
The other weaves, makes the connections. "Have you noticed," she starts, speaking slowly and thoughtfully, thread between her fingers forming, "how part of us are birthed from one another?"
I stay silent, waiting for her to continue. "Voices emerge when encouraged. Voices silence when unheard. This is the creation of angels and demons." Then I see her reconsider. "No. There's no such thing. Even among the multitudes, there are multitudes.."
It's about warmth though.
I understand what she implies.
The thought began when I wanted to talk to Andrew Evanson, some stupid joke only he would understand. There wasn't a phone or an ear that could reach him to I kept the thought inside. "Perhaps if I hold it closely it will reach the ether, the veil.
Perhaps the thought can cross over if I concentrate on it enough."
I meant to put into words a stupid thread we shared, perhaps it's not to late to send to Beth.
Evanson and I were really good vacuumers before we got ourselves promoted out of vacuuming at work. I cleaned out the vacuum before each use. He knew the perfect way to wrap the cord.
"You twist with your wrist before you lasso it in," he showed me, opening his wrist to turn the cord, and then pulling it in.
We had perfected the art of putting the vacuum away, making a perfect cord fold and tuck, hanging it over the shoulder strap. We would separate the nozzle from the tube. We would set it perfectly in the corner of dry-storage, between the cash machine and the box that held the growlers.
When another person vacuumed and put it away sloppily we'd send texts.
"How dare they," we'd say. "Such disrespect."
We believed in quality where no one cared, and in that, we were the absurd ones.
Without him, I run through our script as if he responds.
He tells me about rugby, I tell him about my projects.
We talk about what we're going to do for the winter.
I tell him about my new crush. He tells me about Gracie.
What are these rhythmic echoes of sentiment after someone is gone?
We pantomime, we project, because we miss.
We long because a part of us is actually fading.
A part of us loses our voice in a way. There's nothing new. It's imagined.
There are many strange steps to grief I read in article recently. We could call these nuances of the original five.
For me, I feel like the best place and the most realistic is to be a state of the so-called "beginning" and "end." A place that is both denial and acceptance.
I still have these conversations with him. I still find myself reaching out and believing I am heard. And in my delusion feel there are words returning. I'm comforted knowing we cared for each other. I'm comforted he still cares, and I still care, and we're still rooting for one another in every iteration.
I tell myself it's enough, because it's all I have. To be alive is to create new moments.
I miss him.
With every sip the sadden deepens. Inarticulate. Just a vague sadness.
“If I can’t have love, I want power.” New Halsey album drops.
Renaissance Madonna cover. Virgo season mood.
Tyler pointed out once that so many artists are Virgos. Beyoncé.
Hayley’s a Virgo. They give the best advice. Always ten-steps ahead waiting for us to catch up. To their detriment. While we lag behind we make unpredictable moves. They have to refresh the homescreen. Sankofa. Having to go back.
In the mornings, in France, I’d drink my coffee with Peeter even though he was thousands of miles away. It was a visceral connection. The sea stones he had plucked from the Baltic shore in my hand, cool and smooth. Uks, kaks, kolm, neli, viis. Correct me if I’m wrong. He told me I read in Estonian well despite not knowing what I was reading. The phonetic guides, the umlauts, especially in the word for Night, öö. The sounds an owl makes, as if the owl were maker of names for it’s nocturnal hunting time.
This morning I have coffee with no one. The sadness deepens.
Megan sends me a quip from a mutual friend’s instagram:
“sometimes it feels like Globemallow is smiling in a way I used to know how to,” it said.
“There’s no photos of me smiling,” Mom says, scrolling through the photos of my brother’s wedding on her phone.
“Did you find the ones of you dancing?” I asked. She hadn’t.
I find a photo of me smiling.
I’m next to my brother, clutching onto his arm.
My sister is on the other side of him.
My mom finds the photos of her dancing. She’s dancing with her son.
It’s the moment that made my brother break down alone in Mexico maybe a week later. Seeing her happy, or having connection sink in.
So much actual emotion happens in the memory, later, not in the moment.
Sometime unexpected, when the memory moves through sleeps and becomes distilled.
The weight doesn't exist in the wash of the present.
Sometimes it takes years.
In my memory, my mother is smiling and dancing with my brother and everyone has moved off to the side and is cheering.
They are dancing to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
They have a loose choreography. My mom was nervous about forgetting it so we practiced it over and over beforehand. I told her it was mostly improvisational, these kinds of things, so not to worry.
“You’re a dancer anyway,” I had said, “this kind of thing will come natural for you.”
“I was never good at choreography,” she had responded, memorizing the moves. It’s why she dropped out of dance school. Too stressful.
It was really special, watching them dance. It’s what Mom always longs for.
To dance with her grown children on a special day. It doesn’t happen often, these kinds of things.
I’m dotting the edges of cotton handkerchiefs with a kind of seam adhesive and hanging them outside with clothespins. The cotton waves like ghosts, the sun becoming a little more slanted everyday, harsher on the southern horizon.
The vague nostalgia deepens.
I laid in bed this morning watching tiktok videos of people using this filter that makes a child version of themselves meld into a present day version of themselves. It went along to “Where’d all the time go?” Everyone had different reactions. For some it seemed validating. For others it seemed as if they were reacting to the bridged time in-between, a culmination of pain, experience that had accumulated into a hard-won wisdom.
When they’d cover their mouth, “reacting,” the filter of reddened lips superimposed over their hands.
It was real, it wasn’t real. It was whatever.
I scrolled through them for maybe twenty minutes.
“I wouldn’t react like that,” I thought of the ones that looked full of regret or pain.
The ones where they’d cry, making that off selfie non-eye-contact with the person on the screen.
In hanging the cotton material out to dry there’s a sense of satisfaction roped in with doing something old-fashioned and wholesome. Hanging the linens out to dry after beating them in the washtub with the rendered bar of fat.
What we call simpler times. Times when we didn’t experience the simulated and repeated human experience of watching the time pass through someone’s existence on a media platform?
Last night I bought her book, and life now is just waiting for it to come in the mail.
Then it will be slowly processing it through winter.
Then it will be reflecting on it for the time after.
The Holy Yonder.
I told her about eudaemonia and the zine I’m writing or not writing about words. About the connection with the muse, all of our connections with that entity that exists alongside us that isn’t exactly us, doing the work.
A daemon, a genius.
Now is just waiting.
There's this succulent thriving in my home.
I don't know how.
Nothing thrives here.
I keep the windows open.
Flies come in, die in the window frames. Little dusty corpses line the base being ground and raked by the opening and closing of the sliding window.
Waiting to be vacuumed, their final resting place.
Is it the succulent you bought after finishing that Baldwin novel?
Were we experimenting with sobriety then?
You usually pulled a healthy 2 oz from a bourbon bottle. So why was this time different?
Trying to create new traditions.
For all I know this could be a different plant entirely.
I barely remember how or when plants began, their stories impulsively entering my life to exist in months/years long state of entropy.
Slowing falling apart, starved of light and sun, or too much light and sun?
There was a boy once I was seeing for a small amount of time.
He had teeth like buttered-popcorn jelly bellies.
I told him they were beautiful and unique. A special part of him.
He grew succulents in his room under a lamp, a surreal blue UFO glow filling his room.
He worked at a nursery and talked about plants a lot.
It was strange being intimate with someone who cares about their job and talks about it endlessly.
I had plastic succulents in my room at the time. He picked one up and examined it with the eye of an expert.
"It's not real," I had said.
"That must be very depressing to see, considering how much you like succulents."
I don't remember what he said.
When I ended things through a text message he had protested.
I had kinda lied and told him I needed to prioritize time with my friends and family.
It wasn't a total lie though.
The truth was I had completed a major self-publishing project (major for me) and he hadn't really been that interested or curious about it.
The zine I gifted him, he had rolled a joint on and had left it in the backyard, bits of marijuana sprinkling the cover.
The wind eventually separating and scattering the unstapled pages across the patio.
When he had showed me his photography, a coffee-table book he had had printed of forests, I had spent time on every page, making observations and inquiring about his process.
When I ended things, he said I hadn't actually got to know him.
There was so much more about him that was fascinating.
I should see him in his element, the woods.
I told him he was really great and that it had nothing to do with him, I just needed to take some time to be with people that are close to me.
He told me he was at work and we'd talk about it later.
Then he sent me a screenshot of our conversation.
Then he told me that screenshot was meant for a friend for analysis.
I told him, "let your friend know I have plastic succulents."
"Salt of the Earth."
"Worth their salt."
"Take it with a grain of salt."
Tay Tay and I were obsessed with salt. We had a little pinch-pot that rested on the shelf above the stove that accompanied our plates to the dinner table. It was sprinkled liberally on every dish.
Gandhi walked to the Arabian Sea to protest the prohibition of Indian citizens from harvesting and selling salt, requiring them to purchase exclusively of the English market, taxed heavily.
Salt is gorgeous.
Ranging from the briny white encrusted surfaces of ocean shores, the peach marbled of Himalayan salt mines, the sel de gris harvested from the base of the sea, and the mottled granules harvested from seaweed in Japan.
It's sources varied, it's flavor familiar.
A small lick of a salt rock acts to prime the palate.
It enhances and brings out the flavor of any dish (especially sweets) and satiates the body in a way its lack will not.
My friend Anna makes this broth. It's so many things: vegetables, bones, a dash of fish oil right before serving.
The comfort in all the hot savory elixir imbibed at the temperature barely below burning your tongue seemed to cure any ailment. "My rule of thumn is 21-25 grams of salt per gallon," She let me know once.
I remember the way the broth would make me stretch, as if I came from a dry sauna or a hot spring.
Everything loosened, relaxing into a place of better alignment.
Cari has my favorite salt, I still can't find it in stores.
It's that flaky celtic sea salt that holds a crystalline shape like a snowflake dissolving on the tip of your tongue.
There is no better pair with salt then a lover's warm skin dried after wave chasing.
With these indulgences of course comes the consequence of their imbalance, the reality in which I am personally aware.
As a personality trait, to be salty is to be irritated, angry, hostile.
It's attributed to the agitated, the one with the ruffled feathers, reacting rather than listening.
Frustrated and impatient.
When I think of "salty" as a personality trait I imagine an angry salt shaker clamoring back and forth on a tabletop, spilling grains from its porous head. I imagine a salty person grabbing this angry shaker and turning it over their food, adding fuel to their own inferno. Slamming a spooned fist at the table to command attention. Spewing a rant to a family who exchanges downward glances and stirs their potatoes.
Then why is it such a contradiction when they say, "worth your salt?" or "salt of the earth?"
Salt was currency once. To be worth your salt is to be worth your paycheck in Roman times.
I like to think of it as the saline quality in our blood.
Is what we do, our action, worthy of the salt in our veins?
Are we earning our keep as stewards?
Are we maintaining our worth as children of the sea?
And "salt of the earth" is term used for the best kind of people.
I have earthbound grounded salt people I love so much. Their faces easily come to mind with this term.
There's something about soil stained finger-nails and thick unwashed hair.
Something about the way the earth collects on them in a way that makes them more vibrant then others.
I think of Matthew Carter and Anna.
I think of Seth, Hailee, Caleb, and Melinda. These are salt of the earth people. Chicken raisers and broth makers.
I can't exactly put my finger on the magic of salt.. it's presence is common in spell-casting and purifying rituals.
Salt circles are meant to protect, seal in a ceremonial practice.
Playing off of old cliches, I hold the memory of shaky teenagers spreading the baker's cabinet mortons in a circle around them to candlelight in anticipation of a demonic force. Even a base knowledge of salts properties is known in a pinch (no pun intended).
Why am I writing this treatise on my love of salt?
On the subject of salt as so fundamental and woven into the personal and the cultural?
This meandering love note addled with inaccuracies no doubt.
I made these little salt rings to cast ritual circles and needed to put into words what salt means to me.
I'll take whatever salt you offer, a grain or a boulder.
Any sort, I'll inevitably touch it to the tip of my tongue.
The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. - Karen Blixon
Tapping the mic, seeing if we have gods attention.
Adjusting rituals. It’s not, “how to nullify this contract” it’s “how will this contract be adjusted.”
It’s making that five-year plan in earnest, a pretty obvious natural lie, and allow it to be divinely corrected.
We have to make mistakes and fail to get the attention of god. To have our natural laws, corrected, redefined. It’s absurd, but it’s knowing.
It’s a trick.
You can hold still. God wants to see you fail, be humiliated, literally fucking die, to beckon your rebirth.
Not ceremony, ritual.
J talked to M about meditation once and she hated it. Resisted. An obvious medicine for her body turning inside out. She’d be a shell?
All her super powers hard fought acquired, born with, supernatural - would be for naught.
I’ve seen a husk person. A cautionary tale. This is what happens when you go to god direct, and don’t take the long tricky pathways.
You cheat, but not cheat.
I’m wanting to make a real commitment to myself but this will be tested.
And maybe it’s a trick. Making I am earnestly tricking. But this is no way to live. Right?
I heard a meme, I wish I had it. It was perfect. About not wanting to get in a questionable partnership because I’m focusing on me rn. And I don’t know how long this version of me is gonna last. And I want to cherish this time.
Can I offer friendship?
My contract with my mom is the strongest. I’m worried about that. Because she’s my person and always has been. And I get this time with her. And I don’t want to adjust this contract in any way.
But I have other selves I want to grow into. I want to speak French fluently before I die.
I know that means I have to go.
What will I regret more? Is it about regret? Or the possibility of vulnerability? Telling my mom I rly love her and leaving. Leaving to come back to meet her again, both of us different. Having walked through a death in t
he way my brother must see with her, and we with him. Whenever we see him. A new birth. A new death.Always someone we love, but you’re always a little afraid you won’t see them again. That something will have fundamentally gone away. They won’t see you either, even though you’re there.
I swear, it’s still me.
I’m getting to a point where I don’t recognize myself.
It’s slight. I try to stay on-brand for the sake of consistency but the charges, I see in my face. In my eyes.
I look like my aunt. I even tilt my head in photos the way she does.
And in this natural challenge, this shifting trajectory, shifting the train tracks with my lever to run over the large man? Or the school children? Do we need the distance to decide?
“You’re now in the train..” they say and we suck air through our teeth.
To make choices. Fundamentally unnatural? We ask god in those moments and get nothing. The slightest omen, a robin in an aspen spitting mash into the mouths of its offspring. This is how god responds.
Billy mentioned being asexual. “Lol never,” I had said in response. “You can choose to be celibate though.” He’s life contract screams romance and sex. It’s heavy in everything about him.
An observation. Possibly wrong. Rude of me regardless.
Sydney used to tease god by speaking outloud of joining a nunnery. She knew the hack.
I can’t believe that worked.
A obsidian stone shifting itself to the top of the rubble to see the sun for the first time, gleaming like an oil slick for a crone to pocket and cast a death spell.
Is this how god speaks?
In what way do we answer?
《 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.