Archive of ‘unquiet things’ category

Art Of The Occult Peek!

The Garden of Paracelsus, Leonora Carrington

For those of you who may not be aware, I thought now might be a good time to mention that my book, The Art of the Occult, will be conjured into this realm in just two months, on October 13! Which is unfortunately not a Friday, but what can you do?

The Mother of the World, Nicholas Roerich

A visual feast of eclectic artwork informed and inspired by spiritual beliefs, magical techniques, mythology, and otherworldly experiences, it is my hope the mesmerizing, transformative works–both iconic and obscure– and their fascinating creators explored within The Art of the Occult will provide a wealth of inspiration to incite your curiosity, excite your senses, and perhaps inform your own practice – whether you incorporate them into your personal search for the truth, make them part of your magical philosophies, or experiment with them as part of your artistic techniques and processes.

The Zodiac, Ernest Proctor

The Art of the Occult is available for pre-order now but in the interim, here is a small gallery of some of my favorites, mystical imagery influenced by occult practices, esoteric beliefs, and magical realms.

L’Amour des âmes, Jean Delville
The Divine Breath, Olga Fröbe-Kapteyn
La Sorcière, Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer
The Household Gods, John William Waterhouse
Illustration from Songs of the Witch Woman, Marjorie Cameron
The Primal Wing, Agnes Pelton

The Right to Remain Silent

Image: From Cat Walk by Mary Stolz and illustrated by Erik Blegvad.


All of my life from family, friends, teachers, classmates, heck, sometimes even from strangers I’ve only just met, I have heard some well-meaning variation of “why are you so quiet, Sarah?” or “why aren’t you talking, Sarah?” Good intentions, or no– I hate this question. It makes me feel anxious and pressured and put on the spot. It’s embarrassing and judgmental, and when I am feeling scrutinized like this, the last thing I want to do is chat. Instead, I want to curl up in a corner and disappear.

I thought maybe they’d all stop asking that question once I became an adult, but nope, I am 44 years old and I literally just heard it again last week (via video chat, no less!) I flushed and flustered, fumbled for words and mumbled something inaudible and inane, but I wish I had responded with something acerbic like, “you talk enough for the both of us.” Or perhaps turn the awkward spotlight back on them and countered with an analytical inquiry: “…and how does that make you feel?”

But…you guessed it. I remained silent.

Sometimes I am quiet just because other people are so loud. Those energies are overwhelming and I tend to retreat in the presence of them. And anyway, I am not good at idle chatter or casual conversation, I don’t even like it, I guess you could say I really resent it. It takes up space better served by silence. And what is wrong with silence, anyway? I am much better at listening and observing than talking, and I am deeply appreciative of the space that a silent moment affords for reflection and awareness–and so when I talk, it is when I have got something to say. And I’m not suggesting that all of everything I’ve got to say is wildly important, or that any of it is. But if I have said it, it must’ve meant it was important to me, important enough to interrupt the silence for.

I know this isn’t the way people are typically wired, but I sure wish that in lieu of commenting impatiently with something like “why are there no words coming out of your mouth right now, Sarah?” They’d instead recall something some silly face I pulled, that made everyone laugh during a tense moment. Or a favorite cake into which I baked so much tenderness that when they later wiped a crumb from their collar, they may have wept without realizing it, and felt inexplicably loved, and touched, and seen. Why do I have to say anything at all? A quiet moment can be full of so many wondrous things. If you’re talking you may miss them.

So just because you don’t hear me yammering away doesn’t mean I’m checked out and not paying attention, that I am mentally not-there, or that I don’t care. I spend a lot of time in my head. Listening, observing. Absorbing, reflecting. And just because I don’t talk about [this, that, or the other] thing does not mean I don’t think about the thing.

This is really just to say, jeez, sometimes I relate to these cats.

Freddy’s Nightmares

OH MAN. Does anyone else remember Freddy’s Nightmares?

Freddy Kreuger as a monstrous villain got to be pretty campy and cartoony in the third or fourth film in the franchise, but I think while that might have rendered the ensuing movie installments somewhat hokey, it might have made him the perfect character to host a show featuring his name on the small screen.

While I don’t recall many (or any) of the episodes or particulars of the plot points of the series, I know that I found Freddy’s Nightmares much freakier experiences than the actual Nightmare On Elm Street movies. Perhaps because it aired late at night when the house was quiet and the adults were in bed, or, maybe I thought it so unsettling and strange because the show never seemed to be playing on the same station at the same time. Recalled through the cracked and smudged lenses of memory it’s even more surreal and eerie because it almost feels like one of those things that happened so long ago that it could have actually been something you dreamed up and never existed at all.

It did exist though because I just messaged my sister and she remembers watching it with me! Also, I mean, there’s a wiki page for it.  I just found a link for what my sister thought was the scariest episode. I wonder how it will hold up with a revisit?

LET’S SEE!

Things That Make Me Irrationally Angry

Of course, there are things in life that logically, make me very angry. Things that might be obvious, like systemic racism, or when a gross old white politician calls an awesome, empowered US representative a “fucking bitch,” or when an Instagram account amasses an enormous following built upon the uncredited work of other artists and creators. Maybe that last one is infuriating only to me, but I don’t feel it’s unreasonable!

Anyway, some of the stuff on the following list is really, really dumb. I know this! But I consider a cataloging of this sort to be a great exercise in ridding my head of junk and garbage, a clearing out of the nonsense in order to allow the important thoughts more room to grow and develop! It’s a bit cathartic, and, I think, a valuable practice.

So, here is a list of some things that make me irrationally angry. It feels good to get this stuff out of my system! You may not agree with everything below (I DID say some of was a little irrational) so please feel free to share a few of your own infuriating, absurd pet peeves in the comments.

😡Taking a bite of a sandwich and the entirety of its contents splorts messily out the back end

😡 Getting my head stuck in the neck-hole when I am trying to take a shirt off; conversely, trying to put on my underwear and somehow jamming my foot into the crotch, instead of the leg hole, and subsequently losing my balance.

😡 Washing dishes and hosing the front of my shirt; also when I am washing my face and the water runs up my arms as I am rinsing (this makes me so mad!)

😡 Checking Instagram and getting excited to see that I have fifty notifications but when I look closer, I find it’s because one weirdo had liked 49 different posts and then started following me.

😡 Seeing a notification that I have a new blog comment and then realizing that it’s a pingback to someone’s conspiracy theory blog post where they used a piece of art that I shared, totally out of context, and, while yes, they did link back to me, they spelled the name of my blog wrong. Keep my name out of your dumb mouths, conspiracy theorist bloggers!

😡 Seeing someone (usually a fashionable Instagrammer) exclaim, “that’s SO aesthetic!” Something can have aesthetic qualities, you can find its particular aesthetic pleasing, you can appreciate something for its aesthetic appeal (as opposed to say, its function)…but “aesthetic” is not an adjective that is synonymous with “chic”, or “beautiful”. To refer to the first dictionary entry that appears in a google search, it is either an adjective concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty, for example, “the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure” OR, a noun to signify a set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement, ie “the Cubist aesthetic.” So…taking that into consideration, what does one even mean when they assert that this, that, or the other thing is “so aesthetic”? That makes no damn sense.

😡 Magazine inserts falling out of magazines and landing on a scorchingly hot driveway when I am retrieving mail from the mailbox on a summer afternoon. This is especially irritating when I have just clipped my nails very short.

😡 A ten-second rainfall on a scorchingly hot summer afternoon (the smell of freshly dampened hot concrete is awful, ugh.)

😡 When I am getting exercise while walking around my neighborhood in the evening and I have to stop short because a car is coming. It’s 7 o’clock in the evening, dammit! Why are there people still driving around?? Everyone should be home asleep, except for me!

😡 When people invite me out to spend time together with them, but upon my arrival, I find out they have invited other people as well. I wanted to spend time with you one-on-one! This is not a nice surprise! If you had warned me ahead of time, I could have prepared myself, or (more likely) opted out.*

😡 When people invite me over for dinner (or something that involves food and the preparation of it) and when I get there, not only have they not even started cooking, they still need to go to the store to buy food! Though I am fond of you, I do not want to go to the grocery store with you. You should have done that before I arrived. This is rude and disrespectful of my time! Note: if you have warned me ahead of time, this is fine. *

* I think between this one and the previous one, it can be boiled down to “when someone doesn’t give me all of the information I need to make an informed decision regarding going out instead of staying home.” When I am surprised with something I am not expecting, it makes me want to hide in the bathroom and cry.

😡 When someone causes a scene in public. I don’t mean the punching Nazis sort of scene, and I don’t mean the sort where you stand up for someone being bullied, or when you call out someone for racist comments. Those aren’t “scenes.” Those are instances of being a good citizen and a decent human. I mean scenes like relationship dramas, or fraught public meltdowns. I don’t want to see this. It embarrasses me so much I want to die–even if I have never seen you before in my life–and this embarrassment, in turn, enrages me. Lose your shit in the privacy of your own home.

😡 Noise of any sort–but particularly obnoxious radio personalities, and people trying to hold conversations with me–early in the morning. It’s not that I am grumpy, or that I am not a morning person. I love mornings. And I believe they should be for silence and solitude. It should be noted that people trying to hold conversations with me after 9am also make me mad.

Face-keeping

115742119_3337969626246180_3418155138061098262_nI know while in isolation lots of friends have stuck to their routines and rituals involving a full face of makeup everyday. Which I think is pretty amazing— I salute all of your beautiful faces and your dedication to them! For me, it’s been just the opposite. I’ve never worn a lot of makeup (and that may have to do with how frustrating I find it, and how it never actually looks all that good on me, anyway) but I’ve found that during this time of pandemic I give even less of a crap about what the organization of skin and flaps and holes on the front of my head looks like. I’ve honestly thrown most of my cosmetics away, and I’m finding that most of my daily rituals don’t really even involve looking in a mirror anymore. My face was never going to be my fortune and it’s really freeing to just accept that and spend those extra energies on the things I actually enjoy and which feel important to me.

We all value and prioritize different things and that’s beautiful. I’m not making any judgments here! Just checking in to tell you that my beauty routine (aside from morning and evening skincare) now consists solely of sunscreen and a spoolie swipe through my non-existent eyebrows and that is it and it is glorious.

I’m curious—have you pared down or amped up your own face-keeping in these strange, sad, constantly-screaming-inside-your-heart times?

Currently: July 2020

crepe myrtleOh, July. Dealer of fermenting heat fevers and the slow insensibility of sweat-death. Purveyor of seasonal ennui and summer malaise. July, my old nemesis. I see you have returned again.

I could do now what I have always done; ignore its presence and live in resentful unease until early autumn, when hurricane season begins in earnest. Cracked plastic blinds drawn weakly against the ruthless light of the sun, central AC cranked low and fans straining at their highest speeds to combat the boiling temperatures and ponderous humidity. Pretend it’s not there at all, none of it; if I don’t see July and all of its overheated, inflamed offerings, well then, perhaps July, in turn, does not see me.

I am not so certain that this is a strategy that’s been working very well for me. Though in the moment it might feel nice to root myself in the darkness like a pale, weak mushroom with a fondness for diet coke, crunchy snacks, and horror novels…after several weeks of this, I begin to feel unbalanced and generally unwell. And so, I have been considering the thought of meeting my brutal summer nemesis head-on…and deliberating on what such encounters might look like for me.

Into my daily-doings I am trying to incorporate  –without hemming or hawing or overthinking them– the implementation of those things that…while I might not love doing them…they are the things that benefit me and my overall wellness in the long term. Some people talk about that concept as being the ultimate form of self-care, but if you’re not into discussions of self-care, I suppose you could just look at it as being the responsible adult in your relationship with yourself and doing what’s best for yourself even when you just don’t wanna.

Exercising when I’d rather be cozy on the sofa reading, eating something nutritious when I’d rather be eating greasy junk, waking up early and having time to start the day on my own terms instead of sleeping in and rushing to be at my desk on time, making that appointment to get my mams grammed or my parts poked at, instead of putting it off because I feel fine and I really hate making phone calls. Doing the thing I am dreading RIGHT NOW and getting it out of the way so I can get on with my life, instead of ignoring it and letting the dread and doom build to unsustainable levels. I am not perfect and I don’t always get it right (and honestly sometimes four margaritas is a perfect amount, and I don’t care what future Sarah has to say about it) but this is one of the biggest changes I have been trying to make for myself.

crepe myrtle 2

So this year when summer-cellar-potato-sprout-me started to feel sickly and strangely heartsick in July, I met the month, halfway, under the sun and in the shade of the dusty, gingery spice of the riotous crepe myrtle blossoms and had a good think about it. While I hate being sticky and overheated and I really dislike the blinding glare of the bright summer sun in my eyes…what I do love is the lovely fresh air and moving myself through it. It makes me sad that I can’t throw the windows open and let the breeze in at this time of year, and I can’t take my evening walks around my neighborhood without coming back to my house tomato-faced and soaked through with my own sweat and stink. So the windows remain closed to the elements and I cease moving much at all. But I need those breezes and I need those walks to feel good. To feel like myself!

shorts

One thing I must constantly remind myself of is that I don’t need to suffer, needlessly. I do not have to be the conductor in my own choir of personal misery. I have written about this before, how discomfort and suffering are somehow wrapped up for me in my lifelong sense that I was somehow invisible. But I am here in this world, and a real person stares back at me every day from the mirror. And what I am saying here, is, that as a flesh and blood human going outside to parlay with the sun…I maybe need to stop being so stubborn and wear something appropriate instead of a suffocating swath of head-to-toe opaque material in the darkest shades of black.

So …as of last weekend, I began wearing shorts for the first time in over two decades. The pair pictured above was sent to me in a Stitch Fix box five years ago and I’m not sure why I kept them because they didn’t fit very well and I knew I wasn’t going to wear them.  I stuffed them into the furthest recesses of that one dresser drawer that I never rummage through, or really, even ever open at all, and forgot about them for several years.

It would be an extreme disservice to myself to say that these shorts now “miraculously” fit. Miracles and mystery have nothing to do with it. For a year and a half now I have been working quite hard at moving more, and really examining why I eat, what I eat, and how I eat, and though it is a slow process (and I wouldn’t have it any other way) my clothes are starting to fit better, and I am just feeling better in general. At any rate, these shorts are the Kut from the Kloth brand, and I know it is a stupid name, but I really do love them. I wore them outside to water our plants earlier this week, and I felt a breeze on my legs for the first time in a very long time. This is going to sound cheesy and melodramatic but that movement of air on a scrap of skin that usually never sees the light of day felt like an epiphany and I nearly wept.

lavender lime marigold sunflower tomatoes

Ever since the spiritualists in Cassadaga nudged me* this past January about exploring my interest in herbalism, I’ve been trying my hand at growing and gardening various things. I’m not one to do a lot of reading on a subject before I embark on things such as this; I know if I do, I will quickly become overwhelmed and then probably become too intimidated to even begin. Instead, I start with something small and try to learn as I go, reading and finding answers when I encounter a question, or when something doesn’t seem to be working.

Now, I feel compelled to share that this is not the first time I’ve ever had a little garden. But in the past whenever I grew frustrated, I usually just gave up and let things die. I didn’t really examine what I had done wrong, I didn’t try different techniques in attempting to right the issues, and I didn’t feel much of an attachment to what I was doing. I think this may be because I was not learning anything, and perhaps more importantly, I did not have any encouragement. I’m currently living with someone who is as delighted as I am by green and growth and gardening, and I am almost certain that having a partner in crime for such things increases the enjoyment as well as the possibility for success. Especially if that partner is more patient and persistent than you when it comes to finding solutions for garden problems. This is not to say that you need another person for success and enjoyment of your endeavors! You are quite capable, and quite enough. And I am too, I am sure. I just know that someone else to geek out with over your sprouting seedlings sure doesn’t hurt, either.

And so, I wore something comfortable and cool and I walked outside to do something I enjoy. It seems so simple when I say it like that, doesn’t it? The July sun doesn’t seem so vexing and villainous when I am enthralled, watching the traffic jam of sleepy-drunk bees in my sunflowers, or when I am held spellbound by the sweet scent of lavender on my fingertips. The sweat dripping into my eyes isn’t such an intensely personal affront when I am pruning mint and oregano to make something interesting with, or digging little holes to drop delicate basils cutting into, to hopefully take root and thrive. For a moment or two, I almost feel a sense of camaraderie with that brilliant blazing day-star, burning and boiling its path across the July sky. I guess in spending time now working in concert with something I’ve spent so long bitterly avoiding, I am learning that I, too, can grow.

porch 1 porch2 shelf 2 shelf 3

Fear not! All of this growth is not just confined to the back patio explorations and schmaltzy personal development! Our front porch is turning into a jungle and there are green things vining and growing (and probably wilting and rotting) on all of the indoor shelves, as well!

spice blends watermelon rind pickles

Of course, despite this seeming summer truce, I could never neglect the one space that has always been there for me, no matter what the weather out of doors or inside my heart is doing. Kitchen adventures are still happening!

I harvested and dried some mint, basil, oregano, for cooking purposes; as well as some thyme, which I added to a batch of creole seasoning; I picked some chive blossoms and made an infused vinegar; I pickled some watermelon rind last weekend (it’s kinda underwhelming) and I began a sourdough starter, which if I am being honest, smells a little disgusting. Like a belly button infection. And before you ask me how I know what that smells like, I will point you to the 17-year-old Sarah with the ill-advised bellybutton ring.

bread buffalo tofy reubens carbonara

I made Joshua Weissman’s sandwich bread (good); the buffalo tofu from Sarah’s Vegan Kitchen (excellent) and several recipes from the Southern Vegan cookbook, to mixed results. Typically everything I make by this cook (it’s the person who runs the Rabbit & Wolves blog!) is excellent, but the jury is still out on the Reuben sandwich and the kale carbonara pasta. They weren’t…bad? But they weren’t great? However, from this same book I also made the chili smashed potato salad and both myself and the person I fed it to while we watched the LotR trilogy for the eleventy-fifth time thought it was perhaps the finest potato salad we had ever eaten. I have no doubt that Samwise Gamgee would agree.

carlina

I do have to be real about my newfound positive relationship with the July sun. It’s still dreadfully hot. I do have to escape indoors from time to time! And strangely enough, it’s not so hot that I don’t want a pile of scratchy wool yarn on my lap?

A few weeks ago I was nearly this far in my progress on the Carlina sweater when I decided that I’d thread some yarn through the live stitches, take the work off the needles, and try it on. It was…enormous. I ripped it all back to just below the motifs, jettisoning weeks worth of work in the process, switched to smaller needles, incorporated matching decreases every few rows to hopefully reign in the girth as I worked my way down again, and just this evening I bound off the body and tried it on.

It is…still enormous. Are there lessons to be learned here? Yes? Will I learn them? Most assuredly not. I would not swatch again and I will continue to never swatch!

artists way books

For YEARS now, I have been meaning to dive into the Artist’s Way. I have begun the morning pages and the various tasks, but I’ll admit, I am not super consistent. Anyone else want to do this with me? We can check in on each other and gently try to hold each accountable? Let me know in the comments!

I am re-visiting Toni Morrison’s Beloved, because it’s been since my junior year of high school that I read it, and that was…a long time ago. As a teenager wrapped up in her own head and her own problems, I didn’t have the attention to give it that it deserved, and even if those mental spaces were functioning at 100%, I am not sure how much of it I would have really understood anyway. I also intend to dig into Hangsaman by Shirley Jackson because I just watched the deliciously savage Shirley a few weeks ago, and I believe it was supposed to have been set during the time she was writing this novel. Also this vintage paperback indicates it was at one point $1.50 and wow I think maybe I overpaid by a lot.

eves bayou

I finally got around to watching the incredibly interesting and remarkably insightful Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror; I’d heard it mentioned over and over in the last year or two by folx whose tastes and thoughts I really trust, and after watching it, my only regret is that I took so long to do so. One of the films mentioned immediately caught my interest– Eve’s Bayou, a southern gothic family drama with a plot incorporating magic and memory, and a moody atmosphere and aesthetic that could have been coaxed from a poem or a dream. To recommend it as a creepier Steel Magnolias with a Flowers In The Attic Vibe isn’t really fair, because at its core, it is a beautiful portrait of black identity and female awakening.

Two other things I recently watched and also recommend, but for very different reasons, are two series that are on Netflix right now. Both are short, with between 6-10 episodes, but that is where the similarities end. One is The Babysitter’s Club, and the other is Ju-on: Origins.

When I was 15 or 16 years old, I had for years been on a steady diet of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and multiple re-reads of The Exorcist. My youngest sister and subsequently our middle sister began reading The Babysitter’s Club series, and I suppose I must have started sneaking copies from their rooms at that time as well, perhaps in an unconscious effort to feel a bit closer to them. I have very fond memories of those books! This series is such a surprise and a comforting delight. I don’t know why I say “a surprise”–I watch and love things probably intended for younger folks all the time! It stays true to the spirit of the original, embracing friendship and empowerment of young women, but it’s also updated to be more diverse and inclusive. If the ending of the She-ra remake (which I also thoroughly ador(a)ed has left a hole in your heart, you could do worse than give The Babysitters Club a watch.

And Ju-on: Origins. Wow. Not much to say about that, but if you’re feeling nostalgic for what I think of as the Golden Age of Japanese horror, then do a binge of this. Think a slightly dialed down Takashi Miike plus a bit of David Lynch? Forbes called it the worst Netflix original series, but maybe they just don’t know genius when they see it. Maybe I don’t either! So as always, take my opinion with several grains of salt, but if you watch it, let me know what you think.

A Few Current Needful Things

ACS_0733Current Needful Things: For my summer (and forever) wardrobe, a Support Black Women Who Write Weird Shit tee shirt from Zin E. Rocklyn –whose fiercely exquisite story “The Night Sun” I am currently reading over at TOR– and which I have been wearing both night and day for two weeks straight now.

As well as two lovely new masks from Zephyr Line Workshop! I really adore both of these prints; one is a moody, dark floral with a sassy skellington hand, and the other is a tiny purple and orange star print that reminds me of those kawaii origami stars that I never quite got the hang of making.

ACS_0734
I am wearing a size medium (scroll to the second pic for glamorous mask modeling!) and the fit is spot on. AND shipping is super quick! FYI Zephyr Line Workshop has a 13% off discount code { BATTY } for goth potatoes until July 26th, so if you’re in need of an extra few masks for spooky and safe summer escapades, I highly recommend you grab a few. 🦇

ACS_0732

PS thank you, @bitwitchy for bringing the tee to my attention!

Assumptions/Assertions And Using My Words

Image via shutterstock

Image via shutterstock user gerasimov_foto_174

I’ve been keeping quiet but I am not sure that serves anyone. That’s my MO when I don’t know what else to do. But I also know that passivity can’t play a part in activism, and this isn’t the time to indulge in my timid tendency to do behind-the-scenes work.

I’ve been assuming that my family, friends, followers, and fans (can I say “fans”? I might have a fan or two, I don’t know) know that I absolutely condemn racism and the institutionalized oppression and violence against Black people. A small part of me thinks that these words just go without saying. Except they don’t, do they? And it turns out that when it comes to me actually giving voice to these words– to assert them to you, instead of making you assume them of me–that I am not even sure that I am saying the words right.

I don’t kid myself into thinking that I have much of a platform here. But those who regularly read my words are noting a disappointing lack of of them addressing the subjects of social injustice and racial inequality, of unlearning white supremacy, of focusing on working toward current and systemic changes to a shitty system that you can’t even call broken because it’s operating exactly in the dreadful ways it was intended. I know I have to do better. What use are words even for, if not to use their energy and power in working for and creating these changes?

But I know words are not enough. And I am probably going to say some things wrong. I am probably going to do some things wrong. But I am going to fail better, and in the process, hopefully, do better.

What does that mean for me, though, beyond donating and signing petitions? These are both very good things to do and I will continue doing them, but I know there is a gap to be bridged between words and actions, and I need to figure out what that looks like for me.

I don’t know a thing about my local government. About our mayor or city commissioner or zoning laws or what’s going on in the local news. I didn’t even know that we had a Black Lives Matter protest across the Dunlawton Bridge last weekend. This is an admission that is embarrassing, at the very least, but really, it’s irresponsible and shameful. I don’t know what role I want to play in local politics other than being an informed citizen and voter, but that’s a good start.

Seek out and support Black artists. Prior to now, this is not something I have spent much time doing. If I happened to find a piece of dreamy or fantastical art or a spooky or speculative story, or an eerie piece of music or a terrifyingly impactful horror film that also happened to have a Black creator, that was mostly an accident, I guess. It wasn’t something I was paying attention to. I’m working on being much more intentional about seeking out, supporting, and sharing the works of these creators in my reading/watching/eyeball fodder practices –in order to listen, learn from, and lift up voices other than those emanating from the mouths of people who look like me.

Confront racism where I see it/hear it. Which includes addressing my own biases. This is going to be scary. I am scared of everything. Especially confrontation. But what if my skin color was just one more reason for me to be fearful in this world? That’s an ugly thought but more than that, it’s a sickening reality. One that I have never had to struggle with. That’s something to sit with and think about. It’s going to be uncomfortable.

I like to wrap things up neatly, when possible. But wrapping up implies that an end is near; that an end is even possible. Wrapping indicates a great deal of work has been done. I have barely begun. This, then, is not me wrapping up a one-off blog post. This is the messy beginnings of critical work that may not always even make it to this space for you to know about, but which I intend to work at regardless of who may be watching or not. I don’t know if any of these things are right or good or important, but they are practices that feel meaningful to me to start with, and so I have to trust in my gut that they will be beneficial beyond that.

I am sorry that I expected you to make assumptions. Assumptions about where I stand on matters of racism and inequality, what I stand for with regard to social injustice, and who I stand with, in terms of Black Lives Matter. Loudly, as loudly as I can proclaim here in these written words displayed on a screen, I am telling you, my readers; you the people just stumbling across my little spot here; you, the person who finds this space at some future time: Black Lives Matter. Today, tomorrow, and always.

I could not have written this post without the scores of Black writers and creators and bloggers who have given me the language and resources to even begin thinking about this, let alone commit my thoughts to words. If you’re not already, please check out the work and words of the following individuals:

 

Writer’s Log // Thoughts & Rambles

feature

This week on the YouTubes I am taking a page from the book of friend and fellow writer Lucinda Rose, whose weekly Writer’s Log updates I very much enjoy. This sort of update will not be a regular occurrence, but I thought it might be a good exercise to share what I’ve been up to with my writing, what issues and concerns I have had in the process, and what I’m looking forward to now that I conquered what I hope is a final deadline, wooooo!

Anything I’ve mentioned in this video that you might be curious about, people, books, etc., I have linked to below! I include this for friends who don’t like watching videos or who might get an awful, visceral fremdschämen reaction to watching a recording of one of your friends talking. Trust me. I get it. If anyone wants to peek in on my YouTube otherworlds, it is much appreciated, but I promise my feelings are not hurt if that’s not your bag.

The Art Of The Occult preorder
Writer’s Log with Lucinda Rose
Shadow’s Tale by Lucinda Rose
The Pomodoro Technique
Ritual Poetica Interview
Online Occult Writing Workshop
Bad Books For Bad People Podcast

36 + 8

bday

Last night I woke every hour on the hour, troubled by tummy terrors and dreams of my sisters frustrating me in the classic ways that they relentlessly do in my dreams. I rolled out of bed and the sunlight was cheerily streaming through the windows, anyhow. There’s a squirrel out there hungry for my tomatoes and I hear a woodpecker tok-tok-toking high in the branches of our neighbor’s pine. Another year around the sun, today. I guess I would have preferred a rainy morning but I’ll take what I can get and be glad of it.

Today I am eight years older than my mother was, when I realized she had been 36 for a suspect amount of time. Even though it’s really no one’s business, I don’t see the point in lying about one’s age. I know a lot of younger people who are smarter than I will ever be, and I know some folks with a few years on me who are absolute morons. It means so little, that number. Meaningless or no, it keeps climbing and adding up. Another year around the sun. I’ll do my best not to fritter away, act a fool, or fuck up this new year of mine.

Fingers crossed.

1 2 3 4 5 39