Goodbye 2, Hello 1

I shouldn’t really have a photo of James on a post about trying to become a #1, but here it is. A photo from seven years ago when we lived in an all pink apartment. At the time, it was the only color I could tolerate. Please notice how much James eats. Do you think that is for show? No. He has two burgers, a chicken sandwich, chicken nuggets and two types of fries. He has the ability to eat everything or nothing at all, for days on end. At the time of this photo, I would only eat desserts. I couldn’t stand the smell of savory food and James would have to eat REALLY FAST (like 30 seconds or less) to keep me from freaking out. This pink apartment was also the place where I worked out a number of psychological issues which finally enabled me to tolerate all of colors, flavors, and smells.  🙂

Goodbye astrology readings. Goodbye ESP Journal. There must be no more staring into the mist. No more checking James’s phone for Snapchat every time he takes a shower.* No more obsessing over other people in general.

My goal now is to become an individual. To not just be a perceiver but also something that can be perceived. A specific, down-to-earth human with a personality, face and history attached.

If I had to describe my self as a number, I would be a 2 for sure. It is so easy for me to get lost in obsessing over other people, analyzing them, drawing their rectangle ghosts in my journal, absorbing their feelings and problems. Whereas the thought of being an individual, a separate stand alone entity, is inconceivable. And that is what must change. I have to find a way to become a number 1.

Two things that have always freaked me out are mirrors and photographs. My own image unnerves me, but also anything that reminds me of my own existence- from a certificate with my name on it to a picture I painted. The sound of my own music sends me into a panic. I don’t know why. I just find it easier to live as a shapeless octopus at the bottom of the ocean, watching and absorbing the colors around me, blissfully unaware of my own existence.

Everywhere I go, I seem to learn a lot about the people around me while remaining relatively unknown myself. It is easy for me to be fascinated by the tiniest details of someone’s life. It is less easy for me to share details about myself. My own self and life seem transparent and lacking a definite form…

And now I can no longer think because my husband is falling asleep. The second he begins to fall asleep thick creamy brainwaves fog up my mind, sometimes containing horrible emotions as well. It causes a headache and makes clarity impossible. Does anyone else have this problem? It is especially troublesome since he enjoys taking naps. Sometimes it can take hours for the goo to leave my head. I guess it would not be easy being married to me.

But still (I am now on the opposite floor & side of the house, trying to escape the white glaze)  I am hopeful that by becoming more of an individual, these cracks will begin to seal up, and I will be less impacted by the emanations of others.

There is no point trying. I am not going to be able to outrun these brainwaves, so I must bring my musings to a close before my brain fogs over completely. The basic point is I must learn to become an individual, a number one. Perhaps I should start taking selfies. So far, I have only taken one,  as a dare to myself, whoever that is.

 

My first selfie… doesn’t it seem so wrong though? Maybe I should sit up while taking it, to give it a more professional feeling.
Me (on the right) trying to get as far away from the phone as possible and  smiling in horror that James has chosen to ruin a perfectly good moment by taking a photograph. We were waiting out a rainstorm in an alcove of the capital building. The strange look on James’s face is due to him saying very out of character things in an effort to make me smile, which is so hard to do with a camera around. He is probably saying how cute he thinks some man is and how he would like to cover his body in scented creams.

*No Snapchat or related items were found. But as a Scorpio, I enjoyed looking.

Something Pure

Like a horseman flying his flag
as I stood on the grass and I watched you ride past
on a gold and silver stag.

Like a horseman fighting for me
while I stood on the grass and I watched the men bleed
as you claimed your victory.

Like a horseman, brave but insecure
I thought I had found something pure.

Hands that touch you, hands that lay
Burgundy blood, like a birdie who knows
when it’s time to fly away.

Hands that touch you, hands that in the darkness see
hand on my heart I had always believed
that you only wanted me.

Things that sparkle, things that you adore
I thought I had found something pure.

Hands that can fumble into the floridities and smash things in the dark
hand on my chest, I didn’t mean to suggest that we were falling apart.

Eyes that sparkle, eyes that flame
eyes that reach you through a fire
eyes that reach through shame.

You stand naked, watching me but you don’t move
after all of this time I still have no idea
what you want me to do.

Eyes that know things, eyes that can’t be sure
I thought I had found something pure.

Download MP3: Something Pure

Ether

All hills, no thrills. Hurricane, where I lived before moving to Charleston. Hills change a lot of things, and it has taken me a few years to get used to them.

Thoughts are made of air. Behind thoughts lies ether. Ether is the space which thoughts occupy; the realm in which you are thinking. And this is where I sometimes feel off, as though my reality is located in a place not quite relevant to me.

While thoughts need to be clear, rational and honest to have value, ether is subjective. You could say it is faith or imagination infused by a feeling. You begin with a subjective feeling, a sense, that life is this sort of thing, and then that feeling becomes the terrain over which all your thoughts must travel.

Perhaps, for example, you have the sense that life is a dismal affair and the world more or less a machine. In this case, your ether has a gray metallic cast, and all your thoughts must make their way through that grim landscape. Or you feel as though the world is full of love and unicorns (even though you might not literally believe that). Once again, you will only be able to harbor thoughts that can survive in this bubblegum hued environment. In this pink world, the possibility of your husband wanting to kill you becomes unthinkable, and all evidence in favor of this hypotheses drops from your mind. This does not, however, make it impossible for your husband to follow through with his deadly plan.

Hence, why it is difficult to judge which flavors of ether are better and which are worse. It all depends on the person and the place.

Let’s say, for example, you are an atheist, a materialist,  and this is the backdrop for your thinking, the etheric world your thoughts inhabit. (Keeping in mind, however, that ether is not so much your stated beliefs as the climate these beliefs inhabit. There could be an atheist with a empty cast, who feels the world is void of meaning. There could be an atheist with an angry cast whose rage at parental figures has turned into a war on religion. Or there could be an atheist with a milky brown cast, who is so enamored with nature that he has no interest in spiritual abstractions.)

So let’s say you are an atheist with a metallic gray cast, drawn to mechanical thoughts and seeing life as a rational affair. Although spiritual things seem like fairy tales to you, you hold no animus towards those who believe in them. This could be a fine etheric location for a engineer or scientist to set up shop, helping them to stay focused on their life’s work and perform it in a logical manner. While for someone else-like a warrior- this form of ether could be debilitating, stripping from them the passion and sense of glory one needs to lay down one’s own life.

The value, then, of any given frame of mind is relative to what that person needs to contend with and accomplish. The rose colored glasses that might compliment a pre-school teacher could be deadly for a police officer.

And now I am wondering what my point is… I think my point is- maybe- that when you interact with people, you don’t just have a tendency to share their thoughts, you get drawn into the same mindspace as them. This happens to me when I use Facebook. Even though I disagree with people, eventually the disagreement draws me into thinking about the same things as them. Their take on life starts to refocus my own, creating a sense of disconnection from self.

I guess I am honest with people to the extent of meaning what I say, but not honest to the point of sharing what I actually care about. The things which can be shared do not interest me, and the things which interest me cannot be shared. Or perhaps that is just the dark lens through which I view life.

Me, a couple years ago, unable to smile as Saturn- the planet of restriction and gloom- crossed over my horizon. There was a time in which I had few opportunities to leave the holler, the little crevasse in which I lived, and this photo may have been taken to celebrate one of those moments.

 

Good Books

Now that I have gotten disdain for books out of my system, I would like to share some of my favorites. The two things I look for in a book are a) that it be an autobiography and b) that it not be written by a writer. I don’t want to be impressed by someone’s writing ability; I just want to understand what they are saying. The more simple, the more I like it.

I like books by strange people and books by normal people.  Books by “great” people and books by ordinary people. Although ordinary people write books about themselves less frequently, when they do it is a treat. I would prefer a book about a day at the office to a book about the conquest of Rome.

A couple more thoughts…

  1. I hate it when autobiographies begin with endless details about a  person’s ancestry.
  2. Many autobiographies are spellbinding in the beginning but become vomit inducing once the person achieves worldly success. Pre-success self lives in a fascinating little world of dreams and struggles, while post-success self inhabits a dry, bloated reality in which they have become an object even to themselves.

So anyway, here are a few favorite books…

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass

I love books about people who must endure circumstances beyond their control. Two other things that make this book amazing to me…

Freddie’s fate is changed by a magic root.

He finds the “keys to his destiny.” What do I mean? Well, I have this theory that everyone has one- or possibly several- keys that unlock destiny for them. But these keys differ from person to person. One person might need to read every book they get their hands on to tap into their latent powers of luck, while another person might need to focus on growing their hair into long, golden locks.

Freddie had two keys- literacy and fighting. He knew he must learn to read at all costs and- and after receiving the magic root- he realized he must always fight back, even against his master, returning each blow with a blow.

As he admits in the book, this course of action would generally have guaranteed a slave’s death. But since it was his destiny, or perhaps because he held the magic root, it worked for him.

 

Up from Slavery by Booker T. Washington

Once again, a person who endured hardship and found the keys to their destiny. In the case of Booker, his destiny was unlocked through a devotion to practicality and manual labor. At a time when former slaves were being encouraged to learn French and run for office, he realized the value of learning a practical trade- one that would meet the true needs of humanity. He figured that a man who serves a necessary role will have a secure place in any community, while the fortunes of the high-falluting man will wax and wane.

 

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

I don’t know if Harriet ever found the key to her destiny, but anyone who has the will to spend 7 years curled up in a box to escape slavery is cool in my book. This made me feel better about all the years I have spent in near confinement.

 

The Crystal Horizon by Reinhold Messner

This book- about Reinhold’s first solo climb of Everest- helped me see how the road to glory is paved with drudgery, pain and hallucinations. I appreciated his simplicity and his willingness to risk his own life while not the lives of others. A cold, high & empty feeling pervaded the whole book, which I found very stimulating.

 

How I Found Livingstone by Henry M. Stanley

Now for a man who was completely willing to let others die in his quest for glory. But keep in mind that Henry was a soldier himself, risking his life for both the Confederates AND the Yankees, constantly putting himself in danger- not for a social cause- but in the name of Manhood and Adventure.

This book is also an interesting glimpse into Africa of the 1800s, though through a traveler’s perspective. People offended by the racism of days gone by should avoid this book, since Henry believes in the superiority of his own race.

Growing up with Draja Mickaharic by Luke Cullen

A simple book in which Luke recounts his childhood training with a magician. It is not fantastical, however. Even his teacher-the magician- explains to him that magic can only alter the odds by 20%. Eventually, the author decides this advantage is not worth the cost and forsakes magic for an ordinary life.

 

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Not an autobiography, but probably the best book ever written. Timeless animals doing timeless things. What more could you ask for?

 

The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi

A good book for those wanting to take a more extreme approach to life. Drinking his own urine is just the tip of the iceberg. I may have been better off never having read this book, since it fed some of my own extremist tendencies and sent me down a strange path for years. I never drank urine of course, but did develop self-torture routines of my own for the purpose of… actually, I can’t remember exactly what the purpose was supposed to be. To be stronger, I suppose?

But I have come to the conclusion that self-flagellation only works as a spiritual path if you are a man. Because it is the nature of man to rise above his emotions, whereas it is the nature of woman to glean wisdom from hers. Only men should try to conquer themselves.

 

Eight books is enough for now, but I may be back with more later…

Me, when I lived in a place that had bookstores. Living in New England brought out my scholarly side for some reason.

Oh, and do you happen to like songs about books? Here are a couple to consider…

The Brown Library (a song about the ultimate library contained within the Earth)

I love to Read (a song about a person who loves to read, but of course they read the ultimate books- the ones hidden in nature)

Man of the Earth

Do you ever feel like everything you say is completely wrong? I do. Not that there is something particularly wrong about it, but just that the whole realm of my thought & feeling is off.

I am hoping I can take some time away from both reading and human civilization for a while, living a life of manual labor, so I can clear my head and try to realign it with something more real. It is hard for me to do manual labor, though, because I have been brainwashed to feel that it is a waste of time. If I spend too much time on it, I feel guilty. That is just social pressure, though. My personal feelings are that manual labor is where its at.

Like, I would think, for example, that being a housekeeper would be much richer than working in an office. All the smells, textures, colors… creating  a world that is your own and getting to change it at will! How much more intelligent would you be if your didn’t spend your days eating other people’s ideas and vomiting them back up? Ideas that pass from human to human quickly become toxic. Our real ideas come from nature. And in manual labor, it is nature we are interacting with.

You can’t clean a cast iron pot without taking some of the knowledge of iron into yourself. You can’t bake a loaf of cornbread without absorbing a touch of corn’s power- the ability to be evil when evil is called for.* Cotton, wood, metal, plant, clay and fruit… all of it loaded with wisdom and new worlds… all of this loaded into our minds through contact with our hands, making us feel renewed. Inspired.

And yet, the social pressures I feel are always to do something dumb- such as read the “classics” of literature. Some of which are okay- mostly the ones written for children, I think, and the ones written by those who aren’t writers. But most are just belabored retchings of unoriginal ideas, filled with human waste, created only to impress.**

But I guess I don’t need to pit books & manual labor against each other. There is no reason you can’t do both, if you are the pretentious sort. But still, my ideal will always be the illiterate savage, the man of the earth. This isn’t a rebellion against intelligence, as some like to say, just a different idea of where intelligence comes from.

One scholar and one man of the earth take a walk in the park.

*To learn more about my feelings for corn, see herehere .

**I don’t mean to seem completely anti-scholar. I do think scholars have their place and am 20% scholar myself.

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Air, Hello Earth

Moving into a new home last year was an adjustment for me. For starters, all new places feel unbearably cootie filled to me, especially if they have been previously inhabited, and since this house is 111 years old, it is has been inhabited many times. (Including JFK, at least for  a day. And considering that he was a sex addict said to have sex multiple times a day, I like to think he may have done so in our house as well. Probably the guest bathroom, as was his custom when visiting a new place.)

Also, as much as I admire the down to earthiness of West Virginia culture, it can make me feel claustrophobic at times. Truthfully, the culture of every place I have lived eventually makes me feel the need to escape. The sun shiny cultures make you stupid, the icy ones freeze your heart, the airiness of the West Coast leads you to make bad choices, the human density of cities makes your head go up your ass, etc. I can’t help wanting to be the opposite of the world around me, no matter what that world is like. Otherwise it can feel hard to breathe. Although I like like people a lot as individuals, I have a hard time dealing with them once they have turned into giant globs sharing the same thoughts and perspectives.

At any rate, the point is that when I first moved here the home and world around me felt foreign and oppressive, so I compensated by making my home a symbol of airiness and flight. Painting the walls sky blue and covering them with airplanes and butterflies, clouds, stars, and lightening bolts.

But now it has gotten to be too much and my whole world feels as though it is empty and blowing around in the air. It is time to redecorate my home to make it feel like the heaviest, stuffiest place in the world. Every symbol of air must be replaced with a pumpkin or a bear. Everything white must be painted brown. Everything high must be placed on the ground.

Of course, last time I made my home as earthy as I could  it made me feel stuck, depressed and flat, as though I was being pressed beneath a heavy book. However, it turns out that was also the time Saturn was passing over my horizon, which makes everyone feel as though their life is a dry and burdensome drudge. Maybe this time the impact of earth will be quite excellent. I will let you know. 🙂

I painted this bookcase with some leftover ocher paint to be earthier. I think ocher and brown are the essence of earth. As are dogs. If you look carefully, you can also see some of my favorite collectibles in this photo, such as blenko water bottles and fiesta ware. The books in the bookcase are ones I would be embarrassed to be associated with (and the ones I read the most) which is why they must be kept upstairs. I would like eventually to have a case of books downstairs which have been purely selected for their pomposity.

My Life

The Kanawha River, one block over from where we live. I really like this river for some reason. Maybe it is the name, or the fact that rivers look extra nice when winding through mountains. I think this was the day I wrote “Park Man” inspired by how grey the river and the sky become in the spring. I have started to love the color grey. To me, grey represents everything that is hidden, but could potentially be known.

 

Recently, my life has fallen into such a hyper-mundane phase that it is hard to say anything about it. Setting the tone for a day of laziness and apathy, is my morning ritual of writing in my “ESP” journal, in which I write down some of the colors & shapes that are floating in the air around me- along with my best guess at their meaning- until I get too exhausted & find myself scrolling through facebook instead. I have been doing this for a few months now and am on my 4th notebook.

Aside from a couple things I learned “from the ethers” which sent me into a state of shock that has taken me about 2 months to recover, the funny thing about my ESP journal is how hyper-mundane it is. No mystic secrets of the pyramids, but an endless stream of details mostly about my husband’s life and business transactions. Why that? Why not winning lottery numbers or perhaps useful information pertaining to my own life? I don’t know. I guess I haven’t yet learned how to adjust the frequency of my antennae.
One rule of ESP seems to be- the more a person wants to keep something hidden or even push it out of their own mind, the more it shows up highlighted and spotlighted in the invisible realms.  Same with lies. It is as though there is a siren and a strobe light attached to them. Which has made me incredibly annoying to my husband, like a nightmare wife. Whatever little details of his day he would most like to forget, whatever tiny thorns are lodged in his side, are the first things to show up in my pictures.
The unrelenting trivia of it and the fact that most of the trivia is related to other people (usually husband, but not always), does leave my wondering what the point is. (Yeah, I was drinking straight lemon juice, SO WHAT!?!)
And since I was too in shock, for a while, to follow my normal routines,  I have also spent a lot of time indulging in languid and miscellaneous interests, usually involving either planets or colors. One day, for example, I lay in front of a green lamp to see what would happen. Being a practical sort of person, I hoped it would make me rich. Instead, it overstimulated my brain so much that it was impossible to sleep that night. In the place of sleep were red lights which flashed inside my body, each one lighting up a horrible image of catastrophes that could befall either myself or a loved one. I became painfully aware of how little I was doing in real life to stop these bad things from happening. I swore to myself that from then on, I would be a different person, living by the book, and dutifully following the advice of experts in every field. When morning finally came, though, my limbs were so weak I could barely move. By the time I regained my strength, the feeling of eminent death and disaster had faded, so I ate 2 king sized bags of M&Ms to celebrate & let my dog have her favorite dinner- spaghetti.
A happy day, at least weather-wise, at the New River Gorge. I am not trying to peer into his skull at this moment because I am terrified. We are near a ridiculous drop-off and I am freaking out.